Blast from past back

Autofest car show brings up great memories, looks into future

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt This 1956 Ford Victoria owned by Stan Hanson was just one of hundreds of classic cars at this year’s Autofest.

NEW ULM– After a two-year detour, the Autofest returned to the Brown County Fairgrounds this weekend.

The Autofest was last held in 2019 due to the pandemic. The 2020 Autofest was set to be the 20th annual show. Club organizers decided to call this year the 20th annual show.

Despite the two-year delay, the Autofest was able to shift back into tradition without issue. Vehicle registration was as high, if not higher, than 2019. Car enthusiasts brought vehicles from all across the state including Lake Crystle, Hutchinson, Prior Lake, Mankato and Brainerd.

Autofest Club member Lee Knauf was pleased with the turnout on Sunday. One of the impressive aspects of the show was the variety of vehicles that part of the shown. Vehicles of every make, model and year were present at the fairgrounds.

On the south end of the fairgrounds, a maroon 1927 Model T was parked next to a new blue Rivian electric truck.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Hundreds of unique and classic vehicles lined up at the New Ulm Autofest Sunday. This was the first Autofest in three years, and car enthusiasts made the most of the event’s return.

The Rivian raised many questions from spectators, as it was the only truck with a trunk under its hood. The all-electric truck has a quad-motor drive. Each wheel has its own motor. The vehicle is also capable of getting 300 miles on a single charge.

The Autofest even had British representation. Vickie Tambaornino brought her red 1960 Triumph TR3 to the show.

“It took me 20 years to get this vehicle,” Tambornino said.

The TR3 is a rare vehicle with less than 10,000 estimated to have survived.

Tambornino said her favorite part of the vehicle are its sleek lines. The doors have a unique design, and it comes with three types of tops, allowing a driver to accessorize as needed.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Classic automobiles from all over Minnesota came to the Brown County Fairgrounds for the 20th annual Autofest.

Autofest was a bit of a homecoming for one 1941 Plymouth. The vehicle belongs to Willis and Kristine Runck. Willis’s grandmother won the vehicle during the Aug. 1940 Brown County Fair by purchasing a $1 raffle ticket.

His grandmother did not have a license, but his father was able to drive until 1953. The vehicle has been passed down through Runck family for 80 years. It was maintained to look as good as the day it was won.

In addition to the hundreds of vehicles at the show, Autofest brought in hundreds of spectators. Not only was it the first Autofest in three years, but it was also the best weather the Autofest has experienced in recent memory. No rain was forecast and a steady breeze kept the fairground cool.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt The 1955 Ford F100 is a classic all on its own, but with an almost early model of an Indian motorcycle in the flatbed, its a priceless artifact of history.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Two “rat rods” built by Ken Linberg of Lafayette returned to Autofest this year. The rat rods always standout for the rusty finish and menacing grills.

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Vickie Tambornino stands with her pride and joy, a 1960 T3 Triumph.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper?


Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today