1959 convertible car

This 1959 Ford Galaxie convertible made an appearance in the 2017 Father's Day Car Show, courtesy of Phantoms Motor Club member Arlan Vollan. Republican Eagle file photo

With the Midwest’s record breaking heat wave this week, classic and antique car owners have been dewinterizing their sweet rides and preparing for car show season.

Phantom’s Motor Club in Red Wing is having its annual Father’s Day Car Show from 10 am. to 3 p.m. June 20 on Third and Bush streets.

But wait.

What if you don’t have a classic car to show off and are interested in owning one?

Figuring out how to build or buy a classic car can seem like such a daunting task -- full of research and regulations -- that you push off and might never do it.

However, if you know the basic information including the classic car definition, where to buy or build in the Midwest and how to register for collector plates, it won’t seem so intimidating.

Let’s break it down.

Classic car definition

The Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles defines classic cars as vehicles with historic value. 

According to the DMV, your car can be considered in the collector’s class for the following types of vehicles:

  • Pioneer vehicles that were manufactured prior to 1936

  • Classic vehicles that were built between 1925 and 1948

  • Street rod vehicles that were built before 1949 or made into a replica of this type of vehicles

  • Collector’s item vehicles that are older than 19 years or vehicles older than 9 years if a limited number was produced

The only stipulation is that all vehicle types above will be considered in the collector’s class if they are strictly driven to and from events -- they are not everyday cars.

Where to buy

There are many places across the state and the country that sell classic and antique cars, however the ones below are all locally owned and operated.

  • Hooked on Classics located in Watertown, MN. They have cars for restoration purposes from $3,000 to fully revamped for $70,000.

  • Ellingson’s Motorcars located in Rogers, MN. They mostly sell restored cars in excellent condition ranging from $10,000 to $180,000.

  • Cody’s Classic Cars located in Stanley, WI. They have cars that need work from $5,000 to fully restored for $55,000.

Where to build

Similarly to the locations for purchase, the places below that offer restoration and part services are all owned by Midwesterners. 

How to register

To obtain antique or collector license plates, owners must submit a set of documents and pay fees, either in person, through their local DMV office or by mail, according to the DMV of Minnesota.

The same applies for Wisconsin car owners.

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