Charleston Auto Expo busts out in second year with broad-based show on Daniel Island

This rare Muntz Jet, built in the 1950s, was at the Charleston Auto Expo Sept. 23, held for the first time at Blackbaud Stadium (Jim Parker/Staff 9-23-2012).

By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

Noticeable for its original ivy green color, one 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe at the Charleston Auto Expo held Sept. 23 was a little far afield.

“I bought it in April last year in Georgia,” said Russell Huggins, the new owner. The classic was built in Decatur, Ga., shipped to Charlotte and then spent most of its time in Georgia before Huggins brought it to his Charleston area home in 2011.

“It runs beautifully,” said Huggins, who upgraded the engine but kept many features original.

This was his first time at the expo, which held its initial event last fall. “I think it was great,” Huggins said. “I was surprised at the turnout. I was disappointed I didn’t have a car there last year.”

Huggins is already looking ahead to 2013, with plans to show a new car he’s working on now.

The expo brought easily more than 100 show cars, a few rare models, scores of shops that fine-tune and upgrade cars and trucks and dozens of auto fans to Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island.

John Ridenour, of Pleasant Details, organized the expo. Last year’s event held in Mount Pleasant focused on specialty demonstrations and provided a limited, informal display of cars. This year, Coastal Carolina Corvette Club managed the show.

Chuck Sheldon of the Corvette Club said 125 to 140 vehicles were on hand: “Pretty good for a Sunday show. We had good foot traffic,” he added.

Among the specialty models parked in front of the stadium were a Muntz Jet convertible — the brand was built in Evansville, Ind., and Chicago from 1950 to 1955; and an American-made Devin, which built racing and kit cars in the 1950s and ’60s.

During the show, Jack Folley parked his 1971 Datsun 240 next to Dan Moylan’s 27-year-old Toyota. Folley, searching for a model that hadn’t been modified, took two years before landing the ’71 in Peoria, Ariz. “I bought it on eBay,” he said.

Moylan helped him restore the classic.

Years ago, “I had an ‘85 Supra,” Moylan said. When he had the chance to acquire another one, he grabbed the opportunity. “It’s all original parts, just 81,000 miles,” he said.

Moylan was pleased that he attended the event at Blackbaud. “This was a very good car show,” he said.

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