Our limousine service started as a taxi service in 1965 after my father lost his right leg in a construction accident.
Donald Abbott decided to start driving to the Park where there was a Greyhound Bus Stop in Lee Massachusetts a part of the recovery process, it helped take his mind off the major derailment in his life. While parked there he was often asked “is this a taxi?” A $10 taxi license an extension of the accelerator pedal, and the Bubble light mounted, he began taking hails in that 1960 station wagon quickly becoming the local cabby. His wife Jacqueline answered the taxi phone and would flip on the front porch light when there was a waiting passenger, hoping Don would travel past the house and see the light. This system is how people living in the Berkshires hooked up with our Taxi.
In the early 80’s his children joined in eventually molding into a long distance and airport transportation service. Other types of vehicles were added, a 15 passenger van with a homemade wooden luggage box on top. A black factory formal 1974 Cadillac limousine with jump seats and divider window. This was perfect for the General Electric and all the Businessmen traveling to and from the Berkshires in and out of Pittsfield Municipal Airport and occasionally to Boston.
With the suggestion to get a real stretch Limo by Christian Mis also called Chrismis, a Limo reseller/friend, the not so obvious car was found. It was a recovered stolen vehicle available as a repairable at Saw Mill Auto Wreckers, 12 Worth Street #1, Yonkers, NY for $3500. This pathetic looking 1980 54 inch Blue stretch caddy had been used in a robbery in Manhattan, left on the streets and pieced out to the chop shops. Paul looked past the bullet holes and missing interior and hood towards the potential in rebuilding it. After talking with Player Crosby, a friendly customer and local businessman, the purchase became a reality. An old fashion thorough mechanic, Eddy Bauer working at Orr Cadillac in Springfield was the perfect guy to fix the wiring and carburetor making it purr and run flawlessly forever. A Jerry rigged an RV fan unit complete with a dryer vent allowed ventilation to the rear compartment. Eventually with new baked on Abbott Blue enamel paint, very plush blue velour seats from a crashed Fleetwood Brougham D’ Elegance Sedan and glossy black vinyl top dressing, she was on the road.
The reliable Limo was finally sold to Ugo from Quebec and painted white to be used for weddings. I would love to buy her back using it for a get a way car, this time for weddings instead of running from the bank.
Today buying vehicles for the fleet is much more of a science with the ultimate comfort and safety utmost important and always a collaborative purchase keeping in mind today’s savvy traveler.