Benson Auto OktoberFast!

A gorgeous autumn day had me drop the top on my Miata and cruise over to the town of Greer, South Carolina for the Benson Auto OktoberFast! Beautiful cars, many impeccably restored, like the 1959 Jaguar Roadster pictured above. If this was the only car in the lot it would have been worth the drive. This is a small show that attracts some pretty outstanding automobiles, foreign and domestic. Enjoy the show!

1959 Jaguar Roadster

Ford Thunderbird

Oh, this one was dear to my heart. My very first car, I was all over this vehicle taking photos when the owner engaged me in conversation. He did a fantastic job with it’s restoration. That 302 V8 4bbl just would not die in mine!

1968 Mercury Cougar XR7

Random photos

“Nothing can beat my SS396.”

(Beach Boys)

1952 MG.  Very cool!

Corvettes are always a favorite

There’s always at least one Rat car in a show

A row of goats

If I were a Cadillac man, this would be it………….

Alfa Romeo Rally Car

This was a well put together, grass roots car show, supporting the local ministry bringing food and mobility to the local elderly population. A must see again next year!

 

 

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Celebrating America with Classic Cars

It’s the Fourth of July, and the Brevard, North Carolina annual Classic Car Show has us rippin’ up the mountain in our MX-5. Top down, beautiful sunny morning (didn’t stay that way), and as luck would have it, I tucked in behind a Porsche Carrera on the twisty mountain road that would take us across the state line into Brevard.

The temps were much cooler as I parked my Miata. A breeze was blowing, but the clouds were building. Rain was in the forecast. I raised the top and grabbed my camera. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the show:

Old Corvettes are always a favorite

The old

and the new (that’s 600 freakin’ HP!)

On the other end of the power spectrum (tee hee)

A 1959 Bug Eye Sprite!

An Urban Assault Vehicle. This is a Metropolitan. Zippy in traffic!

1949 Willy’s CJ2. Today I learned the CJ designation stands for Civilian Jeep, post WWII. Never new that. This is beautifully restored.

The Chevrolet Belair – America’s car

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This was a great show, as always. Lots of beautifully restored automobiles. After lunch, while walking back to my Miata, the rain began. My anticipation of a spirited drive down the mountain will have to wait till next time.

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Cars & Coffee in May on a Beautiful Spring Day- A Pictorial

The May meetup of Cars & Coffee here in Greenville, South Carolina had a great turnout on a beautiful spring day.  Some fabulous cars showed up, and a few motorbikes too.

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A few classic motorbikes showed up as well:

A great Spring morning sipping coffee and looking at beautiful autos that are mostly every day drivers. Not a bad way to spend an hour or two on a Saturday morning.

A Cold Drive in the Mountains

“Twenty-eight degrees for the high? And we’re going to drive our convertibles into the North Carolina mountains? In January?” I replied to our Miata club e-mail announcing this months group drive. “This Florida boy will have to give this one some thought,” I continued.

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But this was to be our first group drive since joining the Foothills Miata Club in early January, and I wanted to see what this group was all about. The fourth Saturday of each month gets a bunch of MX-5’s together for a lunch drive, usually to a destination that involves the curviest roads to be found. I asked Roo if she was game, and with some reservation, she said yes. Thankfully, Mazda endowed the Miata’s with an exceptional heating system!

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We met the rest of the group in the town of Landrum, South Carolina, where we introduced ourselves all around and the drive leader conducted the drivers meeting. Today’s drive was to take us to the North Carolina High Country, i.e. mountains! Three hours of beautiful scenery and mostly curvaceous roads that led to the small hamlet of Valle Crucis, North Carolina.

Taking a break at half-way

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Twelve cars pulled out of the parking lot, and we began snaking our way towards North Carolina. Many of the back roads we traveled on were familiar to me, having ridden on them by way of motorcycle many times. But there were a few roads our drive leader led us on that were just absolutely sick! I tried to commit these new-to-me roads to memory so I could have some fun on the motorbike too!

Snow capped mountains in the background-that’s where we’re headed!

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Three hours of fun driving later, we arrived in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. A small hamlet tucked in the mountains between Boone (home to Appalachian State University), and Banner Elk, North Carolina, Valle Crucis is the home of the original Mast General Store.

Original Mast General Store

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Built in 1883, the Mast General Store, and general stores in ……… general, were the business, political, and social hub of rural mountain communities. They were the “happening” places for residents of these small towns and the surrounding farms.

The Mast General Store has now become a chain store of sorts, with stores throughout North and South Carolina, selling clothing, goods and wares in an atmosphere reminiscent of old-timey Appalachia.

The General Store housed the post office too

Purveyors of general goods

Our lunch stop was right across the street from Mast General Store. Over Yonder Restaurant is housed in an old residence from the early 1900’s. Beautiful old house, with each of its rooms set up as separate dining areas. Our club had one room all to itself. Food was good, portions were small, price was high. Not a real good value, but we had a really good time with the fellow Miata owners at our table.

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After a while, everyone said their goodbyes and went their separate ways to home. It was 3:00 PM and we still had a way to go to get back to Greenville and The Beagles. Fired up the MX-5, inputted “home” and “fastest route” in the GPS, and off we went. And yes, it was still very cold!

Ain’t That a Peach

This year I decided to casually participate in the Moss Miata Motoring Challenge. The Challenge is a year long scavenger hunt put on by Moss Motors, purveyors of all things Roadster. It is based on a points system, points being awarded upon finding items on a tally sheet that are theme categorized. It’s fun, and gets you driving about and seeing places you have never been, or possibly would never see if not doing the Challenge.

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Upon arriving at the item, you take a photo of the item, your car, and the cover of the Moss Motors catalog cover. You then send the photos in and points are accrued throughout the year (January – December).

For my first drive of the Challenge, I chose The Roadside Oddities category. I had one already in mind that I wanted to visit, and had seen it numerous times from the Interstate, but never close up. It is not far from from where I live, located in Gaffney, South Carolina.

The Upstate of South Carolina is noted for it’s acres and acres of peach orchards, probably only second to the state of Georgia in producing this delicious fruit. Years ago, the powers that be decided to erect a ………….tribute (?) to the gem of South Carolina agriculture: a giant peach.

The Miata under the Giant Peach

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Urban Myth or Southern Humor?

Back in the 1980’s or 90’s, I believe, a big name entertainer gave a concert here in South Carolina. Upon seeing the giant peach, she asked what it was. When told it was a peach to honor South Carolina’s peach growing industry, it was rumored that she said: “Well, it looks like a big ass.”

To this day, Gaffneys peach is still affectionately called by some, the big ass.

Have another look

Now, ain’t that a peach?

On to the next Challenge…………………

Cars & Coffee

 Christmas Eve was a nice, relatively warm day here at home. Once per month, on the fourth Saturday of each, a large, grass roots, car event called Cars & Coffee is put on at the Michelin Headquarters here in Greenville, South Carolina.

People bring their own rides to park and show in the expansive Michelin parking lot. All manner of automobiles show up, from classics to modern muscle. This is an every man and woman car show, daily drivers that folks are proud to show off. Some motorcycles make their way here as well, and, on this day, we all were treated to a car from a very popular 1960’s TV show.

The Batmobile

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The crowd moved as one as the driver slowly rolled to a parking space. No Batman suit or boy Robin unfortunately. But this car is an amazing replica that this fellow built, down to the minutest detail.

A few classic cars were here, but mostly we saw modern muscle and sports cars.

A few classics – a beauty of a 1940’s pickup

Everyone knows what this is!

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The American Classic – Chevrolet Belair sedan & Nomad Wagon

Sports Cars

Roadsters

There were a number of Roadsters here, including a few Miata’s from our car club. By far, they are my favorite style of sports car (a bit biased, I know), giving Roo and I the most fun for our money.

Here is a beautifully styled and great performing car that isn’t seen on the roads much, but should be.

Honda S2000

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One car caught my aesthetic eye and jumped out at me. Italian style and Japanese performance beautifully matched:

Fiat 124 Spyder

Although the Fiat is built by Mazda, virtually all the car mags give the performance nod to the Miata MX-5 in head to head showdowns. But this Spyder sure is a looker, and a powerful performer in her own right.

No discussion of Roadsters would be complete without mention of the contribution of Britain to the world of sports cars. Iconic cars of the 1960’s such as the Jaguar E series, MG’s, and Triumphs were automobiles that today’s Roadsters are built upon (minus the Lucas electronics!). Here is one that exemplifies the Golden Age of small British Roadsters that everyone recognizes:

Triumph TR6

This was a fantastic event that I am happy to have stumbled upon. Being Christmas Eve, the turnout was apparently low, only about 70 cars! I have been told the usual turnout is double that! Looking forward to see what turns up here come springtime!