It was a beautiful Saturday morning. One of my church members wanted me to go with him to the country and visit some Amish folks. So, we climbed into his big diesel pickup and headed out towards Charlotte Courthouse. We saw a few buggies, he showed me around, and pointed out schoolhouses, specific crops being grown, and told me some interesting factoids about Amish. The landscape was picturesque and it was calm and peaceful. I kind of thought of Green Acres TV show, one phone in the community and lots of fields and horses and cattle.
It was a joy as we blessed a family with some items that most of us take for granted. I attempted a bit of my grad school German, but I got a crooked smile as he tried to figure out what I was attempting to say. My friend wanted to buy some hay bales but the Amish farmer wouldn’t let him … said they weren’t seasoned yet. I don’t know “farm” so I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it was refreshing for his honesty and transparency.
As I went online to explore the history of Virginia Amish, I came across a quirky tidbit. Amish buggies are a bit more surprising than I gave them credit. (See here for the the article that launched this thought). Each community kind of sets their own standards (lights, colored of hazard sign, etc.) so not every community is the same. Here are some of my discoveries …
- You can have some add-ons, some luxury items – speedometer, cup holders, even a heater.
- You can get windshield wipers, mud flaps, and fog lights.
- Many bodies are now fiberglass with aluminum fittings. Wood is used for trim.
- Some buggies have the same brake system as dune-buggies (disc brakes). A Popular Mechanics article said they knew of an Amish man who since the 60s has gone through car junk yards in search VW braking systems to put on buggies.
- Some buggies have flashing lights powered by specific type of batteries.
- Average cost is 8,000 but luxury ones go up to about 10K. Banks don’t know how to finance buggies, for their are no real buggy titles. I did find buggies for sale on eBay for about a thousand … what a deal. (Horse not included)
- This cost doesn’t count the almost 2K for each horse.
- Most buggies go about 20 to 30 years before a major overhaul. And the lifetime of a buggy can exceed half a century.
Why this thread? I just found it interesting. And if you got this far into the article, I guess you did too.
I am just waiting for the day I see a buggy going through a Starbucks drive through.
Have a great day.