HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – A South Carolina teen has decorated his car with 2,800 Christmas lights — something he’s done every year since buying a 1972 Volkswagen in 2017.

The most visible car in Horry County is sitting in a driveway in the Avalon neighborhood in Carolina Forest and it belongs to 19-year-old Niko Morgan. He found his car for $5,000 on craigslist.

In October it’s a pumpkin, and this Christmas it is “Santa’s Buggy.” Morgan covered the car in 2,800 Christmas lights and powered it with the help of a 300-watt inverter.

“The elderly people, they see like a part of their past because of how old the car is, and to the kids it looks like a toy rolling down the street and I think that’s cool,” Niko Morgan said. 

The first year he started with only a few hundred lights and every year his goal has been to add as many lights as possible, as well as unique elements to the car.

Morgan added 1,000 new lights to his car this year. Part of the reason being he wanted to create even bigger smiles after going through a second year in a pandemic.

Morgan’s mom, Simone Morgan says that people of all ages enjoy watching his car coast through different neighborhoods every year.

“People will come up to me and say you have such an amazing and creative son,” Simone Morgan said. “He does all of these different things and I don’t know how but he always figures it out.”

Niko Morgan is a college student at Horry Georgetown Technical College. He plans to transfer to Clemson University with hopes of pursuing a degree in automotive engineering. 

Niko Morgan’s glowing car caught the eye of the Horry County Fire Rescue station 39. One night he followed them into a Kroger parking lot while they drove around with a waving Santa. He went there to say hi, but left as the newest member of the station 39 parade.  

And for the last two years, he joins them three nights in the month of December following behind them, putting smiles on people’s faces and making kids’ jaws drop.

“My favorite part about the experience is seeing everyone’s reactions,” Niko Morgan said. “I think it is so cool that I can spread Christmas joy just by driving around in my car.”

The Santa car also competes in drag racing. Niko Morgan took the car to race at a drag strip in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Next year for the holidays he wants to see if the multi-skilled car can handle 3,000 lights, and is already thinking of different ways he wants to decorate the car next year.