Lots of local events on tap for Fort Mill classic car enthusiasts

October 8, 2013 

Part of the goal of this column is to keep everyone in the classic car community up to date as far as the events and happenings in the Fort Mill area. We have a big one coming up Oct. 12 5-8 p.m. at Fort Mill BBQ Company, in the shopping center at the corner of Hwy. 160 West and Gold Hill Road across from Harris Teeter.

Tommy DeCarlo, the new lead singer of the rock band Boston, will be at the monthly cruise-in the restaurant puts on, and everyone is encouraged to come out and listen and meet him. Tommy has an incredible story as to how he became the lead singer. He was working as a credit manager at Home Depot when his tribute songs he posted to Myspace in honor of the deceased Brad Delp (the original lead singer of the group) were “discovered” by someone in the Boston camp and the rest, as they say, is history.

As one who grew up in the ’70s, I am definitely a fan of the band’s music and wouldn’t want to miss this free opportunity to listen to Tommy and meet him. On top of that, Tommy will be picking out his own favorite classic car in addition to the regular awards given at this very popular cruise-in.

Owner of the restaurant is Bob Bowman, who has been hosting this particular cruise-in for a few years, and he says its popularity has continued to grow, with well over 70 classic cars showing up on most occasions. The cruise-in is appropriately named the Saturday Night Special and is held the second Saturday of every month from April through October.

I have been to this cruise-in a few times and Bob is very accommodating to the cruise-in participants. Each receives free tea and water as well as 10 percent off a basket/plate purchase. There will also be a 50/50 drawing with the proceeds going to the Humane Society of York County, and of course there will be door prizes given out all night to registered classic cars.

I meet and greet with many so-called car nuts in writing this column and Bob is no different. I think the success of a particular cruise-in is tied in to how much of a car guy you are and he definitely fits the bill. Bob’s dad used to own a VW junkyard and he off-road raced from the time he was 14 to about 21, so he definitely understands and appreciates all the classic cars and their owners that show up at his events.

Car shows and cruise-ins are a lot of work to put on and can take a lot of time, so you need to love what you’re doing in order to do them well. Bob said he will have the cruise-in as long as there is a Fort Mill BBQ Company, and last year he invested in a new sound system just for his events. So mark your calendar for Oct. 12 for Tommy DeCarlo and the end of the year blowout cruise-in at Fort Mill BBQ.

Bill Deaton of Fort Mill is the owner of B&D Business Services in Rock Hill and also a classic car enthusiast. He can be reached at whdjr@comporium.net for comments or if you have any story ideas.

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