‘This is the best car show I attend,’ —Dick Lee of Benson
For the second straight year, a morning shower bounced rain drops off the many cars parked along West McQuestion and Baldwin Streets for the 12th annual Ghent Cruisers Car Show as part of Belgian-American Days.
But the precipitation didn't dampen the spirits of the car owners or the throngs of people in attendance in Ghent. “This is the best car show I attend,” said Dick Lee of Benson as he wiped off his white 1957 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight four-door hardtop.
“I probably bring my cars to around eight shows a year and the people here are so nice. They treat you so well and it's just an enjoyable time all around.” Daryl Tobias of Madison took home the Best of Show award for his 1968 Ford Mustang GT.
The People’s Choice award went to Steve and Brenda Mejia of Redwood Falls for their 1956 Willys Rat Rod. “I love that car,” said Shirley England of Minneapolis, who was visiting relatives in the area.
“I usually come here every year just to look at the cars. I really like the old, old cars that I remember seeing when I was young.”
Interested onlookers enjoyed looking into yesteryear at over 100 vintage automobiles, tractors, trucks and motorcycles from all the state, as well as some neighboring states.
The Motorcycle Awards went to Don and Terri Gorecki of Ghent for their 2001 Honda Trike, and Nathan Kesteloot of Minneota for his 2010 HD Road King.
Don Sendon of Marshall was given the Tractor Award for his 1931 John Deere A. “The best part about Ghent is the people,” said Mylan Ray, a longtime DJ and on-air personality from Pipestone who has been the announcer and DJ at the car show in Ghent for many years.
“Plus, the Ghent Cruisers do it up right. It’s run perfectly.”
Ray's voice reverberated throughout the three block area of the car show. Along with playing popular tunes, Ray announced the winners of the car show awards, as well as many door prize winners, trivia questions and more. Lee owns five “show” cars, but he seems most proud of his Oldsmobile Ninety Eight.
“It's the only four-door hardtop that I know of that has a continental kit,” he said, referring to the enclosed spare tire that is positioned on the back bumper.
“I added the kit about five years ago. I really like the look of it. Oldsmobile has continental kits on two-doors, but never made them on a four-door hardtop.”
Because the enclosed spare tire requires some effort to remove, Lee carries another spare tire in the trunk just in case he happens to get a flat tire.
“Yeah, it would take too much time and work to get this tire out,” he said, pointing the enclosed spare. “It's mainly just for show now.”
Lee didn't earn a trophy for his car this year, but that's not what brings him to the various car shows. “I've won a few times, but what I mainly go to the shows because I love visiting with the people,” he said.
“You see a lot of the same people from one show to another. And you get to know the other (car owners) and that's what this is all about.”
Larry Schreier of Tracy earned the Mayor’s Choice award for his 1968 Chevy Camaro SS. The Trivia Contest winner was Steve Mejia of Redwood Falls, while the Big Door Prize went to John VanOverbeke of Marshall.