Steve Peterson

With the exception of people who know me through other circumstances, most members are probably thinking; "who in the heck is Steve Peterson?" Well, this surly fellow joined the Dakota Cruisers many years ago, shortly after its inception. Every year when I pay my dues, I tell myself that I should attend more club events in the upcoming year. My problem is, Wednesday nights are usually spoken for, and most week-ends are spent at a little house on the prairie (formerly a cabin on Lake Sakakawea). One of my goals, however, is to be more active in this club. That really shouldn’t be too tuff for a guy that likes cars as much as I do.

Speaking of cars, I got a license to drive when I was 14. (I lived in the country, so waiting until I was 16 was perceived by the State of ND as a family hardship.) At 14, I would’ve been content to ride a horse to school, but by 1964 they’d done away with all the hitch’n posts in the Minot Public School system.

At the ripe old age of 15, I sold one of my horses and bought a falcon. Not a peregrine falcon, but a 1960 Ford Falcon (the later being the slower and uglier of the two). This fine machine had 4 doors (2 too many), a fire-breathing 95 hp six cylinder, and the aerodynamics of a shoe box (just the way my parents wanted it). It cost me $300 at Fisher Motors. When I sold it two years later, it must have weighed an additional 100 pounds. That’s what happens when you add a coat of wax every day for two years. Yes’r, she was the shiniest Falcon money could buy.

Over the years, I’ve bought and sold a few vehicles. Some of the most memorable (in semi-chronologic order) are:

  • a 1962 Ford Galaxy 500XL (It was black and beautiful, jacked up, had big cheater slicks and looked fast. The truth was, the 390 couldn’t get that car out of its own way.)
  • 1966 GTO Convertible (was immaculate and sold it in 1973 for $1,600 – OUCH!!!!!)
  • 1953 Chevrolet (drove it in the winter when I had the GTO that, of course, wouldn’t start due to go-fast modifications made to the engine)
  • 1973 Vega GT (I still don’t understand why these cars always got such a bad rap. I liked mine; it was fun to drive, motor held together, etc.)
  • 1974, 1976, and 1979 Corvettes (Those were the good old days when Corvettes held their value. People thought I made a lot of money because I drove a Corvette. Heck, in my opinion, I couldn’t afford not to drive one; they didn’t depreciate.)
  • 1966 Mustang (still own it – been in the family since it came off the assembly line, all original, see picture)
  • 1976 K5 Blazer (still own it – purchased new at Ryan Chevrolet – still runs great with 200,000 plus miles – I think it gets better gas mileage now because it’s lighter; most of the body rusted and fell off.)
  • 1984 Corvette (Unfortunately, this one depreciated! - purchased new from Ryan Chevrolet and haven’t driven it much since then – still own it, looks like the day it left the showroom, see picture)
  • 1937 Chevrolet slant-back (street rod) (sold it a few years ago to help make room for a very large vehicle, see next car)
  • 1959 Buick Lasabre (purchased in 2001) (I’m not sure why, but I have this thing for '59 Buicks. This boat’s all original, even the paint. It’ll transport six people in comfort, their golf clubs, and all the beer they can drink. Please don’t ask me how I know that.)
  • about a gazillion motorcycles (I guess that’s how I learned to be a defensive driver.)
I may never be the most active member, but I could be in the running for writing the longest profile.

1959 Buick

1959 Buick
I bought the car in Rubgy. It's all original (never been painted; everything works, even the radio, speed alarm, gauges, speedomoter, etc.). It had been sitting for many years, so I needed to work on the engine a bit (water pump, generator, etc.). The paint was oxidized so I attacked it with a little rubbing compound (Terry Thorpe gave me some advice) and it turned out pretty nice (for a 45 year-old paint job).

1984 Corvette - I bought the Corvette from Ryan Chevrolet in 1984 and basically parked it.

1966 Mustang - My parents bought the Mustang from Westlie's in 1966 and sold it to me in about 1980.