CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Vehicles of all makes, models and years began packing the Kanawha Boulevard in Charleston Thursday to kick off one of the largest car shows in West Virginia — the 2022 Charleston Rod Run and Doo Wop.
Around 700 cars total from 10 states are expected to line the street once everyone arrives and the four-day festival is in full swing. Cars are coming from 10 states including Florida, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Missouri.
David Holman came from Masontown with his 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass SX. He bought it new in Wheeling, where he is originally from, and said it has 130,000 miles on it. Holman told MetroNews there were only around 1,400 of this specific vehicle made so he gets questions from show goers about the edition.
Holman said he began gathering up parts to restore the vehicle when he got married. He and his wife drove it until it couldn’t get around in the Preston County snow.
“Over the years, I have bought parts to restore it. It’s sat for a long time and then as soon as my daughter got out of high school, I took on the project of redoing it,” Holman said.
He added the vehicle is so special he tells family and friends he wants to be buried with it or in it. A photo album with pictures of the vehicle in various places around the state and with family was placed under the hood at the car show.
Holman said he’s loved cars his whole life and it started in high school when he worked at his dad’s garage.
“I came to this event a few years ago as a spectator. I thought this would be a highlight of my life to have a car in this because there are so many beautiful cars,” Holman said.
Bobby Debellis of Fairmont spent around 18 months restoring his 1973 Volkswagen Westfalia Camp Mobile – bus after he purchased it in 2015.
The green bus stood out with its color and features inside of it which included a fold-down sofa that turns into a bed and an upstairs cot. He said he’s taken the bus to shows around the state including Morgantown, Fairmont, Clarksburg, and Beckley.
2021 marked the first year he was at the Rod Run and Doo Wop with a vehicle and said he had to come back.
“All the different people and looking at the different vehicles are great. The people that run the show do a fantastic job. They treat you like you’re family,” Debellis said.
Entertainment for the Rod Run and Doo Wop includes a Friday night concert at 7:30 on the Schoenbaum Stage with Kate Boytek and Ronnie McDowell. On Saturday night at 7:30 on the Schoenbaum Stage is the 249th Army Band out of Morgantown and The Avalons.
Vendors and concessions will open daily at 10 a.m. and the event will have activities for visitors of all ages through Saturday night. A Zambelli Fireworks shows is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. on Saturday to end the 16th annual show.