Classic Cars roll into Detroit Lakes over Labor Day weekend
The evening event featured: Impalas, Firebirds. Challengers, Cameros, Mustangs, a 1934 Ford Cabriolet Roadster, a 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback, a 1976 Smokey-and-the-Bandit-style Pontiac Trans-Am, among other models from various years. The final Detroit Lakes car club show of the summer will be Sunday Oct. 4.
Members of the Wiseguyz Car Club held a 36-car show of classic and custom built vehicles in downtown Detroit Lakes on Sunday.
The event was an opportunity for attendees to chat with the car building enthusiasts, and for the cars builders to talk about the modifications to their classic machines with other hobbyists.
Detroit Lakes-native Nick Steinhaus, 39, founded the Wiseguyz Car Club in La Crosse, Wis., in 2011 with six original members. The group was successful enough in La Crosse that father, Terry Steinhaus, 65, and brother Chris Steinhaus, 34, both from Detroit Lakes, started the Detroit Lakes chapter of the Wiseguyz Car Club in 2012, which currently has more than 15 members.
"We have people show up here from Fargo-Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Mahnomen, and Perham, " said Terry Steinhaus, founding member of Wiseguyz Car Club of Detroit Lakes. "They come from all-around and some guys hit more than one (car show) in a day or a weekend."
You don't have to be a member of the club to bring down your car and show it, according to Terry Steinhaus.
"We're open to anybody," said Terry Steinhaus. "Any cars, motorcycles, we don't care what they got, rat rods, anything, as long as you like to come around and (talk) about cars."
Nick Steinhaus also said the Wiseguyz weekend car shows are more inclusive than some other shows because they don't include any restrictions on years, makes, or models that are a part of the bigger car shows.
"The big thing we found at our shows was, you had the kids with the tuner cars showing up," said Nick Steinhaus, "you had the older guys that had the old hot rods, and they were all getting together, and they were all talking about cars. Everybody was getting along and it's kind of a social group."
Nick Steinhaus said his group has seen an increase in attendance for these weekend car shows since Back to the 50's and Street Machine Nationals were cancelled in Minnesota.
"You get the right weekend and you get 60 to 70 cars," Nick Steinhaus said. "We're in a bigger town, La Crosse is a little bigger, and we've had over 100 cars at a couple of our (events)."
Nick's mother, Karen Steinhaus, 63, of Detroit Lakes, said her sons have learned a lot about cars from their father Terry, who has worked in auto body for a majority of his life. However, Terry has now begun asking the boys to help him trouble shoot his own car problems.
"(Our boys) do a good job," said Karen Steinhaus. "Chris built a rat rod in our front driveway in a month, the first one he built. Right in our driveway, he wasn't in a garage, or nothing, he just built it."
The two car clubs awarded their best-in-show trophies to Corey Smith, 50, of Fargo, N.D., for his 1934 Ford Cabriolet Roadster, and to Keagen Block, 24, of Detroit Lakes, for his 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback Shelby-clone. The trophies represent bragging rights for their owner and were made of various car parts from around the Steinhaus garages.
Block said that he and his brother, who entered a 1971 Chevrolet Nova, almost didn't make it to the show because trouble getting their builds started.
"We just got (our cars) going this morning," said Block. "But, (winning) feels good. I feel like a winner."
The car shows are sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Dairy Queen, which gives a free mini-Blizzard to every owner who brings a classic, or modified, car to the show.
The Sunday show marked the second-to-last classic car night in the Lakes Liquor's parking lot off Holmes Street; the last show will be Sunday Oct. 4.