Vintage cars parade through Charleston, gather at gardens on Collector Appreciation Day
[Great showing Ken!! We all need to fly the Morgan Flag when we can!! Mark]
In a role reversal, Brad and Connie Rustin inherited their shiny 1968 Datsun 2000 from their son. The couple bought the roadster more than a decade ago and fixed it up over eight years — including a complete frame-off restoration — so their son would have a cool car to drive when he was old enough. The teenager enjoyed some hours behind the wheel but as he matured, shot up to 6 foot 5 inches. Now he “can’t get into it,” says Brad Rustin, who too has a personal interest in the car. “I actually owned a 1967 1/2 when I was in the Marine Corps,” he said.
Rustin husband and wife motored the classic Japanese sports car in a parade-like morning drive and parked it at Magnolia Gardens for a show July 15 in recognition of National Car Collector Appreciation Day. The collector day cruise-in, rekindled in 2016, attracted 52 cars this year, said Trevor Shelor, head of the local Antique Automobile Club of America chapter and appreciation day organizer. He brought three models — a 1953 Ford, 1926 Model A with a 19th century sleigh built for the seats and the city of Charleston’s 1949 Chevy police car. “Just celebrate the day how ever you can,” Shelor said.
The Charleston area began celebrating National Car Collector Appreciation Day in 2010. The congressionally authorized event sponsored by the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association takes place in July, with localities selecting dates. Charleston has the only sanctioned event in South Carolina.
In the Lowcountry, the car collector day originally was a show, then evolved into a parade loop from Brittlebank Park around downtown Charleston. Last year, the parade started in Mount Pleasant due to a conflict at the Ashley River site. The car show returned last year at Magnolia Gardens, as models crossed the Ashley River and followed S.C. Highway 61 west. For 2017, the collector car route followed Savannah Highway to Davison Road near Hollywood, headed out toward Summerville, then turned east on S.C. Highway 61 to the plantation.
Justin Hustead of West Ashley wheeled his red 1933 Plymouth street rod with all-steel body and Corvette engine to the cruise-in, held on a grassy field near the sprawling house at Magnolia Gardens. The collector day drive and show was “fine,” said the antique car owner, who bought the 84-year-old Plymouth a year ago in Florida.
Displaying a 1967 Morgan Plus 4 with Kingfisher blue paint was Ken Kreuzer of Summerville. “In Europe, you can still get one,” he says.
Most of the attendees were from the Charleston area, although there were exceptions. Khushi and Sethi Salil of New York were visiting Charleston for the first time and went to Magnolia Gardens. They saw the car fest and came by to check out the classics.
“I’ve never been around Charleston,” said Jeffrey McCants, of Brevard, North Carolina, who displayed his 2014 Chevy Camaro. “We were actually on vacation and heard about it,” he said. McCants is fond of Camaros, noting that his father owned a 1988 model. “It’s cool,” McCants said.