My Story & Family
|Tom— My mom said I was taking stuff apart by age 3 and always loved “fixing” things. I started working on Saabs with the first Saab our family owned in the late sixties, a 1963 96 GT. If you own one Saab you will soon own two. The second Saab was a 1964 Saab 96, 3 speed. (I still own both these cars). Soon both cars had bad engines and were sitting in the backyard. I was only 13 at the time so I asked my dad if I could try to make one Saab run out of two. He said yes and soon the 1963 GT was blowing smoke again! Since I did not have my learners permit to drive yet I would cruise the car around our house in Carson, Iowa on the main street boulevard much to our neighbors dismay. I became pretty good at fixing cars and at age 16 my dad arrange a job for me at the Saab, Fiat, Lotus & Suzuki dealership in Omaha, Neb. about 50 miles away. My dad had became friends with the service manager Ray Pharchner at World Wide Imports on 50th and L. Ray is a fantastic man who became my mentor. He later become a service rep for Fiat and then finished his long career with Saab. Anyone involved with Saab USA knew of Ray & his wife Laurie. He came to the US from Austria as a young man and become a successful self-made man. I worked at several dealership & a transmission shop (Red & John Girdley’s shop Automatic Service Center). I also earned a 2 year automotive degree from ICCC in Fort Dodge before starting my own business in 1980 with my life savings of $25. I soon specialized in automatic transmission repair and rebuilding which paved the way to a decent living.From 1990 to 2014 I coached football at both the college (ICCC) and high school (FDSH) levels in his ‘spare time’. I ended my coaching career in 2014 at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD where he coached the Defensive Line. Tom is a USA Boxing coach. “The best thing about coaching is the great young men I have met and coached with.” I also enjoys hunting and fishing although my real love is finding old Saabs. My dream day consists of “playing” with his Saabs, slowly restoring my favorites. When I can’t be playing with my Saabs I can be found at Fort Dodge Transmission Inc, the transmission and auto repair business that I started in 1980. My wife Patti & I also enjoy Dancing every chance we get and are now dance instructors!|
|Patti— Patti, mother of 3 and retired special education teacher, spends her days working at Fort Dodge Transmission, selling cars at Tom Donney Motors which she and Tom own. When she’s not there you can usually find her outside playing with her flower beds, which sometimes resembles more of a weed bed! Her absolute favorite pastime is spending time with her grandchildren Tricia Cathleen, Hailey Ann, Justis Tim & Levi Thomas!|
Luke— Lives in Surprise, AZ. with his wife Lisa (Beenken). An ISU Graduate in electrical engineering, he is employed at the nuclear power plant. Lisa is a graduate from UNI in accounting. They are busy now with their two children, Hailey Ann & Levi Thomas.
|Nate— Nate tends to follow in his dads footsteps (except for his body!) with his love for the outdoors and working on cars. He has a degree in political science from UNI. He married Britteny (Averhoff) in November 2010. She working towards a health/trainer degree at UNI and is employed as a photographer at Karmen’s studio in Waverly|
|Sarah— Recieved her undergraduate degree from UNI in electronic media and has her 1st masters in mental health counseling and her 2nd in School counseling, both from UNI. She is a middle school consuelor in the Fort Dodge School system. Her husband Chris attended UNI is a former F16 crew chief in the Iowa air guard. They have a daughter, Tricia Cathleen and a son Justis Tim.|