Car stories keep repeating for Osakis familyWhen one of Fred Julig’s children asks to borrow the car, it’s bound to be followed by the question, which one?
By: Greta Petrich, Osakis Review
When one of Fred Julig’s children asks to borrow the car, it’s bound to be followed by the question, which one?
Julig, a Ford enthusiast, has fixed up and kept six different models over the years, ranging from a 1932 Roadster street rod to a 1971 LTD convertible – each one filled with memories as valued as the vehicle.
1929 Ford Roadster
Complete with a rumble seat, this is the second car Julig ever had. Purchased in 1963, he got the body and frame for a bargain price of $20. This car holds the key to why Fred’s wife, Rose, chooses not to drive any of the old cars.
Early in their relationship, when Fred and Rose were still dating, he encouraged her to switch seats and drive his car. Barely down the road, a young Rose hit the gas and inadvertently steered the car down the ditch, over an approach and back up the other side. Unhurt, he laughingly told her she was a crazy driver. She still smiles today when she affirms she hasn’t driven one of the old cars since.
1971 Ford LTD convertible
Julig describes this one as “pretty much original except for the paint.” He bought it in 1974, when Rose was pregnant with their third child. Years later, that daughter, Monica, used it for her wedding car.
Even though he had the seats upholstered in the 70s, Julig plans to get new seats one of these days.
“You have to keep fixing them up,” he said. “They don’t have to be fancy, but they wear out and it’s fun to change things.”
1957 Ford Ranchero
This car used to belong to his brother Bob, who passed away in 1999. Before Fred painted it, it was light blue and white with a light blue top. He now refers to the car as “Bob,” as it’s filled with many memories of its former owner.
1932 Ford Roadster
Unlike his other, original cars, Julig pulled out some tricks when he put together this street rod in 1976. Unlike the original, it has a 5-liter, 4-speed and a shiny layer of paint.
1929 Ford Model A
Used as transportation for many afternoons out gopher hunting, the fact Fred has this pickup is sheer luck and a lot of talking attached to some old-school trading.
Rose’s uncle Matt had the original vehicle. While talking with his father-in-law one day, Fred learned there was an old Model A body sitting on a rockpile at his place in Urbank. As Rose tells it, Fred was in seventh heaven. Had it not been mentioned he would never have found it.
Fred found the pickup box in Villard. As the story goes, he was doing some work in the Villard area, he saw the box – in terrible shape – and contacted the owner, a lawyer. A carpenter by trade, Fred offered to swap the steel box for a wood box that he would make.
This pickup pulls a few more precious memories along since it was the first car their youngest daughter, Jessie, drove, and it was the last ride for Rose’s dad – a cherished memory relived every time she sees the truck.
1957 Ford Sunliner convertible
While it needed work, Julig drove this car home after paying $50 for it in 1968 from cousin Willy Nordland.
It was in black primer at the time and he put in a new interior. Fred proudly drove the car as he whisked away his new bride after their wedding. The car was eventually painted red.
Forty-one years after their wedding, the Julig’s youngest daughter, Jessie, will enjoy cruising off into the sunset with her new husband on their wedding day this August.
The stories go on
Julig said while he’s put a lot of time into the cars, he keeps most of them in a “needs work” state – having more fun because of it.
“If they get too nice you worry,” he said. “You don’t get upset if the kids scratch it.”
Rose agrees, remembering how in the early years Fred would take his boys out for a drive. Fred would let them steer while he ran the gas. Of course, that often meant giving the kids a surprise by hitting the gas. Even though they were fine, they always reported back to mom, “Dad tried to kill me.” Rose couldn’t help but laugh out loud when, years later, their grandson came back from a ride with grandpa shouting, “Grandpa tried to kill me.”
While he could have jaw-dropping perfect classic cars, filled with more money than memories, he chooses the memories.
“It’s all about having fun,” he said. “That’s something you never forget.”
The Osakis Review and the Echo Press are owned by Forum Communications Company.