The “Grand-Daddy”, Part 2

Variety, they say, is the spice of life. And variety is just one of the things I’ve always liked about the Sisseton Car and Motorcycle Show. You just never know what’s going to turn up there. After nearly fifty years (this being collector’s edition number 48!) that premise still held true.

So what would you see parked along main street in Sisseton South Dakota on Saturday, June 2? Let me tell you about just a few.

Halfway up the east side of the street, parked on the corner, sat an unassuming turquoise and white 1957 Chevy four-door hardtop. At first glance, you might think the owner could have detailed it a little better. I mean, isn’t this is a car show? A place where onlookers think vehicles are supposed to be spit-shined and glowing in hopes of winning a big trophy? But then you walk around the car and spot a sales invoice in the window. This is no reproduction window sticker from some restoration source. This is the real deal marked “Paid 10-18-57” by the Chevrolet dealer in Webster, South Dakota. Above that invoice is a hand-written note on a piece of paper with a story on it: a story relating how the car was purchased new just prior to a young couple’s wedding, driven to the Black Hills of South Dakota on their honeymoon, and over 60 years later is still owned by the same folks. Something tells me the one in the window isn’t the only story connected with that car. I bet the owners could write a book. How cool is that?

Across the street, there’s a clean, nicely restored ’41 Ford pickup that I’m pretty sure has been in the owner’s family for a long time. I can remember seeing it at earlier Sisseton shows close to 40 years ago. It still looks as good today as it did then, but…. what?? There’s a “For Sale” sign in the window? At that point I’m wishing my wallet had a lot more substance. Here’s a chance for someone to be the caretaker for a real piece of history. A few spaces away sits a 2013 Rousch Stage 1 Ford Mustang in all its Grabber Blue glory, and a nasty latemodel 6.2 litre Camaro rests a few doors down. Now some folks complain about seeing newer cars at events like this, but you know what? Their presence proves that musclecars are alive and well. Better yet, they’re being driven by people a lot younger than me. Bring on generation “next”!


The host club Lake Area Cruisers has talked about some changes that may be in the wind for event number 49 next year, so be sure to keep checking in with the Lake Area Cruisers of Sisseton, SD on their Facebook page.

As cars and their drivers from three states rolled in and out of Sisseton’s main street that day, every one of them came with a story. There’s nowhere near enough time to hear even a small fraction of those stories, but in my view that’s another one of the attractions behind events like this. Look beyond the shiny paint (or lack thereof!), the show signs, the drive-in trays and plastic hamburgers that hang from windows. Look for the stories, the history, the traditions and the new ideas that come with 48 years of cool wheels. And we’ll see you next year!

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