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Have you ever seen a two-headed car?

Mon, Apr 30th, 2012
Posted in Preston All

The car is seen here at the 2006 Trout Days Parade. Photo submitted

Back in the 1960s, Vern Knoepke of Preston was working at a body shop when he got the idea to put two cars together. He had two Oldsmobiles, one a 1953 and one a 1952, and he put them together so that both ends are the front of the car, with a steering wheel, hood, and everything else.

When John Haugen owned the drug store in Preston, he was a member of what is now the Chamber of Commerce. He heard that this car was being stored in Canton, and he decided to buy it for $500.

The car was painted and driven through many parades over the years. Right now Abe Junge is working on it so it will be ready to once again be driven through the Preston Trout Days parade.

Haugen explained they removed the bench seats and installed bucket seats to make it more comfortable. The floor needs to be replaced, and it needs a new paint job.

“We are trying to raise money for the restoration,” said Haugen. He said the Preston Area Chamber of Commerce has donated $1,000, and so has the Preston Area Foundation. The Christianson Foundation has offered to match any donations up to $5,000.

The cost to restore this unique Preston mascot is pretty substantial. According to Haugen, the paint alone has a price tag of around $2,800. The total cost will be somewhere from $10-12,000. The project is being done in three phases.

“The car was run by most of the business people in Preston during the ‘60s and ‘70s,” said Haugen. “They took it to all the parades in the area.”

Haugen is hoping to have the outside of the car painted and looking nice before Trout Days on May 19-20. When it’s not being shown off in parades, he would like to store it somewhere where it can be seen. Haugen said he has been offered a spot near the lumberyard building.

“I’m hoping to make a little landscaped display,” said Haugen. “My vision is to have it on a car trailer so people can see it from the road.”

The engine of the car works great, and it has new tires. There is only an engine on one side, but Haugen said the steering wheel works from both sides.

According to Haugen, a man recently offered to buy the car. He ended up making his own. “There aren’t many around,” he said. “We would like to take it to the Back to the ‘50s, a big old car weekend at the State Fair grounds, someday.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the restoration project can contact Haugen or anyone on the Preston Area Chamber of Commerce.

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