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A bit of nostalgia

Jerry Cline and Don Kingston are longtime members of the local Vintage Car Club, and this 1946 Ford Coupe is one of nearly 250 classic cars that will be on display Sunday as part of the club's 25th annual car show. (Photo by Amy Chaffins)

From shiny chrome to sweet paint jobs, the passion, persistence and detail that go into classic car restoration will be on display in Alexandria Sunday.

The Vintage Car Club's 25th annual Car Show is Sunday, June 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. This year, about 250 vehicles are expected to be on display. The show generally draws a crowd of about 1,200.

Jerry Cline of Alexandria, vice-president of the Vintage Car Club, said the show has become a last-Sunday-in-June tradition.

"A lot of people come out after church to look at the cars and then they'll go to the [Vikingland] band festival," he said.

There will be hourly cash drawings for registered car show participants, plus, two children's bikes will be given away. Also, this year, there will be model car kits available for children to make and 25 trophies will be awarded to owners of outstanding vehicles.


What is the allure of classic cars?

Don Kingston, one of the founding members of the Vintage Car Club, said, "My uncle had a '29 Model A with a rumble seat in it and I just thought I sure would like to have something like that someday. In '55 I picked one up sitting underneath a light pole. I drove it home, out in the country. I was surprised it started up and ran."

Then, in 1970, he started to restore it.

Kingston laughed, "It's a long haul between 1955 and 1970. In 1980 I had it road-ready and I drove it ever since. I've just always liked cars."

On Sunday, Kingston will have two cars on display:  his '29 Model A with rumble seat and '65 Chrysler 300 four-door hardtop.

For most car buffs, the love of classic cars started in their younger years, like it did for Cline. "I've always loved and worked on cars, the old ones especially. I kind of grew up around them."

When he was really young, Cline said he used to play in old cars.

"I always thought that was kind of a treat. When they didn't have wheels on 'em you can steer 'em real easy," he laughed.

"The first car I bought and paid for myself was a 1955 Crown Victoria and I bought that on a car lot in Morris for $75 and that was a rare find; I had to put a motor in it. That's the only reason I got it cheap. It's a passion I've always had, working on old cars. I enjoy 'em."

Cline has restored several cars over the years; his latest is a 1946 Ford Coupe. He worked on that for a year and a half to restore it to the stunningly beautiful, yellow, roaring beauty that it is.


The Vintage Car Club celebrated its 43rd anniversary this year. The first meeting was held on December 18, 1969, with the club officially established in January 1970 with 23 due-paying members.

--The club auctioned off a restored Model A car for its first fundraiser.

--Today, the club has 134 members and welcome more! Meetings are held the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Alexandria. Call Jerry Cline at (320) 762-1204 for information.

Cline said, "It's about enjoying cars and fellowship. It's just like a family."

"Yeah, it's quite a bond," Kingston added.

The Vintage Car Club meets the third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Alexandria. Call Jerry Cline at (320) 762-1204 for details.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

(320) 763-3133