Betty (Car 754) was built in 1926 by American Car Company for the Dallas Railway and Terminal Company (DR&T). From 1929 through the mid-1950s, Car 754 operated on nearly every route of the Dallas streetcar system. Originally a “Peter Witt” center entrance car, the car’s center two doors were removed during World War II to make space for additional seating.
Car 754 served Dallas residents until the end of the company’s operations in 1956 when the streetcar system was abandoned. Shortly after, Ben Carpenter (son of John W. Carpenter, president of the DR&T from 1927-1935) moved her to his family’s ranch in Irving. Car 754 served as a playhouse for the Carpenter family, who even built a miniature Wild West-themed town around the car.
In 1994, Mr. Carpenter generously donated Car 754 to MATA. The car was in good condition structurally, but underwent renovations and restoration including new insulation, air conditioning, and new wheels to give the car a smoother, quieter, and more comfortable ride. The car’s red and cream colors match its original post-war color scheme—when you see Betty on the street, you’ll see her as she appeared on Dallas streets nearly 70 years ago.
Car 754 is named “Betty” in honor of Betty Carpenter, mother of Ben Carpenter, who is remembered for her generous contributions to charities and philanthropic causes around Dallas.
- Built: 1926
- Length: 48 feet
- Weight: 19 tons
- Colors: Red and cream