During our trip to Minneapolis on July, we headed out one morning to Stillman, Minnesota, a town on the Mississippi River, where we planned to have lunch. Rob’s mom, Ione, went with us.
On our way out, we stopped by a vintage car show in a local park. Ione’s neighbor, Mike, keeps his 1956 Ford Galaxy in her garage and in exchange, he drives her to the grocery store when she needs to buy stuff. We were curious about the types of cars that might be at the show. That photo above, by the way, was NOT in the show. But it was so weird looking, with all the astro turf covering it, that it could have been in a weird car show!
After Rob parked and we were walking down a shallow hill to the exhibit area, it occurred to me that car shows, antique or otherwise, aren’t on our usual agenda. In fact, I couldn’t recall the last time I’d gone to a car show. That said, there’s a certain mystique about vintage cars that intrigues me. Who were the original owners? What kind of lives had they lived? Were any of the cars haunted, like Christine, the 1958 Plymouth Fury in Stephen King’s book (1983) of the same name?
The exhibit was small, but fascinating. The windows of the cars were open and you could peer into the vast, pristine interiors that invariably featured HUGE everything. The steering wheels were usually the size of a two-year-old. The seats were leather, the glove compartments could easily accommodate several laptop computers, iPads, and leftover containers from lunch. The back seats were spacious and looked comfortable enough to curl up on and go to sleep.
In this beauty, I could almost see Alfred Hitchcock at the wheel, headed toward the day’s filming of The Birds or 39 Steps or Rebecca.
Here’s an old fire truck – I don’t have any idea what year this is. But it was easy to imagine the firemen riding high on the truck, the tensions rising at it neared the fire.
When I first spotted this 1955 Ford, I texted it to our daughter: Is this Christine?? Goes to show how much I DON’T know about vintage cars.
But it had the same eerie feel as the car in the movie, the hood open like a giant mouth. The guy who stood beside it – who wasn’t in the photo I took – could have been a character from a King novel, a kind of down home sort of man with a quick laugh and strange eyes.
Here’s an old Corvette (I think) with a couple of other cars.
Here’s a vintage Mustang. Years ago, one of my uncles worked for Ford and designed the original Mustang. I think he would enjoy seeing this one:
I have no idea how this truck was used or its year or make. But it’s easy to see it hauling butt on some interstate in the present, loaded up with produce – or artifacts from a UFO crash site…
I think this is Mike’s car, the one that’s kept in Ione’s garage. Then again, I may be wrong, and it may not be a Ford Galaxy at all!
I admit that when we first arrived, I expected to be bored since antique cars are definitely not my thing. But as I walked around, looked inside these beauties, studied what was under the hoods, my imagination began to play with it all. I realized it’s all creative fodder. And, who knows? In a future novel, maybe the ghost of Hitchcock will be driving that big ole black car.