Tilt-A-Whirl Unveiling a Big Hit in Faribault
Thursday afternoon a totally restored Tilt-A-Whirl car was unveiled in front of Burkhartzmeyer Shoes in downtown Faribault.
Hundreds gathered to see the finished product, and most of them had their picture taken with American Restoration stars Rick and Kelly Dale. They were very gracious in granting everyone's request. From autographs to selfies and other photos they kept smiling.
Rick told those gathered they restore a lot of items and what catches their interest are the items with an interesting story. When he and Kelly learned that Faribault was the birthplace of the ride he enjoyed in his youth and the community wanted to restore a car to display it downtown, they were sold. Kelly said after seeing a posting on Facebook about the unveiling, she asked Rick if he wanted to fly from Las Vegas to Faribault and attend the event.
Rick didn't have to be convinced, telling the crowd it's not often they get to see the items they restore after they leave the shop. He and Kelly are both from small towns and said they enjoyed their brief visit to Faribault.
Mayor John Jasinski talked about some other exciting news coming to Faribault, including the new brewing business downtown and expansion project by Faribault Foods. He also touched on the restoration of the historic Security Bank clock downtown and said the city would soon be adding more lighting to the trees in the downtown area.
Gary Pettipiece of Harley's Auto Salvage donated the car and others to be restored. He told KDHL his dad would be very proud. Pettipiece said his father was always talking about having the cars restored and putting them in his yard to use as patio furniture or something, but obviously never got it done.
Business owners Peg Keilen and Tammy Schluter were involved in the Main Street program and heard about a consultant's recommendation to use the birthplace of the Tilt-A-Whirl as a tourist attraction. Keilen knew about the cars in the salvage yard and told Schluter and they approached Pettipiece about the possibility of donating the cars.
Keilen added another car will be restored locally and placed on the corner by the State Bank of Faribault in the future.
Production of the world-renowned ride stopped in Faribault in 2010. Herb Sellner invented the unique ride in 1926 and produced the first 14 in his home before opening the Sellner Manufacturing plant in Faribault in 1927.
I told a young man at the unveiling there hadn't been that much excitement in downtown Faribault since Ann-Margaret, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were in town filming the movie Grumpy Old Men in 1992, which he hadn't heard of, by the way.