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Sun and cars shine for show

Beth rickers/Daily Globe Street rods are lined up Saturday in front of Spomer Classics & Museum, 322 Oxford St. in Worthington.

WORTHINGTON -- It wasn't just the vehicles that were shining Saturday at the Car Show & Shine at Spomer Classics & Museum in Worthington. The sun also came out for the occasion -- adding a special sparkle to the event that featured classic cars from throughout the region.

While many of the cars and their owners routinely show up every year for the show, there were a few newcomers in the crowd. Clair Steiner of Sioux Falls, S.D., brought a vehicle particularly fitting for the Memorial Day weekend -- a red, white and blue Corvette, which he calls the "Private Malone Edition."

"'Riding with Private Malone' is a song by David Bell, and I became friends with him about a year ago," explained Steiner, who recently moved to Sioux Falls from Chillicothe, Ohio. "He signed it on the inside."

Retired from the U.S. Navy, the Corvette has always been Steiner's favorite model of automobile, and he's owned 11 of the cars over the years.

"It was my dream car when I was a little boy," Steiner said. "I always watched Dinah Shore, and she'd give away a miniature Corvette every week on the show. I sent in postcard after postcard after postcard trying to win one. My first ride was a '65 Corvette, and we lived on a gravel road. I said, 'I've got to have one of those.' My first one was a '63 split window -- burgundy. When I came back from Vietnam, I saved every penny up to buy it. It rode like a tank. "

Also making a debut at the Spomer show was "The Crusher," a recently restored early '70s Camaro, owned by the Leisinger family of Hartford, S.D. The final work on its restoration had just been completed on Friday. It was partnered with "Scar," a 1967 Camaro painted a vibrant orange.

"When we were modifying it, it had so much metal work done on it, so there were scars all over it," explained Scar's owner, Karen Leisinger, about the unusual moniker. "When we would call to check on it, the guy who was doing the work would say, 'I just put another scar on it.' We also decided it was going to leave scars on the asphalt."

Leisinger originally had her heart set on a brand new Camaro, but in testing one out, didn't like the way it fit. So they modified the '67, and now she races it in autocross events, such as an upcoming race in Loveland, Colo.

Spomer Classics & Museum owner Marv Spomer was delighted with the sunshine and the turnout for an event that has become a traditional part of the Memorial Day weekend in Worthington. His impressive collection was featured earlier this year on a Twin Cities television station, generating interest in the event from an even larger region.

"We have booked quite a few tours since then," said Marv, who was busy pointing out some of the newest additions to his museum, including an official Chevrolet bubble machine.

"I don't think there's too many of these around," he said, as the machine burped out bubble after bubble. "They were used at the new car shows in Detroit when they brought out the new models in the '50s. Just like Lawrence Welk."

On the Net:

www.spomerclassics.com

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at http://lagniappe.areavoices.com/.  

(507) 376-7327
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