The Car Craft Summer Nationals at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds just keeps getting bigger and better each year. This year we heard that over 5000 cars and something like 30,000 spectators were expected. All three days of the event had spectacular weather and huge crowds. The cars were the best ever and that included the ones brought by Muscle Car Restorations this year.
Wave after wave of spectators and owners flowed through the MCR display to see what everyone was looking at. The unintentional but still exciting theme for the display was “Black and Convertible”. Of the six cars in the display, three were black and three were convertibles and one was both.
The event was extra special for Archie Duiker as this was the weekend that he was to take delivery of his newly finished ’68 Hemi Road Runner. Believed to be only one of twenty Hemi Road Runners shipped to Canada that year, Archie purchased this car as an eighteen year old in 1971. It was his family car and weekend racer for most of the years since then until he brought it to MCR for a full restoration two years ago. During the eighteen months that it took to complete the actual restoration, Archie was able to stay in touch with the cars progress on the MCR web site.
When asked what he thought about the car seeing it for the first time at the show, he exclaimed that, “I’m really happy with the final results.” I came to MCR because, “I found real attention to detail and accuracy as to the correctness of the car.” Even though one of the spectators remarked that, “The black paint on that car is so deep it’s like a giant mirror. You could shave in that thing.” Archie added, “Muscle cars were built to be enjoyed. This is not going to be a trailer queen.” Watch this video including an interview with Archie Duiker
One of the convertibles was Steve Pachl’s big block ’69 Dart GT. This was intended as a mostly stock looking restoration but a few minor improvements were made. One suggestion that Steve is glad he took from MCR was the installation of mini-tubs. He said that they “worked out very well fitting a larger tire in an A-body.
Watch this video including an interview with Steve Pachl
Jerry Neumann lives a little west of Chicago, found his car in a barn in Iowa, and brought his ’68 SS RS 396 Camaro convertible to Chippewa Falls, WI for a compete makeover. He drove his A/C equipped car for about ten years before he decided he needed to either sell it or fix it.
This one also started out as a stock restoration but “changed completely along the way”. Jerry commented that the staff “was fantastic, very helpful – always doing whatever I wanted to do. They built a great car for me.”
What MCR did was build a healthy 502, coil over suspension, Baer brakes, and a 700R4 trans into an otherwise stock looking very black body and interior that “drives phenomenal”, gets better mileage than expected, and is “a fun car”. Judging from the number of people who stepped off the sidewalk to take a closer look at it, he’ll be attracting a lot of attention wherever he goes.
The one full on racecar in the group was a ’65 Satellite that Mike Creglow has owned for 17 years and had been working on himself. “As time went on, I realized that I didn’t have the time or the know-how to do it. I’d been working on the car almost seven years before I decided that I was running out of life and I had to get the car done.
Mike brought the car to MCR completely disassembled and then after it was stripped, he went back to see what needed to be done to restore the car correctly. Why did Mike pick MCR over all the shops that he looked at on both coasts and in the Midwest? “I looked at the quality of the paint and the quality of the workmanship. The craftsmanship of the people at MCR was really what sold me on going there. I’d seen a lot of their cars at car shows. The overall quality and attention to detail is really what lead me to MCR.”
first place trophy at his first major car show proves it looks good but how does it go? Is 10.74 @ 127MPH good enough for his first testing day at the track? Mike believes that there is “maybe another ¾ of a second and another 10 MPH in it yet.” Watch this video including an interview with Mike Creglow
Easily the most visually striking car that MCR brought to Car Craft was John Stein’s ’72 Hurst Olds Pace Car convertible. One of 130 convertible pace cars built, this is something that you don’t see at every car show. The stark white paint accented with the Indy 500 lettering on the door and reflective gold accent stripes makes quite a visual statement and drew a lot of people in for a up close look at something many had never seen in person before. It generates a lot of questions.
John’s goal was a faultless restoration down to the last detail. He wanted the car to be the best example of its kind in the country.
“What drew me to MCR was the high quality and craftsmanship and I wanted the car to be perfect and the car is perfect. [MCR] did an awesome job, just unbelievable. What I was impressed with the most was your research on the car – to do it right.” Watch this video including an interview with Jon Stein
That’s what everybody wants for their car – to be done right. For 20 years now, that’s what MCR has been doing for every single customer. Going by what our customers and the onlookers had to say about the cars at this years show, we are still succeeding at attaining our original goal.
Click here for photographs of Archie's Roadrunner
Click here for photographs of Mike's Satellite
Click here for photographs of Jon's Oldsmobile
Click here for photographs of Steve's Dart
Click here for photographs of Doug's Challenger
Check out our 2006 Car Craft Summer Nationals coverage also!
7/20/07: 10 AM to 6 PM.
7/21/07: 8 AM to 6 PM.
7/22/07: 9 AM to 5 PM.
Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1561 Snelling Ave N
Saint Paul, MN 55108
Phone: (651) 642-2200
View a map to the event
Map of the fair grounds
The blue arrow below shows where MCR can be found at the event. (Same location as last year)