Minges Creek Auto in Battle Creek, Michigan was asked to restore this 1949 Chrysler Town & Country for Mr. Bud Popke.
Although Bud was a lifelong admirer and collector of
antique automobiles, this project wasn’t for his personal reward, it was (and is) a true legacy rewarding students.
The reward, a promise of higher education and a chance to go to college for many students who otherwise couldn’t afford tuition.
Bud Popke, along with his sister Ruth, established the Popke Family Otsego High School Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships for graduates of Otsego High School in Otsego, Michigan.
Upon the completion of the restoration, this fabulous woody will be sold, with proceeds add to the $2 million scholarship fund.
The estimated completion date of the restoration is late Spring of this year.
When the woody first came to Minges Creek Auto, it was evident that the wood craftsmanship was true to the times it was built. The wooden parts for the Town & Country came from Pekin Wood Products in Helena, Arkansas. They were shipped to Chrysler’s Jefferson Avenue plant in Detroit for assembly, where the wood craftsmen would simply just grab the next board in the “pile”, not paying much attention to the fact that the wood grain or color on the door matched up with the wood on the quarter panel or adjacent panels.
At Minges Creek Auto Restoration we wanted the wood to be extraordinary. We wanted and achieved the feat of matching the wood grain up to each different panel to effectuate the look of the wood “flowing” through the car as if one tree were used.
Actually, 80% of the wood on this T & C is original while only 20% of the wood is new. The wood on the upper doors and body were several boards glued together with the grains going in all different patterns and directions.
Other boards used were dark, some were light, and some boards had a red or green tint to them.
With over 30 years experience in the classic automobile restoration process, Minges Creek Auto has developed a procedure to make the color and tint on all the boards appear consistent with each and every other board on the vehicle and with the help of an air brush our craftsmen add some wood graining, paying attention to the detail of matching the grain from panel to panel, leading to the look of one board from front to back.
After restoring several wood cars, this car has become a
favorite, not only for it’s well preserved wood and metal (quite often panels have to be fabricated and welded in), but for the purpose this car will serve in helping students with a promise of higher education.
Feel free to visit us at www.mingescreekauto.net