A man driving a full-size bull named Howdy Doody in the passenger seat of a "beefed up" car was pulled over by police in Nebraska on Wednesday after a stunned onlooker reported the odd sight, authorities said.
Officers in Norfolk, about 120 miles northwest of Omaha, were dispatched at 10:05 a.m. CT for a call for a "vehicle with a cow inside" rolling through town, police records showed.
Police assumed the bovine passenger would be a small calf, but what they came upon near the corner of West Norfolk Avenue and North 13th Street was a full-size bull riding shotgun in a 1996 Ford Crown Victoria.
The car's roof on the passenger side had been removed so the animal could fit.
"It's a solid car, so I went on and purchased up and beefed up the frame that was under it and the suspension, the tires and floor and cut the top off, and we were good to go," the bull's owner, Lee Meyer, said Thursday night.
The car is a retired police cruiser from the Nebraska village of Arnold.
The idea of turning it into Howdy Doody's wheels had been in Meyer's mind for years, but it took a doubting granddaughter to push him into action.
"I had thought about it. I talked about it, and one of my granddaughters said it was a bad idea and I shouldn't do it. So I had to show her that Grandpa could do it," Meyer said. "It might have been a bad idea, but I did it anyway."
Howdy Doody is a regular attraction at parades and fairs throughout the Cornhusker State, and police just asked the driver Wednesday to be careful and keep moving.
The 9-year-old animal, which is half-Longhorn and half-Watusi, weighed 2,200 pounds two years ago, and it is probably tipping the scales a little more now, Meyer said.
Passenger cars are often retrofitted to transport animals, a state Department of Motor Vehicles attorney said Thursday.
Approval and enforcement of such auto retrofits fall under the responsibility of the Nebraska State Patrol, the DMV attorney said. A representative of that agency could not be immediately reached for comment.
Meyer said that he has never gotten any type of DMV or police approval for the wheels and that the stop Wednesday was the first hint of any issue.
"I've never had a problem with anyone until Wednesday," Meyer said. "I just have car insurance, a license and private plates."