This car is steeped in history going clear back to the Civil War, isn't it?
When my dad died in 2002, I took my kids over to the Indianola, Neb., cemetery to see the grave of my great-great grandfather, James Carr, who served in the 77th New York Volunteers during the Civil War. There was a monument someone had erected and we found out Thayne Emrich was responsible for it. Later I found out he had an old car his parents had purchased from my grandfather's dealership.
What kind of shape was it in?
It had been sitting in a barn since 1986 and was covered in dust. We pushed it up on a trailer with a front-loader and I brought it home and drained the gas tank, put fresh oil and a battery in it and cranked on it about two minutes and eventually it fired right up and ran. I thought I was going to have to paint it, but after I rubbed on it, it didn't look bad. A collector told me to leave it alone, that it would be worth more the way it is.
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So this is the original paint -- what else is original?
Everything, the engine, three-speed transmission, the headliner, upholstery is all original. I did put new tires on it. It is a 150 -- the only one I've ever seen, the cheapest one they built. It has only one sun visor, no radio, no clock, no heater. They added a Ward's heater after they bought it and it still works great.
That makes this car a true survivor then. How many miles are on it?
I told him there must be something magical about his barn, to be the perfect condition for preserving an old car. It has 57,604 miles on it right now and it's never been on an interstate highway. We go to a few car shows with it, but that's about it.