Where the cars areBefore Spirit Valley Days, Wednesday night car shows were common around Duluth. Make that unofficial car shows.
Before Spirit Valley Days, Wednesday night car shows were common around Duluth.
Make that unofficial car shows.
“For quite a few years, a bunch of us would get together in local parking lots and just talk cars,” said Tim Leland, the former owner of Leland’s Spirit Valley Auto Body and organizer of this year’s Spirit Valley Days classic car show. “It was a no-name kind of thing.”
The impromptu shows had been going on for a few years when Spirit Valley Days planners wanted another night activity. This was when the Wednesday night car shows became an official part of the neighborhood celebration.
“The hardest part of doing a car show is finding parking spots,” Leland said. “We just adjusted our scheduled and became part of Spirit Valley Days. It worked out.”
Leland was seen in the 1999 Spirit Valley Day parade, driving his jet-black Plymouth Prowler in tribute to the Duluth Police Department with then police Chief Scott Lyons.
“I just love cars,” he told the Duluth News Tribune then. “I’m a collector and I thought it was quite a thing that Chrysler could come out with something new to satisfy the whims of a street rodder like me.”
Past shows have had more than 300 cars at them, making the show one of the biggest gatherings in the Northland.
“We like to have all types of cars, anything really. Newer cars are starting to be designed to look like old cars, so we have those mixed in with the old ones,” Leland told the Budgeteer.
This year’s Spirit Valley Classic Car Show will be held at 5 p.m. in the Spirit Valley Center Parking Lot (K-Mart). It will be one of the activities happening on Aug. 2. Along with the cars, there will be live music, food and vendors.
“The early birds come around 4 p.m. usually. They are the retired people who get into cars. Soon, all ages are there. People just sit around the parking lot and talk cars while trying to keep people from getting too close,” Leland said — a reminder that attendees should ask first before touching.