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For decades Krekel’s Chicken Cars have been icons in Central Illinois. Decatur Illinois was the most likely place to spot one of these vehicles in the early days. Years later at least one them could be found in Springfield ( Grandview area ). When Bill Krekel passed away in 2003 the funeral procession was led by one of these famous Chicken Cars. I’m not sure if it was one of the two shown in the video – since there were reportedly four of them.
I can’t recall the street name – but Mr. Krekel’s home was a couple of blocks over from Wood St in Decatur. When you drove by you’d see a large metal barn that had a sign stating Krekel’s Chicken Coop. At Krekel’s Springfield location you can still see a similar barn. What you no longer see is one of the Chicken Cars. The only two I have seen on display since his passing are located at Krekel’s Mount Zion.
“Krekel’s friend Paul White, a Kentucky sculptor who specializes in fiberglass animals, designed the first chicken car in 1972.”
One of the cars has a sticker stating Arlington Built in Texas by Texans. I have not been able to find information on the custom designer / builder of either vehicle.
Taken from a 2002 article linked below.
“Krekel still has two of the chicken cars, both made from 1993 Cadillac Broughams, and a new one is on the way.”
What isn’t seen in the back driver side window of either car is the photo of Marilyn Monroe that used to reside there. The cars could use a bit of touching up. They are definitely showing their age. Both are still doing the job they have done for decades – turning heads, getting peoples attention and pulling them into Krekel’s to purchase food.
Just ate a KrekelBurger at the Pawnee location ( which isn’t owned by family members ) last night. The Pawnee IL Krekels is the only one I’m aware of that is open on Sundays.