Back to the 50s Car Show – A Classic Car Buff’s Classic Weekend


St. Paul, MN

For 40 years, the Minnesota Street Rod Association has hosted a car show that has grown from a few Minneapolis area locals to the 11,000 plus entries in 2013. The show, now located at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in St. Paul, MN draws several thousand attendees over the three days of the event.

There are no Mustangs, very few foreign automobiles and a plethora of Detroit Iron. The show is open only to cars built prior to 1965 which precludes a lot of very popular Detroit and foreign vehicles, including the venerable Mustang, Dodge Chargers and the majority of Chevrolet Corvettes.

The author photographing one of the many close-ups included in this gallery. (Photo courtesy of Richard Stenberg.)
The author photographing one of the many close-ups included in this gallery. (Photo courtesy of Richard Stenberg.)
The show is a family affair in a family environment.
The show is a family affair in a family environment.

Don’t expect to see every one of the 11000-plus cars, even if you stay the three days. But you can go home with one of these beauties, if you have the scratch. Many of the cars have a “For Sale” sign attached. Often the owner is sitting near the car, and a deal can be struck on the spot. Also, there is usually an auction associated with the show,  however, the auction is not limited to pre-1965 vehicles.

A 1973 Barracuda on the auction block.

If you like cars, you’ll find a lot to like at the Back to the 50s Show. I submit for your approval, a gallery of images from the 2013 show.

John Steiner

_DSC0243 _DSC0239 _DSC0236 _DSC0231 _DSC0226 _DSC0212 _DSC0207 _DSC0202 _DSC0200 _DSC0190 _DSC0187 _DSC0186 _DSC0181 _DSC0168 _DSC0156 _DSC0150 _DSC0148 _DSC0135 _DSC0126 _DSC0117 _DSC0114 _DSC0099 _DSC0098 _DSC0282 _DSC0281 _DSC0278 _DSC0272 _DSC0270 _DSC0267 _DSC0245


  1. our local MSRA leader was there and said the final registration was 12,344 – amazing and beautiful!

  2. I love the old cars and luckily, this area of So. Fla. has plenty. Especially on Sunday, they’re out for their weekly outing or on their way to West Palm Bch. for a show.

  3. Oh, give me a home where the classic cars roam,
    Where the coupes and REOS play,
    Where seldom is heard any modern car words
    And the sky is not cloudy all day…………..
    I would love to have a classic car restored with all the modern conveniences. Yes, I’m not a purist but I still love the classic car look. And by classic cars, I mean those older than 1950.
    Nice job.

  4. I remember most of those great Classic cars from years ago. Here in PA there are a number of shows like this which all have many outstanding cars that have been repaired and brought back to their former glory. I still have a Image of a 1957 Chevrolet BelAir Convertible that won first place in a show I attended. The owner told me that in the process of restoring this car, it nearly ended his marriage, and almost put him into the “poor house”. He said that he would sell it, but not for anything less than $80,000!

    • I enjoy the look of the 1950s and 60s era designs. I’m sure it’s because they are what I grew up with. Every time I think I should buy one, though, I think about how I can’t afford to maintain one in the style it so richly deserves, let alone rebuild a “project” car. I am destined to admire from afar at shows like these. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Huge fan of the chopped and channeled street rods of the pre-muscle car era, that being said wouldn’t mind that 73 cuda from the auction block!

    • Love to see the efforts that collectors make to get their classic cars just right. It’s a very expensive hobby. After having that ’71 MG for awhile, though, I realized that I am better off admiring other people’s passion. The guy who bought the MG from me did right away what I never got around to doing… fixing the dings and giving it a nice paint job.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.