Hail to the Chief's Car

Presidential Limousine to be offered for sale

Larry Jewett - August 27, 2011 12:00 PM

Image Auctions America

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A historically significant car could change hands  within the next 10 days

After slumbering quietly in Europe for more than two decades, a historically significant 1955 Cadillac Series 75 Presidential Limousine from the Eisenhower White House has returned to America to cross the auction block at Auctions America by RM’s Auburn Fall sale in Indiana next week (September 1 – 4).

Custom built by Hess & Eisenhardt, the special order limousine, chassis 557555865, is one of approximately 1,200 collector cars on offer at this year’s Auburn Fall Collector Car Weekend.

Commissioned in 1955 for Mrs. Eisenhower’s use, as well as to serve as a formal and parade vehicle when needed, this important parade car underwent a number of special modifications. These included the replacement of the rearmost part of the roof with a section and rear window from a Series 62 Coupe de Ville, resulting in a pillarless “hardtop” limo to allow an excellent viewpoint for press photographers, along with the addition of a sliding sunroof to allow the President and Mrs. Eisenhower to stand in full view of the public when desired. A grab rail was added inside the leading edge of the sunroof to ease the strain of standing in the moving car.

After completion, the car remained in the White House garage for the remainder of Eisenhower’s term before being reportedly sold to an American General. It was acquired by Olivier Delafon, a French collector of presidential automobiles and cars of state in 1988 before being purchased by its current owner in 2006. It is expected to bring $175,000 - $225,000.