1969 Chevelle is in a class by itself.
Tradition mixed with all things new, exciting and, specifically, rare at Saturday's 18th Crookston Classic Cruisers Run to the Park, which attracted approximately 260 vehicles classic and antique cars and hotrods to Central Park.
On the tradition side, consider Paulette Hince of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Jeff Glanner of Minto, N.D. It's believed they are on the only two to participate in all 18 Cruiser events hosted in the park, and in Hince's case, she's even carried on by driving her 1962 Pontiac Parisienne from Canada for the four years since her husband, Norm, passed away.
"Norm and Freddie (aka Brian Anderson of the Classic Cruisers) were so close, and Freddie was so sad when he passed," Hince said while relaxing next to her Pontiac on a warm and breezy Saturday afternoon in Central Park. "But this show, it's worth it to keep coming."
Hince takes her Pontiac to a show here and there in Winnipeg, but the Crookston show is the only one that she travels to. And she drives the Pontiac herself. "Norm, he believed trailers were for horses, so that's why we always drove the car down," Hince said, adding that the Parisienne is the only car she and her late husband ever showed.
It was around 18 years ago in Warroad that Hince said she and Norm met Anderson, who said they just had to bring their car to the Crookston show. "You couldn't say no to him," Hince said. "Then we became such great friends, and that's pretty much what it's all about."
As for Glanner, he has several vehicles that he shows, but on Saturday he brought his 1960 Chevrolet pickup, the same vehicle he brought to the Crookston Cruisers show 18 years ago. He doesn't travel to as many shows as he once did, Glanner said, mostly because gas so so expensive these days.
Of the 1960 Chevy, he said the furthest it's ever been driven is from Minneapolis to North Dakota, when his dad ordered it brand new, right off the assembly line in Minneapolis and drove it home. "It's a short box, which was a rare pickup style for a farmer to own back then," Glanner said while seated next to his mom, Bernice Glanner, under a canopy in the park. "I learned to drive in that thing."
He didn't take his actual behind-the-wheel driver's test in the Chevy, though, like his brother did. "He flunked it, too," Glanner laughed. "The gears kept locking up on him!"
One of a kind Chevelle
The car that probably generated more buzz in Central Park belongs to Bob Marvin of Warroad. It was a 1969 Chevelle, black in color with a red stripe down the side. But it was a Central Office Production Order (COPO) Chevelle and only 323 were manufactured. But only one of those 323 was built with a 4-speed transmission, making it a "one of one" vehicle, and it was a surprise entrant in Saturday's Run to the Park.
Todd Waller of Adams, Minn. brought Marvin's vehicle down from "The Shed" in Warroad after chatting with Anderson in Warroad earlier in the week. "He wanted me to bring a car and I said I probably would," Waller recalled. "I asked him which one was his favorite, and Freddie said 'You know which one's my favorite.'"
But Anderson didn't think Waller would ever bring his favorite, the COPO Chevelle. Waller surprised him with it Friday, and that evening Anderson was able to even take it for a spin. "Oh, it's something else," Anderson said Saturday.
"It's the rarest rarity of Chevelle you're ever going to see," Waller said.
And it was right there for hundreds of car enthusiasts to see Saturday in Central Park.