Vintage vehicle tour rolls into Vermillion A group of classic automobiles participating in the 2002 MotorIoway 1000 cruise Vermillion's Main Street Wednesday afternoon. by David Lias Vermillion's Main Street was literally turned into a museum Wednesday when a touring group of 200 automobiles made a stop here.
The exhibits were classic cars of all shapes, sizes and ages � from Ford Model Ts and Volkswagen Beetles, to Chevy Corvettes and even a Rolls Royce.
The formal name of this mobile museum of motor vehicle memories is MotorIoway 1000.
The tour is based on the "mile" races of Europe that became famous after World War II. As the name "mile" describes, the races were run for roughly 1,000 miles, with only elite expensive sports famous cars allowed in the race.
The Mille Miglia, a famous car race held on the open highways of Italy, led to the end of European mile races in the 1950s when racers were driving too fast and the sport was becoming too dangerous.
The thousand-mile tours inspired Claude Jones, pastor at Douglas Avenue Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, IA, to pursue the idea of a motor tour of Iowa.
"I have been interested in automobiles since I was a child, always enjoying vacations and touring," he said. "I also enjoy the special beauty of Iowa. Through my work as a pastor, I have led church tours through five continents and still find that the beauty of Iowa offers many surprises.
Early in 1996, Jones joined forces with John Swanson, marketing consultant in Cedar Rapids, IA, and Garry Schnepf, executive director of Keep Iowa Beautiful in Des Moines, to bring his dream of a motor tour of Iowa to life.
The primary goal of Motor
Ioway 1000 is to provide a thoroughly enjoyable event for the participants and communities.
"MotorIoway 1000 is designed to include all forms of vehicles," Schnepf said. "The vehicles date through 1977, which offers something for everyone � there is a piece of history here for every age."
Downtown Vermillion was closed to traffic Wednesday, and the 200 participating cars were parked on Main and adjoining streets.
Local citizens took advantage of fair weather Wednesday to take a nostalgic, leisurely stroll up and down the streets, inspecting the high quality of the automobiles.
The MotorIoway 1000's route began in Iowa and includes stops in Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota. Other South Dakota communities on the tour route are Yankton, Sioux Falls, Flandreau and Brookings.