BY RANDY GRIFFITH
Rick Stancombe is beaming as he checks on restoration of his limousine business’ new excursion trolley.
“It’s a head-turner,” Stancombe says, admiring the classically styled vehicle. “That’s what I wanted: Something different.”
Rix Limousine is already booking events for the 2009 and 2010 summer seasons, Stancombe said. The Johnstown business is filling a niche left when CamTran eliminated rental of its Renaissance Trolley because of federal regulations.
“I have always wanted to do something with a trolley,” Stancombe said. “I couldn’t compete with the transit authority.”
Styled with Victorian etched glass windows, the trolley primarily will be used for weddings, anniversaries and other memorable events.
“It’s a classy service,” Stancombe said. “I want to keep it nice. I want to make it for special occasions.”
The exterior will feature wood trim. Wheels are concealed behind metal flaps, creating the illusion of a rail-riding streetcar. Inside, old-fashioned wooden seats are configured facing inward, creating a conversation circle.
There is seating for 20.
Built in 1989 by Molly Trolley of Ogunquit, Maine, the trolley was purchased in Connecticut, but was formerly used by the Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center in Marlborough, Mass. It was parked, unused for several years, and required significant mechanical work.
“The frame itself and the body are in perfect condition,” Team Chevrolet service adviser Jim Craft said. His shop had to repair wiring, vacuum hoses and exhaust and carburetor systems, among others. Some parts had to be custom built.
Next, the vehicle will get some interior and exterior paint and other touch-ups, so it will be ready for the spring wedding schedule, Stancombe said.