GO FUND THIS: Restoring The Shriner Mobile

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I recently purchased the most magnificent 1948 Buick flower car that the Reading PA Shriners originally customized into a Shriner parade car. This is after years of me trying to track it down. For reasons known only to them, they grafted a Packard hood with a vertical grill to the body, above the now better remembered toothy Buick Roadmaster horizontal grill. Benches to carry a whole flock of shriners were added where the flowers once were. The really nice family that owned it vetted me and decided I was the right home for it. I’m honored!

It is my plan to restore this unique vehicle 100%, and then make it available for any large Shriner parades from New York through Philadelphia to Washington DC. Have it tow a trailer full of Shriner band members, or fill it again with flowers and have it carry Miss Shriner Wowoo, 2022, waving and hurling root beer barrels.

This way it will not just be a restored car of some interest. It will serve to help raise awareness of the Shriners, and to their great works with their hospitals, work that I am in awe of. In between such service, it will rest dry and comfortable here in our 1890 carriage house in the Overbrook Farms section of Philadelphia. When not at either, it will be shown at car shows like the great Hershey auto show, and Shriners will be welcome to be on hand to explain about their charitable works.

We mean to raise the funds to do this right, and film the restoration and the eventual return to parades. Having never done this type of fundraising before, but being fully aware of the real rather than the overly optimistic costs of a total restoration, I will be pushing part one of our GoFundMe out to Shriners, classic Buick owners groups, myriad antique car groups including the AACA, which we have long been associated with, AND THE DELIGHTFULLY NUTTY AMERICAN PUBLIC IN GENERAL WHO WANT TO BE A PART OF MAKING SOMETHING FUN HAPPEN, AND HAPPEN NOW!

I mean to ask everyone to take a THREE DOLLAR CHANCE on this project, giving the fundraiser a subtitle ‘THREE DOLLAR BILL!’. If that seems an insanely small ask, consider if just a modest percentile of our target audience grasp the fun and worthiness of this adventure, that right there is enough to do the restoration completely and then some. Those tiny but steady increments means that for once, a small family of modest means can do a real resto, frame off. This Magic Carpet should take its place in the ranks of the great cars in our popular culture, from the Munstermobile to the Popemobile. From the Monkeemobile to the Grave Digger. From the original Batmobile to the golf cart shaped like Bob Hope’s head. Be a part of it!

Note that while this amazing car will be of service to the Shriners and by association, with their amazing Shriners Hospitals for Children, this is not a Shriner’s’ sanctioned project. It has been decades since this car was owned by or associated with the Shriners, and therefore all the more wild that the owners before me chose to leave it original. MORE