Vintage Co-op Safety Car From North Dakota Still on the Road in Ohio

Sep 20, 2022 | News Bits, Industry

An old vehicle that logged thousands of miles on behalf of Basin Electric Power Cooperative in the 1960s has resurfaced in central Ohio. The Plymouth Suburban was one of the generation and transmission co-op’s first safety vehicles, purchased not long after Basin Electric was founded in 1961.

“Some people think it’s likely this safety car was stationed at our Leland Olds Station near Stanton, North Dakota, as it was being built in the 1960s,” said Blake Stoner, safety administrator for the Bismarck, North Dakota-based G&T.

But records of where the car traveled and what tasks its occupants performed were likely shredded, burned or disposed of decades ago, said Stoner, noting that files related to the vehicle were well beyond any reasonable retention period. “We haven’t come across any hard evidence.” #09-30-227

The five-door station wagon, which had an original manufacturer’s suggested retail price of just over $2,700, probably ended its co-op service by the early 1970s. But in 1997, it was advertised for sale in the classifieds of a local Ohio newspaper.

A family from Shreve, Ohio, picked it up for $900 and affectionately christened it “Carlisle.” Its weathered red paint still displays safety emblems on the front doors and white and yellow lettering on its tailgate identifying it as a Basin Electric safety vehicle.

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