It is the best of times (for lovers of vintage automobiles) and the worst of times (for folks who work in Downtown Charleston). Wednesday sees the start of the Charleston Boulevard Rod Run & Doo Wop, the annual event where Charleston sacrifices the most convenient access road in the city for four days of a celebration of steel and wheel artistry.
You could probably tell that I have mixed feelings about this annual car show. On the one hand, vintage cars are pretty damned cool, and the event brings in car enthusiasts from around the country and generates millions of dollars of revenue. It’s a huge positive for the city.
On the other hand, shutting down Kanawha Boulevard for four days can be a real pain in the ass for folks who regularly travel that road.
In the end, it’s a fair trade-off, especially if they cut down on all the other days that the Boulevard gets co-opted for questionable activities. Luckily it seems that our new administration is not quite so cavalier about disrupting traffic, so it makes this event even more special. As much as I hate to see the Boulevard shut down, I can’t deny how cool it is to see Chevy Tri-Fives and other classics lined up along the street.
Now if they could only do something about the ethnic slur in the name (I kid, I kid).
In the past PopCult has covered the Rod Run via video and photos, and if the weather reports for this weekend are accurate, there is a remote chance we may do so again. As your PopCulteer has mentioned (in what seems to be every post lately), Myasthenia Gravis does not play well with extreme heat, and this summer has nearly rendered me a prisoner of air conditioning. Even when we go on trips, a big chunk of my time is spent chilling (literally) in hotel rooms, rather than venturing out into the increasingly-warmed globe.
If it’s as cool as the weathermen say it’s supposed to be this weekend, I may venture out and take a few photos to share with those of you who can’t make it out yourself.
However, one other observation I made back when I did extensively cover the show three years in a row a while back is that, while it is an impressive and huge gathering of cool vintage cars…the three years I went they had pretty much the same cars every year. I could’ve re-used the photos and I doubt anyone would have noticed.
On the whole, if the weather is perfect, it’s a fun show. There will be music and food and craft vendors and lots of people from all over the country who will gladly tell you everything you could possibly want to know about their cars. If you love vintage cars and are anywhere near Charleston, you pretty much have to go.
The show kicks off in earnest Thursday on Kanawha Boulevard. There will be a cruise-in Wednesday night at the parking lots for Cabela’s and Home Depot out at the Southridge Shopping Center. You can visit the Facebook page for more details on the schedule and all the tie-in events.