A Growing Gathering of ’47-55 Chevy and GMC Trucks

By Tommy Lee Byrd   –   Photography by the Author

Truck shows come in all shapes and sizes, and we recently had the chance to check out an up-and-coming show in Townsend, Tennessee. This small town is situated at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains and offers a step into the past with old-school motels and eateries along U.S. Route 321. About a dozen car and truck gatherings take place in the small town, and a new one just hit the scene last year. The show is called the Smoky Mountain Nationals and it focuses specifically on ’47-55 Chevrolet and GMC trucks.

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Chevrolet trucks from this era are called Advance Design because they were revolutionary when they rolled out just after World War II. These trucks helped bridge the gap between workhorses and everyday transportation, and now they make for awesome custom builds and restorations.

03 1940s Chevrolet pickup with Crossville Lumber Co branding displayed at a vehicle gathering

With such a narrow focus, the Smoky Mountain Nationals is naturally a tightknit group and a relatively small show compared to some of the C10 shows we cover, but the event is showing signs of growth in only its second year. Trucks from Indiana, the Carolinas, Florida, Virginia, and more made the trek to the Talley Ho Inn, right in the heart of Townsend. The event had a great turnout of trucks and spectators, and had a swap meet for those looking for used parts. The two-day event also featured a cruise through the beautiful Foothills Parkway, offering twists, turns, and beautiful views.

13 Chevrolet COE truck with a blue and white patina pulling a vintage teardrop trailer

As this event continues to grow, we expect to see even more awesome trucks take part. We loved the variety of restored trucks and slammed customs, as well as the paint and patina variations throughout the show field. Take a look at some of our highlights and look up the event on Facebook to get more information.

Click on this issue’s cover to see the enhanced digital version of Smoky Mountain Nationals.ctp april 2024

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