Every classic car is a piece of art with a unique history and story.

The 1962 Ford Convertible Galaxie 500 Sunliner on display at this year’s Wild Rice Days Auto Show sponsored by Grand Timber Bank had a particularly interesting past. Owners Don Carl and Laurie Peterson Carl explained Don’s father had gifted him a ’62 Galaxie 500 Sunliner in 1969 for his high school graduation. Four years ago, Don found the same make and model car online and purchased it.

The Sunliner was in need of much TLC. Don, who previously owned a body shop, worked on the restoration, along with his close friend Jason, in a pole building in Belle Plaine. “It was a team effort,” said Don. Once completed, Don pulled the car behind the couple’s motor home to South Dakota for his 50th class reunion where it was enjoyed by his classmates. This was the first time the Carls had entered a car in the Wild Rice Days Auto Show.

The Thermos bottles on display in the back seat of the car also have a history.

They belonged to Laurie’s grandparents, who passed away 30 years ago. She recalls them taking these Thermos bottles on road trips along with her grandmother’s homemade biscuits made into bologna sandwiches. When Laurie came across them, they still contained a bag of sugar cubes to be added to the coffee for a road trip. “The cubes were in perfect condition after all those years!” exclaimed Laurie.

“Every time Laurie looks at the Thermos bottles, she thinks of a different story,” says Don. “I was so excited they were still intact and worked,” added Laurie. “They are so much fun and bring back so many memories.”

Laurie has been coming to the area since she was two years old because her family had a cabin on Wilkins Lake in Palisade. The Carls have been together 10 years and moved from Lake Minnetonka to Palisade full-time a few years ago to take care of Laurie’s father. The couple has two large garages, one of which Don has converted into a body shop. Laurie has been a flight attendant for 41 years.

The Ford Galaxie is a full-size car built for model years 1959 through 1974. The name was used for the top models in Ford’s full-size range from 1958 until 1961, in a marketing attempt to appeal to the excitement surrounding the Space Race. For 1962, all full-size Fords wore the Galaxie badge, with “500” and “500/XL” denoting the higher series.

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