WEST OKOBOJI, Iowa — Okoboji Classic Cars brings customers cars of the past, but also some towns from back in the 1960’s.
Toby Shine began building the classic car dealership in 2012. Not only does he bring old cars back to life, he also re-created his hometown of Spencer, circa 1964.
He also built a replica of the iconic Arnolds Park Roof Garden, and Fun House, also from the 1960’s. Shine commissioned contractors of the building to create facades of the stores he grew up with along Grand Avenue in Spencer. Along the street are parked classic cars from that era, many are for sale.
“Spencer is where I spent my youth, our business is still in Spencer so it mean a lot to me,” said Shine.
Shine has worked his family business recycling scrap metal in Spencer for many years. Now, in his classic car business, he helps people bring back memories. For $10 people can tour his creation. At the end Shine says they get a $10 credit to buy a hat or t-shirt from the business.
Okoboji Classic Cars also restores old cars. The company has 11 technicians working to bring old cars back to mint condition.
“People are building man caves all over the United States,” said Shine. “I just think we took it to a different level, we went to one on steroids.”
The recreated Spencer and Arnolds Park also have many neon signs from the era to add to the life-like appearance of the towns. An artist was commissioned to paint murals of the towns and the old cars to add to the realism. One neon sign was located by the American Pickers and Frank Fritz delivered the sign himself. Shine said the American Pickers have been great to work with.
“The neon sign that says boats was originally in Arnolds Park, Frank was up here,” said Shine. “They called me and said they’d found it, they werevery easy to deal with.”
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