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The history of neon signs

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From the 1920s to the 1960s, neon signs were atop every major business and graced all of the Main Streets throughout America. They became a symbol of the era and were a staple of the American economy. By 1940, nearly 2,000 small businesses had neon signs displayed proudly, advertising their business. While they are not as popular these days, vintage neon signs are admired by many and those few businesses that still have them take good care to ensure they stay up to snuff. Here is a short history of neon signs and how they became popular.

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Antique mall shopping tips

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Antique shops and antique malls usually hold a variety of objects, from old vintage items that could be considered trash to some and treasure to others, to items that are truly treasures hidden in the rough of seemingly trash objects. Finding what you need at an antique mall can be considered a gift to many people and a gift that we seem to have mastered. Pioneer Auto Show has collected its own array of antiques through the years that are available for you to parous, but if you want to go out and try your hand at antique mall shopping, here are a few tips to make the most of it and get your money’s worth.

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Winter driving tips for holiday travel

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Holiday travel is starting to get heavier and will continue to be busy through the rest of the year, but so are the chances for snow. Murphy’s Law predicts that it will snow on the day that you are planning on heading home for Christmas or New Year’s celebrations. So how do you combat that? Here are a few winter driving tips to help you make your holiday travel smooth and accident free and allow you to arrive at your destination safe and sound.

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Christmas gift ideas for classic car lovers

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‘Tis the season for gift giving. Everyone has those gifts that are easy to buy for their friends, whether it’s your mom or your grandma. But there’s also that one person who no matter how many Christmas gift ideas you have, you can’t think of a single thing that they would appreciate or enjoy. Classic car lovers can always be an especially difficult person to buy for; not everybody can afford to buy a classic car that needs to be restored in a garage for someone. So here are some fun ideas of gifts for classic car lovers that your hard-to-buy-for person may appreciate.

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Winter car maintenance tips

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Winter has officially come and the snow has started flying. That can only mean one thing: it’s time to winterize not only your house, but your car as well. Winter car maintenance is crucial to ensuring a long life for your car, whether its old or new, but especially old cars need specific care to make sure they’re winterized. Here are a few car care tips to ensure your car is ready for the harsh South Dakota winter ahead.

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Teaching kids car maintenance

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As they grow up, teaching kids becomes even more important. It’s important to teach them a wide range of skills, everything from how to walk to tying their shoes to reading and writing. Teaching kids basic car maintenance is crucial to their later success because they ultimately will one day own a car, and teaching them that they can take care of basic things themselves can save them a lot of time and money later in life. Here are a few basic car maintenance things that adults should be teaching kids.

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Car classifications: Is it a classic, antique, or vintage?

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While it may not seem that way to the untrained eye, there are a lot of differences between classic cars and others, such as vintage or antique cars. The car classifications are important and interesting to note for those as interested in classic cars as we are here at Pioneer Auto Show. So what are the differences between a vintage car, an antique car, and a classic car and what are the car classifications that make a car classic? Here are the definitions of classic, antique, and vintage cars.

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Fall riding tips for a late motorcycle ride

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Fall is one of the best times to take a motorcycle ride through not only the Black Hills, but many other parts of the country. The changing leaves add a nice touch to any ride and are always worth getting out to see. But doing for a motorcycle ride in the fall can have its own set of challenges that riders must face and be ready for. Changing temperatures and the possibility of snow or rain all present themselves to riders, so here are a few tips on how to take a very enjoyable motorcycle ride in the fall.

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Tractor safety tips

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It’s important to practice proper safety procedures when operating any machinery, but especially large, heavy machinery, such as tractors. Pioneer Auto Show has a large variety of tractors on display, over 60 to be exact. All of the tractors are on display for viewing during business hours, but how do you properly handle one of these pieces of machinery? Here are a few safety tips to follow when operating a tractor on your own farm.

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American cars vs. foreign cars

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Whenever buying a car or looking at classic cars, the question always posed is “Is this an American or foreign made car?” There are numerous differences between American cars and foreign made cars and most people who prefer one won’t drive the other, and vice versa. While there are benefits to each one, as well as downfalls, the difference between the two are always worth noting. Here are a few of the differences that we have noted between American cars and foreign made cars.

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Learn How to Begin the Restoration Process on a Classic Car in Three Simple Steps

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Have you ever attended an old-fashioned car show and wished you could enter a classic car in it? Well, now you can! Starting the restoration process on a classic car can be simple, but there are a few factors to consider before jumping in.

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As Automobiles Expand, so do Travel Plans for many Summer Road Trips

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When automobiles were first created, only the wealthy families could afford them. Road trips were a high class privilege until after World War II when everyone was able to venture out and see the United States for themselves. The entire nation was every family’s dream to explore from coast to coast in their automobiles. Since then, road trips continue to be a symbol of freedom and adventure.

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Car maintenance tips for your summer travel

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We are well into the dog days of summer and the heat this year seems higher than most years. The heat can not only have an effect on you and your family, but it can also take its toll on your car and its ability to function. There are a few things you can do to help your car survive the high heat of this summer and ensure that it makes it through the summer to the fall. Here are a few tips of things you should do, especially right before a family road trip.

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Pet friendly family vacation tips

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Tis the season for family vacations and that includes Fido. He is part of the family after all, so why leave him home when you can bring him along for the ride. He likes a road trip as much as the rest of the family. There are some things that need to be done, however, prior to your road trip with Fido. Do some research into pet friendly areas that you can take your pet with you, such as hotels and entertainment venues. Lucky for you, Pioneer Auto Show is pet friendly and we’d love to have your family pet join you! Here are a few road trip tips to help you have a smooth pet friendly family vacation.

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Pioneer Auto Show launches new website

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The World Famous Pioneer Auto Show has launched a new website and is home to some neat features. The new, easier to navigate, website was launched in June and is jam packed with everything you will need to know about how to make the most of your trip to the Pioneer Auto Show.

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Summer Car Maintenance Tips for Your Road Trip

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Summer is just around the corner, and that means that summer road trips are being planned, plotted and schemed. There's something special, almost magical about the Great American Road trip. Road trips hold such a special place in our hearts because they represent a modern-day adventure into the unknown. With the open road in front of us, our worries behind us, our friends and family next to us, and the promise of something unique and fun binding those things together, the road trip is truly something that we can all appreciate. Before your tires peel away at the open road, follow these summer car maintenance tips to make sure your car has had all the proper maintenance to have a fun, safe, and memorable time.

Check Your Tires
It's easy for someone to overlook their vehicle's tires especially after they've been covered in snow all winter. However, following this summer car maintenance tip will help you keep your tires in perfect condition. Improperly inflated tires can be particularly dangerous during hot summer months. As the temperature changes, so does the amount of air pressure in your tires. Check your owner's manual or the sidewall of your tire to know what PSI (pounds per square inch) your tires should be. An underinflated tire will put pressure on the sidewalls and, with enough heat, the tire will blow. On the other hand, an overinflated tire won't make the necessary contact needed with the road and can cause you to hydroplane in wet conditions. Don't forget to check the pressure in your spare tire as well because there's no point in having a spare if it's not properly inflated. Properly inflated tires will keep your gas mileage in check and keep your road trip going.

Change Oil and Filter
Oil is what keeps your car from seizing up and turning into a big hunk of useless metal. It keeps all those fast moving parts lubricated to reduce friction, which causes heat. Summer temperatures and an increased amount of driving means that a car is more likely to overheat. To check your oil, let your car run for a few minutes, park it on a level surface, and then shut the engine off. Open your hood and locate the oil dipstick. You want to look at the amount of oil on the dipstick and the color of the oil. If you need to add oil, you can easily add another quart. The color of the oil should look brownish yellow and clean on the stick. If the oil is dark, then there's a lot of dirt and grim in it and you'll need a change and an oil replacement.

Change Your Wipers
As the old saying goes, "If you don't like the weather in South Dakota, wait five minutes." Summer thunderstorms can bring high gusts of wind that pelt your vehicle with rain and hail. They can also put your road trip to a halt in a hurry. You can't drive if you can't see, especially if you're driving at night during a storm. Depending on where you live, winter can be pretty rough on your windshield wipers. From snow and salt to ice and extreme temperatures, winter weather can cause the rubber on your windshield wipers to crack and become brittle. Once you start seeing visible streaks from your wipers, it's time to change them. Go to your local auto parts store and have them help you locate the correct wiper for the year, make and model of your vehicle.

Check Your Brakes
Make sure you and your friends or family are not riding around on bad brakes. You're brakes are the single most important piece of safety equipment on your vehicle. Your brake pads need to be changed when the lining on the pads are worn down past the minimum thickness required by the owner's manual or by state law. If you hear scraping and grinding sounds when you break, see a dashboard indicator, feel your brake pedal getting mushy when you go to brake, or if pressing the brake pedal is hard and rigid, you should get your brakes checked. Following this summer car maintenance tip early on could save your from a more costly repair later.

Check Your Radiator and Coolant Levels
Your road trip will come to a quick end if your car overheats. Similar to checking the oil, a car's radiator and coolant levels are extremely import in keeping it running efficiently. If parts in the engine get too hot, they can actually melt together causing huge problems and a huge repair bill. Leaks, cracks in hoses, loose or broken belts, even a radiator cap that's not properly secured can cause your car to leak antifreeze, heat up and break down. Generally, the rule is to flush your radiator and add new coolant every two years. Flushing the radiator is done with a special chemical that cleans debris and build-up on the inside of the radiator. For summer driving, coolant should be added as a 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water. You can even buy premixed coolant so you don't have to bother with the measurements. Following this summer car maintenance tip will keep your wheels rolling until the leaves start falling.

Now that you've done some basic maintenance on your car, you're ready for your summer road trips. Whether you're driving across the state, or across the country, make sure that your vehicle is safe for the road, your passengers, and yourself. Make sure you swing by and visit the World Famous Pioneer Auto Show & Museum and check out our awesome collection. We have just the right piece of nostalgia for your trek across the open road.

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The automobile from its beginnings to the modern day

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American's are hopelessly head over heels for their automobiles. Sure, you get the holdout here and there who chooses not to own a vehicle, but the United States is a car country. We've funded and built a major interstate system, the Big Three automakers are powerhouses in the American economy and, you can even order a meal comfortably seated in your vehicle. What could be better than that?

But the national love affair with the automobile took some nurturing and turns of good fortune to come together. And it all started about 700 years ago.

The history of cars started in the 1300s when an Italian inventor Guido da Vigevano created a windmill driven vehicle that moved power to wheels. Wind power never took hold as a vehicle propulsion system but da Vigevano's efforts are an indicator of a long time understanding of the benefits to be gained by having a vehicle powered by something other than a horse.

Wind power didn't take hold but over several hundred years, inventors found other power sources. Around 1769, a steam powered vehicle was built, by 1807 a hydrogen engine was developed and only 80 years later the first gas powered internal combustion engine automobile was produced by the German designer Karl Benz.

Fast forward three decades and the evolution of the car was shaping the future of the country.

The United States certainly can't be credited with inventing the automobile but it sure gets credit for figuring out how to get one into the hands of nearly every potential driver.

Henry Ford's assembly line in 1913 mass production of the Model T he introduced just years earlier put decent, inexpensive cares in reach of the working man. This was a major leap for the automobile because, even though cars had been around for some time, they were expensive and out of the reach of the average worker.

Ford produced the Model T for 20 years and by the end of that run, 15 million Ford Model Ts had been sold.

In 1895 there were only four cars officially registered in the United States. By 1916, 3,376,889 were registered.

It was about this time, the mid-1920s, that the automotive market in the United States was becoming saturated. The population of the country was only 110 million and change and automobiles were pouring off the production line.

So in a move almost as game changing as the assembly line, planned obsolescence became part of the national auto buying psyche. Alfred Sloan, head of General Motors from 1923 to 1956 gets credit for this nugget of marketing. Sloan realized to maintain sales numbers, yearly design changes were needed to convince car owners to buy a new vehicle each year. Planned obsolescence is not a new marketing today by any means. How many laptops have you purchased? Or cellphones? And why do you suppose fashions change frequently?

But in the 1920s, in the auto industry, it was fresh take on a new market and was partially responsible for shifting the automobile from a necessity item to a fashion item that should be renewed each year.

The industry ran into bumps during its tremendous growth period. World War II resulted in several years where the major automakers made war-time vehicles, not passenger cars and during wartime years passenger car production was almost non-existent.

But of course the pendulum swung back in favor of the industry after war when sales boomed, profits surged and the American auto industry produced its 100 millionth car.

In the 1950s, Japanese-made vehicles were imported into the U.S. and another era of the history of cars had begun.

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Pickers Revisited

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June 17, 2014 was a big day in Murdo, South Dakota. The town itself lies just off of interstate I90, in between the Black Hills and the Missouri River. This day was unique in that one attraction in particular had some special visitors. Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and the crew of the American Pickers paid a visit — for a second time — to Pioneer Auto Show.
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Accompanied by a crew of about a dozen people, and for more than 11 hours, the Pickers poked, looked, checked, and negotiated. The flip of the coin returned, with Mike proving that winning a coin flip is still not his forte.

Items that the Pickers loaded into their van after successful negotiations to take back to their store in Iowa, Antique Archeology, included: knock-downs that held a previous life in a carnival, vintage signs, and the apple of Mike's eye, a rare 1914 Henderson cycle-car that he had been thinking about since their visit to Pioneer Auto two years ago. Also picked was a rare 1959 Lloyd Meyer station wagon.

Dave Geisler Sr., owner of Pioneer Auto Show said," It was a long day, but quite successful and fun." He went on to say, "We feel privileged that they came to Pioneer a second time. That makes us the only stop they have ever been twice!"

The show, named "Talk Nice to Me" aired in November, and is expected to re-run throughout 2015 on the History Channel.

Since the show first aired, Pioneer Auto Show has been inundated with inquiries as to if items seen in different scenes of the show are for sale. With its constantly changing and growing inventory, most items are up for negotiation. Visitors to the museum see new things each time they visit, which makes Pioneer Auto Show a unique experience every time.
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About Pioneer Auto Show
With more than 300 vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles, the Pioneer Auto Show & Prairie Town is one of the largest, privately-owned auto shows open to the public with 42 buildings of exhibits, 60 tractors, 60 motorcycles, toys, animations & music machines and an entire Prairie Town. The famed South Dakota car museum also carries a wide range of antique collectibles and a famous collection of Zeitner rocks, gems and fossils. For additional information, visit www.pioneerautoshow.com.

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Money saving tips for your South Dakota road trip

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It seems as though no matter the time of the year that the price of fuel at the gas pump keeps going up. In 2012 the price of gasoline was over $4.00 per gallon in some areas. Going on a South Dakota road trip does not have to break the bank at the pump. By following a few gas saving tips at home and on the road, you will have enough funds left to enjoy on your South Dakota vacation.

Get a Tune Up

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, after all. A properly tuned engine uses less gas. It is also worth it to avoid car problems while on your South Dakota vacation that could have been easily headed off by a trip to the mechanic beforehand.

Buy Gas Early or Late in the Day

During the warm months, the outside temperature affects the way gasoline behaves at the pump. During the cooler parts of the day, gas is more dense. As temperatures rise, gas density falls and you get less of it when you fill your tank. It is also a good idea to fill up early in the week. Generally, gas prices fluctuate Wednesday through Saturday, and although they may go down, chances are better that they will go up, should there be an increase in demand.

Reduce Wind Resistance

Remove any unneeded ski or luggage racks from your car. If they are not being used for your South Dakota road trip, the only purpose they are serving is adding wind resistance to your vehicle. Also, keep windows closed when possible, as open windows also contribute to reducing the aerodynamics of your car.

Check Your Tire Pressure

Temperature fluctuations can wreak havoc on your tire pressure. Properly inflated tires reduce road friction, thus giving you better gas mileage. Under inflation also causes tires to wear faster, putting you at the tire shop before maximizing the life of your current tires.


Fill Your Tank Near State Lines

This involves a bit of research ahead of time, but due to fluctuating tax rates gas prices can vary significantly from state to state. If you discover you are driving through a state with a low tax rate, you could save a bundle by filling in that state when you enter it, and again before you leave it.


Turn the Engine Off

If you are waiting at a rest stop or waiting for other members of your group to get ready to go, there is no need to let the engine idle. This not only uses extra gas, but releases pollutants into the air.

Change Your Filters

Dust and grime build on filters that help your engine run efficiently. When they are dirty, your vehicle works harder to push through air and liquid and therefore uses more gasoline.

Drive Steadily and Slowly

By driving at or under the speed limit and maintaining consistent speed, your car will use gas more efficiently. If you accelerate quickly and use brakes heavily you are not only causing extra strain on your brake pads, but increasing the drag that causes your car to use more gasoline.

By following these fuel saving tips you don't have to wait for gas prices to go down before heading out on your South Dakota road trip. Keeping ahead of the game with a little planning will keep your tank full and your wallet happy.

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On the Road Again - Travel with Pets

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413052.TIFIf you are planning a trip with your family, and some of that family happens to have fur, a bit of advanced preparation will go a long way toward a trouble-free trip.

First and foremost, allow for extra time when you travel with pets. If you are on a tight time schedule, remember that your fluffy friend cannot be reasoned with as a person — and you will have to concede to their needs at times.

Make sure your pet has a clean bill of health. They should be current on all vaccinations. If your pet is going to be riding on an airplane, check the airline rules for pet travel well in advance of your vacation date. Most require a health certificate dated within 10 days of the travel date. If you are traveling abroad the regulations will vary, but can include the submission of entry permits and a more detailed interstate health permit. If there is an outbreak of disease, some places will require automatic quarantine upon arrival. These variables will take some research on your part, so be sure to cover all of the bases so that you do not have any surprises on the day of your travel.

Your pet should always have identification. An ID tag on their collar with your cell phone number is essential. You will also want to have proof of vaccination and proper licenses. It is a good idea to have a few color photos of your pet with you also, in the unfortunate case they get lost.

If you are driving with your pet remember that many pets die each year from heat exhaustion. If left alone in hot cars for even a short period of time, the results can be fatal. As a general rule, if you leave your car, your pet should also leave the car. If you do need to park, be sure your car is in the shade to help keep the temperature inside cool. Never let your pet jump around or hang out of an open window — it is not safe for you or your pet. If you have a strong, mesh crate large enough for your pet to turn around, stand and lay down, line the bottom with a few towels and keep your pet secured inside for the ride. Remember to make frequent stops for exercise, food and water. If your pet is prone to motion sickness, you can give them one piece of sugar candy (not chocolate) which will help prevent vomiting. Try not to feed your pet for a window of 6 hours prior to your trip. If your pet is not accustomed to riding in a car, start with short increments and gradually increase road time over the course of a few weeks.

There are many road side attractions that welcome leashed pets such as Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo, SD. Take advantage of such attractions to see some interesting sights, and give your pet a chance to stretch their legs, too!
Be sure to call ahead about your lodging plans, as policies on pets can vary greatly. Often, the local Convention and Visitors Bureau will have a list of pet-friendly accommodations. Once there, do not abuse the privilege and be sure to clean up after your pet. Try not to leave your pet for long periods of time, as even the most easy going pet can be easily stressed by different noises, smells and sounds in a strange place.

Keeping these tips in mind will make for an enjoyable trip for both you and your traveling pet. If your pet is overly fussy, you may want to consider arrangements to not bring him along. It is not recommended to travel with reptiles, birds and small animals, as they can be very stressed by changes in their environment.



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