San Francisco Municipal Railway (1960s-1982)
Built 1893 by Carter Brothers
No. 3 is painted the way the Powell Street cable cars looked at the darkest hour of the cable car system, when the tracks, cable machinery, and powerhouse became decrepit beyond repair. The entire system had to be shut down for a total rebuilding between October 1982 and July 1984.
This green and cream livery, with its lower side panel “owner’s panel” reading “San Francisco Municipal Railway,” evolved from the original green at cream livery introduced by Muni in 1947, three years after it took over the Powell lines with the purchase of Market Street Railway Company. That original livery (displayed on Powell cable car No. 26) had owners panels lettered simply “Municipal Railway,” later modified on some Powell cars to “Municipal Railway of San Francisco.”
The original green and cream livery coincided with the attempt by Mayor Roger Lapham to scrap the Powell cables in favor of buses. Lapham’s plan was resoundingly beaten by civic activists led by Friedel Klussmann. In tribute to her, Powell car No. 3 was left in the green and cream livery when all the other Powell cars were repainted maroon and light blue during the rebuilding of 1982-84. Car No. 3 carried a plaque dedicating it to Mrs. Klussmann, a plaque subsequently transferred to Powell car No. 1.