Bella Braden has been participating in car shows for the past five years and has 33 trophies to show for it. While that is a pretty impressive feat for any car enthusiast, Bella is just 8-years-old.
In recognition of her participation in cruise-ins over the past five years, club members made the decision to recognize Bella Saturday night with a special gift and signed card. Sunset Cruisers President Joe Anderson shared the definition of a street rod and verified that Bella’s vehicle met the requirements before clearing the street in order to make way for her and her 1924 Custer electric car.
“She was very polite, very appreciative and very excited,” Anderson said. “She was just beaming. She is a fixture — a lot of people know her and recognize her.”
Keith Magan, Bella’s grandfather, said he found, rescued and restored the 1924 Custer electric vehicle when Bella was just 3 years old. The Custer Car Specialty Company located in Dayton, Ohio manufactured vehicles from 1920-1965, including the 1924 electric vehicle that was created as a street-legal car and marketed for city use.
“It is small, but it was street legal in 1924,” Magan said.
Because of its size, Magan said his granddaughter made sure to check on his progress each weekend.
“She thought she was going to be too big to drive it before I got it done,” he said. “That was pretty good motivation. She drove it to the first show three years ago.”
According to Magan, he has been fixing up and driving different cars his whole life. He hauls Bella’s Custer Car to the cruise-ins in a 1948 Dodge panel truck.
“She’s a car show kid,” Magan said. “She asks to go to one just about every weekend. She’d rather go to the car show than do just about anything — always has. I’m just glad she got tall enough that I don’t have to pick her up to look in all the cars anymore.”