GRANITE FALLS, Minn. – The second episode of Pioneer PBS’s production “WHEELS: Classic & Collections” is now available to stream. “WHEELS: Classic & Collections | 2nd Gear” celebrates the connection that people have with wheels and exposes viewers to the stories behind these classic cars. This special is available for online viewing through the show’s video streaming website: video.pioneer.org/show/wheels and Pioneer PBS’s YouTube channel: bit.ly/WHEELSSecondGearYT.
Pioneer PBS producer and editor Timothy Hale Bakken visited car shops, car runs, car shows and the private collections of restorers and car enthusiasts to hear the stories of several rare wheels.
The special starts out with a look at a 1976 “Starsky and Hutch” special edition Gran Torino. Greg Korfe of Long Prairie talks about how he acquired the car and the story behind it.
Craig Lovold of Spicer is the owner of two very unique vehicles: a 1988 Vixen XC and a 1958 BMW Isetta 300. Lovold said that the Vixen XC is technically an RV, but that his was outfitted slightly differently. “It’s somewhere between an RV and limo,” explained Lovold. Then, he tells the story about his mom’s BMW Isetta. “I’d always kind of kept an eye out for one and thought it would be fun if I could ever find one.” Lovold did find one and he talks about the car’s history and how he fixed it up.
New London is the starting point for the New London to New Brighton Antique Car Run, a 120-mile classic car tour. Vehicles from 1908 or earlier are eligible to participate in addition to single or two cylinder engines, steam or electric vehicles made earlier than 1915. Bruce Van Sloun is the president of the Antique Car Run and explains the history of the run and talks about his 1907 Model S Ford.
In Sacred Heart, viewers will see a 1928 Chevrolet AP National Coach two-door coach, fully restored by Don Korstad. This car was the most popular body style in 1928. Korstad talks about his restoration process and some fun facts about the car: “In ‘28, they came out with brakes for all four wheels. In ‘27 they only had [brakes for] two wheels,” said Korstad.
In New London, Steve Meixner talks about his rare 1912 Hudson Model 33 five-passenger touring car. Meixner talks about the history of the car and special features of the vehicle. Meixner also makes a special pledge to keep all of the parts and paint original.
Michelle and Randy Suter from Willmar own a bright green 1954 Nash Metropolitan named “Sweet Pea.” “It’s definitely a little unique,” said Michelle. “A lot of people ask if it floats like the amphicar, and it’s not. It would sink.” The Suters also own a 1957 AMC Metropolitan named “Ziggy.”
Paul Schaffer from Valley City, Ohio was at the New London to New Brighton Antique Car Run with his 1908 Ford Model S roadster. Schaffer shows off his antique vehicle that he later drove in the run.
Scott Tofte owns Tofte Auto & Sales and New World Savage in Madison. He salvages 60s and 70s antique cars, primarily steel bumper muscle cars.
Each individual segment in “WHEELS: Classic & Collections | 2nd Gear” can also be streamed on the show’s video streaming website: video.pioneer.org/show/wheels and Pioneer PBS’s YouTube channel: bit.ly/WHEELSSecondGearYT in addition to the full special.
If you have a special car you’d like to talk about, head over to the WHEELS Facebook page and share your story. This program is made possible by contributions from the voters of Minnesota through a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
About Pioneer PBS
Pioneer PBS is an award-winning, viewer-supported television station, dedicated to sharing local stories of the region with the world. For more information visit: www.pioneer.org.