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Autistic Man in 12th Year of Riding His Rhoades Car

Very special guests stopped today at the Rhoades Car factory all the way from Oak Forest, Illinois: Bill Reid, his mother Wilma and his sister Mary Ann.  Twelve years ago, Bill lost his job as a janitor after a new supervisor came on board and didn’t understand his special needs as an autistic person.  He quickly became depressed and withdrawn. His mother Wilma said Bill is the oldest of six children, all of whom love him and were very concerned about him. The family pooled their money with the money that Bill had been saving from his job and bought him a 4 person Cycle Car so that he could maintain some independence.

Mrs. Reid said the transformation in Bill was amazing.  He began using it immediately to run errands like going to the grocery story and giving the neighborhood kids a ride. He opened up and started talking again. Twelve years later, he is still using it every day that someone is available to go with him in clear weather. He uses it spring, summer and fall and puts it on a rack in the winter to take care of it. He tells everyone it is his car.

So what brought the Reids from Oak Forest to Hendersonville?  The answer is truly amazing. Some children in the neighborhood got on the Cycle Car recently and popped a tire. The Reids were here to pick up a new tire, the first part the Cycle Car has needed in the entire 12 years! While they were here, they decided to take advantage of the August motor special for existing Rhoades Car owners so pedaling will be easier very soon. Wilma is really looking forward to that as she is frequently Bill’s pedalmate!

Wilma, Bill and Mary Ann Reid from Oak Forest, IL

Wilma, Bill and Mary Ann Reid from Oak Forest, IL

The family especially enjoyed watching some new Rhoades Cars being built. Master Builder Chris Spann told Mrs. Reid that their story had made his day, to which her heartfelt reply was “Thank you for giving my son back his life.”

Bill repeatedly told us throughout his visit today how much he loves his Rhoades Car. But don’t take our word for it – you can hear him say it after his sister Mary Ann tells us the story: