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Monroe car show draws hundreds to town square

Published: Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 10:32 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 10:57 a.m. CDT
(Kayla Singletary/Daily News)
Brad Donahue, of Monroe, stands by his 1952 black DeSoto that he and his wife, Linda, restored over the past five years. The vehicle is sentimental to the Monroe couple as it was passed down from generation to generation in Linda’s family.

MONROE — Every restored car or truck has a story, perhaps it was passed down from generation to generation or a particular year and model garners memories from teenage years and cruising down the highway.

For Brad and Linda Donahue of Monroe, a 1952 black DeSoto takes them back to simpler times and reminds them of the good ol’ days. The couple showed off their car at the annual Monroe Car Show and Smoke Out on Saturday.

The car belonged to Linda Donahue’s granddad, “Grandpa Mittman” who was a dairy farmer. The DeSoto was then passed down to each kid in the family, according to Brad Donahue.

“Linda’s folks learned how to drive with it,” Brad Donahue said. “They would also drive it to Des Moines, which was a big deal then.”

Once the vehicle had seen better days, and the radiator went out, the car was parked behind a barn and forgotten about.

“It sat out in the weeds for 30 years,” Brad Donahue said. “It wasn’t until at a family reunion that someone asked about that car and where it was.”

In 2010 the car was dug out and the couple went to work on restoring the family vehicle. The DeSoto that was once a bright green was transformed into a black and sleek vehicle.

“It took us about five years to restore,” Brad Donahue said. “It took a lot of work to get it to where it is now.”

All the hard work was worth it when he was able to see his wife’s priceless reaction to the now driveable DeSoto.

“She was pretty happy,” Brad Donahue said. “She was the first to drive it home after its final repairs.”

This story among many others, is the reason the Monroe Old Settlers hosts the car show annually.

More than 70 cars were registered at the show, according to one event organizer Clint Price.

“We have been planning for this the last couple months, and I have been handing out flyers and spreading the word,” Price said. “I’m really into cars myself, and I just want everyone to have a good time.”

Trophies were also awarded to the top 10 cars who earned the votes.

“Anytime barbecue is involved it’s going to be a good time,” Price said.

Contact Kayla Singletary at 641-792-3121 ext. 6533 or ksingletary@newtondailynews.com

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