Murdo’s iconic big green car sign crashes to the ground in June storm
– By Pioneer Auto Museum
July 25, 2011
MURDO, S.D. – The town of Murdo mourns a loss.
This loss is not one of its residents, but something just as beloved: Pioneer Auto Show’s big green car sign.
On June 30, a massive storm blew through Murdo. Sustained 70 to 80 mph winds blew the iconic sign – which features a mock ’26 Nash – down on its side.
“The steady winds for about an hour just destroyed the sign,” said David M. Geisler of the family-owned classic car museum.
Murdo held an all-class reunion the July 4 weekend after the storm, and classmates couldn’t stop talking about the sign.
“The town’s identity has been taken!” exclaimed one classmate.
“We have to do whatever it takes to put the sign back up,” urged another classmate.
Geisler said the show must go on. Plans are in the works to rebuild the sign. Pioneer Auto is working with sign companies, and the new sign should be finished by Labor Day.
Pioneer Auto Show’s big green sign has been pointing people to Murdo and its classic car museum since 1972. The sign was erected that year in conjunction with the completion of Interstate 90.
The famous big green car was added to the sign in 1981. To allow for more parking at the nearby Super 8 Motel, the sign was moved and rebuilt in 1993. That same year, a Daktronics reader board added to the sign. That too was destroyed in the June 30 storm.
“The sign is so symbolic for the museum,” Geisler said. “The fact that the sign was located right at the I-90 exit has helped travelers to locate us over the years. The sign has put Murdo on the map.”