Classic Ford Crown Victoria wins Dwight Jelsing Memorial Car Show
Classic car owners and aficionados gathered among the trees in Ellery Park Sunday afternoon for the Dwight Jelsing Memorial Car Show, an event many hope will continue years into the future.
The Rugby Car Club and sponsor NuLine Insurance organized the show.
“I think we did very little,” Chad Friese of NuLine Insurance said. “We contacted the car club and it kind of came together. We contacted the radio station and got them involved. We thought we’d have 40 entrants, and we wound up with 58,” he noted.
“So, it was extremely successful,” Friese added.
Local musicians Dave Lyon and Micah Scott provided music, and the Rugby Lions served ice cream cups to attendees.
Friese explained the show was a way to honor Dwight Jelsing, a longtime member and founder of the Rugby Car Club who died in March.
Friese said NuLine put together an “inaugural trophy with the Jelsing family.”
“Dwight was a guy who was very instrumental in the Rugby Car Club,” Friese noted. “He was in the car business he did race cars. He was always doing stuff with cars and we just thought it was a great way to memorialize him and all that he did.”
“He was just a great guy to be around,” Friese said of Jelsing. “He was a customer of ours for many years. So, we thought it was a neat thing to do because we thought that old cars are kind of nostalgic.”
The inaugural trophy will travel from winner to winner as the car show continues every year, Friese said.
A purple metallic and white pearl 1955 Ford Crown Victoria, owned by Arlen and Linda Warner, was the first winner to take the traveling trophy.
“We’ve owned it for 53 years,” Arlen Warner said.
The winning car sat inside the garage of Warner’s business, Rugby Auto Detailing Service.
“My wife had (the Crown Victoria) in high school,” Warner said. “Her dad bought it in ’62, so it’s been in the family a long time.”
“The engine and everything is original,” Warner noted. “It’s just been repainted.”
Warner said the repainting process took four years to complete.
“We took it down to the bare metal and had it restored and repainted,” he said.
Warner, who grew up in Harlow and met his wife at Maddock High School, said the couple moved to Rugby in 2008.
“We’ve always had cars that we were working on,” he said. “I enjoy it.”
Warner added, “I really haven’t entered it in any contests. We took it to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for a Crown Victoria convention three years ago, but it was just to show cars and meet each other kind of a gathering.”
Warner said he was happy with this year’s car show.
“We’ll hopefully plan on having another gathering like we did this year,” Warner said. “We had such a good turnout. In my opinion, everyone should have had a trophy as well as me, just with all the earnest people who put hard work into their vehicles.”
Friese said NuLine and the car club already had plans in the works for next year’s show.
“Immediately afterwards, the club, myself and my staff met and said, ‘How can we do this again, and what can we do to make it better?'” Friese said.
“It’s a traveling trophy so by those definitions, it means it has a life after the show,” Friese added. “I would expect for us to have additional participation in terms of the cars as well as other things that could be going on at Ellery Park.”
“I think everybody really liked the park idea,” Friese added. “It allows for some protection when it’s too hot. It’s more of a casual environment than when it’s on the street. I thought it was awesome.”
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