Walterboro show displays support for vets

Ralph Salzer displayed his beautiful "Brown Eyed Girl," a 1950 Hudson Pacemaker convertible with the correct 308 Hornet flathead six-cylinder engine and Super Matic Drive automatic transmission. "It took four years to restore," the owner said.

Motor vehicle enthusiasts from the Charleston area turned out to support a "mega car show" May 10 on the grounds of Veterans' Victory House in Walterboro.

Drivers arrived at the nursing care complex alongside Sidneys Road on a sunny Saturday to show off their special rides as well as to lend support for those who served in our nation's armed forces.

The big shindig at the 220-bed facility was hosted by volunteers, who are also members of the Colleton County-based Walterboro Cruisers car club formed in 2005.

In addition to auto hobby fans from hereabouts, others came from as far away as Myrtle Beach and Savannah to enjoy the atmosphere and boost the cause. At 11 a.m. entry cut off time, nearly 200 cars, trucks and other transporter types had been registered. The resulting display was nearly bumper-to-bumper.

A wide variety of domestic and imported rides were represented including custom hardtops, stock sedans, antique coupes, factory muscle, race machines and rat rods. Also included in the mix was at least one open retractable, station wagon and panel delivery.

Event officials Jackie Dasen and Cathy Crosby said the high number of arrivals presented traffic flow and display space challenges, but to them, such overflow conditions are "always welcome" problems. Door prizes donated by 58 community sponsors included a floor jack. Trophies were awarded to the top 50 finalists judged. Ex-military residents of the facility, some in wheelchairs and battery powered scooters, were among those excited by the large turnout for the 7th annual show. Lloyd Freeman, James O'Kelly and Robert Brautigam were among the vets on hand.

Space was at a premium for many friendly spectators, too, which resulted in jammed highway and driveway shoulders plus an adjacent school parking lot filled to overflowing.

All seemed to agree that it was a very good day for a very good cause.