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February 15, 2007

Incredible 'Walking' Elephant to be sold at Red Baron Sale, February 17-18

BARON ELEPHANT

ATLANTA, Feb. 15 -- An enormous 'walking' mechanical elephant that was ridden by President Eisenhower at the 1952 Republican National Convention, plus a half-dozen rare vintage guitars - a 1959 Gibson Les Paul and five D-series Martins, collectively worth more than $1 million - will be sold the weekend of February 17-18 by Red Baron, the premier auction house in the Southeast.

The elephant - a colossus by any measure, at about 20 feet tall - was the brainchild of Frank Stuart, an English visionary, and inventor who built three of the forward-propelled pachyderms in the years following World War II. One is permanently housed in a museum in Austria, one is in a private museum in Chicago, and the third (the one being sold) comes directly from the Stuart family.

The elephant 'walks' with the help of a four-cylinder, Chevy-powered engine and an elaborate network of hydraulics neatly tucked inside the body cavity. It skates along, at speeds of up to 20 mph, and has been featured over the years in publications like Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Forbes, and Architectural Digest Motoring. It has also been in numerous parades and festivals.

Its crowning achievement came in 1952, when Dwight Eisenhower rode it to the Republican National Convention, in front of a horde of reporters, cameras, and well-wishers.

[GlobalGiants.com]


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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 4:15 AM | Link to this Post






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