Frequently Asked Questions
about the Historic Class 1 Streetcars
Q: How many streetcars are there?
A: Three. Out of the original fleet of 24 Class 1 streetcars built for San Diego, only cars 126, 128 and 138 still remain.
Q: Where were these streetcars all this time?
A: These last three remaining Class 1 Streetcars were being used as a home from 1939 to 1996. In 1996, a local antiques and art dealer heard about them, purchased them, and has been storing them ever since.
Q: Do the other remaining Class 1s look like car 138?
A: In short, no. Cars 126 and 128 have undergone only minimal restoration since being removed from the lot where they were used as homes. The cosmetic restoration seen throughout No. 138 has been funded by the streetcar owner to allow the public to have a better idea of what these cars used to look like, and what they can look like again.
Gomaco Trolley Corporation, a professional restoration company located in Iowa, can restore the three Class 1s to their original condition, but first we need donations to help make that happen.
Q: What makes the Class 1s special?
A: The Class 1s are the only streetcars that were designed in San Diego and for San Diego. With large windows and partial open air structure, the Class 1s are designed to allow passengers to enjoy the mild climate and gorgeous views of America's Finest City.
Because they are a key piece of San Diego's history, the three remaining Class 1s have been deemed San Diego Historic Landmark #339. And once running on any part of their original route, they will be eligible for State and National Historic Designation. They are special because no other streetcar in the world could do for San Diego what the Class 1 Streetcars can.
Q: Where did the streetcars used to run?
A: The Class 1s ran all over the city, from Dowtown, to Golden Hill, South Park North Park, Hillcrest, University Heights, Normal Heights, Kensington, Coronado, and Chula Vista. You can view old route maps on our Historic Photos & Docs page to see all the places the Class 1s used to go.
Q: What is the difference between "historic" and "vintage"?
A: Because the Class 1s were made only for San Diego, they are a reflection of our past and our historic culture. In order to gain San Diego Historic Landmark status, it had to be proven that the Class 1s were historically significant. Other streetcars that are less significant to the history of San Diego cannot be called "historic".
Click here to read about the criteria the Class 1s had to meet to gain their official historic status.
More coming soon!
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