Auto show, Rod & Custom event, on the horizon

For car lovers, this time of year is the calm before the "storm" of the annual car-show season. World of Wheels has come and gone and there's no show on the horizon. Wait a minute, actually it looks like something is indeed approaching and it's not just one show - there are two!

The first, of course, is the the Greater St. Paul and Minneapolis International Auto Show - known to most people simply as the "Auto Show." It takes up its annual residence at the Minneapolis Convention Center for a nine-day run beginning March 21. All of the latest models will be gleaming at automakers' displays, along with some concept vehicles, a few vintage cars and numerous automotive products. A car fan's dream.

But, wait, there's more. Minnesota's oldest car show, the Gopher State Timing Association's Rod & Custom Spectacular, will fill every nook and cranny of the State Fair Coliseum March 28 and 29. As always, the 53rd edition of the show will feature the cream of the crop of our area's best show vehicles. This year's show will also offer a special treat. For the first time locally, spectators can watch a funny car assembled before their eyes throughout the show, then see it fired up on Sunday afternoon. Local enthusiast Ted Guth will do the honors after putting his nitro-fueled car together.