Post and Courier
October 21, 2014

Collectors swapped parts while polished classics shined at Ladson car show geared to Dodges, Plymouths - and a Gremlin

Posted: 02/28/2014 12:01 a.m.
Updated: 02/28/2014 06:20 p.m.


By Jim Parker

After buying a 1966 Dodge Monaco four years ago, Fields Parks took steps to fix up the two-door coupe.

He installed front disc brakes, lowered the car frame and kept the 383-cubic-inch big block engine running smoothly.

"It rides great," said Parks, of Summerville. "It will put you to sleep."

One overhaul he's avoided involves painting the exterior, now a drab yet somehow alluring grayish-black.

"I'm debating," he said. "I don't think it will get as much attention (touched up)."

Parks brought the uncommon Monaco to the 22nd Lowcountry Shine & Swapp car show Feb. 22 at Coastal Carolina Flea Market in Ladson.

"We had a super turnout," said Dan Larrabee, a show organizer. "There were two cars from Columbia," he says, and about 50 vehicles in all. "They are going to do this four times a year - swap meet and car show."

Lowcountry Mopars car club puts on the event. Mopar (short for Motor Parts) refers to Chrysler and related models including Dodge and Plymouth as well as Jeep and other brands with ties to the old American Motors Corp. Among the AMCs on hand last Saturday was a 1974 Gremlin drag racer with 400-cubic-inch engine owned by John Rowe.

Summerville car enthusiast Mike Reinhard brought a 1966 International Scout - something of a forerunner to the early SUVs. He has a soft spot for the vehicle: "It was my Dad's." His father bought the Scout in 1978 in Texas, using it for "hunting, fishing, generally running over stuff." Reinhard wound up with the model in 1992.

"It's unique," he said. "You very rarely see any at a car show."

Larrabee said the "nice weather, fine vehicles and generous people" combined to make the Shine & Swapp a success. Betty Harris, who ran the registration table, said the show raised more than $1,000 for Camp Happy Days, which helps children with cancer, according to Larrabee.

Receiving the show's coveted Manager's Choice Award was Paul Young, who entered his "beautiful" 1930 Model A Ford sedan, Larrabee said.

Joe Langley was one of the long distance drivers to the late morning-early afternoon event, traveling more than 100 miles from Columbia.

He brought a white 1962 Dodge Dart, one of the years the car carried a shorter wheelbase.

Langley said the model, streamlined but with no fins, came with a "slant 6" cylinder engine and "3 on the tree" - a three-speed on the steering column. He installed a stick shift on the floor and replaced the engine with a powerful 413 cubic inch V-8.

"You're running along 55, then put your foot on (the gas). It's like a passing gear," he said.

Langley said he's seen maybe one or two other '62 Darts in South Carolina. By reputation, "It's so ugly," he said. But to him, "everything's beautiful."

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.