Fred's Flying Circus – Grand Island, Nebraska - Atlas Obscura

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Fred's Flying Circus

Grand Island, Nebraska

Whimsical cartoon cars suspended on posts soar over an automotive shop. 


Shortly after Fred Schritt retired from building and racing custom motorcycles, he came across an old vehicle that reminded him of “Mater” from the movie, Cars. He fixed the vehicle up in his own style and renamed it “the Peppermint Kid,” and put it on a post outside the body shop he ran in Grand Island, Nebraska. A Volkswagen-turned-Fokker-Triplane followed, with the Red Baron and Snoopy trying to get each other in their sights. Then another car and another were added to the growing collection.

By the time he passed away, Schritt had assembled a flying circus of a dozen whimsical cartoon cars on posts above the empty lot beside the shop, including a Purple People Eater, Hell on Wheels, and a snarling Mayberry Cruiser. Beyond the basic car chassis, Schritt welded additional steel, applied fiberglass, and even chicken wire to make his playful visions manifest.

Schritt passed away in 2016, but his daughter, son-in-law, and grandson keep the GI Body auto shop going and are more than happy to give tours during business hours. The family also maintains a collection of Schritt’s custom motorcycles.

Know Before You Go

The Flying Circus is visible from the street, but you can visit the office of the body shop several doors west during business hours 8 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday and ask for a tour if they're not busy. 

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June 23, 2021

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