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Classic vehicles featured

Wright County Fair Board invites car club to 'fill the field' near Machinery Hill

By Ed DuBois

The Wright County Car Club has taken part in car shows several times at the fairgrounds in Howard Lake over the years.  So when the club was invited to take the lead as the featured attraction near Machinery Hill at this year's Wright County Fair, club members did not take long to get revved up and ready to go.

Longtime club member "Bondo" Bob McMullen and club president Roger James said they "could have a full field" of 100 or more vehicles at the fair.


Fair dates July 27-31

The 2016 Wright County Fair takes place Wednesday, July 27 to Sunday, July 31.  A Classic Car & Truck Show, which is featuring Ford cars and trucks, is taking place Saturday, July 30, with registration at 8 a.m. and the show scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"The driver of each show vehicle and one passenger will be admitted free to the fair," James said.

The show is open to all classic vehicles.


Familiar with the fair

Troy Beise of the Fair Board was aware of the Car Club because club members had attended the Fair together as a group in recent years.

"We had gone to the fair several years on a weekday as a club," McMullen said.

He recalled that many years ago, the club appeared during concerts at the fairgrounds.  The events were sponsored by KRWC 1360 AM Radio, and Terri Traen was the MC.  The bands that played included Bobby V, Bob and the Beachcombers and the Cadillacs (or members of the Cadillacs).

The concert events did not take place during the county fair, and they were in the early years of the car club.


Club started in 1983

McMullen said the club formed 33 years ago in 1983.  Some of the early meetings were in Buffalo at the Mill Creek Inn and in a meeting room at the county courthouse.

Some of the first club shows involved the Wright County Historical Society and took place in the Buffalo Civic Center and in what is now the Buffalo Community Middle School parking lot  (It was the high school back then.).

Beise was impressed the car club started in 1983.

"That's the year I was born," he said.

McMullen has served as the DJ, Bondo Bob, all those years.

"There's one thing good about the good old days.  I wasn't good, and I wasn't old," he joked.


Memorial Day to Labor Day

Today, the club meetings are held at restaurants all over the county.  Evening meetings are on the third Tuesday of each month.  The most recent meeting was scheduled at the Peppermint Twist in Delano.  Breakfast meetings take place on the first Saturday each month.

Meanwhile, the club is very busy displaying classic vehicles at shows all summer long from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Activities in Wright County include the Buffalo Days Classic Car Show in early June, and the club hosts the Antique Car Run lunch stop at Buffalo High School in August.  This year's Antique Car Run is taking place on Aug. 13.

"Proceeds are donated to youth in Wright County through scholarships, the Buffalo Police Secret Santa Program and the food shelves in Buffalo and Annandale/Maple Lake, which serve families and Backpack Buddy programs in schools," James said.


Top 20 trophies

At the Wright County Fair, trophies are being awarded to the top 20 vehicles, which will be selected by votes submitted by all the drivers of the vehicles on display.


More participation

Beise, who has been on the Fair Board nine years, said highlighting a particular tractor brand or vehicle brand helps draw more people to the fair.  Each brand attracts a new set of tractor or vehicle owners, as well as a new set of spectators.

"We get more people to participate in the fair.  We like participation," Beise said.

Specific tractor brands have been featured at the fair since about 2010.  This year is the first to feature classic cars and trucks.

Featuring or highlighting tractors began when land was added to the fairgrounds near Machinery Hill.

"The featured tractors have helped keep Machinery Hill alive," Beise said.


Distinctive cars

The Fair Board is hopeful that many people will enjoy coming to the Classic Car and Truck Show.

"Older cars are more distinctive," said James.

"With newer cars, you can't tell them apart," McMullen added.

Beise said his family had a 1958 Ford Fairlane on the farm when he was younger.

"I remember it was traded for corn to get through to the next growing season," he said.

He has enjoyed showing some tractors from the farm at the fair.  Now he plans to show a car at the fair, as well.

"I feel I have to participate, too," he said.

Beise added that tractors will be displayed this year along with the classic cars and trucks.

"We will still have tractors.  They are always welcome," he said.

"We have gone through just about every brand of tractor.  Now classic vehicles represent another direction we can go," he commented.


Come and see them

The Wright County Car Club vehicles could be among 100 or more on display.

You are invited to come and see them.

"We like showing them off.  That's why we joined the club," said club member Larry Suhsen of Delano.

Bondo Bob will be providing the music.


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