All-Corvette car show dodges raindrops, draws more than 130 models to Citadel Mall

A line of Corvettes exit single file at the close of the annual Vettes Doin’ Charleston all-Corvette show April 18 at Citadel Mall (Jim Parker/Staff 4-18-2015).

The Flinchbaughs drove 280 miles down U.S. Highway 17 to participate in the Vettes Doin’ Charleston show last Saturday.

“I loved it,” said David Flinchbaugh, who with wife Jan spirited their 1990 edition to the all-Corvette event.

The model competed in the C-4 category of fourth generation Corvettes. “We won the class here,” he said.

While the award was gratifying, the couple from greater Wilmington, N.C., was at least as pleased by attractions beyond the show. “This is our fourth trip here,” he said. “We have been coming here, knowing it’s Charleston (and) the restaurants with it.”

The oceanside North Carolinians joined owners of another 90 Corvettes at the yearly show – many from out of state. In addition, members of show sponsor Coastal Carolina Corvette Club displayed 40 of their own iconic ’Vettes.

Considering that rain fell in the morning and skies stayed overcast, the turnout was encouraging to organizers.

“It was a good day. We had a great crowd. All is good,” said Kim Sheldon, events coordinator for the Charleston area-based Coastal Carolina club.

“Even without good weather, we had a good turnout,” said Bob Driscoll, who brought his black 2015 Corvette to the event outside Sears at Citadel Mall.

Driscoll recently purchased the latest-model Corvette after trading in a red 2007 ’Vette convertible.

Marty Ott, club president, said motorists arrived Friday for a reception or drove in Saturday morning from North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, as well as other parts of the Palmetto state.

Charles and Angela Torregrossa representing the Myrtle Beach Corvette Club took home the People’s Choice award for their dark 1998 Corvette.

“It’s a good road car,” he said of the hardtop.

Another model on hand was the “official pace car” of the 1995 Indianapolis 500 – sort of. According to the edition’s Marietta, Ga., collector, who had swapped a 1956 Corvette kit car he was building for the now 20-year-old model, the Indy 500 had a couple dozen “pace cars” that year, parking most on the infield as promotional vehicles.

The enthusiast’s wife Sandi Johannes owns the car; the couple was on a third trip here.

“We had (show cars) from 1961 to 2015,” Ott said. “The new cars are the biggest class we had,” he said.

That was somewhat unusual for a classic car show, which tends to be dominated by collectors of earlier vintages.

“It was a real good show, real successful,” said Dennis Smail, who maneuvered his red 1965 Stingray into a row of club cars from various years. He said the show shined despite the constant threat of rain. “We were ducking it all day.”

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or