Skip to main content

In its Minnesota hometown, restored Tilt-A-Whirl car inspires smiles once again

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The spirit of the Tilt-A-Whirl was alive and well in downtown Faribault Thursday afternoon.

After months of planning and a round of fundraising – plus some help from a couple of TV stars – a restored Tilt-A-Whirl car was unveiled and dedicated in the same southern Minnesota city it was invented (and for a long time, also built), the Faribault Daily News reports.

The restored iconic ride has a permanent place there now, at 128 Central Ave.

"It's a big deal," one resident told KEYC.

The Tilt-A-Whirl was invented in Faribault by Herbert Sellner and patented in 1926, the Star Tribune says. In 2011, after hundreds of the cars had been manufactured there, the company was sold to a Texas firm.

But the people of Faribault still have a soft, probably mildly dizzy spot for the symbol of fairs and fun that was born in their city.

As luck would have it, a couple of TV hosts have a similar love for American mechanical engineering: Husband and wife duo Rick and Kelly Dale, from the History Channel show "American Restoration."

Tami Schluter and Peggy Kellen with the Historic Hutchinson House got the ball whirling well over a year ago.

They'd found the beat-up, rusted Tilt-A-Whirl relic (seen above) at Harley's Auto Salvage, which agreed to donate the car. Schluter and Kellen then contacted the Dales and laid out their proposal, reported.

The Dales agreed, but Schluter and Kellen had to raise some money – they set a goal of $8,500 (the approximate cost of the restoration) and began taking donations in February of 2014, allowing the work to be done in the Dales' Las Vegas shop.

An "American Restoration" episode featuring the Tilt-A-Whirl car aired that July.

By August, the car was restored and ready to go, the Faribault Daily News reported. They just had to wait a bit longer for its permanent space in the city's downtown to be completed.

Ten months later that day came, with the Dales on-hand to see its official dedication.

"You have an amazing community! Glad we were there!" Kelly Dale tweeted Thursday.

The Historic Hutchinson House actually has a second car lined up awaiting restoration as well, it said on Facebook.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 10.02.59 AM

North Dakota's only abortion clinic relocating to Minnesota

A GoFundMe set up to help the clinic make the move to Minnesota has surpassed its $500,000 goal.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 12.37.03 PM

Deadly vehicle fire on Interstate 94 west of Fargo

The victim's age and name have not been released.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

Overturning Roe v. Wade won't do a 'damn thing' to prevent abortions, Walz says

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Saturday meant to protect abortion access in the state and people who come from out of state seeking one.


Man crossing Highway 13 in Burnsville fatally struck by driver

The victim is a 31-year-old man from Prior Lake.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 7.50.33 AM

4 shot near Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

The shooting happened around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 7.55.28 PM

Charges: Cop feared for his life during struggle for gun with suspect

Allen Denzel Oliver-Hall has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Burnsville, Minnesota - May 2019 (2)

Shootout near Erik's Bike Shop, Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville

Police say youths were shooting at each other on Saturday afternoon.

minnesota river

Fishermen find body floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

The body was found upstream from Minnesota River Heritage Park.


The Tilt-a-Whirl's inventor gets a new monument in his hometown

Yes, the carnival ride got its start in Minnesota.