While on the job, Joe Tomaro gets from point A to point B in a stainless-steel vehicle that is 74 years old, 27 feet long, weighs more than 5,000 pounds and manages only about 8 miles per gallon.
Oh, and it looks like a spacecraft.
"It definitely gets people's attention," Tomaro said.
For Tomaro, 52, attention is a good thing. He rents out rides on what is known as the Rocket Ship Car.
"People love it," he said.
The automobile is beyond neat. It's a piece of history.
Once, it was part of a featured attraction -- Rocket Ships -- at Euclid Beach Park, a Cleveland amusement park open from 1895 to 1969. One of three ships on the Buck Rogers-themed ride, it hung from a series of cables while repeatedly, and somewhat slowly, taking passengers in one big circle intended to make them feel as if they were flying through the air.
As a child, Tomaro visited the park often.
"My uncle was in the police there," said Tomaro, a Cleveland-area native. "We'd get his ID badge and go on all the rides for free."
In the mid-1980s, Tomaro stumbled across a wooden car from one of the park's other rides (the Thriller) on display in downtown Cleveland. That's when a thought popped into his head: "I have to have that."
Before long, he had bought it.
Through the years, Tomaro and John Frato, with whom he owned a towing company in a Cleveland suburb, collected more old park pieces. Eventually, the two sold their business to concentrate exclusively on Euclid Beach Park memorabilia, much of which they now rent out for exhibits.
Today, "the Euclid Beach Boys," as they are known, own a vast collection that takes up 25,000 square feet of space in several storage locations in the Cleveland area. Tomaro says he hasn't kept track of how much they've paid for the items, but he knows it's quite a bit.
The Rocket Ship Car was acquired in a memorabilia swap that also involved some cash (he doesn't recall how much) with another collector four years ago. To get it road-ready, Tomaro, who once constructed dragsters, built a chassis and installed a 50-inch Chevrolet big-block engine. It can "go whatever the speed limit is," he said.
A year ago, Tomaro, who still lives near Cleveland, relocated to Largo, Fla., for the winters. Naturally, he brought the car with him.
"That thing is so neat to ride on," said Mia Corrales, a manager of Crabby's Beach Walk Bar & Grill in Clearwater Beach, Fla., which has included the car in promotional events. "It's one thing to look at it. But when you're on it, it's like riding an actual roller coaster."
The car seats up to 10 adults or 15 children, all of whom are seat-belted in. It has a "high-tech" sound system and DVD screens. To say the least, it's quite an attention-getter.
Want to go for a ride? Rides on the Rocket Ship Car (www.rocketshipcar.com) start at $175 an hour.
For some, Tomaro included, the Rocket Ship Car offers not only a trip on the road, but down memory lane.
"I had a guy pull up next to me recently and say, 'That's from Euclid Beach Park, right?'" Tomaro said. "People recognize it all the time."