Picking up from yesterday, the Riverside Chattanooga 4 coverage continues…

A beautiful part of the Riverside meet is that it feels more like a more organized Cars and Coffee event rather than an all-out car show. No contests, trophies, or participation prizes, just cars and owners all enjoying each other’s company. The relaxed atmosphere paired with the weather provided a sense of family between everyone present. Those determined enough to show up in spite of torrential downpours all weekend had the passion to be there for a common love of their friends and cars, which was evident in the general sense of camaraderie.

While I was not in time to make load in, the overflow parking spilling away from the show held true to legendary lot party status. Cars under the pavilion, parties in the lot, and intermittent showers summed up the festivities.

One interesting part of the Riverside show is the lack of a DJ or music performance. I think this has always been the case, as the show is entirely focused on the cars themselves, not a ‘scene,’ so to speak. The quiet calm and laidback feeling of the show is what brings people back every year. A no-pressure show that results in more friends, social followers, and new influences in builds, which makes for the best combination of car enthusiasts.

As I mentioned, the event is quite clearly serious about its motto: ‘Come for the cars, stay for the people.’ This mantra couldn’t be truer. My friends are a big part of why Riverside is such a staple in my show season lineup, but an almost equal part are those that I make every year and the connections that form and grow. Collaborating with photographers like Seth, Eric, Karey, and others is an incredible way for us all to explore our talents together over shared interests, which inevitably leads to friendships and excitement for more shows where we will all reunite.

However, it was not all happy, friendly, party-time. Where we last left off, I had just repaired my wipers enough to survive the weekend rain. Unfortunately, that wasn’t all the weekend had in store for me. After an incredible afternoon kicking around the First Tennessee Pavilion, the rain gradually grew heavier, which forced us all inside. With my poor leaky convertible stuck outside in the torrent, the car decided it wanted to continue giving me issues.

As we returned from lunch, I found my blower motor had stopped working, as had my radio, interior, and dash lights. Not good. I had several chassis harness gremlins when I purchased the car originally, but had not experienced any since rewiring most of the car during the initial build. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to really dig into where the short is, but I am almost certain the harness is melting behind the dash thanks to the abundance of water. My only solution, as I was quite a ways from home and needed to know my engine temperature, (also a radio is nice on a long drive, sue me) was to do something I never would encourage.

I babied the car to the nearest O’Reilly’s for wire and butt connectors. A makeshift extra ground wire and higher amperage fuses in the fuse box to keep the car functioning seemed to do the trick. Now all I had to do was hope the rain would keep my car from bursting into flames…

Fortunately, my quick-fix held. We enjoyed a night at the hotel partying with other attendees well into the morning when we decided the next day would consist of photo shoots around town, weather be damned.

After breakfast the next morning, the weather behaved in its usual Tennessee fashion by taking a complete 180. As we walked out, gone were the rainy and cold conditions. They had been miraculously replaced with 70-degree sunshine, perfect for top-down weather to dry out the waterlogged BMW I had to take home later that day.

Photo spot hopping around Chattanooga, we enjoyed the company of some incredible people who set out with similar plans to ours. Hang seshes popped up all over town, which gave us all the chances to see the owners of many cars we had hoped to meet at the show the previous day. Nothing like a sunny day to enjoy beautiful cars on the river.

Thankfully, my E30 behaved long enough to make the exhausting trip north back to Ohio. A late departure had us rolling into Akron shortly after 3am, but nothing could take away the rejuvenating weekend spent around the greatest extended family on Earth. My ears are still ringing, my spine is still compressed, and I’m still feeling the effects from a weekend of rain, but otherwise I’m completely content. Now all that’s left is to fix these new issues as quickly as possible to make European Experience in Savannah…

Thank you again to all the contributing photographers! Seth Stone and Ais Nasution provided today’s content, but look for more work from other artists later in the week with the full gallery and part 3 coverage!


Since my E30 likes to set off car alarms, I was considerate enough of my neighbors to quietly roll it into my driveway at 3am yesterday so as not to disturb them any more than was necessary. This meant I couldn’t maneuver the car into my garage, as it would have been a multiple point turn with a straight-piped BMW in the wee hours of the morning. So, later that day after work, I went home to unpack, settle back into my evening routine, and return my car to its spot in the garage.

Upon starting the car, my upper radiator hose slipped straight from the outlet on the radiator, gushing coolant everywhere. To my surprise, the hose clamp was tightened to its limit, which was apparently not enough to entirely hold the pipe in place. Then, it dawned on me; at any point during my trip, the out-of-place hose from an S10 Chevy (I think?) Could have slipped from the radiator and quickly ruined my already harrowing drive. Miraculously, it held until sitting in my driveway where I had a smaller hose clamp and fresh coolant waiting in my garage. Somehow, my Riverside Hex seems to have persisted even outside the great state of Tennessee. Hopefully, my luck with the E30 at EUEX holds up as much as it did last year on the nearly 20 hour drive…