Indianapolis Power Hammer Works Inc

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An ad for Indianapolis Power Hammer Works from The Indianapolis Star 18 Oct, 1935, Fri
Rudy Makela's 1936 Pontiac of Indianapolis, Indiana. Completed in 1936, the car was restyled by Rudy at Indianapolis Power Hammer Works Inc.
Rudy Makela's 1942 Cadillac convertible of Indianapolis, Indiana. Built by Rudy at Indianapolis Power Hammer Works Inc, the build was started in 1942 and completed in 1950s.
A newspaper clipping from The Indianapolis Star 24 Jul 1955, Sun. After five years of building and testing, Rudy Makela announced in July of 1955 that Indianapolis Power Hammer Works planned to begin production of a three-wheeled motor scooter.

Indianapolis Power Hammer Works was a custom body shop in Indianapolis, Indiana. The shop, who made metal parts for automobiles and aircraft bodies, was founded by T. J. Makela in 1925. At Indianapolis Power Hammer Works the power hammer did the job without the heavy expense of pressing dies.[1]

Born in Finland

T. J. Makela was born in Finland. He came to Indianapolis from Deotrit, Michigan in 1911. At that time Indianapolis was a central industrial point for many Finnish workers. Hundreds of Finns worked in automobile plants when Indianapolis was an automotive center. In 1940 Mr. Makela told a journalist from The Indianapolis Star that he remembered when there was a considerable colony of Finns in Indianapolis. In the late 1930s many left for Detroit and other automobile manufacturing areas. Makela stayed behind with his wife, a Finnish girl he had met while in Detroit.[2]

309 West Maryland

In 1933 Indianapolis Power Hammer Works and the Clairemont Sterilized Egg Company acquired a two-story brick building at 309 West maryland street in Indianapolis. Indianapolis Power Hammer Works occupied the first floor of the building, while the egg company occupied the second floor.[3]

By 1950, the shop was run by Rudy Makela, his father, and other members of the family. It was located at 309 W. Maryland St. in Indianapolis.

Three-Wheel Motor Scooter

After five years of building and testing, Rudy Makela announced in July of 1955 that Indianapolis Power Hammer Works planned to begin production of a three-wheeled motor scooter. Powered by an air-cooled, single-cylinder, 6.6-horsepower engine, the scooter was designed by Rudy. According to an article about the scooter in The Indianapolis Star 24 Jul 1955, Sun, two models were built before a third was completed. All work on the scooter had been done in Rudy's spare time.[4]

Cars Built or Restyled By Power Hammer Works Inc

Rudy Makela's 1936 Pontiac
Rudy Makela's 1942 Cadillac Convertible - "WOW"


  1. The Indianapolis News April 27, 1950
  2. The Indianapolis Star 14 Jan 1940, Sun
  3. The Indianapolis News 27 Jun 1933, Tue
  4. The Indianapolis Star 24 Jul 1955, Sun

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