Ah, the good old days of Myrtle Beach: Cruising down Ocean Boulevard with the top down and the sea breeze blowing through your hair. You know, back when you had a classic convertible … and hair.
Well, those happy days are still alive and kicking at the Run the Sun Car Show in Myrtle Beach on March 17-19. Hosted by the Pee Dee Street Rodders Association, this fundraiser attracts hundreds of cars and thousands of car enthusiasts to the Grand Strand for a three-day celebration of manmade machines. Beginning as a small regional event back in the 1980s, the 28th annual event has grown into a popular spring ritual in Myrtle Beach and one of the largest car shows in the Southeast.
What began with 88 cars from the nearby Florence/Pee Dee region has grown into more than 3,200 participants with a move to Myrtle Beach, which serves as the perfect backdrop for these vintage cars from the 1930s through 1970s. Custom paint and body jobs, pristine engines, and shiny rims transform these late models into collectors’ items, ones that bring back fond memories for baby boomers who drove those hot rods back in the day and for newcomers who have an eye for automotive beauty and an appreciation for the craftsmanship that creates these four-wheeled works of art.
Held at the former Myrtle Beach Mall site, just across Oak Street from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, the venue’s spacious parking area is bumper to bumper with all the classics, like the 1932 Ford, 1957 Chevy, 1965 Mustang, 1969 Dodge Charger, 1978 Pontiac Trans Am, 1984 Buick Grand National and everything in between. The show also features a long line of vintage trucks, domestic and imported sports cars, and even modern-day rare models like Ferraris, Lamborghinis and many more.
The festivities include a caravan cruise down Ocean Boulevard, judging and open viewing of all the participating vehicles, and raffle tickets, drawing and giveaways to benefit the charities such as The Children’s Miracle Network, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Grand Strand Miracle League and the Horry County Benevolent Fund. Since its inception in 1987, the Pee Dee Street Rodders have raised more than $1.6 million for various local, regional and national charities, as well as showing millions of folks a good time.
For visitors who simply want to take a stroll down memory lane and look at all the classic cars on display, admission is free and patrons can walk from car door to car door to get an up-close view of the rides and talk to the owners who rescued and restored them. It’s like a living automotive museum with friendly and knowledgeable curators at every exhibit. You can learn a lot about the automotive history of America, while also snapping some keepsake selfies with the cars that are the stars of the show. The show runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For those who own a vintage vehicle and would like to take part in the event, visit www.peedeestreetrodders.com for registration and information.
For guests at the Bay View Resort, Myrtle Beach, you are in prime position to enjoy the event. Watch the vintage cars roll down the Ocean Boulevard strip right in front of the hotel, and you are only a short drive to the festival grounds. Parking is available at the adjoining convention center lot, and folks with smaller children can also visit the Children’s Museum of South Carolina to let the little ones burn off some fuel. It’s a great way for the whole family to spend the day.