Inaugural car shows can be a hit or miss situation, since no one knows quite what to expect.

So organizers of the first Euro Nation event Aug. 17 weren’t sure how the event would turn out, particularly with a threat of rain all day. In the end, rains didn’t materialize, and the Saturday show drew a healthy crowd to Palmetto Islands County Park in Mount Pleasant.

“We estimate 85 to 100 cars,” said Lawrence Bland, a show organizer and contact. “We had a Fiat 500, an original Mini,” he said.

The new show developed as military car enthusiasts and colleagues noticed there wasn’t a show for newer imports.

“Basically, we wanted to bring a Euro type show to Charleston. Sometimes, we get left out,” Bland said.

Car buffs at local military bases discovered that 60 percent of the motorists drove Volkswagens or similar imports. Realizing there wasn’t a car event in the Charleston area that focused on both European new models and classics, Bland and acquaintances such as Shamon Gethers set about to hold the show.

As originally planned, the event focused on European cars but later branched out to bring in sporty domestics and Asian models such as Hyundais.

The military influence was noticeable in the Euro Nation commemorative t-shirts, which were camouflage green.

Among the vehicles on hand were Porsches, M series BMWs, Mercedes-Benz AMG pedigrees, Chevy Corvettes and all types of Volkswagens including a 36-year-old Microbus. “It survived Vermont,” quipped Microbus owner Mark Nigels.

Bland said he expects the show to be an annual event. He was pleased with Palmetto Islands County Park. “I loved the layout. It’s great for family and kids.”

The event raised funds for The Wounded Warrior Project. With many of the organizers in the military, “that was a no-brainer,” Bland said.

For more on the show, email

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or