Rain at the beach is never a good thing.
The beach-themed Mayberry Cool Cars and Rods Cruise-In on Saturday was no exception as scattered storms and the threat of more dampened attendance, and the event failed to attract as many cool cars or rods as it normally does.
“We’re several hundred cars short,” said event organizer Phil Marsh, just before 4 p.m. when the cloudy skies that had been threatening all day finally let go and rain showered down on the hundred or so cars gathered for the cruise-in.
“We normally have 300 to 400,” said Marsh. “In the past, we’d call it off when it rained. But now, we keep going for the people who are here.”
“It’s been raining all around us, and they hold off and don’t come,” said Marsh. “But it’s been two years since we got caught in the rain at a cruise-in. The last one got off to a slow start. But it stayed clear and the showers went around us, and we ended up with a big turn out. Maybe it will clear up later. If the roads are dry, we may get some more cars.”
“Cool Ride Of The Month” was awarded to Don Creason II for his 1929 Ford Model A.
Luc Viau of West Palm Beach, Florida, was awarded both “Ladies Choice” and “Sweetest Ride In Mount Airy” for his lavender 1956 Dodge Royal Lancer.
Viau was passing through town and caught the Mayberry Cool Cars and Rods Cruise-In for the second time this year as he is working his way up and down through the Southeast.
Viau has been driving the custom-built car from show to show and has put 5,000 miles on it since June 15. He’s headed next to Stuart, Virginia, and will then make his way down the Blue Ridge Parkway to the “Shades of the Past” car show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
“I’m going to keep doing this until it cools down in Florida,” he said.
Viau’s Dodge was rebuilt in 2000 by Richard Zocchi in Northern California, who found an old Dodge, stretched it about a foot and lowered it four inches.
Answering the questions of cruise-in visitors on the sidewalk beside the car who were asking each other, “Shouldn’t it be higher?”’
Everything was customized, said Viau, except the steering wheel, dash, the original push-button transmission and the stock engine, a 315 poly Hemi Red Ram with a mild cam.
“It caught my eye, and I had to buy it.”
When the rain let up, Chad Garris began toweling down his 1973 Camaro, which is exactly the same age as he is.
“I was born Jan. 13, 1973,” said Garris, “and this car was built the second week of January in 1973.”
He explained that the trim tag on the firewall of the car starts off with “01B,” with “01” being the code for January, the first month, and “B” meaning the second week of the month.
The trim tag also gives the code for the original paint color, midnight blue, which was the color of the car when Garris bought it. He didn’t care for the original midnight blue and white vinyl top the car still had when he bought it five or six years ago, so now it’s orange with a black vinyl top.
Milton Scott of Thurmond also gently removed water from his 1957 Plymouth Belvedere convertible by dragging a cloth across the paint without rubbing it or applying any pressure.
“Can’t put the top down today,” he said about the car he bought out of a junkyard 31 years ago. “I used to be an auto mechanic. I worked on it for two or three years.”
There are two more Mayberry Cool Cars and Rods Cruise-In in 2018.
September will have a Motown theme with WSYD 1300 FM’s Brack Llewellyn broadcasting live from the show, including lost treasures from the cellars of Motown. October’s show will be Halloween-themed with Todd Jessup broadcasting from his eight-hour play list of Halloween songs, and many people are expected to show up in costume.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.