No time or money to go on high dollar vintage rallies like the Colorado Grand or California Mille? If so, the “Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally” just might be for you! It’s a two day vintage car tour on the back roads of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The 2nd annual Walleye 1000will be upon us before we know it. This year’s route will take us South-East from the Twin Cities along the Mississippi and into Wisconsin for the evening, then back into Minnesota for our return and finisher’s banquet on Sunday evening.
Open to interesting classic, sports and grand touring cars, foreign and domestic, model year 1993 and older.
Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, 2013
From the patinated to the pristine, from works in progress to completed projects, blue chip collectibles to vintage fright pigs, all are welcome to participate in the old car hijinx and debauchery that will likely unfold during the 2nd Annual “Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally” on the scenic back roads of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Entry fee is $249 per vehicle (2 person team, driver + co-driver). Overnight accommodations, finisher’s dinner, event T-shirts for all participants and a bunch of other event swag is included, this is a laid back car event on a budget!
Contact Event Organizer: Dave Tobin | (651) 216-1265 | dave ( at ) daveknowscars.com
Visit the website for event info, sign up for email updates and download a Participant Application.
By all accounts the Inaugural Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally over the back roads of rural Minnesota and Wisconsin was resounding success! At about 9:00am Saturday morning, June 9th 15 cars, all built prior to 1991, lined up at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Shakopee, MN with drivers and co-drivers ready for a cruise. Some event photos below… a link to the entire Flickr feed photo album is at the bottom of this post, over 130 event photos.
After receiving their rally packs full of maps, route guides, event T shirts, rally decals and other assorted swag teams departed for the +/-250 mile trek East into Wisconsin, along the St. Criox and Missippi Rivers, North through some of the small towns in Wisconsin, lunch in Somerset and then back into Minnesota, around Lake Mille Lacs to a great group photo op and refreshment stop in front of the huge, fiberglass Walleye in Garrison, MN on the shores of Lake Mille Lacs. After this brief stop it was on to the Brainerd lakes area for the night.
The finisher’s dinner was held at the “Tavern on Grand” in St. Paul… a restaurant famous for, of course, Walleye! There was a brief awards ceremony after dinner. John Elliott and Beth Kraus received the ‘Journey is the Reward’ commemorative plate for their wonderful attitude and easy going manner… They were driving their 1968 Fiat 124SS with their big German Shepard, Bandi, sitting in the back.
There was a gift certificate to an online auto parts store that was going to be reserved for the participating car that left its team stranded by the side of the road… amazingly, there was not a single mechanical failure by any car on the rally. In the end, the gift certificate was awarded to the team driving the 1961 Jaguar MKII 3.8 , Terry and Bill Jacobs… Terry keeps his Jags in tip top condition, but I figure he’ll need the parts eventually, so he got the gift certificate! Dave Bortner and Michelle DeMist were recognized for selflessly following the group (in modern air conditioned comfort) in the Chevrolet Suburban “Safety Vehicle” towing a (fortunately) empty car trailer, just in case one of the rally participants needed a tow.
The “Spirit of the Walleye Award” was given to the charming team of Ron Engle and Ulrich Graefe driving a 1960 Borgward Isabella Coupe. Ulrich came all the way from Germany to run the rally with his brother in law, Ron. These guys brought one of the oldest cars on the rally, could be seen taking pictures at just about every scenic overlook point, they had a honk a wave and a smile every time you drove by them along the way… they really embodied the spirit of the event… fun, casual and laid back, ‘The Spirit of the Walleye’.
I started thinking about planning a rally like this almost two years ago, August of 2010. I see what vintage car enthusiasts do in other parts of the country, in California, rallies like this are all over the place, there are a couple here in the Midwest, when I couldn’t really find a two day, overnight event, something more than a drive to lunch then back home, the idea for the Walleye 1000 was hatched.
I’d like to thank the people who really helped make it happen… David Steingas (the driver of the beautiful dark blue 1951 Mercedes-Benz 220S cabriolet) was a huge help when it came to making the route and figuring out the stops along the way. We spent about 14 hours in the car on a single Saturday back in late March planning both day’s routes! He also suggested the dinner venue, Bar Harbor Supper Club in Niswa, MN. This is a restaurant not to be missed if you’re in the Brainerd Lakes area.
Dave Bortner went above and beyond to secure a car trailer and tow it behind his Suburban all weekend.. there in case we needed it, thankfully, it remained empty the whole time.
Experienced rally participant and planner, John Elliott, in his red Fiat, had lots of good tips and information for me during the months leading up to the rally regarding routes and attractions that might be of interest to the group.
Also, a big thanks to John Drewitz, who ran the rally with his son Ryan in their 1989 BMW 325i Convertible who had a lot of great information during the planning phases due to his experience running similar rallies in Northern California with his other son Anthony. John helped with all sorts of logistical and operation questions I had while planning the event.
Lastly, a big thank you to my wife Michele… without Michele I couldn’t have pulled any of this off, and without her I probably would have suffered a heat stroke, passed out in the car on Saturday somewhere in Wisconsin when it was 90+ degrees, driven off a cliff and died (yeah, no A/C in our 1973 Mercedes 280C). Thanks for your help, patience and support along the way… and for keeping me company on the road (the rally road and the road of life).