History Matters: Remembering the gentleman who saved the Gaylord Car | Local community

As a boy escalating up in Elmira, Ivan Polus dreamed of possessing an elusive Gaylord Vehicle. Ultimately he accomplished that aim and decades later the motor vehicle he affectionately referred to as “The Delight Of Gaylord” returned to its hometown. This unbelievable tale of discovery, devotion, and community spirit warrants to be retold and remembered. Ivan passed absent final thirty day period (December 5, 2020) and so it is proper to celebrate his existence and honor his legacy.

Ivan was born in 1936 on a potato farm found among Elmira and Alba. He ought to have inherited some of his mechanical skill and interest from his father, Frank. In 1945, Frank intended and designed an early sort of snowmobile. He applied a Harley Davidson engine to ability a large propeller on the again of the sled. The snow device could achieve speeds up to100 miles for each hour when zipping alongside on the ice protected Otsego Lake.

Ivan graduated from Alba Significant School in 1957 and bought married a few of several years later on. Background was made on May possibly 2, 1963, when he and his wife drove to the Onaway spot to invest in a steam engine. As fate would have it, Ivan stopped to check with for instructions and all through that conversation figured out a nearby farmer experienced a Gaylord Vehicle.

The assumed of ultimately obtaining a Gaylord Vehicle was pretty much much too significantly for Ivan — especially by this kind of coincidental conditions. The farmer claimed his father had bought the car new in 1911. Nonetheless, around the subsequent 50 decades, the car had become a heap of junk. Here’s how Ivan described the problem in an article he wrote for the Horseless Carriage Gazette.

“The motor and body have been in 1 location. The overall body was on top rated of some boards. Lamps and car elements have been scattered all over the barn. The fenders were being out of doorways driving the barn. The steering column was beneath the wood get rid of. The windshield was in the hen household.”

Ivan compensated the person $50, scooped up all the auto sections, and headed residence.

4 decades afterwards, Ivan and his family moved to Montana, getting with them the remnants of the only known Gaylord Car. Many many years of painstaking, meticulous renovation resulted in the Gaylord Car or truck back in working situation in the autumn of 1974. Ivan shared the details of this momentous celebration with the readers of the Herald Times in a entrance page news exclusive. He advised of the historic working day when the Gaylord Auto was pushed for the initially time in 40 decades. Ivan also shared his expertise of the Gaylord Motor Car Company’s quick lifetime of 4 a long time and his hope to convey the car or truck dwelling sometime in the in close proximity to long term.

Even although his offer you to market the car to the Gaylord Chamber of Commerce didn’t materialize, a afterwards order did occur with a subsequent operator. A local community fund raiser in 1981 generated the cash required to get the totally restored gem in time for Gaylord’s centennial celebration. The Gaylord Car returned residence 70 a long time following rolling off the assembly line.

When the only remaining Gaylord Motor vehicle turned 100 yrs outdated in 2011, Ivan was front and centre at a special software held at the Otsego County Library. He captured the awareness of the packed audience as he relived the excitement, worries, and lots of twists and turns he experienced with the Gaylord Car or truck. Fortunately that presentation was recorded so potential generations will be capable to hear Ivan’s story being instructed as only he can.

The Gaylord Auto is now on display at the Customer Middle in downtown Gaylord. Each summer time in the course of Alpenfest, it transports the parade marshal at the front of the Grand Parade.

Ivan Polus produced a long lasting impact on our group by preserving an essential element of our previous. He frequently referred to his historic vehicle as “The Delight of Gaylord.” We will keep in mind him as a Satisfaction of Otsego County.

Historical past Matters is a collaborative exertion of the Otsego County Historical Culture, Gaylord Community Colleges, Otsego County Library, Otsego County Fee on Getting old, RSVP, Kirtland University Center Gaylord, Otsego Neighborhood Foundation and Gaylord Region Council for the Arts.