Some women receive emerald earrings or pearl necklaces on their birthday. Rhonda Harrell got a two-tone car that’s 43 years old.
Fortunately for her husband, it was not just any car. Bo Harrell presented her with a vintage green and white 1972 Chevy Chevelle, the same type of auto — down to the paint hues — as the new model she bought the year they were married.
Rhonda Harrell said she owned the original Chevelle two-door “back in the day.” Was she surprised with this year’s birthday gift from her high school sweetheart and spouse of more than four decades? “Oh yeah, very,” she said.
Her walk-down-memory-lane Chevelle was among about 180 cars, trucks and a Slingshot that took part in the Miracle Cruise-in Open Auto Show on May 16 at Sam’s Club in North Charleston. Proceeds of the third yearly fest benefit MUSC Children’s Hospital via the Children’s Miracle Network.
“It went very well,” said Shane Graves, president of Lowcountry Muscle Cars, which organized the show.
Highlights and tidbits from the show include:
• David and Melissa Griffin brought a Polaris Slingshot, a new three-wheeler with looks cross between a Transformers robot and the Batmobile.
• Brothers Jesse and Frank Leigh each won honors for Jesse’s metallic burnt orange Mustang GT500 and Frank for a blue striped 2008 Mustang.
• Ashley L. Ravenel, of — you guessed it — Ravenel brought a rare 1956 Ford Parklane station wagon. “This is the only Parklane I’ve ever seen,” he said. Leaving a car show one day 12 years ago, Ravenel spotted the wagon in a lot on Rivers Avenue. He not only bought it but kept the unusual orange-red exterior paint job.
• Louis Hurst of Bowman got third place in his class for his black 1930 Ford Model A street rod. “It was a great show,” he said. “A lot of people showed up.”
• Summerville car enthusiast Clint Ashley displayed his “peacock blue” 1956 Ford Fairlane. “This is the year I graduated from high school,” he said. “I believe the car is the prettiest car ever built.”
• Mark Eckels of Summerville showed a red 1964 Thunderbird softtop with 390-cubic-inch V-8 engine. “I’ve been looking for a convertible and a Thunderbird. I saw this one online. I bought it up in Michigan eight months ago.”
• Charles Phillip, commanding officer at Navy Munitions Command Unit Charleston, brought 15 or so servicemen from the local unit to pitch in. “They wanted to help the community,” Graves said.
Elsewhere, volunteers teamed with a local car crushing yard to ferry away parts, then painstakingly build reproductions that were presented as trophies. “We had a blast,” said Larry Stewart, one of the craftsmen. “We are known as the Junkyard Dogs,” quipped volunteer, Stan Zoltanski.
Steve Tague showed his 1939 Plymouth, which he also drove in early May to chauffeur 6-year-old Hunter Taylor, this year’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion, to and from Patriots Point for his “big day.”
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or email@example.com.