MARSHALL - There was a story behind every one of the cars, trucks and motorcycles lined up outside the Marshall Runnings store on Saturday.
Getting to share them was a big part of the experience as the Shades of the Past Car, Truck and Bike Show this weekend.
"It's become a family thing," said Fulda resident Jan Wenking, telling the story of the Ford Fairlane her family brought to the show. Wenking said the car belonged to her husband Roy Wenking.
Photo by Deb Gau
Steve and Paul DeSmith take a look under the hood of a Shelby Cobra on display at Saturday’s Shades of the Past Car, Truck and Bike Show.
"He had it when he came home from the service in 1962," Wenking said.
Subsequent generations of the family have pitched in money and elbow grease to help restore the car and keep it looking new.
The gathering of restored vehicles and classic-car lovers this was organized by the Shades of the Past car club, and included events from a cruise around town to a muffler-rapping contest on Saturday afternoon. Entrants in the show came in from around Minnesota, as well as northern Iowa and eastern South Dakota.
A lot of the displays Saturday had a personal connection for their owners.
"I had one just like it when I was just out of high school," Harold Thaden said of his restored 1959 Bel-Air. Thaden and his wife Paula Thaden decked out the car with plenty of 1950s-era accessories, including a vintage drive-in movie speaker.
"It's just fun," Paula Thaden said of going to car shows.
Bill Crawford of Waterford, S.D., said his display of a restored Cadillac hearse was appropriate for him.
"I have a funeral home," Crawford explained. "I told a friend if he could find a '57 Cadillac, I'd restore it."
Crawford's friend did find one, all the way out on the western side of the state. The hearse was in pretty rough condition to start with, Crawford said. "It's sort of a work in progress," he said. However, Crawford said he has had people request to have the hearse at funerals.
Visitors to the car show said it brought back memories for them, too. Camera phones were everywhere, as people took snapshots of their favorite vehicles, or maybe gathered ideas for projects of their own.
"I'm kind of into the 1970's cars, like Chevelles," said Sandy Steenhoven, as she walked along the rows of cars.
Some of the displays at the show were less about restoration and more about creativity.
"It's always fun when there are kids at the show," said Ruthie Hendrycks, as a group of children peered inside the "rat rod" she and her husband Scott Hendrycks built. She said kids really seem to respond to the custom car, which was decorated with "caution" stickers, old road signs and other unusual materials. It was meant to look grungy, but Hendrycks said the rat rod was streetworthy - she and Scott drove it all the way from New Ulm to Marshall.
Based on the reactions of young car show visitors like Josh and Ethan Hastings, there were plenty of new fans in the making.
"It's amazing," Ethan Hastings said of the machines on display.