|Fact or Fiction? Freak Car Visits Holyoke Tuesday, Has Many Features Like Locomotive|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
These stories from local history are sometimes so extraordinary it’s hard to believe they actually happened. Check out ‘fact or fiction’ stories: they’re actual Enterprise news clips reprinted from the past.
Often we have seen freaks of nature, such as a bearded lady, the rubber man, Barnum’s midgets, Burbank’s six and eight foot ear of corn, five foot string beans, dahlias with rose centers, apples growing on a pear tree, but this past week saw another sort of freak right here in Holyoke, an automobile that is not only an auto but a locomotive.
Equipped with a regular automobile motor, the car, a freak inasmuch as it is of no particular make but simply assembled from various parts, looks like a locomotive from the front and rear, is really a beautiful piece of mechanism. It is built on a 147-inch wheelbase, with a six cylinder heavy duty Continental motor and Ross steering gear. It is of course equipped with Kelly-Springfield tires. Its realism is heightened by the fact that it has a smokestack that emits smoke, a real locomotive bell and whistle. Besides the regular automobile brakes it is fitted with a sandbox and Westinghouse airbrakes. All the fittings are solid brass except the door handles which are gold washed.
To the average person looking at the car it might seem that it is simply an advertisement for Kelly-Springfield tires, but in order to stimulate interest in the good roads movement thruout the country, the Kelly-Springfield people are sending out this good roads special on a tour of the United States. This unique car was brought here at the request of the Holyoke Farmers Co-Op Elevator and Milling Co., distributors of Kelly-Springfield tires.
The car is on a trans-continental tour of the United States and has visited 34 states so far. It left New York on Sept. 2, 1926, and is still going strong after having been out over a year. It weighs 6450 lbs. and travels on 33x6.75 balloons. Mr. Mackelfish, district manager for the Kelly-Springfield distributors met the car at Cheyenne and is driving a pilot car through Colorado.