Archived Story

Making memories

Published 10:00am Monday, July 20, 2009

With music from the 1950s playing, the 20th annual Memories Car Club Show during Ellendale Days featured more than 70 classic vehicles.

Kevin Hamor, secretary of the Memories Car Club, said the club consists of families from the Ellendale, New Richland and Waseca areas.

There is an $8 entry fee for the show, but Hamor said some of that money goes to a scholarship given to a New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva High School graduate each year.

Each participant in the show can vote for his or her 10 favorite vehicles, and the top 25 vehicles receive a plaque. Then there are prizes for a grand champion and for a club choice, chosen by the car club members.

“It’s a way of connecting with people of similar interests,” Hamor said.

“You do get a cross section of people, but they’re all obviously car enthusiasts,” said Jerry Thompson, car club president.

Randall and Nancy Pedersen brought a 1965 Lincoln Continental convertible in pewter gold, which is a rare color.

“She goes quite fast. It’s like driving your living room couch down the highway. It’s real quiet,” Randall said.

The convertible, which Randall bought for $3,000, is all original, but he said he’s spent nearly $100,000 restoring the vehicle: $10,000 to paint the car and $12,000 on restoring the interior. The process took three to four years.

“We’re still married,” he joked.

The Pedersens are from Apple Valley, and their daughter, Nici, and her husband, Kevin Gray, live in Ellendale.

The top is hydraulic, and he said it’s difficult to get parts for that year, but many other people who restore similar cars buy two Lincolns and use one for parts.

Randall said the show in Ellendale is a more relaxed, fun car show than other shows. At some shows, Randall said he has to polish the convertible for much of the show, and he has to promote the car more.

“Now I go for fun,” Randall said. “I used to have people in it. The ice cream A&W tray. People in it, a dog in it. I used to play the whole thing.”

The car show was a family event for many people like Larry Ille and his daughter Stephanie Johnson, both from Albert Lea. Ille brought his cordovan brown 1963 Chevy Impala Super Sport with a white vinyl top. He put an all-new interior in the car himself, and he said he bought the material from California and redid the interior in about month.

Johnson parked her viper red 1938 Chevy Master Deluxe next to her father’s Impala. The car has been chopped four inches, and Johnson said, she bought the car a few months ago at Back to the ‘50s, a car show at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

Johnson’s sons, Johnathan and Matthew Fethke, attended the show as well.

Larry and Carol Walburn of Waterville brought a 1931 Ford Model A Street rod. Larry said he’s still in the process of painting and restoring the car, which now has a 1968 Chevy pickup engine. The car is magenta with black cherry highlights, and Larry has added gold and red sparkle flames.

Carol said her favorite part of the show is socializing with the other car owners.

Larry and Carol don’t limit the use of their car to special events like car shows. They often drive the car when they go out to eat.

“You can’t go anywhere without someone stopping to talk to you,” Carol said. “Even like going to a gas station, you can’t get away from a gas station.”

The two also take the car on a 300-mile cruise on their own through Minnesota each fall.

“It’s a lot of fun. We enjoy our summers,” Carol said.