Revved up engines, streamlined bodies descend on local car hop for monthly feast of automotive muscle

Larry Carlson of Goose Creek received this 1968 Chevy C-10 pickup as a present on his 50th birthday. He was one of a few dozen car collectors at the 3rd Saturday Cruise-in Jan. 17 at Sonic Drive-In in Ladson (Jim Parker/Staff 1-17-2015).

A handful of car enthusiasts huddled around Jim Tipton’s 1958 Chevrolet Biscayne to examine an unusual feature — warm air blowing out from the radiator.

Suspecting he fit a part in backwards, Tipton shrugged off the glitch and enjoyed the impromptu heat on a cool evening with his fellow buffs.

“It’s a shame we haven’t got hot dogs,” he joked.

Tipton, of Ladson, was among the few dozen or so vintage auto owners who brought their SSes, Shelbys, ’Vettes and Trans Ams to the third Saturday cruise-in Jan. 17.

Lowcountry Muscle Car Club hosts the drive-up event on, er, the third Saturday of each month starting around 5 p.m. at Sonic Drive-In on College Park Road. The only award is a “ride-of-the-month” plaque chosen by the restaurant workers.

According to Tipton, the Biscayne was a lower-priced model on the Chevrolet full-sized hierarchy, below the fashionable Bel-Air. Introduced in ’58, the Biscayne lasted until 1972.

“It was born with a six-banger and a four-barrel,” Tipton said, muscle car speak for a six-cylinder engine and four-barrel carburetor.

A few cars away, Keith Ovadenco had parked his 2000 Pontiac Trans Am WS6 coupe with high performance suspension package.

“I was actually looking for a (Dodge) Viper,” he said. “I saw this on eBay, so then I had to buy it. It’s like a giant Hot Wheels.”

The Goose Creek muscle car fan has installed a “laundry list” of upgrades in the Trans Am, including a high-performance LS6 intake manifold, Yank 3,200 stall torque converter, UMI Performance suspension, 900-watt JL Audio sound system and Toyo R888 Drag Racing Radial tires.

The cost?

“It’s sad, I shouldn’t have done this,” he said, taking out his smartphone to find the precise figure.

“The parts are $14,910, you do the math,” he quipped.

With the Trans Am up to speed, Ovadenco has a new project in mind: a 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe.

Billy Boan, of North Charleston, was another collector at the event who spent time and effort on his classic, a 1965 Corvette with 327-cubic-inch engine.

“I bought this back in 1982,” he said. “It had been in an accident.”

After fixing the basics, Boan left the car alone for a long time before returning to the project in earnest two years ago. The final touch was a paint job in the original color, Greenwood Yellow. Just 1,275 Corvettes were built with the light yellow paint job.

“It looks a little different (than post-accident),” he said.

Parked in a drive-in space, Larry Carlson, of Goose Creek, displayed his 1968 Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck. The truck was a 50th birthday present last year.

“I just love Chevys,” said Carlson, who also treasures his 2013 Camaro.

The Chevy Blue truck sports a 350-cubic-inch engine.

“My dad had Camaros,” Carlson said. “I grew up with (Chevys).”

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