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Autofest features hundreds of vehicles, spectators

June 28, 2010
By Serra Muscatello Staff Writer

NEW ULM - The Autofest Car/Cycle Show rolled into its 10th year on Sunday with more than 300 vehicles on display.

People bring their vehicles from near and far, according to Autofest Organizers Norman Grathwohl and Loren Gleisner.

This free event offered automobile enthusiasts an opportunity to display their vehicles and allowed spectators to check out cars from the past.

Article Photos

Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
The hood of a 1940 Ford was propped up for visitors to inspect the car’s engine Sunday at Autofest. People filled the parking lot at Mayday Motors Sunday to see more than 300 vehicles at the 10th annual Autofest Car/Cycle Show Sunday in New Ulm. For more photos of this event, go to

The show featured newer models and a chance to test how powerful their motors are by hooking to a chassis dynamometer.

"Every year we try to add something. This year it's the boats and snowmobiles," said Grathwohl, "The National Guard has pedal bikes. ... You race your buddies."

There are about 30 members in the Autofest club according to Grathwohl.

"We're always looking for more (members),"Grathwohl said.

They begin organizing for next year's event soon after the show ends. They plan most of the year to put on the next Autofest.

"We want to thank everyone for coming out," said Grathwohl, "We'd like to thank all our sponsors and businesses. They're vital in making this happen."

Becky Johnson and her husband Bob, who live in Jackson, Minn., said Sunday was not the first time they travelled to the show. They are members in the Black Knights Car Club based out of Estherville, Iowa.

"We've been here before (to the show)," said Becky Johnson, "We like it."

The Johnsons brought a 1956 Chevy sedan delivery vehicle to display at Autofest.

This type of vehicle was originally used by plumbers as their work trucks.

Johnson said they bought the vehicle in Laramie, Wyo., in good shape with no rust. The sedan was previously used in Alta, Texas, as an ambulance.

When the Johnsons got the vehicle it was a faded white color and had the word "ambulance" written on it. It also had holes in the roof where the ambulance lights used to sit.

Becky and her husband have owned the vehicle for about 15 years.

"Bob did all the work restoring it," said Becky.

The entire interior has been redone and the vehicle also got a new paint job complete with paint drops.

Bob is a retired art teacher so the paint drops were symbolic for him.

The car/cycle show event ran from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Maday Motors and Joe's Campers.

The weekend's events actually began Saturday with a poker run/scavenger hunt starting from Maday Motors and ending at Searles Bar & Grill in Searles. The run was a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society.



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