Owned now by local automobile enthusiasts Carol Redmond and Bob Scales, the car was rescued first from a field by a Chattanooga couple 30 years ago or more, Redmond said Thursday.
“We, my husband Bob and I, bought it about a year ago,” Redmond said. “We’ve not shown it before. But it had been displayed for years at the Coker Tire Company’s museum in Chattanooga. The company’s owners, Harold and Lillian Coker, had found it in a field years ago and restored it themselves as a personal project. He did the exterior and she did the interior — which is wonderful. In her honor, I dubbed the car ‘Miss Lillian.’ ”
Redmond said she and Scales have owned antique cars and been active enthusiasts for years, but she’d long wanted to add this type automobile to their collection.
“This is one I’d wanted for sometime,” Redmond said.
They got their chance when the Cokers’ 1920 Raush & Lang electric “town car” came up for sale at a well-known automobile auction in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Coker had died, and apparently Mrs. Coker decided it was time to let someone else to take on the car’s preservation.
“It has been probably 30 years since they restored it,” Redmond said. “They did a wonderful job. The interior is in very good shape and her restoration is authentic. We are very happy with that. The exterior ... the paint has worn some since their restoration. Our goal is to bring it back in time for its 100th birthday celebration.”
In addition to being an electric automobile, other interesting details include that the car is steered by a tiller — similar to a boat tiller — and there is the option to steer it from either the front or back seat, Redmond said.
Raush & Lang produced automobiles in Cleveland. After the company was sold, production moved elsewhere.
Redmond said she and Scales have done a lot of research about the company and their particular car, including going through files available from the U.S.Library of Congress.
And according to information they found, it appears their Raush & Lang’s production number indicates it was the last one to roll out of the company’s Cleveland facility before operations were relocated by the company’s new owners.
Dan’l Boone Region Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) is the sponsoring organization of the Allandale Car Show, which typically attracts hundreds of entrants and always draws crowds of participants and onlookers, rain or shine.
The show is open to antiques, street rods, “classics,” sports cars, trucks, motorcycles, and special interest cars and trucks.
The Dan’l Boone Region club’s members encourage anyone with a vehicle in any of those categories to consider bringing it out for show Sunday.
The 1920 Raush & Lang is one of three “featured vehicles,” highlighting the show, along with a 1957 Chevy owned by Bill Rhoten and a 1976 Chevy Pickup owned by Wayne Lambert.
The overall theme of this year’s show is Chevrolets, club member Dave Williams said.
“One of the other vehicles we have is just sort of a ‘plain Jane,’ but it’s important from the standpoint of General Motors,” Williams said. “It’s a 1976 Chevy pickup truck. The third vehicle we have as featured plays into our hope to try and feature specifically the tri-five Chevys — there were the ’55 to ’57 Chevys which are some of the landmark cars of the 1950s. Everyone wanted a ’55, ’56 or ’57 Chevy. We’ve got one that’s modified that’s owned by Bill Rhoten. It’s a trophy car. It’s a beautiful car.”
Rhoten, who has had the car for 40 years or so, said it was in pretty good shape and had had some work done on it when he first got it when he was about 16.
But he’s continued to work on the car over the years.
The Dan’l Boone Region club is an affiliate of the 60,000-member-strong Antique Automobile Club of America.
The Allandale Car Show is open to all vehicles for a $12 advance registration fee, which increases to $15 on the day of the show. The fee includes two adult admissions.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. Sunday and continues until 1 p.m., with an awards presentation at 4 p.m.
In addition to the car show, there will be automobile-related displays inside the mansion, door prizes, car awards, dash plaques, children’s prizes, music, entertainment, food and lots of camaraderie.
There’s a $2 per adult “spectator donation” to enter the grounds.
Children under 12 are admitted free. Pets, alcoholic beverages and bicycles are not allowed at the event.
For more information, call Wayne Lambert at (423) 378-3358 or Dave Williams at (423) 765-1095.