Euro Auto Festival – Greenville, South Carolina’s Premier Auto Event

The Euro Auto Festival is the premier auto show in the Upstate of South Carolina. This event is just one notch down from a full fledged Concours d’Elegance event, the very high end collector cars that vie for a Concours prestigious win being the only vehicles missing.

Held on the beautiful greens and fairways of The Preserve at Verdae in our hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, Roo and I are so lucky to be able to drive just four miles to see some of the most astounding automobiles anywhere.

Nothing else need be said about this Lamborghini

The greens and fairways were filled with beautiful automobiles and crowds of people. Every year a particular country’s autos or a particular marque are showcased at the show. This year featured the Cars of Italy. Of course, the particular marque within that broad category that had a large and in charge presence was none other than Ferrari.

There were plenty of other European auto manufacturers here besides those from Italy. But being that the Italians had such a large presence, I decided to give them their own, exclusive post, as it should be. It is their show this year, after all.

In a previous post I mentioned my having had a Triumph Spitfire 1500 Roadster. Well, as we walked around, another old sports car flame came into view, a car that I absolutely loved and had a blast driving. Known affectionately (and literally, in my case) as the “poor man’s Corvette”, a 1973 Opel GT.

Seeing one would be great, but three, and in beautiful shape! 

I had one just like this, right down to the color. These were really fun cars to drive and garnered a lot of attention!

Cute as a bugs ear!

The requisite faux dog peeing on a car tire. Seems to be at least one at every show.

When was the last time you saw a Renault LeCar?

Jaguar had a great lineup of it’s classic and modern cars. Jaguar, in my mind, is the only other auto manufacturer’s cars that you can actually say have some sex appeal, which strikes me as odd, because you know, being British and the upper crust who can afford to buy these cars…… Italian cars, on the other hand just ooze sex appeal. Careful, you might slip……

What would a European auto show be without Triumph, makers of the quintessential two seat roadster?

Austin Healey, another classic British marque

After viewing all the cars that mere mortal enthusiasts are wont to drive, we ventured across the fairway to a seemingly other worldly automotive scene, Automobiles that know no limits of technology, no know limits of cost, know no limits of power, These cars are in your face, over the top, excessive, look at me; don’t you wish you had one creations that bend your mind.

Supercars and Hypercars

These cars are mind-boggling. Knowing they are totally out of reach for Roo and I makes it all the more desirable to seek them out in order to gawk and marvel at the creative genius they exemplify with their beauty, technology, and stratospheric power.

If you are looking for a Concours style, high class auto show in a beautiful setting, and you are a European motorcycle and car enthusiast, it is worth the trip to Greenville to join in the fun, held every year in October. Maybe we’ll see you there in 2019!

Bikes on the Back 9

I have always enjoyed going to motorcycle shows that take place at a golf venue. The atmosphere is different, evoking a sense of elegance, upscale and affluence, real or imagined. Like the Quail Gathering on the West coast, or the Riding Into History event in St. Augustine, FL. Even the bikes seem to have an extra layer of shine and finish to them, as if to say “we deserve to be here.”

My hometown of Greenville, South Carolina is host to such an event. The Euro Auto Festival is held each October at the Preserve at Verdae Golf Club, a beautifully wooded golf venue. As the name implies, it is an event showcasing over one hundred beautiful European automobiles on the golf course (more in a later post), with a large contingent of motorcycles.

Euro is the name of the game here. All European motorcycles on the green from modern sport bikes (Ducati/Triumph), to a vintage scooter (Moto Guzzi), and the usual ’60’s and ’70’s Triumphs and BSA’s in between. A great showing of beauty on two wheels. Enjoy the show.

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Mountains to the Sea: Backroads Boogie Around the Palmetto State – Little Bridges, On Little Roads, On a Little Bike

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Hotter than hell. If Hollywood’s depiction of hell is any kind of accurate, then this is an apt description. Lucifer would feel right at home. It has been two weeks since I have been on two wheels, and I am itching to straddle a motorbike. It is early Saturday afternoon, and the temp is 91 degrees. Not even the high for the day. The humidity? FUHGETABOUTIT! Usually I am on the bike by 8 AM, but Saturday mornings are my trail running time, hoofing it for 1+ hours in our local State Park. I really hate to gear up and start a ride this late, in this heat. but I sucked it up and squeezed my sweaty self into my riding suit. That’s how much I wanted to ride.

Looking at the bikes in my garage, the choice was clear as to which one would get the call. My legs were tired and it is, yes, hotter than hell. Take the lighter bike and ride naked. That is, ride the naked bike. The little Suzuki gets the call.

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Good choice! The minute I start rolling the breeze is flowing through the vents and mesh of my gear. It’s heaven! But hell returns at each stop.

This little tour on a little bike is only 70 miles in total, but has me re- visiting two historic sites that I had not been to in a decade, plus a one-and-one half lane road that I thought was only found in West Virginia! My first stop is the only remaining covered bridge in South Carolina: Campbell’s Covered Bridge.

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THE BRIDGE

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THE HISTORY

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MORE BRIDGE PHOTOS

In the photos above, the bridge looks as if it is leaning and about to collapse. It is not. The bridge foundation supports were constructed as to the lay of the land. The bridge itself was built true to the foundation and is a solid structure.

THE BIKE PIC (of course)

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THE BIKE AND THE BRIDGE (in the background)

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Campbell’s Bridge saw traffic from the time it was built in 1909, until Pleasant Hill Road was re-routed in 1984. Imagine the stories this bridge holds, experiencing foot traffic, horses, wagons, then belching, smoking Model T’s, maybe Indian and Harley motorbikes or perhaps a Pope or Excelsior Henderson…. all the way up to the butt ugly Chrysler         K-cars of the 1980’s. Lots of movement history here.

On the way to my next historic little bridge stop, I pass through a little road. A very little road. One-and-a-half lane roads are common in the mountains of West Virginia, but here in the Upstate of South Carolina? Who knew. But I found one that runs alongside The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway. It’s not very long, has a few old abandoned houses on it, but is a short blast to ride. A forgotten road with no traffic.

A VERY LITTLE ROAD

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AROUND THIS CURVE, THE ROAD DIVES DOWN SHARPLY

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A PERSPECTIVE AS TO SIZE

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A LITTLE BIKE ON A LITTLE ROAD

014My next little bridge stop is nestled in the woods of Greenville County. The Poinsett Bridge was built in 1820 and serviced the State Road connecting  Greenville, South Carolina to Asheville, North Carolina.

THE POINSETT BRIDGE ARCH

MORE BRIDGE PICS

ORIGINAL STONE CIRCA 1820

THE OLD STATE HIGHWAY

Imagining what travel was like very nearly two centuries ago, going from Greenville, South Carolina to Asheville, North Carolina through these deep woods along this State Road is incomprehensible. I ride through these mountains a lot, on modern, paved roadways, and it is challenging. Two hundred years ago it must have been an arduous trip.

By now it is late afternoon, and the temperature has reached it’s high for the day: 94 degrees. I’m cooked and ready for a cold shower and an even colder beer. I light up the little Suzuki’s thumper, and we bee bop home on a few more little twisty roads through the woods.

Sunday I’m on my big boy bike, on the road by 8:00 AM. The big Honda will transport me to the cool, refreshing air in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Now that will truly be heaven.