Photos by Kristyn Winch At Wheels of Yesteryear in Myrtle Beach, guests can check out a large collection of classic and muscle cars, including some in rare colors and hard-to-find models.

Travel back in time at Wheels of Yesteryear

BY KRISTYN WINCH
KRISTYN.WINCH@MYHORRYNEWS.COM

Whether you own a classic car or just like to look at them, there’s a place in Myrtle Beach that has plenty for you to enjoy. Wheels of Yesteryear, at 413 Hospitality Lane near the Myrtle Beach Speedway, is a sprawling car museum featuring classic and muscle cars from the 1940s to today. North Carolina natives Paul and Carol Cummings opened the museum in Myrtle Beach nearly 10 years ago. Starting a car museum had been a longtime dream for Paul. “All his life, he always liked cars and speed,” Carol said. “He’s been collecting cars between 45-50 years. The year he turned 65, I said, ‘When are you ever going to [open a museum]?”‘ Paul’s passion for cars was sparked at a young age. “It all started when my dad bought me a 1940 Ford Coupe,” Paul said. “The car bug bit and continues to this day.” The couple chose to move to Myrtle Beach to start this venture because they wanted to open in a tourist town. The building is a labor of love, with all the lumber coming from the couple’s farm in North Carolina and sawmilled and installed with the help of neighbors and friends. “We sawmilled it all,” Paul said. Paul’s car collection is quite large, and all cars cannot be displayed in the museum at one time. Wheels of Yesteryear closes for about four weeks, from mid-January to mid- February, each year so that the staff can switch out inventory. “People always like to come back to see what we’ve changed,” Carol said. “That brings a lot of repeat visitors.” The couple is working on an expansion to the museum “because we have more cars than we have room for,”Carol said. “We will hopefully open the new addition this year,” Paul said, with the expansion holding roughly 40 additional vehicles. “That’s going to run us up to about 100 units.” The new showroom will feature a Route 66 mural on the wall, painted by one of Paul’s friends. Cars currently on display include a Superbird with Richard Petty’s autograph, a 1969 “Dan Gurney Special” Mercury Cyclone, a 1958 Chevy Impala (which Paul said is “the ultimate collector car for Chevrolet now”), a 1976 Cosworth Vega, a 1962 bubble top Chevrolet (a model that is “highly sought after today,” Paul said), and more. The oldest vehicle currently on display is a 1941 Plymouth. The most current car in the collection is a 1986 Grand National Buick, which Paul described as “the younger generation’s muscle car.” “It’s fast, fast, fast,” he said.

Cards in front of each car give visitors a little more information
about each vehicle. Carol creates all the signs
for the museum. “She’s the glue of the operation,” Paul said. “When we came here, she didn’t know a Nash from a Ford. She does pretty good for a rookie now.” It’s hard for the couple to pinpoint a favorite vehicle in the museum. “We have favorite cars for different applications of driving,” Paul said. “It is hard to name one favorite out of the whole collection. I like them all.” Some of the most popular
vehicles among guests include the HEMI ‘Cuda convertible, the ‘63 split window Corvette coupe (“They only made them one year,” Carol
said. “They were ultimately deemed unsafe.”) and the Superbirds. Paul and his team do restoration work themselves in a shop on the premises to make vehicles museum ready. “It is hard to say about
how long it takes to restore a car. It all depends on the condition the car was in before we started the restoration process,” Paul said. “Some of them actually needed no restoration but still had to be detailed. On average, we spend approximately 160 hours per vehicle.”
Some of the cars in the museum are completely untouched. “We call ‘em a ‘survivor’ if there was no restoration work done,” Carol said. “People like these survivor cars,” Paul said. “They don’t care about the glamour and the money.” All cars on display at
Wheels of Yesteryear are factory colors, from the vibrant teal blues to the wild lime greens. “We put them all back to the factory configurations,” Paul said. “They’re all driveable. We don’t take out anything. We try to keep everything as close as possible to original condition.” When you spend time walking the museum with Paul, it’s clear to see how passionate he is about his collection. He has personal stories to go with many of the cars, including a prized 1963 Chevrolet his father helped him order when Paul was a senior in high school. “My daddy thought you wouldn’t get into heaven if you didn’t drive a Chevrolet,” Paul said. A new vehicle in the showroom this year is a 1966 F100 that Paul “used to haul around pine straw in.” From the sparkling clean looks of it, you’d never know. In addition to the cars, the museum is filled from floor to ceiling with car-related memorabilia and pop culture items that Paul has collected and been given over the years, including license plates that guests have brought in from all over the world. In the museum’s shop, visitors
can purchase die cast collectible models, tin signs, bumper stickers and hats and t-shirts featuring popular car models. The couple enjoys meeting visitors and hearing their stories. “We get ratification by sharing our collection with people who appreciate the cars of yesteryear,” Paul said. “I’m humbled by what the good Lord has given me. We’re here to share what we’v’e been blessed to keep.”
Wheels of Yesteryear is open Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The museum is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Easter. Admission is $10 for adults. Kids 5 and under are admitted free. For more information, call 843-903-4774 or visit www.wheelsofyesteryearmb.com.

Photo by Kristyn Winch
Pick up a souvenir t-shirt, a diecast car or other memorabilia during your visit.

Car Enthusiasts Flock to Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, SC – 6/7/2017 — With the greatest spectacle in racing – The Indianapolis 500 – just wrapping up , fans of all ages travel to Myrtle Beach to experience a rare collection of American muscle cars most people have never seen before at Wheels of Yesteryear.  Car enthusiasts from all over the U.S. are to get a firsthand look at the complete collection of Wheels of Yesteryear which consists of more than 100 cars and memorabilia.

Wheels of Yesteryear opened in the Myrtle Beach area September 30, 2009. The local community was quick to embrace the museum and its inclusion as one of the area’s tourist attractions. Visitors hail from all over the globe. As Myrtle Beach is a popular destination for guests from all over the world – as of May 2017, from all 50 states and more than 20 countries.

The cars showcased at Wheels of Yesteryear belong to long-time car enthusiast Paul Cummings and his wife, Carol. The exception is the Joe Dirt movie car, which is on loan.

The complete collection consists of more than 100 cars. Cummings’ life-long admiration of American-made cars and trucks was his motivation for displaying his private collection in public. The amazing collection is 45 years in the making. Vehicles displayed at Wheels of Yesteryear allow museum visitors to see and appreciate the true beauty and craftsmanship of cars from previous eras. Dedicated automobile enthusiasts and casual fans alike always find something interesting and exciting within the Wheels of Yesteryear auto showcase. Visitors will be inspired to go down memory lane as they get to see some of the rarest cars on the planet, some of which had less than a handful made.

A few of the most popular cars showcased at Wheels of Yesteryear include:

– 1971 Plymouth “Hemi” ‘Cuda convertible This 1971 Plymouth “Hemi” ‘Cuda convertible features an automatic transmission with console and bucket seats.

– The E-body ‘Cuda convertible was only available in 1970 and 1971.

– 1969 Mercury Cyclone CJ The Cale Yarborough version of the 1969 Mercury Cyclone offered NASCAR enthusiasts a taste of the track with its 428 CJ cubic inch, 360 horsepower V-8. Only 218 of these cars were offered in 1969 in this configuration.

– 1971 Plymouth “Hemi” ‘Cuda convertible Production of the Split Window Stingray Corvette was discontinued because the split window offered limited visibility. This fuel injected, four-speed coupe features knock off wheels and a 327-cubic inch V-8, and is one of just a few survivors still in existence.

– 1960 Buick Wildcat Convertible Only 1,900 produced. It was known as the businessman’s muscle car. Features a 455-cubic inch 370-horse power engine.

“Vehicles displayed at Wheels of Yesteryear allow museum visitors to see and appreciate the true beauty and craftsmanship of cars from previous eras,” said Paul Cummings.

Learn more at http://www.wheelsofyesteryearmb.com         

Wheels of Yesteryear

Address: 413 Hospitality Ln, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579

Hours: Open today · 10AM–6PM

Phone: (843) 903-4774

Car Enthusiasts Flock to Myrtle Beach Attraction Wheels of Yesteryear