Eshelman ‘Sports Car’

By Staff
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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.

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