Run to the Rapids
Three blocks of beautifully restored classic cars on Main draw a lot of attention.
The 35th annual Run to the Rapids car show was held Saturday in downtown Park Rapids with muscle cars and restored hot rods on display. The event draws hundreds of people and gives car and truck enthusiasts an up-close look at classics like GTOs, classic cars and trucks of all makes and models spanning decades of Americana.
The annual event in Park Rapids is sponsored by the Northern Knights Car Club, which began here in 1982.
Club member Mike Van Guilder came to the show four years ago and bought his 1957 Chevy he had on display Saturday. At that time, four years ago, Van Guilder wasn't looking to buy a classic car but that changed when he saw the red-and-white, two-tone Chevy.
"All my life I've wanted a '57 Chevy. It's what I learned how to drive on. It's what I took my test on. It was my buddy's car. I loved it," Van Guilder said Saturday as he visited with folks admiring the classic.
One couple who stopped to talk to Van Guilder told him when they dated this was the car they had.
"They dated and he proposed marriage in it," he said. "And he said it was the same color. But his was a four door, not a two door. It's amazing, isn't it?"
Car club guys like Van Guilder say they hear a lot at these shows how people will say things like, "Oh, I had one of these when I was younger. I wish I would have kept it."
He said back then he didn't think too much about keeping cars either. And people now don't usually think about keeping the cars we drive today.
"Classic cars, if you look at all the people that own them, if you go up and down this street, I bet you won't find two of them that are under 50 years old. The only ones now that are younger are ones that inherited them."
Van Guilder lives in Badoura Township and enjoys attending events like the Run to the Rapids.
"People in car shows are all really friendly, and they want to talk about their car and other cars," he said. "They love to talk about cars. It's nice finding out things about the nostalgia."
Corky Albrecht owns a little duece coupe. He's the president of the Northern Knights Car Club and said they had about 150 entries this year, including club members' cars at the show. He and club member Ken Smith sat with other organizers tent and said they were pleased with this year's attendance. The club picked up four new members this weekend.
Asked if there were any particular cars that really stood out at this year's show, the car guys were reluctant to single anything out.
"We don't go there," Smith joked. "I like '32s, the next guy doesn't."
They did point out a national award winner at Saturday's show — a 1935 4-door Chev Phaeton.
"We're happy with the event and we're looking forward to next year. We'll keep it going," Albrecht said.