A blast to the past

Duane Sundquist, left, and his son Sean are pictured with the 1952 Ford Customline Sean surprised his father with this summer. The care is the exact same model Duane drove as a teenager.

There’s no better feeling than getting your driver’s license and taking a drive in your first car. Duane Sundquist, of Deer River, was able to relive this moment when his son, Sean Sundquist, gifted him a 1952 Ford Customline—the exact same model Duane drove when he was 16 years old.

Years ago, Duane had mentioned he would like to get another 1952 Ford Customline.

“Somebody listens,” Duane said.

Sean found the replica vehicle just two miles from his home in Cloquet a few months ago. The car was the exact match with the same flathead V8 engine, a three-foot manual transmission and was painted a light blue color.

“It was too much of a coincidence to pass up.” Sean said.

Sean stored the vehicle in Duane’s sister Dolly and her husband Norman’s garage. Then, this August, Duane and Sean came over for coffee. The car was parked in the driveway for Duane to see when he arrived. After some initial confusion, Sean gave his father the keys to the car.

Duane has many memories of the original 1952 Ford. His older brother gave him the car in the fall of 1961 when he went into the army. Duane was able to drive it for the summer of 1962 and remembered that gas in town was just 22 cents per gallon.

“And we’d drive all over,” Duane commented. “Just because we could.”

The vehicle came in very good condition, with only a few electrical problems left to fix. Sean explained that it was originally from Texas, spent some time in Louisiana and Arkansas, and then was in Minnesota. He is the third Minnesota owner.

“Because it’s a southern car, I think that’s why it’s in such good shape. It’s not seen Minnesota winters.” Sean added.

Both Sean and Duane appreciate how the vehicle is such a close match to the one Duane drove in 1962.

“That’s why I had to jump on this one because it’s such a beautiful specimen,” Sean said. “When you’re looking at it, you’re looking at a snapshot of the past.”

Duane is excited to create new memories in this car now, once Sean fixes it up, of course.

“Oh yeah, now we’re starting all over,” Duane said. “When he tunes it up good enough and polishes it up, I’m going to drive it to one of those car shows.”

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