Back to the 50’s

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It’s been a while since I have been to a really good car show. As a kid, it seemed like our family went to a car show just about every weekend.  My father always enjoyed rebuilding old cars (you can see his latest project here), so when he asked me if I was interested in tagging along to one of the Midwest s biggest car shows, “Back to the 50’s”, I eagerly accepted. It was a great opportunity to re-connect with my father, enjoy some truly remarkable works of art, and get some great photos.  The event was hosted by the Minnesota Street Rod Association,  at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. I had forgotten how big these car shows can get –  this one had more than 11,000 cars registered. The weather was perfect and the line-up of cars to get in the gate was impressive!

The most intriguing aspect to me (which wasn’t around when I was a kid) was the concept of a Rat Rod. Apparently this is a new category of hot rods where essentially the goal is to make your hot rod as customized and rusty as possible. They definitely weren’t the most eye-appealing displays, but they were, nonetheless, very unique and fun to look at! Rat Rods were only the tip of the iceberg as proud owners were eager to display and talk about their beloved cars. Chip Foose, of the TV show Overhauled, was even on hand signing autographs and drawing personalized pictures for fans. A replica of the Ghostbuster Ectomobile, or Ecto-1, a 1959 Cadillac,  was on display as well. It was a four wheeled version of the Sturgis motorcycle rally!

If you haven’t been to this car show and you live anywhere relatively close I would highly recommend it…even if you aren’t a “car” person! Here are a few more images from that day.

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Click FS for full screen mode (Esc to exit full screen), or SL for slideshow.

If you are a car buff more automotive pictures can be seen in my automotive gallery.

Thanks for reading!

1940’s Getaway car

If someone asked you if you wanted to drive your grandfathers first car, what would you say?  Would you want to drive it?  Is your grandfathers car still drivable?  Luckily for me, I can answer yes to all of these questions!  Not only is his first car drivable, its’ in prestine condition!

My grandfather, Glen McLean, passed away in 1992 long before I could even drive.  However, I can recall playing around in my grandfathers shed watching him tinker around like it was yesterday.  Often I would try to sneak up on him to startle him.  My hiding spot before springing…behind this old car, a 1940 Ford Coupe.  Most of the time my efforts were all for naught, however a few times I was successful. When successful at startling him I would spend the rest of the day running from the garden hose!!  Enter Grandma…who always signified the ultimate safe zone!  : D

Around 1998 it became my moms goal to restore the 1940 Ford Coupe, which was in relatively good condition all things considered, to its original glory.  She was in luck – my father was willing and more than capable of performing the task.  We secured a tow rope to the rusty frame and towed the ‘her’ home.  I was allowed to sit in the weathered and torn front passenger seat.  Little did I know I would eventually get to sit in the drivers seat one day.  Over the next 2 years I was able to observe the restoration process and see this piece of our family history return to its glory.  It is truly remarkable watching a project like this come together.


Fast forward to the present day…my fiance and I are planning a wedding and she inquires about a limo for transportation after the ceremony.  With a smile on my face I asked her to entertain the idea of using the ‘family’ Ford instead.  To my delight, not only was she excited about the idea, so were my parents.  On Memorial Day weekend this year, Barbara, my fiance, and I got an awesome surprise.  My parents decided to take the old Ford for a Sunday drive to the family cabin in Northern Wisconsin so Barbara could see it for herself.  It was the highlight of the weekend!  It was also an opportunity for me to utilize my love of cars and passion for photography.  I was able to showcase not only my grandfather’s pride and joy, but also my father’s hard work and my mother’s determination.  All that aside, this October, Barbara and I will get the distinct pleasure or driving off into the sunset to begin our new life together in a piece of family history!  How many people can say that?

Thanks for reading and feel free to check out more of my automotive photography here.