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By Lori DeBoer

When we took the keys to Louise in March, she was in pretty bad shape, both inside and out. The blue vinyl was falling off her in so many places that she looked like she was molting. Several windows were broken, she had lots of dents and the bench that served in lieu of her bumper was also broken.

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But we had a vision. Maybe it was the residual pot haze over Boulder speaking, but we figured that, with a lot of TLC and hard word, could revitalize her.

It took weeks of hard work for Michael to scrape the old paint and vinyl off Louise but we were finally able to get her to the point where she could get a fresh coat of paint. (Read all about it here.)

After Louise was painted, there was still the problem of the concession doors, which flip up on the service side to create an awning. When we pulled off the vinyl on the doors, we were surprised to see huge dents in the doors. It rather looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to her at one time.

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Michael pulled off the metal sheets, intending to replace them, but the wooden interior was rotted away with black mold. He threw the doors away. We’d need to start from square one.

In the meantime, he ended up tearing out the whole kitchen and replacing it. (Read all about that time-consuming project here.) While he was engaged with that, we had lots of discussions on what to do with Louise.

One day at the hardware store, I noticed the fences displayed by the front of the building. “Why not use some fencing?” I asked.

Michael wasn’t convinced, but he thought it might be an option. Another option was rebuilding the windows the way they were, by putting metal sheets over a wooden frame and installing windows. We quickly scuttled that because it wasn’t something Michael could on his own, since he doesn’t have metal cutting tools that would offer that level of precision.

In the Hardware store, we considered several other solutions, such as using exterior siding (too heavy) or cedar shingles (too expensive, but really cool).

One day he sent me a photo with a picture of some white, painted fencing on Louise’s service side. He’d covered two areas where we’d torn out equipment that no longer worked (a warming oven, a coffee dispenser and a refrigerated case).   The fencing looked really cute.

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During the kitchen rebuild, Michael bought the rest of the fencing had two members of our crew—Austin and Taylor—help put it together and paint it.

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Rob forged custom hinges for it and it took them half a day to install the new concession doors on the truck.

The look is even cuter! We were going for a French Country cottage look and think we’ve achieved it. Our menu boards are black chalkboards and they provide a winsome accent.

Now we need to put some signage and decorative accents on both the white doors and the driver’s side, which is totally yellow. Stay tuned to see how Louise looks when she is completely dolled up.

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