Tag Archives: David Tobin

2nd Annual Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally Video and Photos! Participants Drive Twisty Roads Through Wisconsin and Minnesota and Visit Crazy Roadside Attractions Along the Way

Walleye-1000-Vintage Rally
2013 marked the second year for the Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally, open to interesting cars more than 20 years old, the event is a leisurely two day driving tour covering about 500 miles of scenic Minnesota and Wisconsin back roads. I needed an excuse to put a few hundred miles on my 1973 Mercedes 280C last year with other like minded car enthusiasts, so I came up with the inaugural event last year. This year turned out to be extra fun behind the wheel of a 1984 Porsche 911 Targa. The skies were threatening enough all weekend, I never took the top off, but the roads were twisty and smooth, I don’t know that I’ve ever had such fun on public roads.

Walleye-1000-Vintage Rally
Participants go over route directions and maps before departure.

(A Little Walleye 1000 video from behind the wheel of Tobin’s Porsche 911… narration begins at about 30 seconds… thanks to Kool and the Gang for the music playing on the CD player).

The weekend of June 8-9, 2013 marked the 2nd Annual Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally. The spirit of this event is one of laid back camaraderie among people who have a passion for vintage cars.

The idea is that the guy with the MG Midget with a rusty door and a fender in primer is as welcome as the guy who just wrote the last check for his 300SL Gullwing restoration and wants to put some miles on his new million dollar car. The motto of the event it ‘Check your tires, check your oil, check your ego at the starting line and let’s go!’ Everyone is equal, no matter the size of their engine or their pocketbook. No jerks allowed.

Walleye-1000-vintage-rally
“Spirit of the Walleye” award winners, Jim and Kim Larsen… who completed the rally in their Citroen 2CV with 1/4 – 1/2 of the cylinders as the rest of us with big smiles on their faces the whole time.

Visit the Walleye 1000 website for more info and to see photos of the event!

SL Market Letter editor and publisher, John Olson, came along with his very original 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL fintail. SL Market Letter subscribers on the event included David Steingas of Wayzata, MN who put his 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280SL through it’s paces with some very spirited driving. Frankly, I didn’t know a 280SL could do some of the things he was doing with his car as I tried to keep up in my 1984 Porsche 911… apparently I have a lot to learn about what Pagoda SLs can and can’t do. SLML subscribers Dick and Marty Olson were on the tour with their 1968 280SL, silver with dark green hard top. SLML subscribers Bruce Kelly of Lake Country Classics in Minneapolis was the navigator for Warren Rauch in their W126 chassis 500SEL, not what you normally think of as a rally car… but they were probably two of the most comfortable people on the event.

Walleye-1000-Vintage Rally
Authentic, as usual, Olson with his ’63 300SEL sedan, one of the few models the Mercedes factory actually used for rallying in the early 1960s.

Other cars on the event included several 1980s vintage Porsche 911s, a 1965 Porsche 356 a 1970 Triumph GT6+, even a Citroen 2CV that made it just fine despite having far fewer cylinders than the rest of the field.

Walleye-1000-Vintage Rally
Group photo over looking Lake Pepin from the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi River.

While not technically a true rally (there are no checkpoints or timed sections) the Walleye 1000 is simply a chance to get out and drive some great roads in our vintage cars, stop at some nice restaurants and visit some quirky roadside attractions with new and old friends. A car show is created each time we roll into a small town along the way.

Walleye-1000 vintage rally
Steingas navigates a twisty Wisconsin country road in his ’71 280SL.

Stops included Slippery’s Restaurant along the Mississippi River in Wabasha, MN, the site where several scenes of the movie ‘Grumpy Old Men’ were filmed as well as the National Eagle Center in downtown Wabasha. Saturday night accommodations were in La Crosse, WI, again, along the Mississippi River where we had dinner at Huck Finn’s Restaurant on the water. Special parking was secured for the group, it seemed wherever we pulled up there was an impromptu car show.

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Tobin’s 911 among the ‘fish out of water’.

Sunday began early with more great, very twisty roads, up and down the bluffs along the Wisconsin side  of the Mississippi River. We traversed roads with names like ‘Pretzel Pass’ and ‘Alligator Back Rd.’ the roads were great fun, taking concentration and a good bit of caution as there were no guardrails to save you from a mistake. While not a speed contest by any measure, there were plenty of opportunities for spirited driving for those who were so inclined.

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Olson’s fintail next to a fiberglass fish mold at F.A.S.T. Corp., Sparta, WI

The most bizarre stop on the route had to be headquarters of F.A.S.T. Corporation in Sparta, WI. F.A.S.T. stands for “Fiberglass Animals Shapes and Trademarks.” In business for almost 40 years, this company is responsible for 75-80% of all fiberglass attractions in the United States. Everything from ice cream cones and elephants to gigantic Paul Bunyan figures and Coke bottles. There is a huge grass field behind their plant building that they call the ‘mold yard’. All of the molds for all of the projects they’ve completed are strewn about like an alien amusement park. Visitors are welcome to browse through this creepy landscape of lichen covered leprechauns and circus animals. There is a photo opportunity around every corner which some of us took full advantage of.

Walleye-1000-vintage Rally
Hoping the Porsche 356 isn’t mistaken for a piece of cheese by the giant mouse.

Elmer’s Car and Toy Museum (and Salvage Yard!) in Fountain City, WI was another stop that really defies description. There is a salvage yard full of cars from the 40s – 80s covering acres and acres, but it’s the eclectic car and toy collection that is housed in all of the barns on the property that is most amazing. Over 100 cars and between 600 and 700 pedal cars, toys, dolls, wagons, automobilia of all kinds. It simply can’t be described. Elmer himself literally invites you to go inside his house to see the Ford Model A sitting in his family room, just off the kitchen. It must have been taken apart to get it inside there where it was then reassembled.

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Elmer’s Car and Toy Museum, Fountain City, WI. Ron and Karen Scott’s very nice ’80 450SLC in foreground.

Added safety and convenience is right behind the group the entire way, friend and past MBCA Twin Cities Section President Dave Bortner brings up the rear in his GMC Yukon with beautiful hydraulic car trailer in tow, just in case someone does break down and needs a lift to the next bit of civilization. Dave is a great sport for taking on this duty, especially considering he has about the nicest 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 that he could bring along instead. For the second year in a row there were no mechanical failures to speak of. One of the 280SLs did have a fouled plug late Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t anything removal and a little cleaning couldn’t take care of.

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Diagnosing a fouled spark plug Saturday afternoon, this was the extent of the mechanical failures of the weekend.

The 2014 event is already in the works and we’d love to have more participants next year. There were just 11 cars on this year’s event, the event could easily handle double that. We’d love to have participants from all over the Midwest come up to Minneapolis for the event, SLML subscribers are welcomed and encouraged to sign up. We depart from somewhere in the Minneapolis / Twin Cities metro area Saturday morning and return Sunday by about 6:00pm for the finisher’s dinner.  Next year’s event will be held the second weekend in June – Saturday, June 14 – Sunday, June 15, 2014. Visit the Walleye 1000 for more information and pictures of the 2013 and 2012 event!

Mercedes Benz Club Turns Out for Oktoberfest German Car Show at the Auto Motor Plex in Chanhassen

Despite cold temperatures and heavy fog and cloud cover a couple of hundred German cars showed up for the Oktoberfest German Car Show at the AutoMotorPlex in Chanhassen. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz were the marques with the most cars on display. Many members of the Mercedes Benz Club of America Twin Cities Section were in attendance. There were a couple of nice BMWs, including two 1980s vintage 6 series cars. Volkswagen fans turned out with a handful of beetles an early ’70s Westfalia camper and a handful of other models including a couple of square backs, I even saw a late 70s / early 80s Scirocco! Many Porsche 911s from all years were in attendance, along with a 944, 928 and 914 sprinkled around. Mercedes-Benz cars were very well represented. Click this LINK for 100 photos of the Oktoberfest show on my Dave Knows Cars Flickr page.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Quite a few members of “The Pagoda Pack” were in attendance with the W113 ‘Pagoda’ SLs, including “Pagoda Pack’ ring leader Ken Garelick. Club members were in attendance with a 190SL, a W111 chassis 280SE sedan, several R107 SLs a an R129 SL, a couple of R230s, David Steingas was there with his always pretty 1951 220S Cabriolet. Two of the rarest Mercedes in attendance were the 600 Limousine and the 1955 300SL Gullwing. It was a real treat to see both of those cars as they don’t make appearances very often.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz was one of the event sponsors and sponsored the 35 piece German Band, ‘The Bavarian Muzikmeisters’ to give the event just the right true German flavor. The Chanhassen American Legion made brats and kraut available along with some real German beer.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
The Mercedes-Benz Club board is talking about bringing back their annual show, held in June for the past 17 years in a row, except this year… hopefully the club can pull together a German Car Fest during the warmer Summer months as in years past to get German car fans out in greater numbers.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

A big thanks needs to go to Bruno Silikowski at the Auto Motor Plex in Chanhassen for hosting the event, to Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz and BMW of Minnetonka for sponsoring the event and all the volunteers from the different German car clubs that helped out with the organization and parking cars.
Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
600 Limo.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show
Very rare, over the top, DP motorsport 911 slant nose turbo.

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

Minneapolis Mercedes Club Car show

David Tobin
The first show appearance for my newly acquired Porsche 911 and the first time I’ve taken anything but a Mercedes-Benz to a German car show!

 

Customer in New Mexico Writes Glowing Review of Sparkling Graphite BMW 328i Purchase!


I got an email a couple of weeks ago from a gentleman in Rio Rancho, NM inquiring about a uniquely colored BMW 328i that we had in our inventory, it was traded in a couple of days earlier. He had the standard questions any out of state customer would have… What is the condition of the body? How is the tread on the tires? Are there any known mechanical issues?

I went out to look the car over very closely. It was a 2007 model with just over 32,000 miles. On the outside it was in very nice shape. It had one scratch on one of the doors, and some light scuffing on the other, wear commensurate with the age and mileage of the vehicle, overall it was very nice, nicer than most used cars I see in fact. The interior was what really stood out to me. It was a tan leather interior and it looked perfect. I don’t like to describe things with that word very often, especially to out of state buyers, but the inside of this car truly was immaculate. It doesn’t look like it ever carried passengers and I was sure to send a photo of the carpet floor mats, I think you can tell al ot about a car’s use by looking at the floor mats.

The customer in New Mexico was a pleasure to talk to on the phone, we discussed the particulars of the car, I gave him my imporessions of it. That was easy, it was just such a nice car and in the rare Sparkling Graphite Metallic color from BMW with a tan interior it looked quite good. He told me he was buying the car as a surprise gift for his wife. We struck a deal on the phone and after that, my colleague, David Ruben, took over the transaction. He made sure the money and paperwork was handled, sent the necessary paperwork via FedEx, he also made sure that the car was filled with gas and detailed one more time and that it was picked up by the auto transporter.

Feldmann Imports got the following letter from a happy customer in New Mexico this morning after the car was safely delivered on Saturday:

All we can say is … WOW!  When buying a used car “long distance”, you have to rely on the honesty and professionalism of the dealer reps. The 2 gentlemen who helped me purchase our 2007 BMW 328i were not only honest and professional, but went out of their way to make sure all my fears were put to rest.

David Tobin, took the time to walk around the car (exterior & interior) and totally describe the condition of the vehicle while we were on the phone. Dave Ruben took over the process to make sure all paperwork and shipping was handled … and it went like clockwork! My interaction with both Davids was nothing less than OUTSTANDING. They kept me in the loop on EVERYTHING.

We received our vehicle this past Saturday … and it was EXACTLY AS DESCRIBED. My wife is estatic! I must say that during our search for a used BMW we narrowed down our selection to 4 vehicles, all approx same price, same mileage and same condition. The factor that tilted our decision to go with Feldmann was the email we received from David Tobin regarding his background with Mercedes and his love for vehicles. When he stated the car we were looking at was “one of the most immaculate used cars we’ve had come thru Feldmann” … we were sold. Thank you, David Tobin, Dave Ruben, and all the other staff at Feldmann.

T.Barker
Rio Rancho, NM

PS: The level of service in buying this USED CAR was at the same level we have received in buying our last NEW BMW. We can’t thank you enough!