Plan B: Greenville to Greeneville and Back

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry…………….

2019 Horizons Unlimited Travelers Meeting, North Carolina USA

One of my favorite motorcycle events, one in which I look forward to all year, is the Horizon’s Unlimited Travelers Meeting held at Ironhorse Motorcycle resort in North Carolina. Ironhorse changed hands this year, and for some reason unbeknownst to us, the new owner decided not to accommodate the Horizons Unlimited organization’s event.

These Travelers Meetings are held in locations throughout the world, throughout the year. Workshops, seminars, travel presentations are put together by fellow travelers who volunteer their time to share their knowledge of moto travel worldwide.

I now found myself with a three day weekend to fill. I could have gone moto camping as planned at Ironhorse or any of the other moto-centric campgrounds I frequent. But, meh. Instead, I opted for plan B: A road trip to a museum that has been on my list to visit for quite a while. A trip from Greenville, South Carolina to Greeneville (yes, there is an added e) Tennessee to this place (this is where all the motorcyclists who follow this blog say arrrgggghhhh):

Anybody left reading? Well, the intent was a motorcycle post. The best laid plans………

A beautiful day greeted me as I dropped the top on our MX-5 and headed to the land of the Volunteers. The drive had me on Interstate highways (crap), secondary highways (better), and rural, twisty back roads (best). Even with maybe 40% of the trip on Interstate highways, this was still an all day round trip. If I routed all back roads, I would have to stay the night or dance with deer coming home on the dark rural by-ways. No thanks.

If you are traveling by moto or sports car, do check out the beautiful twisty tarmac of NC70, NC208 (north of Asheville), and TN 208, TN70. These roads are fantastic and freaky fun as they follow parts of the French Broad River in North Carolina and the Nolichucky River In Tennessee.

I parked the MX-5 and entered the museum. What a great collection this family has amassed over the years. I believe this building, as an auto repair shop, was built in 1937 in this small southern town of Greeneville. Enjoy the photos. The placards have some interesting tidbits about each car.

Just for us motorcyclists. There is a Harley in there somewhere.

Inside the museum

The Cars

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A lot of automotive history is displayed in this historic building. The town of Greeneville, TN itself is steeped in history, from the aftermath of the American Revolution to our Civil War, and home to a US President. Walking along it’s downtown sidewalks, it is a old southern town stuck in time. Worth a visit.

 

On Cars & Motorcycles & Coffee…….A Pictorial of sorts.

The weather over Memorial Day weekend was perfect for my hometowns monthly Cars & Coffee gathering in Greenville, South Carolina. Just like The Meltdown Vintage Motorcycle show that we rave about each year, our monthly Cars & Coffee is a great grass roots petrol fest of two and four wheels. People of all ages; Millenials, Geezers, Hipsters, Gen X,Y&Z, small kids, big kids, dogs…..all coming out to see, smell, and hear the sound of internal combustion engines housed in all kinds of sheet metal skin. As the temps are starting to get quite a bit warm, the usually large canine contingent was noticeably under represented this day.

So, enough words. Here are some of the more interesting, aesthetic, weird, freaky and WTF cars and bikes we came across. Enjoy!

Motorbikes had a good turnout

Modern and Vintage. It was all here.

A Thing? C’mon. Everyone remembers VW’s Thing. Soooo ugly it’s beautiful! And you too, can have this one.

A Cornucopia of really beautiful, really fast cars. Check out the kid, already pointing out the attributes of a Ferrari to his dad.

The French Invasion: a weird little car is this Citroen

The weirdness continues……………..

In the market for a beautiful, upscale, Italian Roadster? Alfa Romeo 4C. Where do I sign?

Back to the Bikes

You want patina? This guy’s got patina. Used to be called rust.

We’ll end with the freak in the room……………. WTF?

 

 

The Most Elegant at d’Elegance: Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance & Motoring Festival

 

Pebble Beach, California. Amelia Island, Florida. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Three of the most distinguished Concours events in the country. Pebble Beach is the creme de la creme in the world of Concours d’Elegance events. Amelia Island is a very close runner-up. And now, Hilton Head Island is making a name for itself in these, the most exclusive of collector car and motorcycle venues. It is not by accident that these three Concours events are held in resort towns where the wealthy tend to congregate and show off their two and four wheeled prize possessions to the masses.

With the weather reading sun in the sky perfect for the event, Roo and I left the Upstate South Carolina foothills and zoomed straight across our home state to the island resort of Hilton Head. The stunningly beautiful Port Royal Golf Club is the venue for Hilton Head’s Concours d’Elegance, and it does not disappoint.

Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival is somewhat unique. It  is actually three events in one. First is the Aero Expo, where vintage and new aircraft and automobiles from the same era as the aero-plane, are displayed. This event is held a short shuttle ride away at the Hilton Head airport. Second, is the large Car Club Showcase, where automobile and motorcycle clubs display their vehicles on the greens and fairways of the Port Royal Golf Club. Then on the final day of the weekend, the by invitation only Concours d’Elegance takes center stage. All three events are judged and awarded ribbons, culminating with the prestigious Best In Show on Sunday.

Saturday morning, brimming with excitement and anticipation, Roo & I took the shuttle trolley to the Port Royal Golf Club. In true Southern style, we walked through the tunnel of Live Oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and knew we were in for a beautifully spectacular event.

THE AERO EXPO – WINGS & WHEELS

We missed this event on our last visit. My bad. Mismanaged my time. But this time around, the Aero Expo was our first stop off.

Vintage and new aircraft mated with Concours cars of the same era. A great concept. I love small aircraft, and as a motorcyclist, I can appreciate the skill set that the pilots of these machines must have to fly safely.

It wasn’t all vintage. Honda had it’s new light jet plane here.

Here is a gallery of some of the beautiful aircraft that were on display:

Walking through the entrance gate and onto the golf course, we were treated to these beautiful vintage autos from a long bygone era, on the green.

THE CAR CLUB SHOWCASE

The car club showcase celebrates it’s fourteenth year at the Hilton Head Concours. National and local car club members enter their cars at this prestigious event, wowing us spectators and some of the judges also. Clubs here include BMW, Ford, Ferrari,Cadillac LaSalle Club, Georgia Corvair Club and many others. Included in the Car Club Showcase is the “Life on the Orient Express” exhibit, showcasing the cars of the 1920’s and 1930’s that the wealthy were driving while everyone else was grappling with the Great Depression. So here is a sampling of the clubs and their cars in the Car Club Showcase (not all clubs are represented here).

CAR CLUB SHOWCASE

We’ve never seen an M1 anywhere prior to this. As we strolled along the line of M1’s, I said to Roo “These are BMW’s? They look so ………. Italian! Those of you who are BMW connoisseurs know the story. For those of us who are not ………………….

The M1 was to be BMW’s first Supercar in 1974. As designed, BMW lacked the capacity to build the M1 in-house, so Motorsport contracted with Lamborghini (Ah! There’s the Italians!) for 2000 cars in 1976. Right after the first prototype was built, Lamborghini collapsed and BMW scrambled for a replacement outfit. Enter Ital Engineering, TIR (an Italian bodyworks firm) for the fiberglass body, and Italdesign for the initial assembly. Long story short, that is why the M1’s look like 1970’s era Lambos! And we love the design!

Who doesn’t love a Sunbeam? They’re so cute! (OK. That was Roo). These are cool little cars and have quite the following. There were so many of them here at Hilton Head, they could have staged their own show!

These cars are stunningly beautiful. Not knowing anything about them, for the longest time we thought they were French built. We have since come to learn they are distinctly American, produced in the 1940’s and ’50’s.

Two American Classic Car Clubs: Mustang and Thunderbird 

A pony and a bird. Two cars that came to symbolize and change the automotive landscape of 1950’s and ’60’s America.

Ford’s pony car claimed new notoriety once Carroll Shelby put his name on it

Ford’s Thunderbird didn’t quite live up to it’s sports car moniker, but the porthole on the hardtop became a unique symbol of the 1950’s T-Bird.

Next post: Life on the Orient Express at Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival.

 

 

Grass Roots at it’s Finest: Cars and Coffee, Greenville South Carolina

Whether it’s cars or motorcycles, we love those events that are the “run what you brung” variety. Seeing what other folks ride or drive on a daily basis, how they hopped up their machines performance or blinged out their appearance is always fun to see and gather up some new ideas for our own vehicles.

Cars & Coffee is a national gathering in various cities throughout the year that encourages the average auto and motorcycle enthusiast to show their vehicles free of charge to the public. We have our monthly Cars & Coffee in our hometown, sponsored by Michelin at their U.S. corporate headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina.

Here are some photos of a recent event we went to. Enjoy.

I’ve always had an eye for Corvettes, and this white Stingray is a beautiful example.

Need I say anything at all?

A Gallery

My neighbor’s ’49 Ford pickup, “unrestored” to original.

Vintage, modern, trucks, motorbikes, coupes, roadsters, rods, muscle ……….all these and more can be seen at these grass roots events. It’s a great way to spend some time on a Saturday morning with these machines and the people who drive them.