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Classic car event draws motorists to the DECC

Keeping a 46-year tradition alive was the spirit shared by the Northland’s classic car owners at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center on Friday.

More than 150 cars were on display, along with parts for swapping and classic neon clocks tick-tocking for the start of the Peerless World of Wheels Motorhead Madness show.

Owners polished their cars, met other owners and shared the personal stories behind their treasured cars.

Michel Haltli had a small copper lantern and a picture of her dad and uncle next to her shiny, black 1923 Chevrolet Touring convertible, which she inherited 15 years ago when her dad died.

“My uncle had this car, then my dad and now me,” Haltli said. “I’m determined to take good care of it.”

This event is akin to the official start of spring for Haltli. She was happy to here after going through a rough winter.

“It’s like a fresh start for me; I love this event,” Haltli said.

Haltli hasn’t been able to drive the car in three years, which is why she’s eager to be out and about on the road.

The 90-year-old convertible is broken, and “I’ve had trouble getting it fixed,” Haltli said. “It only goes 20 mph, so it doesn’t do well in the winter. That’s why I’m pretty excited to be out driving it this summer.”

Jesse James is very passionate about his deep chocolate brown 1973 Dodge Charger. He was going for a ‘70s theme and put newspapers, vinyl records and antique toy cars around his vehicle.

“I love this event. It’s always a good time, and I’m always meeting new car lovers,” James said.

James participates in several car shows a year. He said he would quit his job if he could just to focus on his car and the shows.

“I love my car to pieces,” James said. “It is always turning people’s heads.”

One of the good memories James shared about his car is that it brings his whole family together.

“It’s a family tradition to ride in my car,” James said. “I brought my daughter home from the hospital in it 26 years ago, and I even let my 4-year-old grandson ride in it.”

The event runs through Sunday.