WRITTEN BY: KATIE JENISON • PHOTOS BY: URBAN TOAD MEDIA Classic cars and hot rods aren’t new to the Fargo- Moorhead area thanks to clubs such as the Toppers Car Club, which established the first annual Toppers Car Show back in 1953. The community has come a long way since then and custom cars, hot rods, and bikes are getting more love than ever before. Whether taking in the sights beautifully restored classic cars and hot rods line up from Sheyenne Street to Main Avenue or admiring them up 6 / THE GOOD LIFE / urbantoadmedia.com close at Downtown Fargo’s Coffee & Cars, there’s no doubt classic car owners and motorcyclists are feeling the love. After putting all the work into restoring a car or bike, there’s only one thing left to do; breathe new life into it with an eye-catching custom paint job. Collectors and enthusiasts are sure to want the best of the best and that means finding someone that not only has the experience, but also the passion for creating one of a kind works of art. Mike Wanner of Fargo-Moorhead Custom and Collision fits that profile to a T and it's clear auto enthusiasts agree! In fact, there is a solid chance at least one of the classic cars, motorcycles, or hot rods you’ve admired was one of his custom creations. Wanner has been recognized for his talents across both North Dakota and Minnesota. His award-winning work has been featured in several well-known magazines including
American Iron Magazine. Taking center stage is the recognition for his work on motorcycles. He’s won awards for the best paint job at shows in Bismarck, Fargo, Jamestown, and Fergus Falls. His designs have even beat out hundreds of other entries at the biggest bike show in the Midwest, The Donnie Smith Bike & Car Show, held in Saint Paul every year. His paintwork has helped to edge out top competitors to win 6 first place best in class awards! Growing up, Wanner never dreamed his work would win awards, but his upbringing and love for what he does played a large part in where he is today. As the son of a hot rodder and an auto body expert, Wanner was destined to take a path involving cars and motorcycles. From the ripe age of 8 years old, Wanner could be found in the driver’s seat of old cars his dad was working on in the shop. He has fond memories of pretending to drive old Mustangs and the elusive Plymouth Super Bird. Eventually, Wanner’s dad put him to work and it wasn’t long before he was taking on projects of his own. The first was prepping and painting a As the son of a hot rodder and an auto body expert, Wanner was destined to take a path involving cars and motorcycles. urbantoadmedia.com / THE GOOD LIFE / 7
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