Matt became a builder by trade and then met his wife Jacklyn Wright- Gridley, a realtor who sold his first built house in Healdsburg. Her family owned the Motorized Cable cars in San Francisco, a company called Cable Car Charters Inc. Jacklyn & Matt rode on one of her grandfathers Motorized Cable Cars on hers and Matt's very first date here in Healdsburg at her brothers wedding!
Romance is in San Francisco but this love story began in the Wine Country as true fate would have it for Matt. They Married in 1988.
Hence in the early 90's when the building industry was quiet, another opportunity arose in Matt's career, and this was to work in San Francisco building Motorized Cable Cars for his grandfather in-law, Arnold S. Gridley. Matt was then introduced to the world of Manufacturing and Transportation!
Matt wanted to compliment his wife's family business and fleet of 50+ cars in San Francisco, but in a direction of his own and not as a tour operator but solely as a Transportation Manufacturer. He has grown his business worldwide!
Yesteryear family photo of
Matt, Jacklyn & children
under the G.G. Bridge in S.F.
Matt & Jacklyn Wedding 1988
Arnold S. Gridley
Cable Car Classics Inc. started in 1993. It is a company firmly grounded, with 25 years of experience. A family company with great history behind it.
A company that has worked hard and persevered over many years, and has perfected their artistic craftsmanship and workmanship in the Transportation Industry.
The dedication and handwork has grown this unique transportation business to include a variety of vehicles that cater to various transit markets. Tourist agencies & Operators, Cities, Municipalities and Large Bus Manufacturers.
Family companies that last and stand the test of time are those who thrive from their enormous work ethic, the perfection in their product and the pride they take in their valued customers.
Matt Etchell, President, from an early age was involved in metal and wood working shop. His father Robert Etchell and uncles were entrepreneurs in various trades and Matt was like a sponge at a very early age to soak up much knowledge from his industrious Englich-German family!
Matt’s thirst for knowledge, building mastery and computer abilities with AutoCad helped him to design and build not only Motorized Cable cars in San Francisco but eventually more innovative Trolleys throughout the United States.
When he opened his own manufacturing plant in Healdsburg, building other Themed Vehicles he evolved into working with large Bus Manufacturers, creating various Bus Trolleys that you see on our website today.
Matt’s parents Robert & Frances Etchell encouraged and financially backed Matt to create and start this company in the early 1990's.
The long time contacts from the Gridley family side in San Francisco helped create many future opportunities for Matt, such as the Whales Buses in Hawaii where there are many Motorized Cable Cars running around Oahu today.
Though Matt’s father, Robert Etchell Sr. is no longer with us or Matt & Jacklyn’s grandfather, Arnold S. Gridley they still believe that they are both with them daily in ‘spirit’ cheering them on in all their endeavors, today and for the ones yet to come in their future!
In the past 10+ years Matt’s brother Greg Etchell has joined Matt as a partner. Greg’s vast German knowledge of many things, such as Computers, Electrical, Mechanical and Technical skills, have complimented Matt and the company overall. Greg is also our Sonoma County Fire Fighter and Hero!
Initially we started building motorized Cable Cars in San Francisco, then expanded and added other theme vehicles, and now we've grown world wide with bus manufacturers, transforming their fleets to look like new Trolley Buses!
Ben & Matt
Bob & Frances Etchell
Matt & Jacklyn 2017
Whale Bus in Oahu, Hawaii
Ticket Booth, Pier 39, SF
Trolley Bus Conversion at
Cable Car Classics
3239 Rio Lindo Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
FAX (707) 433-5828
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