Larry Stencel sent in these photos of a 1946 Ercoupe being moved from a Shell gas station in Wautoma, Wisconsin, where it was displayed for at least 15 years before a fire inside the building.
Owners decided to raze the building and rebuild, so, for now, the Ercoupe is atop an adjacent car wash next to the Shell Station.
Locals hope the new Shell building will be in place and the Ercoupe returned to its home in time for AirVenture 2017.
“The gas station is on the main west to east route, which is Wisconsin Highway 21 for all who approach Airventure from the west,” Larry explained. “Wautoma is located 35 miles straight west of Oshkosh and is a favorite fueling/camping place for Airventure-bound pilots, as well as drivers.”
“That Ercoupe is a local treasure in the small town of 2,200 people,” he added.
“The Shell station was owned by one of the pilots at the Wautoma Airport (Y50),” he continued. “He was active in local affairs and decided to assemble the Ercoupe from parts for the display.”
If you are heading to Oshkosh and want to see the Ercoupe, Larry also encourages you to visit the Waushara County Historical Museum.
“This is a wonderful museum located in what was once the County Jail and Sheriff’s office,” he said. “The building was built in 1908 and used for that function until 1979 when it became the Waushara County Historical Museum.
The former jail housed the infamous Ed Gein in 1957, who was known as the “Body Snatcher” and was the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho.”
He committed his murders in the next town west, Plainfield, Wisconsin.
“Everyone around Wautoma knows the gruesome Ed Gein story,” Larry said. “His tombstone kept being stolen, so it is now housed in the Waushara Sheriff’s office.”
The museum, which is one block south of Main Street (WI Hwy 21) on St. Marie Street, is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1 p.m to 4 p.m.