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A Look Back at Pioneer Auto Show’s 65th Anniversary Celebration

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On August 17th, the Pioneer Auto Show invited those near and far to join in on partying like it’s 1954 at a bash commemorating our 65th year in business! The clear, sunny day provided the perfect opportunity for everyone to join together in festivities for all ages, including kids’ rides, a costume contest, 50’s karaoke, a car show and parade, and a street dance that led into the wee hours of the night. Read on for more fun details about our big celebration!

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Why the Classics Still Have Our Hearts

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For the majority of classic cars, an old abandoned prairie farmhouse or a scrap yard becomes their final resting place. Rusted, parted-out, or simply left behind from an earlier generation, these classics will never see the open road again. Far too often we come across one of these once beautiful machines and think, wow, what a waste. Back in ’57, every kid in my neighborhood would’ve mowed lawns from sun-up to sundown to get their hands around that steering wheel. But so it goes, I suppose. “They don’t make ‘em like that anymore” is a very true statement, and probably for good reason. As James May once said, if they were any good, they’d still be made. The fact of the matter is, modern cars are faster, more reliable, more comfortable, and more economical. You name it; modern cars of today are just better machines.

And yet, the classic car is not only still around, but is looked at as a thing of beauty, and the industry is thriving. Why is that? Why the love affair with classic cars? Why do we romanticize the idea of hitting the highways in an old gas hound from the thirties, or tearing around the town at a full speed of 63 mph in a once loved sports model? The answer is not a simple one, but there are several factors that come into play, and each classic car enthusiast surely has their own reason for letting their hearts wander towards the classics.

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Party Like It’s 1954 at Pioneer Auto Show’s 65th Anniversary Celebration

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It all started in 1954, with AJ ‘Dick’ Geisler displaying a 1913 Ford Peddler’s Wagon to attract customers to his new gas station, and now here we are, 65 years later, with over 275 rare and classic cars, 60 tractors, 60 motorcycles, and more antiques and memorabilia than can be seen in a single day. That’s right, Pioneer Auto Show is turning the big 65 and we want to celebrate this monumental occasion with all of you! On Saturday, August 17th, 2019, we’ll be offering $1.00 admission to the museum, and will also be hosting an event chock full of fun for all ages, complete with a car Show and Shine, street dance and much more. Read on for more details about this all day bash!


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Celebrating 65 Years of the Pioneer Auto Show: The Trends and Hits of 1954

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Here at the Pioneer Auto Show, we’re gearing up for an extra special summer, as this year marks 65 years since our museum was started by AJ ‘Dick’ Geisler! Over the last 65 years, many things have changed: cars, music, technology, the list goes on and on. But one thing remains the same – the Pioneer Auto Show is the place to go for a peek into the past while surrounded by good old-fashioned Midwest hospitality. Since 1954 was the big year for Pioneer Auto Show, we wanted to take you back to that magical time!

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Tesla: Big Dreams, Cars in Space, and the Future of Automotive Excellence

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In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about easy ways to conserve natural resources, with many hopping on the bandwagon of making changes in their life to be more energy-efficient. In the last 20 years or so, car producers have also joined in on the quest to be more sustainable by making huge strides in the development of electric cars, allowing them to be more attainable by the public. Read on to learn more about this growing trend, which doesn’t look to be disappearing anytime soon.

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Springtime Classic Car Maintenance

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The arrival of spring means many things to many people. For some, it means green grass, flowers in bloom, and the rebirth of leaves on the trees. For others, it means tan lines and lake days are just around the corner. But for some of us, it means one thing; it’s time to get that classic out of the garage! Yessir, she has sat there, idle for months, giving us those doe-like eyes with her headlights that practically plead for us to just give her key a turn, and perhaps a gentle step upon the throttle pedal. She has been so lonely out there, freezing her bumper off, with not so much as a refuel, or soft cloth ran along her fenders. But now, it’s time to rekindle your relationship, and give her all the love and attention she deserves!

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Car Auction News: Sale of the Century

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$70 million…

Say it with me now. Seventy. Million. Dollars.

That was the price paid in June 2018 for a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, the most expensive car sold at auction to date. According to Marcel Massini, one of the world’s top collectible Ferrari experts, it was sold in a private sale by German racecar driver Christian Glaesel to businessman and car aficionado David MacNeil, founder of WeatherTech. 

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The History of Radio

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Today, radio is often regarded as an older technology that has been surpassed by inventions such as televisions, cell phones and the internet, but radio is the forefather in the widespread communication of news, programming and music, and is still a vital component in our society. Learning the history of the radio is a great peek back into history to see how the world connected before the modern age. Take some time out of your day, tune to your favorite FM, AM or satellite radio station, kick up your feet and read all about the evolution of the radio!

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Holiday Gift Ideas for Car Enthusiasts

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For some, the thought of Christmas immediately brings to mind the dreaded task of holiday shopping: wracking your brain trying to figure out the perfect gift for each person, fighting the crowds at the store, and wrestling over the last must-have toy on display. While we can’t ward off the masses at the mall or ensure you’re able to snag the highly sought-after gadget of the season, we here at Pioneer Auto Show can help you with some ideas for Christmas gifts for the classic enthusiasts in your life. And even better – many of the following are items you can purchase online or right here at the Pioneer Auto Show, eliminating the need for a frantic trip through busy stores. Read on for some inspiration, then go cross some names off of your holiday shopping list!

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Getting your Car Ready for Winter

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Here in South Dakota, the arrival of winter can often be a very unpredictable event. Some years, shorts and flip flops can be worn well into November, while others require digging out the snow blower in early October. However, one thing is for sure – in order to smoothly transition from one erratic South Dakota season to the next, being prepared is a necessity, and one very important, and often overlooked, item that requires some prep before winter is your car. Here at Pioneer Auto Show, we’ve learned a thing or two about proper fall car maintenance, and are here to let you in on some tips to help you get from point A to point B, no matter what Old Man Winter throws at you.

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5 Ways Life Was Different at the Turn of the 20th Century

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While it may be hard to imagine everyday life without items such as cell phones, computers, televisions and mp3 players, those living in the early 1900’s not only survived without those modern conveniences, but were also accustomed to life without things we now consider necessities, such as refrigerators, cars and grocery stores on every corner. Continue reading to learn more about some of the key differences between early American life and our experiences today, and what a typical day looked like for those living at the turn of the 20th century.  

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How to Vacation on a Budget in South Dakota

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In addition to the Pioneer Auto Show, there are many fun, interesting destinations located close to I-90 throughout South Dakota. Best of all, many attractions offer very affordable, or even free, admission prices, making them must-stops for families traveling on a budget. We’ve outlined some of those points of interest so you can easily plan your trek through the Mount Rushmore state, all while keeping more money in your wallet for when you arrive back home.

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Lunchboxes through the Ages

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With the start of the school year right around the corner, we are bombarded with “Back to School” commercials reminding us to hurry up and stock up on the necessities before the highly anticipated first day of classes. Although it is pretty uneventful to shop for most of the items that make it to school supply lists, there is one that has allowed us to showcase our creativity and share our interests for almost 70 years – the lunchbox. Before you head out to brave the shopping masses, read a little more about the interesting history behind these important contraptions, and how they have become a staple in our day to day life.

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The History of Motorcycles

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What better way to spend a beautiful, sunny summer afternoon than by enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery of South Dakota mounted atop a roaring motorcycle?  As the home of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and miles upon miles of stunning scenic roads that are popular among visiting and local motorists alike, the state is a premier destination for those that love to ride, or are simply fascinated by, the two-wheeled mechanisms. We’ve compiled the interesting history behind the development of the present day motorcycle so you can impress your friends and family with your knowledge on this famed regional pastime.

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5 Tips for Driving Safely Around Motorcycles

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5 Tips for Driving Safely Around Motorcyclists

Not only does the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally bring in hundreds of thousands of bikers each August, but the beautiful scenery of South Dakota makes it a popular destination among motorcyclists all summer that are seeking an exciting ride while surrounded by a breathtaking view. Yet, visitors and residents alike are often caught off guard by the large influx of bikers that flow into the state each year. Knowing how to safely share the road with bikers is crucial, especially when you consider that multi-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles accounted for 60% of motorcyclist deaths in 2016. Here at Pioneer Auto Show, we take motorcycle safety seriously and are here to help you prepare for your trip with some suggestions for maneuvering safely around bikers during your South Dakota vacation.

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History of the Ford Model T

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Named the most influential car of the 20th century, the Ford Model T made its rightful place in history by becoming the first automobile accessible to the growing middle class in the early 1900’s. Envisioning a car “so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one,” Henry Ford enlisted the help of Childe Harold Wills and Hungarian immigrants Joseph A. Galamb and Eugene Farkas to help design the car in 1908. The result allowed working class families to enjoy the convenience of automobiles, something that was only available to the wealthy up to that point.

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How to Prepare Your Classic Car for Spring

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The snow is (almost) gone, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, which can only mean one thing – spring is here in South Dakota. After a long winter of freezing temperatures, salt-covered roads and piles of the white stuff, you may be itching to take your classic car out for a spin, and we don’t blame you! But before you reintroduce your beauty to the world, follow these car maintenance tips to ensure your first drive of the season results in smiles and not tears.

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History of the General Lee Car

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Check out a piece of Hollywood history, right here at the Pioneer Auto Show!

As one of the most iconic cars from television’s yesteryears,  the 1969 Dodge Charger dubbed “General Lee”, or simply “The General”, stole the hearts of The Dukes of Hazzard fans in the 70’s and 80’s. And, lucky for its admirers, the car made an appearance in every episode of the show, except for one. The buzz surrounding the trademark automobile even led to it receiving an astonishing 35,000 fan letters a month during the Duke’s heyday.

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The history of the WNAX station

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Deep in the heart of the Pioneer Auto Show Prairie Town is a WNAX sign. While many may assume it is for a gas station, they would only be partially right. The popular WNAX sign that stands tall not only represents an old gas station, but also a radio station which was popular among farm towns in the Midwest. What initially started as a way to promote a seed store, quickly grew to become much more than that.

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History of Elvis' Harley-Davidson Motorcycle

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It was no secret that Elvis Presley was an avid motorcycle rider. He owned numerous motorcycles over the years, and all have gone down in history. His top choice of brand, however, was Harley-Davidson, so his ownership of different motorcycles played a big role in Harley-Davidson history to this day. His motorcycles are memorialized in museum exhibits across the country, including at the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, South Dakota. Elvis’ 1976 Harley-Davidson FLH 1200 Electra-Glide. Here is a brief Harley-Davidson history of how this iconic motorcycle came to be part of Elvis Presley’s collection.

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