Tuesday evenings in the summertime, drivers traveling on State Highway 15 in Hortonville get a glimpse of old cars that encircle Charlie’s (now Carl and Rachel’s) Drive-In.
A full house of car enthusiasts gather for burgers and root beer under the roof of the carhop run.
Old Car Night ramps up a notch when a 1970s ‘Elvis’ visits this popular hangout. Each year, the Mann family, owners of the iconic drive-in, commemorate the true Elvis Presley. On August 16, 1977, the world lost Presley.
Fans equipped with cameras pose with Elvis near the car of their choosing, or with carhops dressed as Marilyn Monroe. Carl’s wife Tori, a standout ‘Marilyn’, wears a hot pink mermaid gown complete with feathers.
That night, a DJ ‘spinning’ records introduced members of the Autism Society, there to promote a fundraiser. Autism member Lisa Reissmann, is the mother of 20-year old Grayson, who has severe autism. She explained that the local Autism Society received free tickets from the BoDeans to help with fundraising. Paul Kryszak of Black Creek and Tony Haag of Fremont won tickets to see the BoDeans at the August 16 fundraiser.
At the Drive-in, in the short one-hour timeline, the Autism Society raised $175 from the crowd.
A beautiful summer evening allowed people to linger, admiring the original, restored, and chopped vehicles.
A piece of Mustang history
This particular evening a large piece of Ford history sat at Charlie’s Drive-in.
Jim DeShaney drove his pride and joy to Charlie’s Drive-In Old Car Night. His ‘baby’ is a 1964 Mustang.
On March 9, 1964, the first Mustang rolled off the assembly line. On April 16, 1964, the day before its release, Ford ran simultaneous commercials on all three major television networks, ABC, NBC, and CBS. The following day, people “attacked” the Ford showrooms. Everyone was in a frenzy to be one of the first to own the Mustang. Ford sold over 22,000 Mustangs the first day.
DeShaney’s Mustang has a Chantilly Beige paint job. Ford used that color for just three months.
In order to keep production costs down for the new Mustang, many components were used from the Falcon automobile, including most of the drive train. Eugene and Jeanne Buckarma of New London exhibited their ‘63 Ford Falcon at the Old Car Show, too.
Elvis and his co-hostess Marilyn Monroe will return again next year, to take drink and dining orders, photo opportunities with the crowd, and enjoy good hometown fun.