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Old faithful, newcomers meet up at West Ashley car show sponsored by Bessinger

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Old faithful, newcomers meet up at West Ashley car show sponsored by Bessinger’s barbecue eatery

Steve Hoy of Charleston brought his 1972 V-12 Jaguar XKE to the Bessinger’s show (Jim Parker/Staff 8-1-2012).

By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

Maybe the 1972 Jaguar XKE 2 plus 2 coupe with V-12 engine isn’t as popular with auto purists as the roadster or earlier six-cylinder models.

But that doesn’t really bother Steve Hoy, of Charleston, who displayed the classic Aug. 1 at the monthly Bessinger’s Bar-B-Q car show.

“When I take it to the gas station, someone always comes up and talks to me,” he said.

The flashy sports car with side-opening hatch was among several dozen cars, trucks and motorcycles on hand at the evening fest, which takes place every first Wednesday from March through November.

“We’ve got 80 already,” said Tom Jameson, the show’s organizer. The show this year has been “real fortunate,” he said, attracting a mix of regulars with tried-and-true classics and first-time showgoers in some cases sporting unusual editions.

Bessinger’s restaurant on Savannah Highway has hosted the open car show for many years. “We are so thrilled to have this spot,” said Jameson, citing its convenient location not far from Interstate 526.

The event is part car display, part throwback event with a hula hoop contest and popular ’50s and ’60s music from the house band, The Cruise-O-Matics.

At the August show, street rods stood out as usual, even though the numbers were down due to a national convention in Louisville, Jameson said. Generational classics included a Pontiac GTO, Dodge Challenger, a few Chevy Bel-Airs, a Ford Fairlane and the customary Camaros, Corvettes and Mustangs.

Meanwhile, always count on a few oddities or rare models at a Bessinger’s show. This time, there was a 1977 AMC Gremlin station wagon, 1958 Edsel convertible, early ’80s 6-series BMW, 1964 VW bus and a 1930 Model AA Fire Truck that once belonged to the Mount Pleasant and McClellanville fire departments and Coburg Dairy and now is being restored by Rhett Hanckel and sons Greg and Rhett Jr.

Typically, there’s a handful of newer models, such as Charles Means’ 2011 CanAm Spyder three-wheeled cycle. “Instead of loud pipes, this has lights,” he said, showing the tiny light-emitting diode bulbs covering the frame and handlebars.

For more on the Bessinger’s event, contact Jameson at 843-571-2264. The next show is 6-9 p.m. Sept. 5.

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