Sweet iced tea and cool AMC cars, each historic and respected hereabouts, were featured treats one recent Friday at a drive-in restaurant in Summerville.
The town just so happens to claim the birthplace of "sweet tea," a regionally popular brew created by boiling dried leaves in water, straining the result and adding sugar to taste.
Antique Eagles, Javelins and related American Motors Corp. vehicles - about 70 in all - converged for a Friday Night Meet & Greet. The cruise-in took place Aug. 1 at a Sonic near the intersection of U. S. Highway 78 and Berlin G. Myers Parkway.
Hosted by Lowcountry Mopars of North Charleston, the event welcomed visitors from throughout the United States and Canada to "Flower Town." The area supports the plants, reportedly first farmed in America, that are needed to prepare the traditional southern hospitality beverage.
Smiling occupants of convertible, station wagon, hardtop and post body styles pulled into the restaurant's parking lot to quench their thirst, satisfy their hunger, enjoy the sights and share transportation experiences. The weather was pleasantly dry and conditions were otherwise fine for an evening outdoors.
In addition to downing refreshments, show-goers admired autos ranging from muscle cars with 401-cubic-inch V-8s and four-on-the-floor transmissions to mild mannered models with inline six-cylinder engines and three-on-the-tree gear shifts. There was even a genuine Rebel Machine on hand.
Hoods open for inspection revealed carburetor air cleaners installed on an assembly line: commonplace years ago but raisings eyebrows today. Examples had stickers proclaiming Super Car 360, Tri Poised Power 199 and Typhoon 343.
Bob Carlsen's bright red '68 AMX, fresh from Brooklyn, N.Y., represented the result of a nearly three-year restoration effort. "I've enjoyed putting it together," the owner said at his debut event since the complete makeover, which included all new window glass "and getting it right."
Sam Seashole showed up with his still sparkling '74 Hornet with factory applied copper paint, plaid upholstery and a mere 15,000 original miles logged. He said the mint condition four-door based in Berkeley County was found "in Indiana where it had been sitting inside for 30 years."
Those welcoming visitors with a special "AMC Six Pack" exhibit after arriving in fun rides were David Larrabee, with a '72 Gremlin X from the 2003 movie Radio, filmed in Walterboro and starring Cuba Gooding, Jr.; Vernon Gibbs, '76 Pacer; Lavon Bunch, '78 Gremlin; David W. Bernier, '69 Rambler two-door; David J. Bernier, '74 Matador Coupe; and John Rowe, '74 Gremlin dragster.
Palmetto State AMC organization official Robert Mills of Columbia and the owner of a twin-bed equipped '73 Ambassador sedan went to the coastal region to attend the 2014 American Motors Owners Association convention being held over the weekend.
Sure enough on Saturday, classic vehicles with appropriate emblems filled the parking lot adjacent to Charleston Plaza Hotel alongside Goer Drive "to celebrate 60 years of American Motors."
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