Kiawah auto retreat draws rare models, pricey showcars originating from five countries

Ed Harley of Charleston showed off a 1947 Cadillac Series 2 at the Kiawah Island Motoring Retreat April 21 at Night Heron Park on the island (Jim Parker/Staff 4-21-12).

By JIM PARKER The Post and Courier

On a whim, Bob Zambelli and his wife drove from Manning to visit Kiawah Island for one of the first times.

They had a second purpose, too, to display a green 1967 Alfa Romeo GTV.

“It’s not a show car,” says Zambelli, who bought the car in 1991. But he said, “Man, it really drives.”

The couple’s 45-year-old Italian job was one 93 coupes, sedans, saloons and a three-wheeler Morgan to take part in the 2012 Kiawah Island Motoring Retreat.

Other highlights were a 1947 Cadillac convertible, five Ferraris, an DeTomaso Pantera, a dozen Porches, a 1971 Datsun 240Z and various Triumphs, Impalas, Jaguars, Roll Royces, Ford GT’s and other marques.

The regular event, held April 21 at Night Heron Park for the first time with its new name, weathered intermittent rain but otherwise was held under semi-clear skies. The show closed with a parade of the show cars around the island.

Marcia E. DeLoof, director of development for the Motoring Retreat, said she was pleased with this year’s festival — especially since the 2011 retreat was effectively rained out.

While Night Heron Park has been a good spot, “We would like to be on the Ocean Course,” she said. The top-notch golf course will host the 2012 PGA Championship in August.

Eventually, organizers want to build the retreat into a Concours d’Elegance: part exclusive car show, part upper crust party similar to shindigs in Pebble Beach, Palm Beach and Hilton Head Island.

For more information, visit www.kiawahislandmotoringretreat.com.

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