Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Honest Nick's L Car City

 When the CTA 4000's were taken out of service in the middle/late 70's, they were put up for sale at bargain prices.   Several trolley museums across the country bought them.  IRM acquired several for preservation, of course, and many more to be scrapped for parts or for possible resale.  Nick's unique flair for salesmanship led to the creation of a used L car lot.  You had to be there.  If you weren't, you can still watch this video of Honest Nick in action.

And as you'll see, for a while, we also had the world's only 4000 gate car.  This is just a sampling of Bill Wulfert's slides of 4000's at IRM -- enjoy!

S-350 (4318) + 4279  at Honest Nick's L Car City:  (Apr 79)

4290, 4253 (Jul 79)

S-313 Wheel Car   (Dec 81)

4253 with gate, at IRM (Jul 84)

S-368 (4386) and 4253 (Jun 85)

4253 (Jun 85)

4253 just after last trip: (Jun 85)

4253 on carline: (Jun 85)

4253 scrapping  (Aug 13, 88)

4253 end falling off:

4146 with new end:   (Jun 89)


patentable said...

is this the movie you were looking for? On Youtube.



Randall Hicks said...

Exactly. Thanks!

patentable said...

The pic of 4146 - I believe the museum's only Baldy - notes that it received a "new" end. Why? Was the donor car the 4253? A pic on the IRM roster from '78 shows it trained with another 4000 and apparently in good shape? Is 4146 operable? Thanks. Know that this is a bit off topic from the CA&E.

Randall Hicks said...

I believe that's correct, but Bill will know all the details. Interior work on the 4146 is progressing slowly, but it should be returning to service at some point in the near future. And certainly questions about any part of the Museum's collection are never off topic.

Anonymous said...

Randall, it is fun to see the lighter side of railway preservation. I assume this film was
made with Super 8 mm before the days of video cameras.

Parts from some of those cars are out here at WRM. The Petaluma & Santa Rosa Interurban #63 has a set of Chicago el car seats. I have sat on many of them. And I believe that there is another set in storage waiting to go into another car body.

Ted Miles, IRM Member

Anonymous said...

The 4146 was first worked on in the mid 70's. While the front end looked good, it was only cosmetic. The first Baldies which included trailers 4001-4066 & motors 4067-4128 had the rain gutters attached higher up on the roof. Those were fine. But the later motors 4129-4250 had the rain gutters riveted on where the roof met the car body. Water would get behind the rain gutter and rust away the roof. The CTA made various repairs, none of which did the trick. 4146 (also 4215 & 4216) were retired in 1964 but kept at Skokie Shop because they had recently been overhauled.

In 1972 IRM purchased all three cars for parts (same time as 4412) but without motors, because that would make them too expensive. The plan was to run the 4215 as a trailer. After closer inspection, 4146 was deemed to be in better shape than the 4215, so 4215-16 were scrapped. In 1979 a Baldy motor truck with GE 243 motors(they ARE different than a Plushie) was placed under the car and made operational.

The front end of 4146 was somewhat detached from the roof. There was a hole above the rain gutter which let lots of water into the car while in storage at Skokie. The recessed box just outside the door which originally held a bell, and later had a door cutout switch was rusted through. The angle iron that attached the front of the car at the floor line was also rusted through. So it was decided to replace the end with the #2 end from 4253 (& 4253 had a wooden car gate on it until it was scrapped, just for fun). The frame was used, with new end sheets applied.

All of the side rain gutters were also in poor shape. The rivets were removed, and the rain gutters were cleaned up (some patched) and then carefully reattached after new roof steel was welded in. It was quite a project with much of the work done by Tim Peters & Rich Block. The car is operable, but still needs some interior work, and a good paint job.

Bill Wulfert

Anonymous said...

In answer to "Honest Nick's L Car City", it was filmed before a live audience (a few anyway) on Super 8 film. I have the original locked up in my vault. Pete Vesic obviously projected it on a screen and recorded it with a camcorder. That's what you are finding on YouTube. I worked on Saturdays at that time, so I did not participate in the production, but it was still set up when I arrived after work. I took a few night shots. Bill Wulfert

patentable said...

Sounds like a very creative solution to repairing 4146. Thanks so much for the history of the car. I hope that the Baldy can someday be restored so that it can join the other 4000's that the museum operates.