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 501 Tanger outlets, is a sprawling car museum featuring classic and muscle cars from the 1940s to the 1970s, with one 1986 model also on display.
North Carolina natives Paul and Carol Cummings opened the museum in Myrtle Beach 11 years. Starting a car museum had been a longtime dream for Paul.
Paul started his collection more than 50 years ago and has amassed over 100 cars and counting.
“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 start this venture in Myrtle Beach because they wanted to open in a tourist town.
Since the collection is quite large, and all cars cannot be displayed in the museum at one time, Wheels of Yesteryear closes for about three 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.”
Cars in the collection include a Superbird with Richard Petty’s autograph, a 1969 dodge charger, a Dukes of Hazzard General Lee replica, a Fiesta Rose, and a1956 Rambler American.
There are also several pace cars and a couple Max Wedge race cars on display.
Coming in the next rotation is a 1938 A-Model Ford Coupe, belonging to Paul’s uncle.
Cards in front of each car give visitors a little more information about each vehicle.
It’s hard for the couple to pinpoint a favorite vehicle in the museum.
“We have so many memories with each car. 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 and the Superbirds.
“We do our restoration work themselves in our shop. 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 in their original factory condition, with no restortion necessary.
“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 drivable. 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.
The museum is also filled from floor to ceiling with car-related memorabilia and pop culture items collected 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 shop has a great selection of holiday gifts for the car lovers in your life.
The couple enjoys meeting visitors and hearing their stories.
“We get gratification 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 daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Face masks and social distancing are recommended as precaution for the safety of guests and staff. The museum is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Easter.
Admission is $10.92 for adults and $7.80 for kids 6-15. Kids 5 and under are admitted free.
For more information, call 843-903-4774 or visit wheelsofyesteryearmb.com.