Steeling up

In its fourth year now, the Lowcountry Steel Pony Ride and Car Show will be held 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island to lend support to local firefighters and their families.

Registration 11 a.m.-noon includes a $15 entry fee per vehicle, while judging will be at 3 p.m.

Categories include cars for years 1942 and earlier, '43-'59, '60-'71 and '72-2014; street rods; trucks; motorcycles; an "open" class; and People's Choice award. There will be kids' activities, jump castles and face painting. Food will be on sale from Cast Iron, Mr. Koolie, Dulce, OPA and The Farmers Wife. Eddie Bush and Friends will provide live entertainment.

Meanwhile, a "steel pony" ride will be held starting at 11 a.m. at Lowcountry Harley-Davidson. Kick stands go up at 12:30 p.m. The police-escorted ride will travel to the Tea Plantation at 6617 Maybank Highway. The cost is $15 a rider and $5 per passenger.

All proceeds benefit the Lowcountry Firefighters Support Team. For more information, contact the support team at www.firefightersupport.org or call Stono Body Works at 843-795-8318.

'Vettes go road tripping

For the fifth time since 1994, Corvettes - including two dozen from the Charleston area - are gearing up for a national caravan.

The drive will direct hundreds of cars from all over the country to Bowling Green, Ky., to celebrate the 20th year of the National Corvette Museum.

While center stage for the anniversary gala, the museum isn't the sole 'Vette spectacle in town: Across from it stands "the only GM plant that produces the Corvette," said Kim Sheldon, president of the Coastal Carolina Corvette Club. "So a great deal of Corvette activity and history is located in Bowling Green," she said.

The locally based club got active with the Kentucky museum about nine years ago and donates in various ways, Sheldon said.

"The NCM caravans have become a very important part of the national Corvette culture, and if you are a Corvette owner you do not want to miss it," she said.

This year's celebration will include a grand opening of the museum's Motorsports Park, an added feature that's several years in the making, she said.

Bowling Green, a city of about 80,000 people in southern Kentucky, sits about two hours south of Louisville and 500 miles from Charleston.

The Coastal Carolina Corvette Club backs the museum as business member, One Acre Club member and sponsor of the CCCC banners at the facility. The Charleston group also has had cars on display in Bowling Green and was a featured club of the museum and its publication, "America's Sportscar."

The caravans are tied to major dates in Corvette's heritage. They include:

- 1994. The first caravan celebrated the museum's opening.

- 1999. The drive highlighted the museum's fifth anniversary.

- 2003. The event recognized a half-century of the Corvette.

- 2009. The trip marked the 15th year of the 'Vette museum.

About 20 Corvettes will leave at 9 a.m. today from the Holiday Inn on International Blvd. in North Charleston, meeting up with a large group of Corvette drivers in Concord, N.C., near Charlotte.

According to Sheldon, there will be 24 Coastal Carolina club and local Corvettes in all taking part: A few drivers will join up with the line of cars along the way.

About 275 Corvettes will depart from Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet in Newton, N.C., on Tuesday, "after having some fun time" at Charlotte Motor Speedway, race shops and NASCAR Hall of Fame, Sheldon said.

The Carolinas caravan will stop overnight in Tennessee and arrive in Bowling Green the next day to join 4,000 fellow Corvettes and owners across the country.

"One Acre" Motorsports Park members will participate in a grand opening ceremony and take the first laps on the track Thursday morning, she said.

There will be Corvette Racing team speakers and GM engineers on hand, time for laps on the track, chances to ride with experienced drivers on the track and plant tours, she said.

General Motors will have several Corvettes on display - "hopefully the new 2015 Corvette Z06 with 650 hp!" she said.

Sheldon participated in the 2009 caravan with her husband Chuck Sheldon "and he was our local caravan captain." Chuck Sheldon, membership chairman and long-time club member, died last year.

For 2014, Kim Sheldon is the local captain. She is eager to take on the role.

"Some club members, very dear friends and I purchased a granite bench at the (museum) in celebration of Chuck's passion for the Corvette and the NCM. This will be my first opportunity to see it in person," she said, "and I really look forward to it."

Modern-day 'Edsel' to frequent Hilton Head concours

A fourth generation Ford will be pulling into South Carolina this fall for Hilton Head Island's steadily growing motorsports extravaganza.

Edsel B. Ford II has been named 2014 honorary chairman of the Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d'Elegance, to take place Oct. 24-Nov. 2. He's the great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Co. and progenitor of the Model T.

"We have been honored to have Mr. Ford attend the Savannah Speed Classic portion of the event before when we had the Model T as our Honored Marque and are thrilled he will be joining us this fall on Hilton Head Island as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the revered Mustang," said Carolyn Vanagel, festival president.

Ford began his career at Ford Motor Co. in January 1974 and today is on the board of directors. According to organizers, he joins a stellar list of past honorary chairmen that includes Bob Lutz, Nicola Bulgari, J.W. (Bill) Marriott, Bobby Rahal, Hurley Haywood and Dennis Gage from "My Classic Car."

Ford will serve as a guest judge Sunday, Nov. 2 for the Concours d'Elegance, the festival finale at the island's Port Royal Golf Club. He also will appear at an "exclusive" fundraising event the night before to raise money for Driving Young America - the Motoring Festival's charitable fund.

In addition to Ford, automotive luminaries scheduled to appear include racer Rahal, a member of the Motor Sports Hall of Fame; sports car endurance driver Haywood; J. Mays, former chief creative officer at Ford Motor Co.; and Ian Callum, director of design for Jaguar Cars.

The festival kicks off with the Savannah Speed Classic Oct. 24-26 on the Grand Prize of America road course on property of The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa. Hilton Head Island events take place Nov. 1-2 at Port Royal Golf Club, wrapping up with the Concours d'Elegance.

For more information, visit www.HHIMotoringFestival.com.