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A labor of love for a Valentine November 22, 2007

Posted by Ron Warnick in Preservation, Restaurants.

I e-mailed longtime Route 66er Jerry Ueckert of Edgewood, N.M., this week on another matter, but decided to ask him about his Valentine diner restoration project.

Ueckert purchased the diner, originally located in Magdalena, N.M., early last year and moved it to Route 66 in Edgewood. It’s an eight-stool Aristocrat model, first designed in the 1940s.

If you want to see a “before” photo of Ueckert’s diner, click here. The photo above is what is looks like now. Obviously, it looks a lot better.

I asked Ueckert whether he had a timetable on finishing the restoration:

I’ve gutted the interior and the project of hanging a floor in there has taken many directions. Much has to do with how to move the critter again, if need be, and with that particular job impending, it occurs to me that I’d like to pick it up on a whim and transport it to car shows, events, parades, etc. Now considering that I am getting somewhat older with each passing year, I would like to make that job as easy as possible. […]

I am amazed that this rusting hulk still has substantial structural integrity. […]

… I have gathered practically every element I need for the inside appearance, from stools, counters, menu board and antique register and phone. That part of the project should go fairly easily — at least a lot easier than working on this undercarriage, which was pretty much bent and distorted by previous moves.

So I guess the answer to your question is: Hmmm, I’m not sure. Just as soon as I can get there.

(Photo courtesy of Jerry Ueckert.)


1. Katiedid - December 6, 2007

This looks great. We went by this diner in late October and it didn’t look like the picture above… the basic red, white, and turquoise was painted but it didn’t have the neat stripes nor the Red Top sign or other signage. Nice job! (We peeked inside and that was another story.)

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