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A Waverly family is trying to turn a scorching fire on one of their custom made restored vehicles into an opportunity to help area veterans.

Jenette and Tim Stanfield have opened a GoFundMe page in order to help offset their expenses for restoring their beloved Chevrolet S10, which burned up on Palm Sunday in a ditch not far from their house.

Dubbed Little Pumpkin, for its orange color, the compact pickup truck was a labor of love for the couple, who share a passion for old vehicle restoration and car racing.

Tim had taken the truck out for a drive on Sunday, when the rear passenger-side wheel fell off causing the truck to end up in a ditch near Cedar Bend Park.

Tim called his wife to pick him up, so he could use his trailer to haul the truck back to the house, but while the two were driving back to the scene, they learned that the truck had caught on fire and Waverly firefighters had been dispatched to the site.

Shortly thereafter, they arrived there themselves to witness a heart-wrenching scene. They and the firefighters stood watching as Little Pumpkin turned to ashes.

It was a dramatic moment, as the couple had plans to drive the truck at the Cedar Falls Raceway as soon as the course opens for the season after the coronavirus shutdown is lifted.

“It took years to build and minutes to burn,” Jenette said. “We had just put in a brand new engine and roll bars and it was completely done.”

It appears the exhaust pipe had set the brush in the ditch on fire, after Tim left the site, causing the truck to burn beyond recognition.

Coping with the thought that Little Pumpkin is no more and counting their blessings that no one was hurt, the Stanfields are taking things in stride and strategizing how they can share the joy of a restored truck with others.

Since Tim is a veteran, and the couple’s two sons are both servicemen — Travis Bond is in the Navy and Thor Crandall is a Marine — they now think it might be wise to give veterans rides in the truck at the drag strip.

“We started a GoFundMe page because we are thinking about restoring our truck back from the ashes just like a rising phoenix,” Jenette wrote in a message to the paper. “Just like a veteran who has come back in and needs help, we would like to give veterans rides in whatever vehicle we end up getting redone, and we are going to have one of (Tim’s) friends do a veterans theme on our vehicle and give vet rides at the raceway.”