Novel Limousine-train Resembling Locomotive Travels the Highways (Feb, 1930)

Novel Limousine-train Resembling Locomotive Travels the Highways

A THEATER corporation has placed on the highways a “trackless locomotive,” which is also called a limousine train. The car is equipped with radio receiving sets and microphone for speaking. It was especially designed and built at a cost of $25,000. It has a special four-speed transmission, a special clutch and a straight-eight motor.

  1. Jayessell says: August 29, 201112:12 pm

    I was about to ask how does it go from zero to 5mph without passing through 1 to 4 first…. But I wouln’t.

    I guess the 5mph speed is for parades, hence the special transmission.

  2. Mike says: August 29, 20116:17 pm

    About that time (1930) Majestic Radio “The Theatre of the Air” had a promotional vehicle that looked similar. My grandfather worked at a furniture store, and my father has some pictures with him on the car/train. But from the pictures it looked more like a train engine/locomotive pulling a second car that looked like a caboose. I am wondering if there was competition and the Majestic company made a better promotional vehicle.

  3. Sean says: August 29, 20116:19 pm

    Looking at the cover, I’m wondering if this is one of the first writings about a steam catapult launching a plane. It says ‘slingshot’, but I’m guessing that that’s steam coming out from the ramp. Can’t wait to see the article!

  4. Mike says: August 29, 20116:41 pm

    Re: my previous post, I see the top of the vehicle says “Public (Publix) Theatre”, so I am going with the promotional competition idea.

  5. Richard says: August 29, 20119:16 pm

    Some searching reveals that there were about 15 of these cars built, and five are still in existence.

    This page gives some info and shows a photo of one at a recent car show


    Here’s a series of detailed photos of one being offered for sale…

    And here are some vintage photos of a clearly different rival MGM “trackless train”, along with a recent photo of a beaten-up unrestored Publix version.…

  6. Mike says: August 30, 20114:21 am

    Richard, thanks… The first two pictures in the third link are closer to what the train looked like that my father had his picture taken on. He was at the rear of the train but you could see some of the side and engine in the background.
    I can’t imagine that was easy to drive in the city because of the limited visibility.

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