1935 Ford from museum will be along for ride at today's inauguration in Raleigh

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Staff report
Rowan County’s contribution to today’s gubernatorial inauguration parade won’t be limited to a pair of local bands.
A 1935 Ford, which was originally an N.C. Highway Patrol vehicle, is housed at the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer. It will also be involved in today’s parade in Raleigh.
The car has been housed at the museum since 1983 and is used as an ambassador of the museum’s automobile collection.
An excerpt from information about the automobiles in the museum’s Bumper to Bumper exhibit explains:
“1935 was the first year policemen drove cruisers with radio receivers and 11/8-inch bulletproof windshields. The spare tire carrier was also recessed and the rumble seat removed to accommodate a stretcher. This car, discovered in a Greensboro junkyard, is the only survivor of the first 28 patrol cars ordered for 1935 for $560 each.”
While the windshield is bullet-proof, the car is a rag-top and there are no door windows. Hence, if the officer ever got into a gunfight, it was best to be facing the opponent.
While the ’35 is on permanent display in the museum’s Bumper to Bumper exhibit, the ’35 last appeared off-site at the Salisbury Depot’s centennial celebration.
According to museum officials, the car is a hit anywhere it goes. The ’35 remains in running condition, though it was transported to Raleigh by trailer. It will run in the parade under its own power.