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2022 Rendezvous cruises into Fortune Bay!

by BKA | June 10, 2022

Fortune Bay Resort Casino has been home to several car shows in the past, but auto enthusiasts will see a new twist when the InterMarque Car Club rolls into town with its 2022 Rendezvous.


“You will see a variety of vintage sports cars and vintage motorcars from Saabs to Jaguar sedans to vintage Minis, from a multitude of countries,” said Todd Bjernkes, a longtime club member. “There will be a selection of what we call “Modern Classics” new body style Minis, Lotus’, modern Jaguar sedans,  and convertibles. Some of the offerings will be quite rare and unique.”

 The 2022 Rendezvous takes place June 9-12 with Fortune Bay serving as the headquarters for the estimated 175 club members who are coming from both the U.S. and Canada. Some of the events scheduled include a Thursday night mixer, Friday scenic car cruise and a poker run to the Ely and Tower area, followed by a car show at Fortune Bay from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 11.


“The club has been great to work with,” said Fortune Bay’s Brian K. Anderson. “They are very detailed-oriented and passionate about their hobby. We encourage the public to come out for the free car show to check out these unique automobiles. We’ll have live music, featuring Jason Streitz and The Long Odds, plus food and beverages.”


Anderson said the InterMarque club is also raising money for the local Boys and Girls Club by having attendees place a dollar or whatever denomination they’d like, into a container set up near each automobile on display at the show. The automobile with the most money in the container will win the People’s Choice award.


“That is a really nice touch by the club and the money raised will be put to good use by the Lake Vermilion Boys and Girls Club,” said Anderson.


Club member Terry Jacobs said InterMarque started 30 years ago as a way to get individual foreign sports car clubs to commingle and share their love of each other’s cars. To further this love, Jacobs said, the InterMarque group began reaching out to include all foreign automobiles makes, models and years. The group focuses on an annual “Spring Kick-Off” each year where they assemble as many cars and owners as possible.


“Our Kick-Off in May took up four blocks of downtown Osseo, so it’s a pretty big deal,” said Jacobs.

Due to the larger annual event being sidelined for two years because of the pandemic, Jacobs said he expects to see a wide array of British, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Swedish cars at The Rendezvous 2022 event. 


“It’s open to all models and there will be some awfully cool cars at our show,” said Jacobs. “Many will be from the 50s and 60s but some will be new.”


As for a little of the back story, Jacobs said The Rendezvous ’22 represents a tradition of bi-annually hosting the Canadian foreign sports car clubs. He said the last one, which was scheduled for Kenora, Ontario, was canceled for viral reasons. 


“That was 2 years ago,” explained Jacobs. “Last fall, a few of us were discussing whose turn it was, so we decided to pitch in and host the Rendezvous. Going north is a tradition we have when we host. It also helps Canadian owners decide to join in when not many miles are involved.”


The planning process has been time-consuming, but Jacobs is confident the club made the right choice in bringing it to the Lake Vermilion area.


“We are very pleased that Fortune Bay agreed to host as their property is ideal for our group as it has wonderful amenities,” said Jacobs. “Furthermore, the surrounding area has a great topography that lends itself to scenic drives with twisty and undulating roads.”


Bjernkes concurred.


“We’re looking forward to a fun-filled few days in the Lake Vermilion area,” Bjernkes said. “Fortune Bay Resort Casino was selected because of its proximity to the spirited Canadians, the local attractions, and the high quality of the entire facility.” 


And speaking of the spirited Canadians, Bjernkes said there will be a friendly U.S.A. versus Canada for the best poker hand after Friday’s Poker Run. Stops along the way include Grand Ely Lodge, Ely International Wolf Center, Northern American Bear Center, Soudan Underground Mine, Bois Forte Heritage Center and Cultural Museum, and finally Fortune Bay.


“That should lend to some good-natured ribbing at the expense of the loser,” said Jacobs of the winning poker hand, which will take place in The Woodlands Ballroom Friday at 8 p.m.


While the 2022 Rendezvous is a time to focus on the present, Bjernkes said that another one of InterMarque missions is to recruit a young demographic to help keep the club vibrant.


 “Most of the club members have been in the hobby for a number of years,” said Bjernkes, who has been in the club for 15 years. “As our members age, we want the excitement of our passion to be passed on to the younger set— we try to do this through our involvement with charitable shows that are family-friendly.”

Jacobs said the list of expected sports cars that will be on display is endless and might just be A to Z, or as he joked, “AC Bristol to Volkswagen.”


 “I’m passionate about my fellow owners’ automobiles because of the contributions mechanically and aesthetically their cars have made over the years,” said Jacobs, who has been involved with the club for 15 years. 


He added that automobile haven Detroit has some historical advancement, but he is constantly surprised at what he finds by looking closer into these foreign sports cars. 


“Some of the most outstanding advancements in design and engineering have come from overseas,” said Jacobs. “Of course, the owners themselves bring the cars to life with me, and they are not to be forgotten.”


All in all, Bjernkes said a big part of this event is the way clubs of the upper Midwest get to interact with their neighbors to the north in a socially relaxed atmosphere, with some friendly competition. 


“As we venture out on a trip to Rendezvous or any other location, one of the concerns for many vintage car enthusiasts, “Is everything going to hold together on my pride and joy?’” asked Bjernkes.


And given the attention paid to their pride and joy, that scenario most likely won’t take place.

“Testing our cars on longer trips is part fear and part pride,” explained Jacobs. “Fear that you did not make a repair correctly and pride that you did a correct job. Either way a friend is there to help if necessary, but these cars are reliable and we can’t wait to head north to show them off.”

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