DETROIT LAKES — More than 100 classic vehicles lined City Park in Detroit Lakes for the city’s first DL Cruise Night of the summer on Wednesday, June 8.
The monthly event, hosted by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce, was the first of four scheduled events to be held throughout the summer and drew hundreds to walk the lines of colorful collectibles.
Carrie Johnston, president of the chamber, said the collection of classic cars that showed up for their first event of the year was “simply amazing.”
“We like to be a little chill, and kinda think this just brings a little bit of a chill vibe to Detroit Lakes,” said Johnston. “Just enjoying the park, and the sunshine, and the beach, and everything that we’ve got here. And a lot of these people just park their car, and go out to a restaurant, enjoy the evening, and then come back and just talk shop.”
She also said cars at the event traveled from Fargo, Fergus Falls, Ada, Park Rapids, and other small cities and towns throughout the region to show off their classics.
Two attendees seemed overjoyed with the wide variety of vintage vehicles.
Layton Edwards, or Yorkshire, England, and his grandson, Adler Edwards of Detroit Lakes, haven’t seen each other in more than two years due to pandemic restrictions.
Now, Layton is here, and said the two are making up for lost time. Layton also said there is just something special about these vintage automobiles that mesmerize and he was happy to share in this memory with his grandson.
One of the car owners, Lee Swanson of rural Detroit Lakes, said he got into restoring cars after he retired in the late 1990s.
“It’s a super hobby for anybody,” said Swanson. “After retirement, I was looking for something to do and I had an old pickup, and I started on that one and went from there.”
Swanson is a member of the Midnight Cruisers Car Club and completed the restoration of his 1952 Chevrolet Sport Coupe in 2004. In total, he said he has nine vintage vehicles and decided to take the “old Chevy” out for Cruise Night because it was spending too much time in the garage.
“Some of them I did a total restoration, and some had modifications to them; (the 1952 Chevrolet Sport Coupe) is highly modified and it’s on a whole different chassis and everything, it’s a Caprice chassis,” he said.
Members of the local 412 Lakes Car Club were also in attendance at the event.
Another stand-out at the vintage rally wasn’t a car, but a classic boat.
Hans Tronnes, owner of a 14-foot, 1957 Ole Lind Runabout, and the boat’s restorer, David Selvig of Pelican Rapids, showed off their 65-year-old vessel, which Tronnes remembers adventuring on and around Lake Melissa as a youth. At that time it was owned by one of his childhood friends, George Fevig, who received it from his parents as a 16th birthday present.
“I skied behind it, with all the other kids on the lake, for years,” said Tronnes. “It’s just got a lot of ties to this region, especially Detroit Lakes.”
Selvig said he and Tronnes didn’t want to take any attention off of the classic cars, but, since there wasn’t a boat show in town this year, they wanted to get some public eyes on their classic, wooden-boat restoration.
Ole Lind boats were manufactured in Detroit Lakes for about 60 years before the boat maker finally closed its doors for good in 1973.
Selvig also said, at 76 years old, he didn’t know how many more restorations he would take part in. But, he added, Tronnes came along with “the greatest damn treasure that Detroit Lakes has ever seen in an Ole Lind boat, so I couldn’t help myself.”
DL Cruise Nights are open to anyone willing to make the trip to Detroit Lakes, said Carrie Johnston. The three remaining Detroit Lakes Cruise Nights will be held on:
- July 13 – Peoples Park
- Aug. 10 – City Park
- Sept. 14 – City Park
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