The Post and Courier

George Canaday chanced to see the photo of a rare truck in a magazine, traveled to Huntington, W. Va., to acquire the pickup and brought it back to the Lowcountry.

He spent months mending the vehicle. At last, it was complete. Then he unveiled his creation – an old jalopy.

Fortunately for him, that’s what he was going for. The car buff displayed his classic last week at the first Charleston Salutes! car show in Ravenel.

Canaday, of West Ashley, styled the truck as a “rat rod.” A popular term in car show circles, rat rod denotes a vehicle that’s retooled and upgraded with new brakes and rebuilt engine but maintains its weather-beaten, even junky, looks.

“One reason I wanted a rat rod was I had a (somewhat similar) street rod pickup,” he said.

Canaday’s truck, a 1946 Federal, claims a measure of stature. Detroit-based Federal Motor Truck Co., which lasted from 1910 to 1959, was better known designing everything from garbage trucks to military vehicles.

Just 183 of the pickups were made in 1946. “It was very unusual,” he said.

The Charleston Salutes car show drew no more than a dozen vehicles. But attendees were pleased, noting that the event built a solid foundation in its debut year.

Shawn Conway of Summerville showed his 2012 Chevy Camaro, which had been a promotional vehicle for the South Carolina Stingrays hockey team. Nearly all of the car’s 22 miles were logged on ice before Conway bought the Camaro. He decked out the vehicle with an American flag theme, including the stars and stripes painted under the hood.

The Camaro boasts a 6.2-liter, 440 horsepower engine. “I pretty well like everything that goes fast,” he said.

Nicole Bills, of Hanahan, likewise displayed a Camaro: a modified 2011 model with V-6 engine.

“I got the car and went crazy with it,” she said, noting she had no special interest in autos before buying the dark red muscle car.

Joseph Blake, one of the spectators, checked out the show vehicles and chatted with owners. “I heard about the cars (and wanted to) look at them,” said Blake, who lives on Wadmalaw Island. “The cars are real nice.”

The auto show took place in conjunction with Charleston Salutes! The annual get-together for first respondents at local attorney Curtis Bostic’s country estate included rides and games for kids, hayrides and a barbecue dinner.

“There’s a lot of things for the children, fireworks after dark,” Canaday’s wife Linda Canaday said.

In the show, Bostic displayed two cars – a brilliant blue 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu coupe and a late-model Mercedes-Benz S600.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or