Monday, September 27, 2010

the San Diego 1929 Graham Paige Sound Train ( customized limos for the Paramount Pictures Co for transporting movie stars to theaters)

This gallery is so extensive because I tried looking for photos of Sound Trains in the past and there are almost 4 decent photos on the internet of them, til now. I'm improving the amount of good photos, one gallery at a time, because someone out there will want a better look, or a different view of something this rare

This 1929 Graham-Paige Sound Train began life as a limousine, and then was sent to the Indianapolis, In. Harry O. McGee Company for modifications. These modifications included a large public address system. The limousine interior was left pretty much unchanged, but the front-end sheet metal around the hood area was rounded to give the appearance of being the boiler of a locomotive. A large headlight was mounted up front along with a smoke stack, bell, steam dome, and whistle. The chrome-plated bell had a wire running inside to the instrument panel so the driver could attract even more attention to the vehicle.

These vehicles were built in the late 1920s and 1930s for the parent company of Paramount Pictures. They were used for all kinds of publicity situations: to advertise the opening of a new movie in a town or to deliver a star to an opening in grand style with dancing girls riding on the seats located on the fenders.

For my previous post, with 3 different photos of the variety of the Sound Trains:

For the only thing I've came across about the Trackless Train:

One of these was just freshly restored and appeared at the Amelia Island Concours :


  1. I rode in this car.

    1. Recently? What are you reffering to, at the Speedfest? your 5 words didn't give me a lot to work with. When, then how... if long ago, what were the circumstances? if recently, is it from knowing the owner, what was the ride like? Did you get a ride due to your car enthusiasm in general, or something particular?

    2. I was granted the extreme luck of the draw and got to grow up around this specific sound train. The owners Gene Calman was my grandfather and sadly he passed away early on in june this year. I know how proud he was of his classics and I'm just happy to see them around in other places than just his garage. Even if just on the internet.

    3. Well, that's pretty damn cool. Isn't that your grandfather in the 4th photo from the bottom of this post? Sitting in a chair at the back of the car? I met him when taking these photos, and he was a nice guy! Sorry he's not in your life longer.

  2. It was my pleasure to drive him around town in this and some other cars a few years ago. The car is still in San Diego and goes out for parades and other fun events. It handles like a 1927 limosine with an actual ton of extra weight added. .Fuel consumption is measured in "Smiles per Gallon".

  3. I got a chance to ride in this one once back in the late 80s. I'm friends with Gene's son. It was a blast just to ride in the back! It drew looks and attention from everyone on the street. The whistle wasn't hooked up to any air, but would could ring the bell from inside. And we did!!!