Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home / Stories / The Restoration Journey

The Restoration Journey

Pictures as we restore TARC 1101

The first thing my wife said was "OK.. Now what are we going to do with it?"


We now owned a trolley.

We had enough financial commitment to get one of the last 1987 Chance VS-24 trolleys that TARC owned and had just auctioned off. All the rest were going to the wind. Well not exactly all as we learned later, One was bought as a personal tailgating vehicle in Louisville and one was going to be put in a private Museum in Middletown. One went to New York, one went to Chicago and one went somewhere in Tennessee. (We learned that the one that went to New York had been driven straight from TARC's storage garage onto the expressway and headed north at about 85 mph. They blew the engine somewhere in Pennsylvania. Oh well...) Then there was ours. 1101 was the first Toonerville trolley TARC had owned. This trolley had seen Louisville grow and change through the '90s and into the new millennium. From the year Alysheba won the Kentucky Derby until Barbaro won in 2006, TARC 1101 plied the streets carrying newly-weds, Trolley Hoppers, parade personalities, revelers and 'all you other people out there' to and from some of the most important and memorable events in your life. {And you people who were hanging out the back end making a scene all know who you are. Don't make me have to point you out.) These trolleys brought and retained the 'small town charm' in the big city and we all became very used to their presence in our town. Nothing lasts forever and TARC was forced to discontinue charters by the FTA. The nine open backed trolleys were parked in the 10th street facility and came out on trolley hops, special occasions or as backup vehicles for the downtown 'enclosed trolley' routes. No longer would they take Derby patrons to the track, or wind through Louisville with cans tied to the back end. Sometime around 2010, TARC sold off three of the nine original trolleys. In 2012, TARC received a grant for 5 new all electric inner city buses. The decision was made to get rid of the remaining six VS-24 open backed trolleys. Well, you know where they went now and how we came to own ours.

Back to my wife's question. What do we do now?

Well, we put it back on the street. Easy enough huh?

The next months were a wild roller coaster ride vacillating between friend induced happiness while we were sprucing, restoring, sanding, painting and seeing it come back to life, and screaming frustration while trying to start up a company, obtain required Federal DOT licensing, State licensing, FMCSA registrations, Insurance, Tax ids, blah blah blah blah blah....

We would like to present you with some pictures from the fun part as we obtained warehouse space to work (Thanks Louis and Louise) and took on the task of turning TARC 1101 into Molly.

Contact Louisville Trolley

Phone: (502) 495-1882


Now Booking for 2024 and 2025

Corporate events


Spring, Summer and Fall Weddings

Progressive Dinner events

Your Event

« July 2024 »
This is themeComment