Written by Jim Murphy / Photos by Anthony Harden
Collecting and displaying classic cars in Western North Carolina are no mere exercises in nostalgia—they’re physical embodiments of deep-rooted passion.
Your car is:
A) An expensive but necessary evil that gets you where you want to go;
B) Both an indispensable accessory and a pleasure to drive; or
C) A fascinating feat of engineering and an object of magnificent design.
If you answered (C), you might be a candidate to join the ranks of proud Western North Carolina hobbyists who display their shiny classics at the outdoor car shows that pop up in dozens of locations throughout the summer.
But whatever your answer, whatever your relationship with your car, you might enjoy strolling among the old classics at the shows and chatting with the owners—who are willing, even eager, to talk about cars: their car, your car, any car on the lot.
The shows present a staggering assortment of vintage transportation. Ford Thunderbird, Chevrolet Bel-Air, Cadillac Eldorado—think of an old (or even not so old) model car, and you’re likely to find at least one of them on loving display, with the happy owner sitting in a nearby canvas folding chair and ready to talk. Some of the models at the shows not only recall a simpler time, but they also rest quietly in automotive history. Discontinued brands and models such as the Nash Rambler, Oldsmobile Rocket 88, Pontiac, Packard, or Studebaker sit side-by-side with a Model A Ford or a DeLorean.
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