Behind the Wheel: Daughter hits the road where her dad left off in Crown Victoria

 Clinton Township resident Roseanna Schnepper is the proud owner of her late father’s 1955 Ford Crown Victoria.

Clinton Township resident Roseanna Schnepper is the proud owner of her late father’s 1955 Ford Crown Victoria.

Photo by Donna Agusti


By: Jennifer Sigouin | All | Published December 5, 2017

 Schnepper's father, Donald Butler, owned  Butler’s Collision in Roseville, and he rebuilt the car from the frame up in his spare time.

Schnepper's father, Donald Butler, owned Butler’s Collision in Roseville, and he rebuilt the car from the frame up in his spare time.

Photo by Donna Agusti

 Schnepper said it was her dad’s favorite car, and she left his glasses clipped to its sun visor, above.

Schnepper said it was her dad’s favorite car, and she left his glasses clipped to its sun visor, above.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Photo by Donna Agusti

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Roseanna Schnepper, of Clinton Township, grew up watching her dad, Donald Butler, work on cars — both as a hobby and as part of the family business, Butler’s Collision in Roseville. 

Butler built his own garage behind the collision shop so he could work on his own projects, and over the years he completely rebuilt at least seven cars. One of the most memorable, Schnepper said, was a pink and black 1955 Ford Crown Victoria, which he restored from the frame up.  

“My father restored many cars in his life, but this was his favorite,” said Schnepper. “Watching him build it was a lot of fun.”

When Butler died 2 1/2 years ago, the Crown Victoria was one of three collector cars that he left behind. The other two were a 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt and a 1969 Ford Torino Cobra. 

Only three of Butler’s five kids — Schnepper and her two brothers — were interested in the cars, and Schnepper had her sights set on just one. 

“Being gentlemen, my two brothers gave me first choice of which car I wanted, so I chose the 1955 pink and black Crown Victoria,” she said. “We all wanted this one.”

The Crown Victoria, she explained, was the car that her dad drove the most, and she has many memories of riding in the back seat and taking it to local car cruises. The car has even been a part of special family events over the years, including Schnepper’s son’s wedding.

Schnepper said she couldn’t contain her emotions when she found out that she would be its new owner. Now, she enjoys driving the car just as her dad did. 

“It’s got some get-up-and-go,” she said, adding that her dad had put a Mustang motor in the car because “he liked to drive fast.”

And while the pink and black exterior “catches everybody’s eyes,” the inside of the Crown Victoria is special too, Schnepper said, noting that her dad’s glasses still remain clipped to the car’s sun visor. 

“I never moved them,” she said. 


Do you own a vehicle that has an interesting history or a special meaning to you? Contact Staff Writer Jennifer Sigouin at jsigouin@candgnews.com, and you could be featured in an upcoming edition of Behind the Wheel.