The 1931 replica Rolls Royce that has become a Steinbach landmark is once again welcoming visitors to The Automobile City.
The forty foot car had been parked in front of Clearspring Centre since 1991. But earlier this year, the car was pulled from that site to make way for the addition of Boston Pizza and the access to the new Wal-Mart. Spokesperson Paul Neustaedter says the location at Harvest Honda became available and the decision was made to relocate the car to that site.
Neustaedter says since the car was moving anyway, The Steinbach Auto Dealers Association felt the car could probably use a makeover. Seventy thousand dollars was spent to build a rock display and lighting and then refurbish the vehicle. Neustaedter says that restoration included replacing fiberglass and wood that was rotting, redoing the plexiglas and giving the car an autobody quality paint job.
The car stands 40 feet long, 12 feet wide and 12 feet high. It was built in 1991 at a cost of $36,000. The car took three years to complete and was designed and constructed out of fiberglass and wood by John Henry Friesen. Today, reconstructing the car would cost $150,000.
Neustaedter says the "big red car" has become a Steinbach landmark.
"People ask about the car and a lot of times during the day you'll notice people will pull up next to the car, get out, take pictures of it, so it's definitely an inviting symbol and it's the symbol of The Automobile City," he says. "It's a really impressive vehicle."
Neustaedter says it's neat how the different dealership owners that make up The Steinbach Auto Dealers Association are all in competition with one another and yet pull together for something like this in order to benefit their common goal.
"We know that by working together that we all benefit," he says.
An unveiling ceremony took place Thursday at which time The Steinbach Auto Dealers Association (left inset) handed a key for the car to Steinbach Mayor Chris Goertzen (right inset).