Pigeon Forge Car Shows

Car shows start up in spring

With Christmas upon us and the weather blustery cold, it’s hard to think about spring – but the season will be here before we know it, along with the start of the year’s various car shows.

The first is the Corvette Expo, set for Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19 at the Sevierville Convention Center.

The expo will offer an auction, swap meet, cash awards and more. The brain child of Byron R. Cooper, owner of Cooper’s Corvette Center in Knoxville, and his brother, Ronny, the event began in March 1977.

The second is the Spring Grand Rod Run in Pigeon Forge, set for Thursday, April 14 through Saturday, April 16 at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

If you have built or rebuilt a classic car; are looking to buy a beautifully restored car or classic parts; or are just a car enthusiast, this is the show for you.

Along with plenty of cars, the Spring Rod Run will have awards and several door prizes – including a generous cash giveaway.

In the past, the show has even had celebrity guests, including Michael Henry from The History Channel’s “Counting Cars.” Henry is a well-known airbrush artist who loves all things related to cars.

Even if you don’t attend the actual car show, you’ll still be able to see cars all along Pigeon Forge’s Parkway. With six lanes, a wide meridian, sidewalks on both sides and a grassy divider between parking lots, you’ll have no trouble finding a spot along the Parkway to sit and relax while observing the vehicles. Many guests set up a picnic lunch or walk up and down the Parkway, checking out the endless variety of the automobiles.

The Pigeon Forge Rod Runs have been an Appalachian tradition for decades. It all began as part of the underground moonshine culture that was born in Prohibition-era South Appalachia.

In the 1930s, the government outlawed the sale of liquor. People in remote regions began brewing their own liquor concoctions in hidden mountain stills, and they would sell their goods at steep premium to barkeeps across the country to be sold in secret clubs called “speakeasies” and enjoyed secretly at home.

Government agents were quick to prosecute moonshiners — if they could catch them. Moonshiners took extra steps to be able to flee quickly; the liquor producers and runners needed to have the fastest cars on the road to outrun the agents and deliver the goods quickly, so the classic hot rod was born.

The first versions of hot rods were simple, souped-up versions of daily drivers, but later rods boasted bright paint jobs, chrome pipes and other enhanced details.

The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge offers free parking and indoor space for show vendors.

For more information on the Corvette Expo, visit www.corvetteexpo.com.

A registration form and more information on the Spring Rod Run are available at www.rodrun-pigeonforge.com.

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