The Beater Boys
The “Eagles” were the precursor to Beater Boys Car Club. This was a junior high school group, with its own back yard clubhouse, whose original members included Tom and Don Erickson, David Johnson, and Don Eveland. The boys were seriously into model cars, and heavily influenced by the RatFink creation of Big Daddy Roth. When their clubhouse was destroyed by a grass fire they eyed the old barn across the road. After weeks of work it was cleaned out and converted into a glorious car garage. Later the silo was converted into the infamous office.
The Beater Boys Car Club was organized in 1965 by five boys who shared a common interest in cars. The charter members included Tom and Richard Erickson, Don Eveland, David Johnson, and Larry Erickson. The main activity of these early years was the locating and purchasing of old cars, “Beaters” to be later taken out and joy ridden in the back fields and woods of their parents property. In fact the club constitution called for a member to have driven and preferably owned a “Beater Car”. These cars were literally “beaten” to death by trees, abuse and occasionally each other. The Beater Boys were probably one of the first to engage in what is now the staple of many Minnesota County Fairs, the Destruction Derby. The high light of there early years was the “Beater Five”, a beater car race around the firebreak, out behind the barn.
In 1967, the Beater Boys were introduced by then president, Carl Swanson to GSTA. Carl was a route driver for Ambassador Sausage and on this route he noted a group of young men outside of an old Barn, surrounded by many cars. Conversation was struck up and an invitation was extended to come to the GSTA meeting at the Bryant Street Police Station in South Minneapolis. At a subsequent meeting our application for membership was accepted, over the protest from some current clubs, citing our member’s long hair. Since then members of the Beater Boys have held the office of President, Vice President and Secretary within GSTA. Early members included Jeff and Terry Spohn, Jim Hamilton, Jeff Byrdzick, Bill Barton, Mark Johnson, Marv West, Tony Dvoracek, Steve Seggbarth, Dean Rollins, Tom Fairbanks, Don Erickson, Clayton Orrtel, Dan Knack, Bob Luken and Barry Larson.
The Beater Boys have sponsored car washes, entered floats in the Anoka Halloween Parades, and have participated in several car shows in the upper Midwest. One such show is sponsored by GSTA, the Beater Boys queen candidates have won the title of Miss GSTA - Miss Kathie Zimmerman (1969), Miss Terry Setterlund(1970), Miss Mary Ellen Zubulake (1971) and a number of GSTA Princesses including Miss Donna Spetz, Miss Linda Skjefte (1968) and Miss Cindy Foy (1973). The Beater Boys were also actively racing their cars at Minnesota Dragways and Donneybrook Speedway. Over time the Beater Boys Car Club have transformed their interest from racing cars into Street Rods. Most of the current members are active with the Minnesota Street Rod Association, attending many rod run, car show, swap meets, Back to the Fifties, and the Street Rod Nationals.