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Jewell Zweegman's Plymouth Trailduster
Jewell Zweegman's 1974 Plymouth Trailduster is nicknamed "Old Blue." Zweegman won a second place prize in the Clunkers contest.

Jewell Zweegman was born in Spokane, Wash., but graduated from high school in Great Falls.

She and her husband, Jim, have been married for seven years. She has lived in Billings for nearly four years and works as an administrative assistant in health information management at Billings Clinic.

In winter, her Plymouth Trailduster makes a reliable back-up car to her 2004 Chevy TrailBlazer. Her husband intends to launch a makeover on the Trailduster this year, starting with the noisy muffler.

Old Blue is my 1974 Plymouth Trailduster with so many miles that the odometer has turned over 100,000 a number of times.

It is the epitome of great engineering, good mechanic ingenuity and pure heart that has kept this Plymouth running. It is faded blue and silver with all the right rusted areas and a powerful engine that roars to life at 5.5 on the Richter scale.

Not only does it start when it is so cold that you have to plug your dog in, it has power to pull large logs and carry families safely to any destination.

Old Blue is mine, a gracious gift from my brother because

he knew I loved Old Blue, so one day he drove it over and handed me the keys.

I rode in Old Blue when it raced a Corvette and won, roared down the streets showcasing the raw power of its engine. It climbs tall hills with rocks rolling down and goes downtown where it is fun to listen to the glass packs backfire as it slows down at the light.

One evening, a young man in a truck next to us at the light turned to his girlfriend and said, “Now that is real power.”

Old Blue has raced up the Rims, been driven down 10th Avenue South in Great Falls making those young people look to see what is cruising by, and never fails to liven up the neighborhood, much to one neighbor’s dismay.

It is loud and proud. I can’t help but smile when I drive it.

Old Blue is the best of Detroit and would make the original Plymouth makers proud. Its heater gets so hot that you have to drive with the windows down in the middle of a cold winter. You don’t have to worry about brushing the snow off; it just melts.

You ask me why I love Old Blue.

I am a MOPAR girl from way back when Dusters were fast, Chargers were strong, and 300’s made your knees buckle.

Yes, Plymouth may be gone but not forgotten because, no matter what, my Old 1974 Plymouth Trailduster is old school and really, really cool.

— Jewell Zweegman