Monday, October 26, 2015

More New Old Stuff

Frank writes...

My first order of business on Sunday afternoon was to install the recently completed rebuilt grid box on the 36.  I was able to do this in short order; if I didn't know better, I'd swear I was getting better at this as I go along.  As seen below, four out of the car's five grid boxes have now been rebuilt.  The one nearest the camera was the first done and reused original mica insulators, so it looks a little different.  The #1 box, furthest from the camera, is the only one remaining to be done.

After that I helped a little bit with some work being done on the Electroliner by a crew of Car Department workers; Rod has promised to send an official description of recent progress.  And I wandered around a bit to see the progress.  The photo below shows a surprising find discovered on the Michigan Electric car by Norm Krentel and Walt Stafa, who were hard at work on it today.  They removed the front left dash panel to better access the corner post only to find... another dash panel!  The panel seen in the photo had been damaged in a wreck late in the car's service life and the railroad had simply screwed another panel right over the old one.  This paint and lettering hasn't seen life in some 85 years.  Pretty neat!
As Walt observed, if it had said "29" instead of "28" Norm really would have been scratching his head!  After that it was over to the Hoffman bus garage.  The "Mt. Harvard" isn't the museum's only new acquisition.
This is one of two buses that arrived within the past week; one more motor bus and a trolley bus are due in the coming days.  All were acquired from the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, which recently deaccessed a number of buses and trucks that had been in an off-site storage building.  This thing is in better shape than it looks, though that doesn't say much, and is actually quite historic.  It is St. Louis Public Service 3529 (our first piece from the St. Louis city system), a 1932 Twin Coach Model 40.  This was one of the earliest successful city buses and the design was used by many cities, including Chicago.  SLPS 3529 is one of only four examples of the type in existence and one of only two intact examples.  It appears to be entirely complete, if in need of some reassembly.  And glass.  Lots and lots of new glass.  And paint.  Plenty of paint, too.
And this creature is a true exemplar of Art Deco.  It's a Yellow Coach Model 743 built in 1939, an intercity bus that ran for Indian Trail Bus Lines in Michigan if memory serves.  It's basically an "interurban killer."
It too is complete, though in need of a lot of fixing up.  It even has all of the original antimacassars on the seats.  I was told that mechanically it appears to be fairly sound.

The other two acquisitions that are due to arrive are a smaller 1930s Yellow Coach city bus from Connecticut Company and the only surviving Indianapolis trolley bus, a 1934 Brill which will give us our first representative of that city's street railway system.  Both buses are said to be complete but rough, similar to these first two.  Overall this is a group of very old, very complete buses and - even though I'm far from a bus fan - it's good that IRM was able to save them.  Thanks to Richard Schauer for the tour through the two new arrivals!
And finally, a quiz question for our readers.  What is this thing?  It seems like kind of a Rorschach test for the mechanically-minded but does have a correct answer - stay tuned to find out!


Anonymous said...

The Indianapolis 1934 Brill trolleybus that went to the St. Louis Museum of Transportation was numbered 527

Anonymous said...

It's a left-hand franastat adjuster.