Inclement Lowcountry skies couldn't keep auto enthusiasts from marking a day to let the public grasp the importance of preserving vintage vehicles.
Charleston area car buffs held their fest Sunday afternoon at Brittlebank Park to show thanks for owners and caretakers of classic, antique and well-preserved cars and trucks.
For the second straight year, showers kept the turnout comparatively low and temporarily disrupted the auto day but did not postpone the celebration.
"It did indeed rain, but about 30 cars braved the weather and about a dozen took a lap around Charleston led by our city's '48 Chevrolet police car," said Hugh Hiott, who owns a Ford Model A among other cars and helped organize the 2014 show.
For the past five years, Congress has passed resolutions to set a time, usually in early July, as National Collector Car Appreciaton Day. This year, the exact date was July 11 although groups could meet at other times in July as an observance.
According to organizers, the "simple resolution" that Congress agreed to on June 26 designated the date of the appreciation day and recognized that "the collection and restoration ... of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States."
The event started with a "meet and greet session" at Brittlebank Park on the Ashley River. Then, a group of collector cars "paraded around the Charleston area - lead by a vintage police car with modern police cars stopping traffic at major intersections," said Don Turpin, who owns a powder blue 1954 Plymouth Savoy.
The route went north on Lockwood Drive to Hagood Avenue, past Joe Riley Stadium to The Citadel, around Hampton Park on Mary Murray Drive, back through the Citadel, down Lockwood Boulevard past the Charleston Marina, around the historic Battery, then up East Bay Street onto the Ravenel bridge and finishing at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park.
"Tourists downtown on the Battery and East Bay recorded the event on their cameras and video cams," Turpin said. "What a treasure to take home to remember your trip to Charleston," he said.
At the start, the Plymouth Owners Club met under a tent in the rain, Hiott said.
"The rain abated after 2 p.m. and we chatted for a while," he said. "We had a 'reunion' of sorts with a dozen or so past members" of the Charleston Corvette Club from the '70s.
Despite the truncated numbers, the cars on hand were a mix of styles and eras. An original Mini Cooper took part as did a newer, lime green Dodge Charger belonging to collector Robert Hanson. There was a 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe, a 1951 Ford, street rods and three Model A Fords from the late '20s and early '30s.
"Those that missed (the day) and this reunion missed a damp but very good time," Hiott said.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The city of Charleston’s 1948 Chevrolet Aero Sedan police car participated in the collector car celebration and also led a group of vintage vehicles on a lap around the peninsula (Provided).×
Auto enthusiast Robert Hanson brought his Dodge Charger GT to the collector car day (Provided).×
This right-hand drive Mini Cooper spiced up the cruise-in Sunday at Brittlebank Park (Provided).×
Whitewall tires highlight this 1931 Ford Model A Town Sedan owned by Hugh Hiott of West Ashley (Provided).×
This 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe was among about 30 cars to handle rainy weather for the annual collector car day in Charleston (Provided).×
A black 1951 Ford heads a group of vintage cars parked July 13 afternoon at Brittlebank Park for Collector Car Appreciation Day (Provided).×