RR 2, Box 347, Monrovia, Indiana 46157-9526
For the last nine years we have been going to a little gas engine show and a big flea market in a little town in South Central Indiana called Vallonia, on the third weekend in October.
About six years ago, as I was walking the dog down an alley, going to 'fertilize' the bean field, I noticed what looked like a child's pedal car in a barn. I stepped to the door and looked in. The little car was covered with dust, but I could tell it was red and it said 'Eshelman' on the front of it. I did not want to get shot, so I didn't go into the barn. I didn't see anyone around and I was low on cash, so I didn't pursue it.
I remember the Eshelman name from when I was a kid in the 1950s.
The next year the little car was still there. I saw a man come out of the house, so I asked him about it and if it was for sale. He said it belonged to his mother-in-law and he would ask her. The next day he said she would not sell it, but I could go in the barn and look at it. I asked him if I could take pictures of it, and he said, 'Yes.'
Upon inspection, there were no pedals, but a V-belt pulley. It was a little motor car, but it had no motor in it.
The next year it was still there, but I didn't see anyone around.
The next year I saw the man again and he said she still would not sell it.
The next year the Eshelman was still there and I asked the man and he said, 'Let's go and talk to her.' She owned the cafe uptown. She said her grand children wanted to get it running, but she was afraid they would get hurt on it. What would I give for it? I told her what I would offer her for it and she asked her son-in-law what he thought. He said it sounded like a good price, so I paid her for it and went down the alley and pulled it out of the barn.
I felt like a kid with a new toy! A 55 year-old kid with a new toy!
While reading GEM I saw that Bill Hossfield from Ringwood, New Jersey, was looking for Eshelman parts. So I sent him a picture of my car. He sent me a copy of a brochure of my car. He told me that my car took a 3 HP Briggs and Stratton engine.
The car is one of the early ones. It has two cast iron gears that run against the back wheels, one for forward and one for reverse. You also used reverse for the brakes. The later cars had a slip clutch and brakes. Eshelman also made lawn mowers, garden tractors and golf carts. They advertised in Popular Mechanics in the early 1950s. The Eshelman factory was in Baltimore, Maryland.
The car is 54' long, 24' wide and the weight is 225 lbs. and it cost $295.00. I'm not sure what year it was made. All I know is that it was made in the early 1950s.
Thanks to Bill Hossfield for the brochure and information he sent me.