That's using your imagination

Paul Hemp's car was a sight to see.

hoffman 407.jpg
The Thing, built by Paul Hemp, was a fixture at parades through out southeast Minnesota.
We are part of The Trust Project.

There was a time when young kids dreamed of building their own car. With high hopes, they turned wood from peach crates and abandoned baby carriage wheels into a ride that might get them to the end of the driveway.

Paul Hemp never lost that imagination. He wanted to build something that everyone would talk about. As owner of the Hemp Museum, he had more than enough parts to build his dream car. He called it "The Thing." Using a Model T driveline, installed backwards, Paul used a rear axle to drive the front wheels. The car was accessorized with numerous bells, sirens and whistles.

Turning "The Thing" was accomplished by an articulating frame; in other words, the car would bend in the middle — a feat that never failed to make people point and laugh.

Practical? No. But it made a great promotional vehicle for the Hemp Automobile Museum.

"Lens on History” is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.

What To Read Next
Highlights of news reported in 1998, 1973, 1948 and 1923.
View "slice of life" photos from around the area.
Highlights of news reported in 1998, 1973, 1948 and 1923.
A special order and compliments of Mamie Eisenhower added to Newton Holland's success story.