Welcome to Corkytown! Coker Tires Holds an Open House

The impresario of it all, Corky Coker (L), with an admirer.

When the unofficial mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Corky Coker, holds an open house at his establishment, there’s going to be Mustangs and Fords present. To be precise, there was a lot of most every type of vehicle on hand, filling a four-block radius around Coker Tire, Honest Charley Speed Shop and Honest Charley Garage (all Coker companies) in downtown Chattanooga on April 21st.

1925 Ford-powered Marchese Brothers Special, part of Corky’s collection.

While most cruise-in’s utilize flyers, web announcements and ads to attract participants, Coker Tire eschewed these and instead relied strictly on word-of-mouth. Even their company websites didn’t mention the Open House, perhaps fearing that if they did it might cause a strain on the resources of the fourth largest city in the state of Tennessee.

The size of these signs notwithstanding, they would be impressive anywhere.

No trophies or awards given, the Open House did allow visitors to see Corky’s vast collection of antique automobiles, motorcycles and automobilia, all painstakingly restored in-house by a group of craftsmen, and to see builds in progress at Honest Charley Garage. Mostly, it was an informal gathering of hot rods, kustoms, muscle cars, air cooled Volkwagens, and classic cars in a laid-back atmosphere.

Coker’s Jess Hoodenpyle answering questions and selling automobilia.

A good time had by all, it remains to be seen when Coker will organize another Open House, but you probably need to keep an ear to the ground even if you live in the surrounding area or stand a good chance of missing it.

Photo Gallery (Click on image to enlarge):

About the author

Jason Sakurai

Raised in a family car dealership, Jason knew the Ford parts numbering system before he could drive. After college, he was hired by General Motors and became the youngest district manager in Pontiac's history. Concurrently, he sold his first story to Custom Rodder magazine, and has been writing and photographing cars ever since.
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