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The car doesn’t have shoulder belts, power steering or air-conditioning. It only has AM radio (it picks up the oldies, which he likes). While riding in the car, “You’re glued to the seat. It’s quick, loud and fast,” he said.
When he brought the car home to his dad, “This awakened in him something that had been dormant for 40 years,” Markuson said. “At one point, he had the fastest car in town.”
‘Road Runner Cindy’
Nine years ago, Cindy Christensen, who lives in Isanti, was the only female participant in the car show.
When she first showed up in her ’68 Plymouth Road Runner, “I would hear, ‘How nice of your significant other to let you drive out with that car,’ ” she said.
In reality, “I don’t let my husband touch my car,” she said, and to drive home the point, a sticker on the car says, “This isn’t my husband’s car.”
Nowadays, Christensen, a.k.a. Road Runner Cindy, is still in the minority, but she’s learned to navigate the male-dominated arena.
It helped to volunteer at the car show, and others in the area. “That’s how I got to know so many people,” she said.
For the stay-at-home-mom, immersing herself in this tight-knit world has been life-changing. “The people are like extended family,” she said.
Unique set of wheels
Bob Schubert of Andover has owned 90 cars through the years. He enjoys the mechanical side of the hobby. He usually fixes up cars and then sells them, but he can’t bear to part with his ’67 Chevy Nova Super Sport. It was made the same year he graduated from high school.
Nowadays, cars are “all alike. Kids have nothing to grab onto. Before, they were all unique,” he said.
Champlin resident Ron Gulden, whose ’51 Chevy Sport Coupe was parked alongside Schubert’s car near Third Avenue N. and Van Buren, chimed in: “Nobody’s ever going to say, ‘Back to the 90s.’ ”
Jim Knowlton of Brooklyn Park summed up how many of the car owners seem to feel about their wheels: His ’63 Ford Galaxy 500, a shiny Glacier Blue and Corinthian White model, “gets babied quite a bit. It only goes out on nice days. It sits in a warm garage.”
The funny thing is, he said, “if I’d owned it when I first got married, it would’ve been transportation. I would’ve put a canoe on it to go camping. Now, I don’t even like dust on it.”
Anna Pratt is a Minneapolis freelance writer.