Mr. Cruze and the 30th Annual Summer Spectacular!

It’s 2005, and The Southern Cruzers  have had a 16-year tradition of what they call the “Friday Night Cruise & Saturday Car Show” during Lakeville’s Pan-O-Prog Parade. But the Cruise has become so popular (drawing in twice the amount spectators the parade is used to) that they have to move locations. So the “Friday Night Cruise” decides to officially pitch its tent south of the river at the Dakota County Fairgrounds, promptly changing its name to the “Summer Spectacular”. The Cruzers now get together to discuss ideas on how to make this event one of the best! They settle on 3 main elements: A Car Show, Business/Shopping Expo & Swap Meet with a lot of food and fellowship. But an event as elaborate as this would require some dedicated personalities.

Cue Tim Hanna, a now 12-year Southern Cruzer, Street-Rod of the year nominee, and just one of the many faces behind the Summer Spectacular. Tim had always enjoyed going to car shows, but it wasn’t until 2006 that his involvement with the club finally kicked into gear. After attending a “Back to the 50’s” event put on by the MSRA (Minnesota Street Rod Association), Tim expressed interest in the member-exclusive magazine, Linechaser. Linechaser is the MSRA’s award-winning, 100+ page monthly catalog filled cover-to-cover with photos and valuable member information. Not having a hot-rod to his name at that time, Tim assumed he wouldn’t be able to join. However, the board members assured him that he didn’t need a car to become a member, just enthusiasm!

“But I always wanted a show car of my own,” Tim said, “and it was kind of my goal to be on the cover of Linechaser, but [I] had to be nominated.” Tim soon became a member of the Southern Cruzers and promptly purchased a hot-rod of his own. From there, it was off to the races!

Tim’s dream of having his street-rod on the cover of Linechaser had a shifty start the following year when his 1935 Chevrolet Cabriolet was deemed ineligible due to a missing windshield wiper. But after a preserved winter and wiper bestowed upon its windshield, Tim’s street-rod was nominated as Street-Rod of the Year that spring and cruised its way right on to the cover of Linechaser!

We asked Tim what he loved most about the Southern Cruzers and why he’s remained a faithful member for 12 years. His short and simple response was, “It’s family-oriented.” The club has grown to become a community of almost 190 members. And though Tim admits that it mainly consists of couples who are “up in their years,” he said that the Southern Cruzers is a group for anyone interested! “We do it together. And the wives are just as active as the husbands.”

This year marks the 30th Annual Summer Spectacular, which was created to run based on what you want! So forget about long lines, excessive registration forms, and dirt roads that cloud your fresh coat of paint. Count on parking on grass next to your friends, voting for Best of Show trophy winners, and participating in (or spectating) limitless entertainment activities. Take it from Tim, who remarked, “It satisfies everyone’s wants.”

This is a charity event, rain or shine. While there are many small affairs and “mini-shows” that take place throughout the year, the Summer Spectacular is inarguably the largest event that the Southern Cruzers host. Since 2005, the Southern Cruzers have donated over $104,000 to local charities and scholarships. It’s no wonder why people like Tim give their time and energy to clubs like the Cruzers. We are proud to be sponsoring this year’s Summer Spectacular, and can’t wait to be a part of another community get-together!

Summer is a bittersweet good-bye in the state of Minnesota. So bring it to a close the right way by rolling down your windows and cruising over to the Dakota County Fairgrounds on Saturday, August 25th. Rows of freshly shined show cars of all makes, models, and years will be there. And who knows, maybe some Apple Autos vehicles too!

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When Shelby Met Ford: Don’t Miss the All Makes & Models Show this August!

You may remember these familiar faces! Mike and Carol Ackerman have been some of our most loyal Apple Autos customers throughout the years. But what makes them especially stand out? Their shared passion for Ford vehicles–in particular, Mustangs! The Ackerman’s have played a huge role in putting on the All Ford Show every year for the last 20 years. Well, get ready motor heads because this year is no exception! On August 19th, our Apple Ford Shakopee will be decked out in all your favorite Ford models.

This production wouldn’t be possible without people like Mike and Carol, who are avid members of the Upper Midwest Shelby Club. The club is a regional chapter of the National Shelby American Automotive Club (SAAC). The group is dedicated to the care, preservation, history, and enjoyment of world championship cars from Shelby American. No ownership is required for club members, just enthusiasm. We love working with the Ackerman’s and are so thankful for their devotion, hard work, and involvement with Apple Autos!

We hope you join us at the 2018 All Makes and Models Show on Sunday, August 19th from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. Show car registration is $5, but this isn’t just for Mustang enthusiasts and Ford fanatics. This is a totally unique event, free of cost for all spectators. So shake things up for your next day date by grabbing a quick breakfast and coming down to Apple Ford Shakopee. On behalf of Apple Autos and the Upper Midwest Shelby Club, we hope to see you there!

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Celebrate Good Times: 25 Years of Apple Autos!

On New Years’ Day of 1993, Apple Autos officially opened its doors for business. On a mission to do things different from any other automotive company, we focused our efforts on providing unmatched quality automotive products and service. By putting our best foot forward every day, we would always aim to exceed our customers’ and employee’s expectations, maintaining their loyalty for a lifetime.

Fast forward to today, we haven’t changed a bit! From the end of the Thunderbird era to the development of the Lincoln Black Label, progress has become a part of our daily routine, but our core values and founding beliefs have not budged. We are thrilled to be celebrating 25 years in business this year! Thanks to our valued team and customers, Apple Autos has now reached 5 different locations in Minnesota, the biggest Quick Lane in the world, and has its logo stickered on the back of 1/4th of the new Ford vehicles you see driving around the metro area.

We feel so fortunate to be where we are today. It’s because of the loyalty of our customers and employees that we are able to team up with several organizations while instituting ways to support our community.

We want to say thank you to everyone who has been involved in making Apple Autos so much more than a business. Here’s to another 25!

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Apple Ford Shakopee wins Ford President’s Award!

Celebrations are in order for our Apple Ford Shakopee store! We are incredibly honored and proud to have received the Ford President’s Award. We promise to continue to aim for this standard of uncompromising quality in order best serve our customers, employee’s, and community.

What is the Ford President’s Award?

The Ford Presidents Award is given to dealerships with the highest level of customer service, satisfaction, and overall experience. And our Apple Ford Shakopee store has won the Ford President’s Award 7 times out of the last 10 years!

Why it matters?

There are over 5,000 Ford dealers across the nation, and this level of honor is only awarded to 340 of them.We don’t take this award lightly. Since we started Apple Autos in 1993, it has been our primary mission to meet the needs of our customers and community by serving them according to their best interest.

Come see for yourself why Apple Autos was awarded the Ford President’s Award. Shop for your next vehicle in a stress-free, no pressure environment with team members who genuinely care about finding the best car for you!


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The Great County Get-Together Just Got Closer to Home


It’s almost that time of year! Summer is winding down and our community is celebrating with one last hurrah at The Dakota County Fair, August 6th – 12th.  We are proud to sponsor this event while teaming up with the Twin Cities very own up and coming Vitals Aware Services App.

By connecting with families, non-profit organizations, and first-respondents, the Vitals team gathered that one common challenge for those with special needs is communication. Compelled to help families and caregivers of those with special needs, the team developed a uniquely designed app to bridge the communication gap. They call it the Vitals App.

The Vitals App allows authorized first responders 24/7 access to you or your loved one’s specific needs and information during a time of crisis. With safety as its primary goal, the Vitals App is dedicated to positively impacting the community. Whether it’s reducing the stress of a parent or caregiver, prompting successful encounters, or simply offering peace of mind, the Vitals App is there to help.

And what better place to promote safer communities than the cousin of the Great Minnesota Get-Together? Because believe it or not, before there was Minnesota, there was Dakota County. We are thrilled to be hosting The Vitals App team at our Apple Autos booth this year at the Dakota County Fair! Bringing the community together since 1858, The Dakota County Fair is more than just a Demolition Derby and petting zoo’s, it’s a celebration of our town’s history and progress.

Founded in 1849 by the Dakota tribe of American Indians, Dakota County was one of the original nine counties developed by the Minnesota Territory Legislature. Not long after the tribes had settled, Europeans came and forced Indian tribes further west. From there, Dakota County just kept growing with more and more European settlers. And in May of 1858, Minnesota finally had its place on the map.

We are honored to be sharing in the celebration of our towns history. It’s not every day that our 8 brands and 5 locations come together to meet you where you are. So come stop by the Apple Autos booth and try your chance at $500 for a text-to-win campaign. Plus, meet the faces behind the Vitals App!

See you there!

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Hope Chest for Breast Cancer in the news

Just by getting your oil changed, you can help change a life. Oil Change for Hope is a partnership between Apple Autos and Hope Chest for Breast Cancer where all through the month of May, Apple Autos will donate one dollar from each oil change at one of the five locations to Hope Chest. Hope Chest for Breast Cancer provides the quickest access to help for the most urgent needs of local breast cancer patients and their families, including housing, transportation, utilities, food and child care. Since 2011, Oil Change for Hope has helped raise over $40,000 for those in need, whose stories you can read about here.

Recently, Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation Executive Director, Nancy Pihofer, was interviewed by KSTP on Oil Change for Hope and how the funds raised help Hope Chest continue to impact the lives of those affected by breast cancer. You can watch the full video here.

If you want to be a part of Oil Change for Hope, here is a list of the five Apple Autos locations where you can get your oil changed:

  • Apple Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram:  1684 Weston Court, Shakopee, MN 55379
  • Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley:  7200 150thSt W, Apple Valley, MN 55124
  • Apple Ford Shakopee:  1624 Weston Court, Shakopee, MN 55379
  • Apple Chevrolet Buick Northfield:  1600 Cannon Lane, Northfield, MN 55057
  • Apple Used Autos Shakopee:  1400 1st Ave. E. Shakopee, MN 55379
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May is Oil Change for Hope Supporting Hope Chest for Breast Cancer.

Barbara Hensley lost her two sisters to breast cancer. She saw firsthand the financial hardships that cancer patients face. After meeting other patients and hearing their stories, she had to do something. In 2001 she started Hope Chest for Breast Cancer.

Hope Chest doesn’t fund research, it funds the financial needs associated with treatment. It pays the rent, keeps the lights on, puts food in the fridge, pays for childcare, and other needs of breast cancer patients.

Barbara Hensley is an Apple Autos customer, and we became a supporter of her and her cause. Since 2011 we have raised over $38,000 for Hope Chest. Every May we donate $1 for every oil change we do to support Hope Chest for Breast Cancer. Customers have the opportunity to match or round up. This year our goal is to contribute another $10,000 to Hope Chest for Breast Cancer.

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I Am Thankful for… Grab a Marker and Share on a Vehicle…

What are you thankful for? Grab a neon marker and share your thoughts on the vehicle!

During this season we are reminded of all that we have to be thankful for. Grab a marker and write what you are thankful for on the vehicle located at any one of our 5 locations. Feel free to take a photo and post on social media with #appleautos. We will be posting some of our favorites throughout the month.

It’s Different Here!


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Lincoln Continental Launch Event at Vivo Kitchen

Guests will enjoy an exclusive Red Carpet Lincoln Experience at Vivo Kitchen, celebrating the launch of the new Lincoln Continental! It will be an evening to discover an extraordinary automobile paired with the ultimate dining experience at Vivo. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments all evening including an exclusive mocktail named the “Continental” crafted by Vivo’s head Mixologist.

The event is Tuesday May 23rd, from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. We are excited to share more experiences on the blog and social media, #appleautos.


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Oil Change for Hope Campaign supporting Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

Apple Autos is proud to be partnering with Hope Chest For Breast Cancer in 2017 with our Oil Change for Hope campaign.    

During the month of May for every oil change completed at any of our Apple Autos locations we will be donating $1 to Hope Chest.  We are excited to announce that our guests will be able to double their donation when they post a photo and/or check in at Apple Autos on their Facebook or Instagram accounts using #appleautos and #oilchangeforhope.  Over $6000 was donated during our 2016 Oil Change for Hope campaign and in 2017 we are hoping to donate over $10,000.

Hope Chest has assisted patients with over $1.5 million in emergency assistance grants since its inception.  This year alone it is expected that 4,230 people in Minnesota will be diagnosed with breast cancer.   Hope Chest ensures the best use of its funds with a low operating cost leading to 84% of its revenue going directly to breast cancer patients and programming.

Please join us in our support for Hope Chest during the month of May.  To find out more about Hope Chest and the work they do visit



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