The family-friendly event runs weekly through the warmer months, and draws a gamut of automobiles. “You never know what you’re going to get.”
At a recent Anoka Classic Car Show, Eric Foslien’s 5-year-old son, Charlie, slept in the back seat of his dad’s ’69 Camaro.
He might have been worn out from all of the excitement; he definitely wasn’t bored. “He really gets into it,” Foslien said. “He sits back there and says, ‘Do a burnout, Dad,’ ” like they’re at the racetrack.
The show takes over part of downtown Anoka just behind the County Government Center on Saturday evenings throughout the warmer months. It’s been going for more than 10 years and is a family-friendly affair that brings together vintage-car enthusiasts of all ages.
It’s relatively laid back, with no awards and no judgments, said Foslien, who lives in Ramsey. “No one here is going to say, ‘that’s not a real Super Sport,’ ” he said of his replica hot rod, which has been outfitted with modern-day equipment.
Many people bring lawn chairs and coolers and stake out a regular spot, where they can get a good view of the cars, hang out and mingle with other car buffs.
Although the number varies from week to week, the show can accommodate as many as 525 cars at one time, said Brad Holmbo, an event organizer.
Every week, the types and ages of the cars run the gamut, from the prim-looking Ford Model T to the flashy hot rod. Besides the fact that all of the cars were built before 1981, “you never know what you’re going to get,” Holmbo said.
To get into the show, car owners pay $3 — the fee is waived for Anoka residents — and the event is free to spectators.
The idea is to keep it affordable, Holmbo said, adding that the proceeds go to several local charities.
On a nice night, several thousand attendees come through.
Foslien acquired his Camaro after placing an ad on Craigslist. “It’s probably one of the most sought-after muscle cars today,” he said.
He calls it “Killer Bee,” a take-off on his own nickname, Killer, which stems from the fact that “I can bench press a decent amount of weight,” he said.
The bee part relates to the car’s paint job: Daytona Yellow with black stripes.
For Foslien, who is fighting sinus cancer, the car provides a kind of therapy, he said.
“It’s about the thrill of building something with your own hands and the love of driving fast,” said the self-taught back-yard mechanic.
Phil Markuson, who lives in Waconia, agreed. Several years ago, he set out to buy a 1974 Ford Gran Torino, the car he fell in love with after watching reruns of the TV show “Starsky & Hutch.”
Instead, he wound up with a ’66 Ford Fairlane GT, nearly identical to the car his Ford mechanic dad once owned. Markuson remembers seeing pictures of his dad’s car growing up, and hearing about the modifications he made to it. So, when he stumbled upon the Fairlane, he jumped at it.