Cruisin’ for a dream car

NEW ULM – A record number of sports cars, muscle cars and every other kind of show-off car flooded into New Ulm on Sunday for the 13th annual Autofest Car and Cycle Show.

Autofest, which is held on South Broadway in the parking lots of Maday Motors and Joe’s Campers, officials estimated that more than 375 cars were exhibited this year, with the previous high mark being just above 300 cars. Officials also estimated attendance closer to 2,000 people, which is nearly a record.

Many Autofest visitors marveled at the vehicles that glistened in the late June sunshine. The vehicles brought memories of their youth and the car they wished they could have driven then.

Sunny weather kept moderate temperatures throughout the day and surely contributed to drawing the crowds.

In addition to the cars of their dreams, Autofest goers could browse booths offering related memorabilia or similar crafts that were set up near the vehicle displays.

The exhibited vehicles ran the range from sports cars to souped-up muscle cars to classics ’50s cars.

The new phenomenon of “rat rods,” which are custom cars made from salvaged parts of intentionally rusty 1940s and 1950s vehicles, made a big splash. Some of the custom designs featured spider web patterns made from steel bars on their roofs and radiators. Spikes on the bumpers gave the cars the appearance of having teeth.

Officials hope that 2013 Autofest’s success will signal higher turnout in coming years.

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