MUNI Trolley Car #1010 meets a line of a couple 1928 Milan, Italy built Trolley Cars (MUNI 1859 and MUNI 1815) at the Ferry Building MUNI Station on The Embarcadero during MUNI Heritage Weekend.
The MUNI 1010 is painted in tribute to the ‘Magic Carpets’, as Muni’s first five modern-design streetcars were known.
When the PCC streetcar debuted in 1936, some cities lined up quickly to buy them, but in San Francisco, the privately-owned Market Street Railway Co. couldn’t afford further capital investments, while the Municipal Railway was prohibited by the City Charter from paying patent royalties covering several PCC features.
Muni’s solution was to have these five streetcars custom built without the patented items. The double-end ‘Magic Carpets,’ numbered from 1001 to 1005, arrived in 1939, wearing this blue & gold livery. They made every other San Francisco streetcar look old-fashioned with their sleek appearance, which even included wheel covers that made the cars look like they were hovering, rather than rolling, along the street -“ hence the nickname.