About 30 drivers in the St. Cloud Antique Automobile Club rumbled into Pease the wet morning of Oct. 7, where a crowd of locals waited to welcome them and their assortment of classic and antique cars.
Director Ray Maier said the club has about 400 members on its mailing list, and they get together several times a year to drive their old classics together and reach a fun destination. Saturday, the members were headed to Hinckley, where the city was holding a fundraising pig roast for the fire department.
Maier said he scouts out and calls ahead to potential destinations, and Hinckley was more than accommodating. When the event planners heard the car club would be coming with their classics, they decided to throw another pig into the coals and make a day of it with their guests. Maier said it worked out well since the classic autos would add to the fundraiser, and the event gave the car club something fun and helpful to do while in town.
Maier said he was scouting out a good route to Hinckley and knew he’d arrived somewhere special when he pulled into Pease. He browsed the mercantile and noted the town values antiques. He talked to Pease Mayor Diane Kiel about the possibility of stopping in Pease on their tour. The city welcomed them warmly with homemade pie and ice cream as well as reserved parking. Boy Scout Troop 19 helped set up and break down plus had flavored popcorn available for sale.
As most of the members agreed, planning timely bathroom stops during the tours is of the utmost importance. Geographically, Pease worked in that way, too.
Maier said the car club is nicknamed the Pantowners, which hearkens back to the St. Cloud-based Pan Motor Company that produced Model A touring cars. He said the club includes all makes and models of automobiles 30 years or older.
At Saturday’s meeting were everything from antique and classic cars to hot-rod muscle and refined elegance in an old Riviera, Bel-Air, Corvette, trucks, Mustang, Fairlane and many more.
Ron Ploeger of Milaca said he was a member of the club from about 1970 to 1985. He enjoyed looking at the cars and said he’d sold one of his classics over the summer, a light-tan Bel-Air.
John Sahlstrom said he circled through town early that morning in his everyday truck. It had been raining and he didn’t know if the car club would be coming as planned. A little time passed and the rain stopped, so Sahlstrom went back home and got his classic – a 1952 Ford Customline V8 with a Ford-O-Matic (automatic) transmission. While he’s not a member of the car club that visited, he said it seemed like an appropriate occasion to bring and show the all-original classic he bought in Minneapolis years ago.