The Powell Family Share the Love of Classic Cars | national news
POWELL – The Cole family have a love of classic cars, vans and motorcycles that has spanned a generation now.
It was not long after Gary and Donna Cole married in the late 1990s that Gary bought a 1987 half-ton Dodge D150 pickup. Donna bought a Dodge. Coronet 440 from 1966 before the birth of the couple’s first child, Nate Cole. It was parked for about 15 years, then when Nate was 14 or 15 he bought it from his parents.
The engine had been replaced – Nate believes it was from a 1976 Chrysler – but it didn’t run. The teenager started working, made it work and now maintains it.
âThere were a lot of tweaks,â Nate said.
Like anyone with such a smooth ride, Nate has cranked the vehicle up to see what he can do. He’s not sure how fast he went in the muscle car. âThe speedometer goes to 120, and I passed it. So I don’t know, âNate said.
âI probably went that fast too,â Donna adds.
The Coronet 440 was the mid-trim level of Dodge’s fifth-generation 1966 line. It remains an award collector’s item.
âI like the style. I like the big engine, âNate said. “It’s just a fun, cool and very comfortable car to drive.”
When Nate graduated a few years ago, he had a little more free time. So he decided to make a new project from a 1966 Dodge D100 pickup.
âWhen I was little, I used to watch all the old Dodge ads on the Internet,â Nate explained. “I always liked the mics in the commercials for this year.”
When he spotted a D100 for sale in Huntley, MT, he jumped on it. The truck body was in good condition, but it was not working. Nate changed the engine and did a lot of other work. Now it is working very well.
The body is branded “sweptline” on the side, a feature popular with those collectors of cars of the time.
âI was pretty happy to find him,â Nate said.
His latest toy is a 1976 Honda Elsinore 250 motorcycle, which he has owned for less than a month. He bought it from a couple of Cody’s.
âThey’re pretty hard to find,â Nate said.
The youngest Cole, Samantha, also joined the family’s classic car collection. A few years ago she got a 1981 Jeep J10 pickup.
His father had explored it a few years ago, but decided not to take it. So ultimately it ended up in Samantha’s hands.
She named him Freddie, after Freddie Mercury, the iconic singer of classic rock band Queen.
âIt was my first love as a truck, and Freddie Mercury was the first real rock band I fell in love with,â Samantha said.
She did some work on the Jeep herself, including replacing the grille. It was green before, and she replaced it with a black one. The pickup also had a platform. She got rid of it and put the original bed back in place.
âIt’s super reliable and always keeps me going from point A to point B,â Samantha said.
Gary said his 1987 Dodge D150 was also a reliable vehicle, requiring very little maintenance. He has also owned a 1975 Kawasaki Z100 for about 15 years.
âIt was a very iconic bike in its day,â said Gary, and set several speed records on his first ride.
He enjoys taking the bike to the Beartooth and Bighorn Mountains, especially on trips to Red Lodge, Montana and Shell.
The Coles did not enter auto shows. They are not as inclined to show them as they are to enjoy the rides.
âWe just drive them and have fun,â Gary said.