25 August 2009

Autos of the famous and infamous

Part 2 from Historic Auto Attractions. I should possibly add 'allegedly' to some of these, but they're still well worth a look. Some of the pictures are blurry due to taking a shot in a dark room of a car behind a glass case. C'est la vie...

A 1932 Studebaker driven by John Dillinger during one of his 'wealth redistribution' tours of the the first part of the Great Depression, before his early death outside the Biograph Theatre in Chicago in 1934.

The 'One Piece At A Time' Cadillac as described by Johnny Cash. This was a pretty cool merging of a lot of different styles of Caddy. Appears to the genuine article-really, how many of these can there be out there?

The staff car of one Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Somewhere the ol' Colonel is rolling in his grave-grilled chicken? C'mon! Who wants that? If I'm going to KFC, I'm going full throttle-Extra Crispy, potatoes and gravy, and coleslaw. We all gotta die of something...

One of the fleet used by the British Royal Family-a Bentley, I'd guess. Sharp car-nearly as cool as Colonel Sanders' machine above.

This 1934 Packard was used by Iosif Vissarionovich Dzugashvili, better known by his stage name, Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union and high in the point standings for Most Murderous Dictator of the 2oth Century. See-in worker's paradise everyone has opportunity to drive big Amyerikanski car-just some have more opportunity than others. And Glorious Leader have best opportunity of all!

A 1937 Cadillac limousine used by President Franklin Roosevelt before WWII. A heavy machine, but not quite the armored command vehicle masquerading as a limo that the current President uses.

Not to be outdone, Emperor Hirohito's state car was...a Datsun? Nope-he had a Packard as well-a 1935 model. Must've been hard to get parts after 1941. Ironic that the Navy PT boats that were so devastating to Japanese coastal shipping were powered by engines built by...you guessed it-Packard!

Nikita Khrushchev, bad-mannered Ukrainian and successor to Stalin in the Big Armchair in the Kremlin, traveled in this 1961 Chaika (Seagull) limousine toward the end of his term. Looks a bit like a Ford to me, but a rare auto to see in America!

This 1956 Cadillac is called a 'parade car' and was modified for use by the Secret Service in presidential motorcades. Note the running boards along the sides and the rear bumpers for agents and guards to hang on the vehicle. I'd guess this vehicle has been slightly up-armored and had extra radios and storage for small arms as well.

This 1961 Continental was used by President Kennedy-not on that fateful trip to Dallas in November of '63, but at a troop review at Ft. Stewart in 1962. It is, however, quite similar to the limo used by the late President on that day. These were, obviously, the last open-topped limousines used the US presidential detail-the limo used these days is more tank than car, with heavy armor, NBC system, and bullet-proof glass, plus a motorcade that has vehicles rumored to have concealed multibarrel guns and anti-aircraft missiles.
Those are some of the unique vehicles I saw over the weekend. Next we'll show classics and vintage American iron for some serious cruisin'!
yankeedog out.


  1. Black is indeed the new, and old, black when it comes to Presidential Vehicles.

    Those nasty Russian limos were apparently rolling out of the factory still looking like Fifties Caddies that had been hit repeatedly with the ugly stick when the wall came down in the late 80s.

    Top Gear did a great bit on trying to find a car that had been built behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet years that wasn't completely rubbish. The one that almost made it, the Lada Niva 4WD, used to belong to a mate of my dads. This is part one - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmIKbjpeTZw.


    I bet the exhaust smells like fried chicken heaven and if you lick the duco it tastes of 7 secret herbs and spices.

    The Secret Service do indeed have a Chevy Suburban with mini-gun turret. You can see the video here:


  3. Doc-Most Soviet-made cars didn't have to be all that great. It isn't like it was easy to travel by car over there anyway. Between travel restrictions and few decent roads, most car owners were confined to cities anyway.

    I can believe styling didn't change much over the decades-no incentive to do so, after all.

    Naut-Cool, huh?! I was more excited to see the 'One Piece At A Time' car.

    I put 'rumored' in my comment about the Secret Service vehicles because they may have even more advanced goodies in them. A minigun, however, would take the 'fuck you' out of anyone not in a tank at the time.

  4. Can´t wait to see them on a big screen YDog (I´m not up for counting how many Eee screens it would take to match my normal display ;) ).
    PS thanks for the lyrics.

  5. Bangar-Guess sending schematics over that smartphone ain't happening anytime soon. You wouldn't see anything but a tiny blob of black ink! Now go enjoy Bali and quit checking blogs!!