Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Cruisin’ the car show on Central July 17, 2014

ONCE UPON A TIME, I could have cared less about car shows. They held no interest for me. Or so I thought.

A scene from Faribault Car Cruise Night during Heritage Days.

A scene from Faribault Car Cruise Night during the community’s recent Heritage Days.

But then a few years back, I tagged along with my husband to a local car show, camera in hand, and I was hooked.

It’s not the make or model or engine or such that typically draws my interest. Rather, it’s the art of the vehicles and my ability to view a car show with a photographer’s eye.

The red grabbed my attention.

The red grabbed my attention.

 

This rustic Chevy wagon rated as my favorite of the evening.

This rustic Chevy wagon rated as my favorite of the evening.

Here it was the message which drew my focus.

Here it was the message which drew my focus.

From the back of the Rat Rod (above photo), I moved to the front, crafted from a tractor.

From the back of the Rat Rod (above photo), I moved to the front, crafted from a tractor.

And then I moved in even closer to examine the freaky skull atop the Rat Rod.

And then I moved in even closer to examine the freaky skull atop the Rat Rod.

I find myself seeking our hood ornaments, the curve of a fender, the shine of a gleaming bumper. Anything artsy. Or unique. Or interesting.

I'm ever conscious of shine and reflections.

I’m ever conscious of shine and reflections.

Awhile ago, a Chicago ad agency contacted me about using a car show image of a rippled, shiny bumper. The offer for my photo, one of six being considered for a nation-wide ad campaign for a car wax company, was wildly substantial. In the end, mine was not chosen.

But this experience taught me to value every photo I take, even those shot at the car shows I once dismissed.

All ages participate in and enjoy the car show.

All ages participate in and enjoy the car show.

It’s not only the photo op aspect I enjoy, though. It’s also the opportunity to stroll along the street of my historic downtown in the gloaming of the day, chatting with friends and car collectors alike.

As darkness falls, vehicles begin to leave.

As daylight fades, vehicles begin to leave.

Talking cars. Talking family. Talking while the sun fades and Johnny Cash rumbles “Ring of Fire,” his throaty, husky words bouncing between buildings.

BONUS PHOTOS:

I like the style and the colors. So classy.

I like the style and the colors. So classy.

Details: a toy Mustang in a rear window.

Details: a toy Mustang in a rear window.

A snazzy GTO.

A snazzy GTO.

Custom upholstery matches the exterior paint striping.

Custom upholstery matches the exterior paint striping.

A 1965 Plymouth Baracuda purchased in 1964 and still owned by the original owner.

A 1965 Plymouth Barracuda, center, purchased in 1964 and still owned by the original owner.

Leaving...

Leaving…

Leaving the show and driving southbound on Central Avenue through historic downtown Faribault.

Leaving the show and driving southbound on Central Avenue through historic downtown Faribault.

FYI: Faribault Car Cruise Night is held from 6 – 9 p.m.  the third Friday of every month during the summer with upcoming shows set for July 18 and August 15. The event is held on Central Avenue in downtown Faribault.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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19 Responses to “Cruisin’ the car show on Central”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    One of the first, if not the first, post I came across of yours years ago was such a car show series of photos. I remember it well. Love that red-wheel photo! I really think that that ad campaign missed out when your photo wasn’t chosen!!!!!

  2. Dan Traun Says:

    Car shows are an outstanding photo opportunity all around. Shinny everything; the reflections you noted. There is much potential for great people watching too. Cars of yesteryears seemingly had a more soulful style than the designs of more recent years. I’ve heard the same said of music from older generation. I agree with that notion as well.

  3. I am like you I go to capture the art of the cars – the chrome, the colors, the unique, etc. Great Captures – thanks for sharing 🙂 Happy Thursday!

  4. Cyeseye Says:

    I think it’s about time I did my first car show. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Jackie Says:

    Looks like you had a blast capturing the “art” in old cars 🙂 My Dad does lots of car shows with his restored 1964 mustang, I have yet to go to one with him….maybe I should!

  6. Thread crazy Says:

    We love car shows also; never know what you’ll find at the show. If those car could talk – think of the tales they’d tell us! Our town is a central meeting place for car shows; MG’s, Studebakers, Lincolns, etc., they all come through each year.

  7. Beth Ann Says:

    Car shows are a lot of fun to go check out even if you don’t know a bit about cars. The owners are always so proud and willing to share bits and pieces about restoration and the love of all things cars. I have met quite a few characters at these events as I am sure you have.

  8. Sartenada Says:

    Post to my taste. These cars are very popular in Finland and there are many summer meeting where they can be seen. Thank You presenting them.


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