Mennonite Buggy Dashboard

Have a look “behind the wheel” of an Old Order Mennonite buggy. This was taken by Tom at the New York Haiti Auction. What do you notice?

Mennonite Buggy Dashboard

Tom notes that it has “a speedometer. LED lights, windshield and all the bells and whistles. I asked a man what a buggy like this one would cost and he said $5,000.00 and then the same or more for the horse.”

Five thousand bucks might be the price for a Mennonite buggy in New York, but would actually be a pretty nice deal for a new Amish buggy in many places.  In Lancaster County you’ll pay in the $7-8,000 range, or more if you get all the latest features (and there are more features than you might think).

Mennonite Pickup Truck Buggy

Also, here is the “pickup truck” model. Team Mennonites use this textured metal on parts of their buggies. I’ve never seen it on any Amish buggies before though.

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    1. Randy A

      Amish Cadillac

      I don’t know if the souped-up dashboard would go over very well in the Holmes County Ohio area. They tend to be conservative. I also, have never seen an “Amish pick-up truck” before. Might be a bit too “flashy” for my area (Holmes-Wayne-Tuscarawas Counties).

      1. Hi Randy, you actually do see this general variety which I believe it called a “top hack” by Ohio Amish…however not with the metal, which does give it some flash. Your area is a very interesting one for Amish buggies, with the wide range of groups. There are very conservative Amish in your neck of the woods, but pretty progressive ones too.

      2. Valerie

        Old Order Mennonite

        Do we have Old Order Mennonite in Holmes/Wayne/Tuscarawas County?
        I can recongize alot of the groups now but never been sure of OO Mennonites in our area of Ohio-wouldn’t really know their particular distinctions, does anyone here know?

    2. kristin j

      Amish buggy upgrades

      Amish Buggy Upgrades~~boy, they are moving up in the world. Who would’ve thought??? I wonder how high the speedometer actually reaches??
      The pick-up truck model is very interesting. It is amazing to see the progression of changes taking place in these communities.

    3. Laurie

      I wonder how the buggies with the metal on them do in a lightening storm. The tires aren’t rubber, so are they an attractor?

      1. Paul Long


        They are on rubber, solid, not air filled. Actually any tire when wet is a conductor, and lightning or any voltage dissipates into the ground. You are in it, like a bird sitting on a wire and not harmed. You become positivly charged, but the damage is from the electrons going through you to ground that actually cooks you due to resistance to current flow. If it’s insulated from the ground, and you’re touching it and touching the ground (even in wet shoes)YOU become the conductor (the wire) and the current passes through you. Planes get hit all the time with no damage. If you look close at the back of the wings thay have “static wicks” like short ropes hanging down. They act as electrodes to dissipate the charge into the air behind them.
        I work on antique steam traction engines and locomotives. They are on steel wheels and grounded well, so they conduct the voltage directly to ground, with no harm since they are heavy enough to pass the current. Now if you were on one, like a steam roller and sat up high, you would be the first to be hit and act as the wire leading to the conductor and be fried.
        People are surprised to find most buggys have hydraulic brakes. (single master cylinder unlike cars with dual as a redundant backup in case of failure) New ones all have fiberglass spokes, hitches and now the “tub” or base is like a shower pan made of fiberglass. Anything less rots and are not wanted anymore. They make trailers for them too. Many can be found on eBay !

    4. That souped up buggy probably belongs a Rumspring guy.

    5. What's really on this persons mind?

      A speedometer,lol, why. But I’m sure the owner is young and had a car on his/her mind when they put that in, not really breaking any rules I think. But it does let someone know maybe what they were really thinking about, now if they shoe-horn a Chevy 350 v8 in there then someone’s going to have a problem! Richard

      1. That would be some shoehorn Richard 🙂 I actually think speedometers might not be as uncommon as we’d think. Gives you a good gauge on what kind of time you are making.

    6. Lucie

      Erik, what are some of those other features that you mentioned? Never would have guessed.

      1. Lucie, for instance, many upholstery styles and colors, external battery compartment, lights, decorative trim on some higher buggies, many more.

    7. This talk about a “souped up” buggy reminds me of something my husband and I have gotten some fun out of. On an episode of NatGeo’s “Amish: Out of Order,” one of the ex-Amish made a comment about a “pimped-out” buggy. We just weren’t sure those words fit together! 🙂 And while we were in Holmes County and Lancaster County the past couple of weeks, we kept looking for what we might call a “pimped-out” buggy but never found one! 🙂

    8. Renee

      Ok this is interesting to see it sooped up like that

    9. Don Curtis

      Mark's buggies

      As I’ve stated before, my son Mark became Amish at the age of 50. He will be 60 in August. Mark has a small collection of buggies that he enjoys driving. I don’t enjoy riding in a buggy so I have only been with him twice since he’s become Amish. Horses scare me and that’s that. I don’t trust them. Anyway, Mark has what he called a “single top buggy.” He, also, has a “Mini-surrey.” It reminds me of the old-time “paddy-wagons” with the door in the back. Mark uses these buggies in the winter or inclement weather. During the summer he has what he calls a “single open buggy.” He, also, has a two-seated open hack or spring wagon carriage. For running errands during the summer he has a two-wheeled road cart. And, of course, he has his power train. Two standard bred geldings, Mr. Ed and Toby. He also has a wagon he uses like a pick-up truck. It has inflated rubber wheels. IO’ll have to ask Mark where he got all of his vehicles. I know some were made right there in the community but I don’t remember which ones.

    10. Mary Ann Chase

      souped up buggy

      The first thing I thought when looking at it was maybe the reason it was at auction was that their bishop said no to being souped up. I wonder how long they got away with it and what source of power is used to run the dashboard bells and whistles.
      The pick up style seems like a good idea and might even be within the rules. After all, they do have to carry their goods to market. M.A.

    11. Don Curtis

      Souped up buggies.

      I called my son, Mark, and asked him what was the most souped up buggy he had seen. He said he saw a buggy on display at Horse Progress Days in Odon, Indiana that was the limit. LED lights all over, including some kind of wands on each side of the windshield. Also, it had a working moonroof. Yep, a moonroof. Mark said there is one boy in his community that has a buggy with fenders and a built in solar panel on the roof.

    12. Tom

      I think that I wasn’t clear about the picture of the Old Order Mennonite buggy pictured today. It is the dash board of the same buggy pictured yesterday. It was sold on Saturday and came out of a local buggy shop and was donated for the benefit auction.

      1. Thanks Tom, looks like someone got a nice set of wheels. To follow up on this post I also wanted to add this link to the interiors of a couple of different styles of Amish buggies in PA:

    13. Mary

      I have seen buggys that were ricked up fancier then the one pictured here. And, in fact, they do have them in Holmes /Wayne Co.too,(where I originally stem from). The price of these buggys might seem high priced to some but, remember they last for years and years and don’t rust out, or have to be replaced every so many years like a car does.

    14. speedometer

      The speedometer looks like one I had on my bicycle. It recorded data like maximum speed, trip distance, and overall distance. That could be useful information, especially for a father concerned about the use of his buggy and horse.

    15. Paul Long

      All about carriages

      When you want to find out about the Amish carriage , go here 🙂 Good stuff!

      Hey James, You’re right. Used like the meter on a treadmill that shows calories burned, time duration……. Here’s the PA Horse and Buggy Driver’s Manual that suggests resting after hills, so this could be good for timing the duration of long climbs and trips.

    16. Osiah Horst

      OO Mennonite

      There are old order Mennonites in Chester, medina, and Mahoning counties, in Ohio and in Elkhart County Indiana. Forty five years ago the buggies in Lancaster County Pa were the fanciest I had seen.

      1. Adam

        Osiah Horst, just curious where the OO Mennonites are in Mahoning County, Ohio? My mother was born and raised there and she said she’s never seen any around that area. Thanks

    17. Ann

      buggy dashboard

      Eric, you’re correct. There are a wide variety of buggy types in Holmes/Wayne. What we call an Amish pick-um-up is on a large buggy body but has a wooden enclosed pen in back of the front seat. Have seen these many times in Kidron and surrounding area. In Carroll Co, where I taxi, I’ve seen a buggy with a hitch pulling a boat/trailer and several years ago some boys with a customized wagon/pen hitched to the buggy that contained 2 or 3 beagles. Guess they were going hunting! One of my customers builds buggies and carts as a side business. For the school sale early this summer he built a mini buggy (no running gear) that fit inside the large size “flyer” wagon. His own kids were asking him to buy it back and the family that bought it reports the kids are having a great time playing horese and driver!!

    18. Wm Justice

      Dashboard equipment

      Nice “tread steel” on the pickup buggy bed. I wonder if any of those fellows have installed a horse “TACKometer” to measure the number of HPM (hoof to road contacts per minute)? I know, I know, that’s really corny but I could not resist.

      I am absolutely convinced I will never see such buggies in Randolph, MS.

    19. David

      All it needs is air conditioning, smokin’ stereo and a GPS. (LOL)
      By the way, new buggies go for a lot less in Wisconsin. About $2500 – $3500. Sounds like price gouging out east.

    20. Elizabeth Snoke

      Souped up buggies

      The Amish and Mennonites never miss a thing!! I love the pickup truck buggy!

      I have been handicapped since July 1984 when was run over by drunk 12-year-old riding his older brother’s dirt bike thru neighborhood yard. Use cane(s) and in recent years a walker.

      ANYWAY. I retired in 1992 and decided to move to Tucson, Arizona in 1996. Came out by plane and bought a double-wide motor home. Then flew back to home in Leavenworth, KS, and packed essentials into small U-haul van and drove it out. So high I used little folding 3 step ladder to climb up & in. Stopped for lunch 1st day out in small town. When ready to leave climbed up and in and turned to reach down to grab the ladder and an Amish man was standing there folding it up and handed it to me. He said, “Excellent idea! My wife has trouble because of her arthritis getting up into our buggy.” I could see his buggy a few feet away and a woman looking out the window. I said, “I got this at an Ace Hardware.” He nodded. I thanked him and that was the end of our encounter. I’d always wondered how people got up into the high buggies. Hope he found little ladder for his wife and that others in need followed suit.

    21. Kentucky Lady 717

      Still waiting for someone to answer the question in the fourth comment… fast can they go ????
      Erik, do you know ?

      1. Paul Long

        duration not speed

        20 miles a day at 5 to 8 MPH is the norm. You wouldn’t want to go any faster than a fast trot. A horse can run about 30 MPH. That feels like 60. So with only rear brakes and cross axle springs, a fast trot is as fast as you’re going to want to go. I have a 1921 Model T with narrow tires, wood brakes, and cross axle springs. Considered a horseless carriage. (the springs go the same way as the axle, across the frame) It has no speedometer, so I had my wife clock me following me once. 35 was it. That was scary and as fast as I’d go. It only has rear brakes and would slide, can’t stop quick.
        Carriages are worse. The horse stops faster, but the brakes help hold it still once stopped. Since the rear wheels slide easily, you just touch the brake and tell the person riding with you, that’s it, they’re on. You can barely feel it on a hill.
        You can be fined for overdriving an animal as well.
        So your answer is whatever speed the particular horse fast trots.

    22. Kentucky Lady 717

      Thanks Mr. Long, I had no idea……

    23. August

      buggy owner

      I have just but a mennonite wagon buggy . I live in the hills of Tn.Near the Smoke Moutons. Hilly .Any away I need parts.The top and the tree,real wood spokes,rubber tires,two of the wells are missed up,the wood spokes are in great shape it is an athenick amish wagon. The frame is in good shape so is the bottom . I good with horses, not so much with wagons. Can you take them on hills. If so how do you go down in the buggy. I sure you use the brake .(O i need brakes ) I want to do the buggy just as it shod be. Thank you ,