Customs, cool cars, and classics
On a warm Saturday morning, around 150 cars lined the back lot of the History Center, including convertibles, custom jobs, classics, Model Ts, and automobiles from every decade in history.
The event, in its fifth year, helps to raise money for the Steele County Historical Society, specifically for the restoration and preservation of the historic Gus’ Station, which once resided in Ellendale.
“There was a service bay attached to Gus’ Station, and we are going to create a building that is going evoke that image,” Historical Society Executive Director James Lundgren explained. The service bay will allow the Historical Society to showcase some of the historic cars they own, including a 1919 Dodge Bros. Touring Car.
Gus’ Station has a rich history within the county. “It was built in 1931 and dispensed Phillips 66 Gas and Mobile and Standard Oil products. Although it had several owner/operators, Gus and Hilda Jacobson ran it for many years until it closed in the 1980s,” Lundgren said of the historic landmark.
“The preservation project became a reality through the efforts of the Ellendale Historic League and the Steele County Historical Society and there was a ribbon cutting in August of 2014,” Lundgren explained. “It was originally down in Ellendale and it was moved up here and the Historical Society is very happy to have it as part of the Village of Yesteryear.”
During the event, those who wanted photos in front of the historic station were able to do so before getting their cars lined up for the public to take a look at and learn about some of restoration that went into these likewise historic artifacts.
The oldest car was a 1910 Sears and Roebuck Buggy owned by Don and Martha Pauley of Clear Lake, Iowa. The couple took Best in Show last year with a 1912 Maxwell automobile. “We’re the third owners of the Sears and it was restored by the second owners,” Martha explained. The couple owns five collectible cars and her husband and his brother handle any work that needs to be done on them. “It’s kind of like potato chips, once you start you want more,” she quipped.
At the end of the show, the award winners were announced, including top 15, three for best in show, and a people’s choice winner. This year’s best in show went to Dave Gertz from Waterville and his restored 1949 3100 Chevy.
“We just got the interior done this spring, and we got it on the road last year,” Gertz said. He has owned the car since 2010. “It took us eight years to get it built. When we bought it, it was a pile of parts. We bought it from a guy up in New Prague who had torn it apart 25 years before and decided he never wanted to finish it and so he piled it in the corner of his dad’s garage until his dad sold the farm and we bought it.” Gertz also owns a Cutlass Supreme 72 Convertible.
After the awards were given, those who wished to were able to drive down to Hope for further celebrations at Spurgy’s Bar and Grill. The major sponsors for the event were the Hope Creamery and Tri M Graphics.
This year’s second and third place Best in Show winners were Terry Hansen for his 1956 210 Chevy and Rod Brown for a 1970 442 Oldsmobile. Michael Schlueter took home the People’s Choice award for his 2002 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 3.