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Hot Rod Hangouts began May 11 in Perham. They will be held once month, on a Sunday evening, at different locations around the area, all summer long. Submitted photo

Jems and Jalopies: New motor club encourages shop talk with its Hot Rod Hangouts

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Jems and Jalopies: New motor club encourages shop talk with its Hot Rod Hangouts
Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

“All motorheads welcome.”

That’s what it says on the flyers for the new Hot Rod Hangouts, and it pretty much says it all.


The hangouts, organized by the new Jems and Jalopies Motor Club, are similar to another new auto-related event in Perham, the Classic Cruise-Ins, except the hangouts are open to any and all vehicles, not just the classics.

The hangouts are geared toward car enthusiasts who are just starting out or who have works in progress and want some feedback or advice from their peers. There’s a sharp focus on bringing “motorheads” together to share their car-building knowledge and experiences.

Shawn Weatherhead, a long-time car collector, started Jems and Jalopies Motor Club with his sons and a couple of their friends this past winter, soon after learning that the Perham car show would not be held this year. Wanting to fill that hole – and even expand on it – they created the monthly Hot Rod Hangouts.

“We wanted to make something where motor enthusiasts – cars, trucks, bikes, whatever – had a place to get together with other motor enthusiasts to talk cars,” said Weatherhead. “It’s a hangout place for hot rodders or people who are interested in motor sports of different kinds. A forum for everybody to get together and talk motors.”

The hangouts are open to all makes, models, styles and conditions of vehicles. 

“Whatever it is, if you’re proud of it and you want to talk about it, bring it down,” said Weatherhead.

The first hangout, held May 11 at the Perham Dairy Queen, “turned out very nice,” according to Weatherhead. “It was wonderful. We had a total of 31 vehicles there... Especially with it being on Mother’s Day, I thought the turnout was just terrific.”

The next Hot Rod Hangout is scheduled for Sunday, June 8 at The Otter Supper Club in Ottertail, from 4-6 p.m. Weatherhead said the July hangout will be held in New York Mills, at a location yet to be announced. The August hangout will likely take place somewhere in Vergas. For updated locations and other information, visit the Jems and Jalopies Motor Club Facebook page.

Locations chosen to host the hangouts will always have gas and food available on site or close by, “so everybody’s got what they need,” Weatherhead said.

He was quick to add that food is not the focus of the event: “It’s meant for people to hang out and have a good time. It’s guys who are working on cars and want to talk about cars.”

Marie Johnson
Marie Johnson (formerly Nitke) came to the Perham Focus after several years as the Education and Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Herald-Review of Grand Rapids, Minn. She lives in rural Ottertail with her husband, Dan, and their spunky yellow lab, Louisa.
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