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Picker’s prize

Posted June 11, 2014 in Community Featured, Greene County
Shawn Olson was reluctant to stop at the farm sale where he ended up buying this 1949 Chevy DeLuxe.

Shawn Olson was reluctant to stop at the farm sale where he ended up buying this 1949 Chevy DeLuxe.

Shawn and Jennie Olson of Jefferson stopped on a whim in Carroll late one day when Jenny saw a sign announcing a tool sale.

Reluctant to stop, Shawn told Jennie he didn’t want to. But, after she insisted, they stopped at the farm. Turns out, the farmer had sold his farm and was selling almost everything else.

Pickers by trade, the couple walked around the farm to see what all the farmer had. The farmer showed them what was inside a couple of sheds and one item caught Shawn’s attention — a 1949 Chevy DeLuxe with the original paint.

In true picker fashion, Shawn saw the potential.

“The guy had taken it apart, and he didn’t know where some missing pieces were,” he says.

Despite the missing pieces, Shawn bought the car, not to resell it, but because he loves vintage vehicles.

“We got it home, and when we opened the trunk, all the missing parts were in there,” he says.

Very little work was necessary on the vehicle after it was put back together because it was in such good shape.

“It had sat in the shed for over 15 years,” Shawn says. “Somehow it made it through all these years without being painted.”

He did have to fix the brakes. And, there is one item Shawn has installed in the car that isn’t original — an old siren he bought at a local area funeral home. What he installed was the sound device, not the whirling red light. That, he says, is just for fun.

“The funeral home used it on their hearse,” he says. “I mounted a punch button on the floor to set off the siren. It sounds like the old police car sirens, probably from the 1950s.”

The Chevrolet is just one of Shawn’s “favorite” classic cars. He and Jennie also own a 1929 Dodge five-window coup, a 1958 Volkswagen bug and a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain.

And he just bought a 1970 Volkswagen bus.

“The bus is in very, very good shape. I bought it from the owner who bought it brand new,” Shawn says.

His love of cars started when he was young, growing up in California.

“I started building cars when I was 13,” Shawn says. “Back then, my first car was a vintage Volkswagen.”

Don’t be surprised to see the Chevy around town. Shawn and Jennie like to drive the car in the summer, often to do everyday chores such as going to the grocery store.

Contact Darren Tromblay at 953-4822 ext. 304 or to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”

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