Nostalgia runs deep at Hot August Nights |

Nostalgia runs deep at Hot August Nights

by Adam Jensen
Attendees to Hot August Nights pass by a 1936 Plymouth Coupe at the South Shore Friday.
Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

There’s an unmistakable air of the 1950s and ‘60s coming from MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa’s parking lot this weekend.

Bands playing songs like “Summer Lovin’” and “Respect” help, but it is the small sea of candy-colored and chrome-detailed hot rods that give the South Shore portion of Hot August Nights its “American-Graffiti”-like flavor.

South Shore’s version of the popular car show began Friday and serves as a kickoff to the main Reno event next week, said Tony Marini, executive director of Hot August Nights. The event also includes some reminiscence for the roots of the Reno car extravaganza, which is celebrating its 27th year. A lot of the South Shore entrants like the smaller Tahoe event because it reminds them of how Reno’s Hot August Nights was in the beginning, Marini said. The Reno event runs from Aug. 4-11 this year and is expected to attract more than 6,000 vehicles, Marini said.

Tahoe Vista resident Ellie Waller brought her 1942 MB down for the South Shore show again this year, saying the event is a great one, especially when it comes to the cooler lake weather.

Hot August Nights features American and European cars and trucks built in 1972 or before. American-made muscle cars feature prominently, but there was plenty of variety in the more than 200 cars checked in Friday afternoon. Another 120-180 cars are expected to check in prior to the close of the event Saturday, Marini said.

“You get everything in this lot, which is amazing,” according to the event organizer.

A quirky 1960 Nash Metropolitan was getting plenty of attention Friday as were a 1941 Willys Coupe with a spectacular purple paint job and a 1965 Ford Mustang with a inferno of a color scheme.

South Shore’s Hot August Nights is in its third year. Marini said he hopes to be back at Stateline for another three-year stint.

The event continues from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and culminates with a performance by the Village People Saturday night.

A cruise from MontBleu around Lake Parkway to Park Avenue and down U.S. Highway 50 and back is also planned for Saturday between 6 and 8 p.m.