For Immediate Release
THREE TRUMAN CHRYSLERS AND PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINE NOW
The cars on display include two 1941 Chryslers - a Windsor sedan and a Royal club coupe, a 1955 Chrysler New Yorker Deluxe 4-door sedan and a 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan limousine.
The two 1941 Chryslers were purchased by Harry Truman in November 1940 following his re-election to the United States Senate. They were purchased from Lon's Car Exchange in Kansas City after Truman traded a 1938 Dodge touring sedan and a 1940 Chrysler Royal for a $1500 credit. Both cars were painted Dove Gray and, as was often the custom in those days, both had heaters and radios installed as options by the dealer. Senator Truman drove the Royal club coupe most of the time, while Mrs. Truman usually drove the Windsor sedan, a larger and somewhat more elegant car. In 1941, Truman drove the coupe through the south and back up through Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri making surprise inspections to uncover waste and fraud in army camps and defense facilities. It was this trip, in part, which led to the formation of the Senate Special Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program - better known as "The Truman Committee" - which bolstered Truman's national reputation and saved taxpayers billions of dollars in defense expenditures during World War II. Truman transferred ownership for the Royal club coupe to his sister Mary Jane Truman after becoming President on April 12, 1945. Bess Truman later sold her Windsor sedan to a family friend and neighbor in Washington. Both cars had a third owner before undergoing extensive restoration beginning in October 1996 at Chrysler's World Headquarters outside Detroit. Actual factory "build sheets" - containing the cars' original specifications - guided the restoration. A skilled restoration team meticulously matched original paint and fabric colors, trim details, and other parts to return the cars to their original showroom condition. The two 1941 Chryslers are part of the museum's permanent collection.
The 1950 custom Lincoln Cosmopolitan 7-passenger limousine was one of nineteen vehicles made for White House use. It was garaged at Metuchen, New Jersey and was reserved for President Truman whenever he was in the New York area. Alexander J. Barket gave the limousine to the Truman Presidential Museum & Library on April 14, 1972. It has a special body built by the Henney Motor Company of Freeport, Illinois under the direction of the Lincoln-Mercury engineers and with the aid of Lincoln technicians. It is equipped with a high compression V-8 engine. The limousine is part of the museum's permanent collection.
After leaving the White House, Harry S. Truman took delivery on his fourth new automobile in June 1955. The black 1955 Chrysler New Yorker Deluxe 4-door sedan replaced the Trumans' 1953 Chrysler and was intended to become Mrs. Truman's car. It was an impressive car, equipped with every available factory option for 1955. On April 21, 1956, Margaret Truman and her father arrived in this car at Trinity Episcopal Church for the marriage of Miss Truman to Mr. Clifton Daniel. The newlyweds were chauffeured in the car to a reception at the Truman home. Mrs. Truman drove the car until 1958. The car's condition suffered at the hands of successive owners and in the 1970's was parked in a field under a cottonwood tree and allowed to deteriorate. Mr. Irwin Buck, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, finally purchased the vehicle in July 1980 and proceeded with a complete, frame-off restoration by professionals working full time. The car was displayed for the first time at the 1982 Chrysler Products Club Meet in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania where it received the National First Prize. The car is on loan from Henry and JoAnn Slice of Dunkirk, Maryland through October 2002.
The Truman Presidential Museum & Library is located at U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware Street in Independence, Missouri. The Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The Museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission is $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and $3 for children 6-18 years old. For more information, call the 1-800-833-1225 or the web site at www.trumanlibrary.org.