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December 17, 2018

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Once upon a time in Ada

Once upon a time in Ada

Things you didn’t know about your own hometown

By Lee Crouse

July 1938 STANLEY MAIN FINDS “ADABILE” CENTER of SCIENTIFIC INTEREST- To Stanley Main, sixteen-year-old son of J. Stewart Main, goes the distinction of owning the first “Adabile,” probably the first automobile ever built here, and certainly the first and only one of its kind. The car was especially constructed for Stanley, a victim of infantile paralysis since childhood. A product of Ada’s best mechanical engineering genius, including such experts as Carl Luft, S.M. McCurdy, Harry Castle and J. Stewert Main, the illiputian vehicle is driven by a one horse power air-cooled gas engine. Most of the work was done by Carl Luft in the Luft & Gardner garage. The 74 inch streamlined body once served as a side car on an Indian motorcycle and is wide enough to seat two people. It has balloon tires and a wheel base of fifty-four inches. The operation of the car, which has a speed of about four miles per hour, is completely controlled by a steering tiller which also acts as a clutch lever.