Classics

These two cars on display are owned by John and Linda Arnett.

ERIC SPRUILL

Their love for cars keeps one Chanute couple cruising on through retirement. Married nearly 50 years, John “Pat” Arnett and his wife Linda, attended the Mopar Across Kansas car show on Thursday afternoon at Shields Motors. 

With a rather large turnout on hand, Pat mingled with other classic car enthusiasts, while Linda sat next to her 1948 Oldsmobile, greeting anyone who wanted to chat. 

Linda retired from the First United Methodist Church where she served as the Director of Education, while Pat retired from Caldwell Floor Covering. 

“We’ve always liked old cars. In fact, he had one when we were dating and he sold it so we could get married,” Linda said. “We were high school sweethearts and we went on our first date when I was 15. It’s kind of a funny story. I first met him outside of school through some friends and they all called him Pat. Then I had him in a class and his name was John. I just thought maybe Pat had a twin brother. But they call him Pat because he was born on St. Patrick’s Day.”

Pat drove his parts truck to the Thursday event. It is made of a 1936 Ford in the front and has the back from a 1954 Buick.

“I let him borrow them from time to time,” Linda joked. “About all he lets me do is help him bleed the brakes and I’ve held a few pieces of sandpaper in my days.”

Linda’s love for old cars came from her father. 

“He was a Depression boy, so he loved the old cars from that era,” she said. “When he passed, he gave us his 1928 Model A Ford. We also have my mother’s 1970 Chevy. I am not saying he is the reason we love classic cars, but he definitely helped us get going.”

While they haven’t attended many car shows in recent years, they still make it out when they have the time. And judging by the smiles on their faces on Thursday afternoon, this surely won’t be the last time the couple is out and about in their classic cars.

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