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Classics cruise Lake Nebagamon

Members of the Classics by the Lake car club stand beside a lineup of vintage vehicles in the village of Lake Nebagamon Wednesday. The club’s fourth annual car show Saturday is expected to bring about 100 classic cars and trucks to downtown Lake Nebagamon. Proceeds from the event are donated to the community. Jed Carlson/ 1 / 5
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Pick a decade. Chances are, the Classics by the Lake Car Show features a vehicle from that era.

Wednesday, a sneak peek at what these local car enthusiasts have to offer included a 1932 Ford Roadster, 1950 Packard, 1971 Oldsmobile and 1995 Corvette. Lined up in front of the Lake Nebagamon Auditorium, their glossy paint and polished chrome lit up an otherwise gray day.

Classics by the Lake hosts its fourth annual car show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in downtown Lake Nebagamon. The event brings about 100 cars to the village.

Past entries have included a wood-powered truck that used World War II-era technology and an amphibious car that was equally comfortable on land and water.

"We're always surprised by what comes up," said Dan Dulinski, a founding member of the club.

This year, Walt Moss of Lake Nebagamon is expected to bring his nationally-known custom built car and a special Ford Mustang is scheduled to make the trip from the Twin Cities.

Club members hope to pack the village with visitors.

The family-friendly event includes free Matchbox cars for the kids, music, vendors, a 50/50 drawing, prizes and local business specials. All the money raised is donated to local charities.

Last year the event raised $5,500 for the community. Past donations have been earmarked for the Imogene McGrath Memorial Library, Rural Care and Share Food Shelf, village fireworks displays, Northwestern High School's Tiger Manufacturing program and a ballpark shelter in Lake Nebagamon.

For many club members, the biggest question is which car to bring.

"I've got five," said founding member Dick "Hutch" Hutchinson of Poplar. "It's a bad habit."

Although his 1932 Ford Roadster was parked in front of the auditorium Wednesday, another car gets more daily use.

"I've got a '41 Chevy convertible that we drive all over," Hutchinson said.

His 1949 Buick convertible is in the process of getting a new top put on and will just miss the show.

The choice is easier for Gwen Theien of Lake Nebagamon. She's traveled with her Coral Canyon-colored 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air for the past five decades.

Theien's aunt bought it brand-new 60 years ago from Larson Chevrolet. It came with a four-barrel power pack. Ten years later, Theien bought the car from her aunt.

"I bought it in high school," she said. "I had to sell my horse to buy it."

The vehicle packs a lifetime of memories and carries a dose of cool that even younger generations appreciate. Theien's son and daughter-in-law rode in it as newlyweds, waving out the back windows. Her grandchildren love hopping in the coral-colored classic for a ride.

Everyone who enjoys old cars is invited to the show. It's a great spread of cars and a wonderful venue, Hutchinson said.

Jim Larson of Hawthorne said the weather in Lake Nebagamon is generally warmer than the Twin Ports, all summer long. The public beach is a block away from the show; Dairy Queen is even closer. There's a skate park and park within walking distance.

"Families can come and have more of an experience," Larson said. "It's a village."

Although it's free to attend, there is a $10 fee to show a car.

"Everybody's car is welcome, whether restored or not restored," Dulinski said.

Participants can register beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. The first 100 will receive goodie bags and be in the running for prizes totaling $400.

In addition to the car show, Classics by the Lake members take part in various drives and potluck picnics through the year. They clean up a 3-mile section of highway and lend one another tools and expertise along the road to restoration. And they cruise in their classics as often as they can.

"Our cars are really part of our lifestyle here in Lake Nebagamon," Hutchinson said.

Classics by the Lake has 35 members and is seeking more. Members do not have to live in Lake Nebagamon. For information, visit