Veteran, new members prepare for 41st Beldenville Car Show
When Shawn Spriggle was about 7 years old, he clearly remembers an old car being put up on a semi trailer for advertising for Norm Gilbertson's car shop in Bay City.
"I thought it was such a neat car, I wanted to get one myself," Spriggle said.
Nearly 25 years later, Spriggle bought his 1958 Edsel in North Carolina when he was stationed in Virginia in the Navy. He bought the classic car in 2012 and was part of a car club in Virginia before he returned to the area, where he knew he wanted to join another one.
Spriggle participated in the Beldenville Old Car Club Show last year, and became a member of the club this year. His Edsel is a unique car, which many younger people don't recognize, according to Spriggle.
"The older folks know what it is," Spriggle said. "It's known as the biggest flop of that era. It had paddle shifting on the steering wheel, which was way early for it's time."
The 36-year-old is one of the newest and youngest members of the Beldenville Old Car Club, which will be celebrating its 41st annual car show on July 22. John Losgaard started the club in 1977 with Jerry Radke, and the group grew to over 20 members in the first couple of years. The club currently has about 35 member families, which means about 70 or 80 people are in the club.
"It was really active in the 1970s and 1980s, and we helped a lot of other clubs get started," Losgaard said.
The club has a wide variety of good, older cars and membership. Losgaard said they don't go to as many car shows around the Midwest anymore because about half the membership doesn't have road-ready cars for those kind of trips.
Losgaard currently owns a 1966 Ford Ranchero, which he bought about three years ago. He used to own up to about 14 Model A Fords that he used to buy and resell, five of which he restored. Today he only owns the Ranchero, which he had been looking at for years before he found a good deal on one in Lake City. Losgaard is especially proud of the reputation the car show has gained over the years.
"The show is northwestern Wisconsin's largest one-day car show, and it's a full ground," Losgaard said. "We've had people from as far as Texas ... they've heard it's a good event, and we reach out to cars within about a 150-mile radius."
The show has 16 classes, and many local clubs and businesses have breakfast and lunch for sale on the grounds of the Pierce County Fairgrounds. Admission is $5, while those 12 and younger can get in for free. There is also a car corral, farm toy show, swap spots and live entertainment to keep people's attention while they experience over 700 cars descending upon Ellsworth.
Gates will open at 8 a.m. on Sunday. For more information, find them on Facebook @BeldenvilleOldCarClub.