Eye Candy: Hot August Nights turns 30

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Corvette and Thunderbird
Classic cars line the streets of downtown Reno | Nicole James photo

Celebrating 30 years, Hot August Nights took over Reno, Virginia City, and Sparks, Nevada, with events located throughout the cities, but with the biggest show in downtown Reno at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, and at the hotels and casinos.

Each day, participants could enjoy swap meets, autocross and drifting competitions, show-n-shines, cruises, vendor booth and displays, and other entertainment like meet-and-greet sessions with celebrities, live bands including the Monkees, America, and tribute bands to Elvis, the Rolling Stones, and Abba. There was the inaugural Motorsports Auction Group collector car sale ,even a display of vintage firetrucks brought out by the Reno-Sparks fire department.

The auction was held during daytime hours, ending around 7 p.m. to allow bidders to enjoy the Hot August Nights activities. One of the main draws of the auction was a 1939 General Motors Parade of Progress Futurliner restored by Dave Kindig and his team and featured in a two-hour season finale of Bitchin’ Rides. The use of Proxibid allowed people from all over the world to bid on the various vehicles. The bidding on the Futurliner reached a $2.6 million — bid by someone within the  auction arena. And while that figure fell short of the big vehicle’s reserve price, it was close enough that post-block negotiations are taking place.

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There also was the Hot August Nights Cup competition. The 50 entrants were trimmed to 10 finalists and then to the “Reno Five”  announced by Alan Taylor of “the Drive.” The cars were judged by Steve Mank (co-host of Spike TV show MuscleCar), Reggie Tibbets (co-owner of the SuperNationals car show) and Eddie Potestio (owner of Eddie’s Rods & Customs).

At last, the Best of Show and the 2016 Cup went to a 1939 Oldsmobile Model 60 convertible, owned by Billy and Debbie Thomas of Robstown, Texas. The builder was Harold Chapman from Customs and Hot Rods of Andice.

The 2015 winner, Andy Leach, owner of Cal Auto Creations, was  second this time with with his 1962 Chevrolet Impala SS. Others among the favored five were a 1955 Chevrolet 210,  1969 Chevrolet Camaro, and 1959 Rambler American two-door wagon.

Photos by Nicole James

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Nicole James has been involved in the automotive world her entire life. Her dream car is a 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe. She currently drives a 2005 Mustang affectionately known as Marilyn and uses the car to participate in track events, car shows, and explore the world around her. Nicole joined the ClassicCars.com Content and Marketing team in 2014. Nicole is an automotive journalist and the creator of Pretty Driven - an online source for car culture and news for millennials, as well as a contributor for ClassicCars.com. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @Nicoleeellan