By Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Despite participation being slightly down, this year’s Rags to Riches ride meant just as much to those who followed in the King’s tire tracks.
The classic car ride up old Highway 78 to Memphis commemorates the ride Elvis’s parents took to Memphis in search of big-city riches.
For the past five years the Tupelo Automobile Museum has re-enacted the ride, taking the same path that made Elvis the King and earning him a King’s fortune.
Every year during Elvis week, dozens of classic car enthusiasts, this year 100 to be exact, polish up their priceless machines and fellowship as only Elvis fans can.
Allen McDaniel is curator of the museum. He said the whole idea started as a way to generate a buzz about the museum, which has a car owned by Elvis on display. But it has turned into an event all of its own.
“We just were thinking let’s do it for a year and see what happens, and five years later we are still going strong,” McDaniel said. “The crowd is a little bit smaller because of some other events in Memphis that we are competing with this year but it is still a very good turnout.”
Mitchell Reeves and his wife Gloria joined the ride in his classic Mustang, or “his baby,” according to Gloria Reeves. This is their first year to participate in the ride.
“We love cars and we love the King, so what better to do on a nice Saturday afternoon?” said Mitchell Reeves. “We had some friends that made the trip last year and really enjoyed it, so we decided to just jump in line and go. We’ve visited the museum several times and always enjoy looking at all the nice old cars that used to be nice new cars when we were growing up. This is how I like to spend my Saturdays.”
The ride started at the museum and ended up in Holly Springs at George Poteet’s farm, where the riders got to view his private car collection.
McDaniel said the museum plans to continue the Rags to Riches ride for as long as people are interested.