Church car show sports 160 vintage models, miniature flags for Memorial Day weekend

Mount Pleasant car fan Scott Harris’ 1964 Chevrolet Sting Ray, which won Best of Show, fronts a line of vintage models at the yearly Ashley River Baptist Church car show.

A talent at getting the word out, staying organized and looking to the heavens for sunny weather sure helps in pulling off a big time auto fest.

According to supporters, those ingredients properly congealed May 23 for the Ashley River Baptist Church Youth Missions Car Show. The yearly event, held around Memorial Day, also honored fallen servicemen: Dozens of large and small flags flew and a single instrument provided a solemn concluding tribute.

Unofficial accounts set the number of autos and motorcycles taking part at 160 or so. And how was the show? “Oh great,” said Dennis Jones of Summerville, who with his wife Linda won Best Interior for his 1936 Chevrolet panel truck. Clear skies contributed to the show being “a lot bigger than last year,” he said.

Jones also credited a strong marketing effort and focus on developing a varied and deep automotive field as driving the 2015 car show’s success. Put another way, hard work plus publicity led to an overflow turnout. “And that’s what it takes,” he said. (You can) tell by one year.”

The fest likewise benefited from its eye-catching location on Savannah Highway between St. Andrews Plaza and Krispy Kreme donuts. Spectators could ogle a superfast 2015 Nissan GT-R from Morris Nissan priced at $113,000; rare 1957 Pontiac Chieftain out of Walterboro; a 1946 Federal truck in rusted “rat rod” styling; rows of Ford Mustangs, Chevy Chevelles and Corvettes; hardtop, Targa and softtop Porsches; and numerous Chrysler models including a 1955 Plymouth pickup and 1964 Dodge Custom 880 convertible.

Vehicle buffs displaying their favorite wheels included brothers Douglas Parks of James Island with his 2006 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and Art Parks, who now lives in Jacksonville, showing off a 2007 Suzuki Boulevard cycle. Art Parks said he purchased the Suzuki “a few years back. (It’s) just a retirement present to myself.”

Not far away, Larry Commins sat on a lawn chair with cover next to his 1965 Chevy Nova station wagon and ’66 Nova sedan while daughter Elyse, 13, rested crosslegged on the wagon’s rear gate.

“My first car was a Nova,” said Commins, of Meggett.

This was the third annual show sponsored by Ashley River Baptist Church. Proceeds support the church’s Youth Mission Ministry.

The auto event concluded with “Taps.”

“We want to honor our veterans,” said Dan Perrin, retired instructor of Trident Technical College’s department of Automotive Technology and a show organizer.

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