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Car show dedicated to Frazee Fiero fan who died of cancer

Tyler Shipman's 1986 Fiero GT was on display Saturday during the Tyler Shipman Memorial Car Show in Frazee. Fiero enthusiasts from across the country helped Shipman restore the car before he died in February. Dave Olson / The Forum

FRAZEE, Minn. - This town's annual summer celebration is called Turkey Days, but on Saturday, it became a Fiero festival.

About 50 examples of the 1980s-era Pontiac were out in force as part of the Tyler Shipman Memorial Car Show, named for the 18-year-old rural Frazee man who died from cancer in February.

In November, as his illness began to slow him down, Shipman used an Internet forum to ask for help restoring his 1986 Fiero GT.

Fiero enthusiasts from across the country responded.

Some of those who pitched in last November returned to Frazee on Saturday.

They included Stuart Lowery, who drove a 1987 Fiero from Texas to attend the car show, and John Panicci of Florida, who took a plane.

Panicci recalled the whirlwind of activity that transformed Shipman's Fiero.

"We restored that car - right there - in 22 hours," Panicci said, pointing to Shipman's yellow Fiero, which was parked in a place of honor during the car show.

"It used to be white, different engine. We worked nonstop, straight through the night," Panicci said.

Lowery said he understood Shipman's fondness for the Fiero, stating that with its great handling and throaty exhaust, it is a fun car to drive.

"It's a grown man's go-cart," Lowery said.

Shipman bequeathed his yellow Fiero to his brother Carter, 10, and before he died, he bought a red one for his sister, Cassidy, who is 9, said their father, Jay Shipman.

Shipman said he was impressed by the turnout for the event named in honor of his son.

"I'm sure he (Tyler) would have been proud of it," Jay Shipman said.

The car show served as a fundraiser, with proceeds going to the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo.

The Turkey Days celebration continues today with a number of activities, including a parade of cars down Main Avenue starting at 1:45 p.m.

That will be followed by the Turkey Days Parade at 2 p.m.