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New car club hopes to promote community fun

Sunlight bathed the candy-apple red truck. The 800 hp motor stood a full foot above where the original hood would have been. The stainless steel of the engine was immaculate - no grease or grime was in sight. The 1956 Ford F100 was certainly not a work truck; it was definitely a show vehicle.

"I bought it from a guy in Lake Minnetonka," Tracy Iverson, an auto mechanic, said proudly. "A buddy and I fixed her up; I just used the cab, doors and frame."

Ed Fazekas, owner of Sportsman's Bar and Grill in Somerset, stood next to Iverson and admired the truck.

"I've had older cars before, but I haven't had any for a while," Fazekas explained. "Tracy has won several awards at car shows. Didn't I say it was a beautiful truck?"

Iverson and Fazekas have taken their interest in cars to a new level. They have formed the Apple River Cruizers Car Club, and are hosting their first annual car show on August 2 in Somerset.

"It's something I've always wanted to do, but never had the knowledge about how to get it going," Iverson said. "Ed helped get me in the right direction."

"We originally wanted to be part of the Pea Soup Days, but since it was in June, there was no way we could get this worked up in time," Fazekas said.

Iverson said they settled on the first weekend of August because there aren't any other local car shows at that time.

"Roberts, North Hudson, River Falls, Prescott, St. Croix Falls, Osecola. . . they all have car shows but not any near the Somerset/New Richmond area," Iverson said.

"Somerset has tubing, but we wanted to add something else that was a fun, family event that would bring people together in our community," Fazekas added.

Currently, the car club has met twice and has about 10-12 members. The car show, meanwhile, has about 200-250 entrants, according to Fazekas.

The car show will be held at Village Park Saturday, Aug. 2 from 8-3 p.m. There is a $5 registration fee and the trophies will be awarded at 2:30 p.m. Every registrant will receive a coupon for a $5 steak and eggs car show special at Sportsmans - dash plaques will be available to the first 50 registrants.

There are 15 categories of vehicles, ranging from convertibles to street rod-1948 and older. However, Fazekas said there may be other vehicles on display.

"We had a guy say he had an 'old boat' that he wanted to show - I don't know if it's wooden or what - but we told him to go ahead and bring it down," Fazekas laughed. "We want to make this fun."

In addition to the car show, they will hire a DJ and have door prizes. They even invited the Somerset Chamber of Commerce to sell concessions at the event.

"We wanted to help them out," Fazekas said. "We thought it would be a good fund-raiser for them too."

Would the Stillwater bridge being out of commission put a damper on the event?

"It could," Iverson admitted. "But I've talked to a lot of guys who said they would just go the long way through Hudson to come."

As for the car club, the men have grand ideas.

"I think it would be neat to do something each weekend at Village Park, where everyone gets together to look at the cars," Fazekas said. "Kind of like North Hudson's car show."

"After the car show, I hope to have a cruise to Barron County, or go to Rice Lake for a car show, or tour restoration shops," Iverson said.

The car club's activities are still up in the air, the men admit, while they focus on the car show. Fazekas said since it is the club's first show, they want to do it right.

"We were trying to look for something nice to do for Somerset," Fazekas said. "This would give people a chance to see others they don't see very often - kind of like a family reunion."

"This is one way we can give back to the community," Iverson said.

For more information about the Apple River Car Cruizers Car Club or Car Show, call Iverson at 715-410-0334 or Fazekas at 715-760-1093.