Small town wagon shop is making tracks internationally

This three-quarter scale Concord stagecoach built by Hansen Wheel & Wagon Shop for Fuji Safari Park in Japan is pictured alongside one of their full-size stagecoaches. The stagecoach was to leave the wagon shop near Letcher  on Wednesday for a 30-day journey to Japan.

This three-quarter scale Concord stagecoach built by Hansen Wheel & Wagon Shop for Fuji Safari Park in Japan is pictured alongside one of their full-size stagecoaches. The stagecoach was to leave the wagon shop near Letcher on Wednesday for a 30-day journey to Japan.

Hansen Wheel and Wagon dominates a niche market in this country, building authentic vehicles of the American Old West, and is now deepening their footprint overseas, as well.
The wagon shop, which has been building stagecoaches, chuckwagons, covered wagons and other Old West vehicles for 36 years, loaded up a three-quarter-sized stagecoach into a shipping container to be sent to Japan this past Wednesday.
The coach will go to Fuji Safari Park in Japan near Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture and close to Mt. Fuji. The park has an Old West area and they ordered the vehicle to be built pony-sized for children’s rides. Four miniature ponies will pull children in the stagecoach around a trail in their park.
The park didn’t want to settle for a fake replica stagecoach; they wanted the real thing, so with a reputation for quality and authentic craftsmanship, Hansen Wheel and Wagon was commissioned for the job.
This was the first scaled-down version of a stagecoach created by the shop, which involved many different considerations in the planning and construction. The stagecoach took about a year to complete.
This isn’t the first such creation to be shipped overseas; the very first was sent to a museum in Denmark 20 years ago. Now the shop in rural Letcher ships around six vehicles overseas each year.
An ocean-going container was sent to the shop, in which the stagecoach would be secured for its more than 5,000 mile trip to Japan. The container was scheduled to leave the shop for a port on the West Coast on Wednesday. The total journey will take 30 days.

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