Russ and LaNae Steinhaus
Russ Steinhaus and LaNae Stenson met and started dating when they were 16. Russ grew up on a farm near Crary, North Dakota and started farming at the age of six when his dad put him on a tractor tilling a field by himself while LaNae grew up 12 miles away in Devils Lake, North Dakota enjoying city life.
While still in high school Russ purchased and began restoring a 1929 Model A. A year after graduating from high school, Russ realized his dream of owning a Corvette when he purchased a new 1973. This wouldn’t have been financially feasible with the high cost of insurance for a single teenager, however, their upcoming marriage would greatly reduce the insurance premium to make the purchase manageable. That was the end of the Model A. Date nights were spent in the Corvette cruising the car lots anticipating what great new muscle cars had arrived at the dealerships that day.
After graduation in 1972, LaNae went on to the University of North Dakota and Russ continued to farm and raise cattle. In May of 1974, they married and drove the '73 on their honeymoon. LaNae commuted to work throughout that first summer in the Vette. Their daughter was born during a record setting winter of 20 consecutive days of 30 degrees below zero temperatures.
They joined the closest Corvette club which was in Fargo, North Dakota and would commute 170 miles one way to attend meetings and events with a great group of Corvette enthusiasts.
In the fall of 1977 Russ and LaNae moved to Willmar, Minnesota where Russ was a machinist and later a supervisor for 24 years in a manufacturing plant. For twenty of those years, he also had a small part-time business building and installing wrought iron railings and spiral stairways.
In 1979, Russ purchased a '66 Corvette coupe and immediately started disassembling it for restoration. It became an on-going project culminating 32 years later. During this time LaNae worked for a family owned GM dealership where Russ had the good fortune of being able to purchase new Corvette parts at dealer cost. Their son was born and early on was at Russ’s side in the garage helping with anything that required a tool.
Russ and LaNae were involved in taking the '66 through extensive NCRS judging which culminated this July at the NCRS national convention in Denver being awarded the prestigious Duntov Mark of Excellence Award. They have been National Corvette Restorers Society members since 1980.
In 2003, with their family grown, they quit their jobs, had an auction and moved to Colorado to open the Great Harvest Bread Company in Lakewood, CO which they owned and operated until 2009.
Beginning in 2006 and currently, Russ started restoring Corvettes for hire focusing mainly on body repair and paint, as well as, chassis restoration.
LaNae works for a back office accounting company in their bank reconciliation department and thoroughly enjoys her schedule which allows her to participate in the fun-filled, always interesting road trips and activities that being a charter member of the 4C’s brings with it.
Their daughter lives in Colorado and their son, daughter-in-law and grand daughter reside in Minnesota. With two children, Russ has long wanted to purchase a twin to the '73 Vette so he could, in time, leave one to each of their children. Two summers ago, that goal was fulfilled. With joining a Corvette social club, Russ thought it best to leave the classics at home and purchase a newer Corvette to enjoy their anticipated crazy, fun, endless road trips with this new circle of friends. So, in December of 2013, a 2011 Z06 took the last parking spot in the garage. LaNae is sure there are no more parking spots but Russ isn’t so willing to agree to that statement.