Sandhills Motoring Festival's Cars and Coffee is "supercharged"

Sandhills Motoring Festival (SMF) had at least 100 participants Oct. 4 at its monthly Cars and Coffee event held at Pinehurst’s Roast Office. Groups and individuals from far as Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh as well as Virginia and South Carolina cruised-in for the event. The 1909 Peerless, owned by local Les Holden, was the oldest, and there were several 2020 cars, and a most unique car was Bill Timmons’ 1960 Lotus Elite – one of only 1,000 ever made.

The Lotus is an import from England and has no steel frame and features a unique “eggshell” structural skin made of fiberglass monocoque, and according to owner Timmons, it was “designed that way to take corners better.” It weighs 1,200 pounds without gas or water. The original color was chartreuse, but Pinehurst resident Timmons and his wife painted it the traditional racing color and pattern with the bright yellow in front and on the rear.

“The guy who painted it was in his forties and worked on Corvettes and said he’d never worked on a body like this,” Timmons said.

With transport trucks and large cars on the road, Timmons said that he does not drive the lightweight Lotus out on the highways because “people on telephones, and some don’t see you, and some people race up to it to see what it is.”

Timmons has raced the car against the clock only and said it “was good in its day.”

The 1960 Lotus Elite won Best in Show in the 2nd annual Sandhills Motoring Festival.

The 2021 Sandhills Motoring Festival will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30. Please visit to register. The 2019 festival raised over $7,700 for the Automotive Technologies Department at Sandhills Community College, and their goal is to raise $10,000 at next year’s event.

Pinehurst residents Duane and Ann Barlow own a 2020 McLaren, also from England, and it is also designed for speed. The couple was married in Wisconsin and saw Bruce McLaren race and that is when Duane “became addicted” to speed and high-performance race cars.

“I’ve driven it in excess of 155 at Virginia International Raceway and will race there again on the 15 of Oct,” Duane said and shook his head, “No, no, no, my wife does not race.”

Sandhills Motoring Festival's Cars and Coffee is "supercharged" 2

Duane Barlow and his 2020 McLaren on Oct. 4 at Sandhills Motoring Festival’s monthly Cars and Coffee in Pinehurst.

Duane has a poster of Bruce McLaren in his garage in memoriam after McLaren’s prototype race car fell apart at 150mph, and he died. It was only nine months after Barlow had first witnessed the McLaren’s finesse.

Durham resident Gary H. Cuhna owns a 2003 Mercedes Benz 32SLK AMG with a V6 engine built by one person who signed his name. The car has 349 hp, and Cuhna said how fast he’s taken it is “classified.”

Raleigh resident Rick Soltero drove down in his 1967 Corvette that has side-pipes instead of rear pipes.

Vass residents Charlie and Terry Cook cruised-in with their 1953 MG TD that she bought him for his 70th birthday after learning he wanted a two-door to ride with his friends in the British Auto Touring Society (BATS).

Pinehurst resident Samuel Jordan is a world-famous restorer according to many of the car event participants. He cruised-in with his son Alexander in their 1959 Mercedes Carbriolet. It is mostly authentic with a new convertible top and paint.

Samuel said the most exotic car he has restored is a 1966 2×2 330 GT Ferrari and a 300 SL Gullwing Mercedes that was black.

“Black is the hardest color to work with, black and silver,” Samuel said, “They show everything.”

Pinehurst resident Jack Zimmerman drove his 1963 Morgan.

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Jack Zimmerman and his 1963 Morgan on Oct. 4 at Sandhills Motoring Festival’s monthly Cars and Coffee in Pinehurst.

“I found it in Pennsylvania. A man had started restoring it and had it taken completely apart,” Zimmerman said. “And he gave up. It was on two saw-horses in a barn with parts in the attic and boxes and boxes of miscellaneous parts.”

He rebuilt the 1963 Morgan by himself and said that he “prefers backroads” to highways.

Pinehurst resident Larry Postlethwaite bought his black supercharged Jaguar 14 years ago for $110,000. He is also a member of BATS and prefers “Sunday drives.”

“The rims were an option at $6,000,” Postlethwaite said, “Probably my last car.”

Pinehurst resident Joe Mannuci won Best of Class in Rockingham’s 2020 show for his El Camino Conquistador.

“My wife enjoys it, and it’s all about that,” Mannuci said. “We go to Rockingham a lot and drive through Carthage. It’s a lot of fun, and that’s all I can say.”

Fayetteville resident Jamie Johnson drove his father’s black 2012 Bentley and said, “It’s a toy.”

Fayetteville resident Craig Harmon drove his 2008 BMW and said that it is an everyday car.

Kevin Heimbaugh drove his 1929 Ford Model A all the way from his home in Cary and said that he drives it for fun. It has a flathead 4 cylinder and said his father restored it 15 years ago.

Pinehurst resident and SMF Vice President Chris Smith drove his 1991 Dodge Stealth he purchased when he was 16 years old.

Pinehurst resident and SMF President Marvin Waters drove the 1974 yellow Corvette Stingray that his father had recently gifted. It is fully restored and won National Senior at the Antique Auto Club of America.

“Mayor John Strickland came out and thanked us for bringing our people out for coffee each month,” Waters said about the mayor’s “seal of approval.”

Feature photo: Duane Barlow and his 2020 McLaren on Oct. 4 at Sandhills Motoring Festival’s monthly Cars and Coffee in Pinehurst.

Article, photos, and videos by Sandhills Sentinel Journalism Intern Stephanie M. Sellers.

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