Unofficial car show ‘season opener’ at West Ashley barbecue joint draws crowd on raw night
By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
Bundled in a jacket, Tom Jameson seemed a bit perplexed considering it was March 6 in Charleston.
“The weatherman said the wind would die down at 5 p.m. It’s 7 now and it’s still blowing,” he said, as temperatures dipped after dark.
Yet the long-time organizer of the monthly car show at Bessinger’s Bar-B-Q on Savannah Highway couldn’t help but be pleased. On a frigid night a few days before the time change, the show — held the first Wednesday of the month from March through November — attracted 80 vehicles. Car buffs arrived from as far as upper Berkeley County for the three-hour fest.
“We got a good turnout, considering …,” he said.
The Bessinger’s car show relies on a tried-and-true formula: low overhead with a $5 registration to show a car; good food (for a charge, of course) at the restaurant; and music by The Cruise-O-Matics who power through a score of car themed ditties and rock n’ roll classics from the ’50s and ’60s.
Another staple is variety. Take Trey Jenkins, who runs a car shop in Pineville on the north side of Lake Moultrie.
He brought a tricked-out sedan with funky light-emitting diode headlamps and beefed up engine attaining a top speed of 140 mph. Most people, he said, think the car is a Honda, Acura or some other popular tuner model but it’s actually a 1999 Chevy Cavalier.
Jenkins said he attended the Bessinger’s show once before, in 2004. He displayed a Cavalier, then, too. But this time he brought “a four-door instead of a coupe” to show he is older, Jenkins quipped.
Showgoers display their street rods, classics, sports cars and motorcycles on a grassy field behind Bessinger’s and in the eatery’s side parking lot.
Pudgie and Sharon Landis had parked their 1977 Lincoln Continental along a fence that borders White Oak Avenue.
“We enjoy it (the car),” Pudgie Landis said. “She lets me drive it.” The couple, who split their time between North Charleston and Indianapolis, weren’t certain the exact color of the enormously long Continental, eventually agreeing on salmon. “It looks parked in the sun,” he said.
He has kept the car fairly original, although added air bags among other features.
Sharon Landis, meanwhile, likes to go along for the ride. “I drove the car once and messed up the fender,” she said. “I’m done with it.”
The show is held 6-9 p.m. The next event is April 3. For more information, contact Jameson at 843-571-2264.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.