No two American car collections are exactly the same, but there is a sameness to many of them. Every collector has their fair share of ’60s muscle cars and European oddities. Every collection has to have at least one original Shelby of some sort and one VW bus. Most of them don’t have a giant mobile gospel church, but the upcoming “Cars of Jim Taylor” auction has one and it’s awesome.
Jim Talyor, who seems to have made his money from the recently sold Taylor Made marine product company, has a fairly well known collection in upstate New York. His bent seems to be towards unique and sporty European cars, but there’s a fair share of everything from a 2020 Ford GT ’69 Heritage Edition to a 1978 Cadillac Seville.
The auction is October 14th-15th in Gloversville, New York and is being operated by Broad Arrow Auctions with most of the vehicles being offered without reserve. It’s worth a look to see the interesting cars they have. But if you’re going to buy one car make sure it’s this 1935 Ford Model BB Gospel Car “Evangel,” which I realize sounds like an eschatological Japanese anime series and… it’s not that far off.
Back in the 1920s many started to believe the world was going to end because, at any moment, some percentage of the population believes society is about to crumble. Many of these people think that, before Christ rises again to judge the living and the dead, it’s reasonable to give some of the living a chance. Therefore, the Bible Institute Colportage Association of Chicago dispatched ‘gospel cars’ to save the souls of ‘perishing men.’
What they sent out was this 1935 Ford Model BB with a rather large steel and wood body containing a bed for two, a toilet, a small cook stove, and a lot of storage for Bibles and religious tracts to be delivered unto some sinners. Apparently this is the third and final (probably) time that the sort of RV living space has been put onto a truck frame.
So who drove this thing?
“The Evangel” was put into service on September 16, 1931, manned by Gloversville natives, the Reverends Ellery G. and Elizabeth Albridge. The aforementioned article noted that in a year the couple had traveled over 5,000 miles, while preaching, singing, and “playing sacred numbers on their slide trombones” at 238 religious services in 67 cities and towns and distributing thousands of books and gospel tracts. Unsurprisingly, “The Evangel” wore out two different chassis before being mounted in 1935 to this Ford Model BB truck.
It’s worth noting, again:
“playing sacred numbers on their slide trombones” at 238 religious services in 67 cities and towns”
I love the research people at auction companies who get to find out these amazing details and share them with us. I can just picture Ellery and Elizabeth, chaste in separate beds, lubricating their slide trombones for maximum effectiveness. Whatever your view of their sacred purpose they clearly put the miles in.
All of the little pieces on this truck are fantastic, including all the quotes from the Bible. At quick glance it looks like they’re using the King James Bible which, I gotta say, is the superior Christian translation for preaching the Good Word on the long road. I am a King James Bible stan, though, so maybe I’m biased.
Otherwise this is a typical 1930s Ford truck with a stock flathead V8. If this reminds you of a Mitzvah tank, you’re not wrong, though they don’t seem to use Fords for whatever reason.
If you’re as intrigued as I am the estimate for this vehicle is $60,000 to $80,000 or about 46 talents.
All images courtesy of Broad Arrow Auctions