Entertainment

Downtown Raleigh celebrates classic cars

Posted August 20, 2010 12:15 p.m. EDT
Updated August 21, 2010 2:18 p.m. EDT

— Downtown Raleigh is gearing up for a three-day celebration of classic cars.

From Friday through Sunday, Carolina Classics at the Capital will take over Fayetteville Street and the Raleigh Convention Center. It's the largest indoor car show in the Southeast.

"It's an opportunity to witness a piece of history," classic car admirer Lee Clark said.

Several hundred classic cars will be exhibited along a nearly third-of-a-mile stretch of Fayetteville Street.

Approximately 80 more cars and 100 automobile vendors will be spread out over 150,000 square feet of exhibition space in the convention center.

Ed Stone is showing off his 1962 Nova SS convertible there. It was one of only 2,200 made in that year.

"It's really just a nice ride, fun to run down the road to the coast and let the hair blow," Stone said. "It's fun to have something that you ride around the road and people appreciate. People say, 'I remember that' or 'I had a date in that.'"

Stone, a nurse from Knightdale, has been restoring cars for 20 years.

"It takes years to put it together to put it together. A lot of love and devotion. A lot of hard nights, a lot of long nights," he said. "A lot of sheet metal. A lot of patience when you can't find a part or a part doesn't fit."

Stone rarely makes a profit. He said he's put about $28,000 in the '62 Nova SS but expects to sell it for $21,500.

"You never get your money out of it," he said.

Restoring classic cars, though, is about the love of it and the sense of preserving a fun piece of history, Stone said.

"It's something you don't see anymore," he said. "It's all steel, and it runs true."

Access to the car displays on Fayetteville Street is free. Admission to the convention center is $10 for adults and $5 for children under age 15. Proceeds go the Foundation for Hope, a local nonprofit that funds research into cures for mental illness.

Fayetteville Street will be closed from the State Capitol Building to the Progress Energy Performing Arts Center until 7 a.m. Sunday. Hargett, Martin and Davie streets will also be closed where they intersect with Fayetteville Street.

Road closures