The Best Collector Car For Sale Is This Vintage Mobile Gospel Church Used By Two Slide Trombone-Playing Missionairies


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


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24 Responses

  1. Arguably the coolest vehicle ever co-opted by evangelists would be GM Futurliner #11 which was at one time owned & used on tours by Oral Roberts & then sold to another preacher before ending up in a field subsequent to being rescued & restored & then auctioned off for an eye-watering $4 million in 2006 & again auctioned off for a similar sum in 2015. Not sure about its whereabouts now though.

  2. “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.”

    Ah yes, King James VI and I. The very same guy who wrote Daemonologie, “a study on demonology and the methods demons used to bother troubled men. It also touches on topics such as werewolves and vampires. It was a political yet theological statement to educate a misinformed populace on the history, practices and implications of sorcery and the reasons for persecuting a witch in a Christian society under the rule of canonical law.”

    “The book endorses the practice of witch hunting in a Christian society”

  3. I’ve run into something kind of similar before although not nearly as old of a vehicle. It was a mobile church that went to truck stops and flea markets to preach. It was kind of weird because those guys were carrying on about Jesus to an audience that seemed to be equal parts truckers, drug addicts/dealers and prostitutes. Taking it back to the fundamentals of the faith. I didn’t agree with their beliefs but I had to respect their devotion since they had eschewed the monied mega churches to minister to the poor and the outcast, the same people Christ preferred to the Pharisees.

    1. 15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

      17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

      Seems legit to me…

  4. What an incredibly interesting vehicle. That thing absolutely looks lived in, and not for a life of luxury. 238 services in a single year over 67 cities, and you can be sure that a lot of those were in the heat of the summer. That really needs to be picked up by something like the AACA Museum in Hershey PA.

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