Original Model-T Bucking car will be back in the Putnam County Fair parade Friday

Thursday, July 20, 2006

An 82-year-old attraction in the form of a car will bring back many memories and create some new ones for attendees at the Putnam County Fair parade on Friday evening.

Mention the Chadd Brothers Bucking Car and many people will relate a tale of a childhood visit to the Putnam County Fair parade from years past. Yet, mention the car to the children of today and it is likely they will respond with a look of bewilderment.

In 1928, identical twin brothers Ted and Woody Chadd of Greencastle bought an original 1924 Model T. The brothers, weighing about 100 pounds each and standing five-feet, two-inches, were rodeo clowns. They went on the road with their bucking car, here in Putnam County and all over the United States in rodeos and parades.

Ty Sutherlin, Greencastle, grew up watching the Chadd brothers act and he remembers it well. He said it was the main attraction at the parade every year and the reason people went.

"All the people in the Putnam County parade would come to watch that," Sutherlin said. "It made you smile when you saw the car and saw them clowning around like they did."

The Chadd brothers had to eventually stop their show though. Sutherlin said they quit because they couldn't find the tires they needed for the car. So, the car that appeared in all the Putnam County fair parades up to the 1980's finally had to retire.

Then after the death of both brothers the car was auctioned off. Sutherlin and his father, Norman, bought it five or six years ago and became the proud owners.

"It's been here all of its life, so why not keep it here," Sutherlin said of the vehicle that was thought to be the very first bucking car made at one time.

The bucking car isn't going to be running in the parade as many were once used to. This year it will be set up on a trailer as it makes its way through. It is in need of a new gas tank, brakes and radiator, but Sutherlin hopes to get it back in running condition soon.

"I want to take it through the parade one more time," Sutherlin said. "In running condition."

The 82-year-old car that is still its original orange color has some of the original whistles left on it, but many parts are gone. When it goes through the parade, people won't see the cannon or air horn that used to be on it, but it will bring back many memories nonetheless.

"It's no show car. It's just a fun car," Sutherlin said of the car that looks similar to the vehicle from the "Beverly Hillbillies."

He had hoped to have the car in running condition for this year's parade, but now he hopes the same for next year. He says its entertained a lot of people and hopefully it will have two more chances to do just that.

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