OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. (WLS) -- Love it or hate it, the "Chicken Car" turns heads.
Patrick Taylor remembered seeing it "in parades" as a "part of Dixon's heritage" growing up there.
When it went up for sale, Taylor decided to buy the modified Ford Mustang, hoping to preserve a piece of his childhood memories.
Since then, Taylor's created a social media following for the car.
"I get comments and messages from people on social media indicating that I've made their day better," he said.
But his mission goes deeper. Taylor says he attempted suicide in 2011 and has since used the car as an introduction to a challenging topic. In 2016, Taylor drove the Chicken Car cross-country on a mental illness awareness tour.
As a board member for the Illinois chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Taylor says he hopes to use the Chicken Car for future awareness campaigns. But that may not be possible because Taylor said he had to move the car from his new neighborhood.
Taylor recently moved to the Prairie Glen subdivision of Sugar Grove where, as might be expected, some have taken issue with this over-the-top set of wheels. Taylor said the homeowners' association told him to remove the vehicle from public view or face fines; that complicated Taylor's daily routine.
"Chicken car is my daily driver and I need it to get to work," he said.
So Taylor appealed the decision; the board didn't waver. According to a recent letter from the homeowners' association, the Chicken Car violates policy because it is a commercial vehicle. Taylor does have a website for the car, where he sells merchandise.
Now, he faces a $100 fine per day and possible towing if he doesn't remove the car "from public view permanently," according to the final letter sent.
"I feel like it's an attack on individuality," Taylor argued.
Taylor recognized some people may find the Chicken Car unsightly. But he sees whacky ride as vehicle for change as he is always looking to make someone smile.
I asked the Prairie Glen Homeowners' Association to do an interview for this story; they declined.
However, a representative for the Prairie Glen Homeowners' Association confirmed to ABC 7 that the Chicken Car was in violation of the association agreement for being a commercial vehicle that is a "distraction" and "not road worthy."
Chicken car with a cause unwelcome in Sugar Grove neighborhood
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