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1955 Cadillac Series 75 used by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower up for auction by RM in Arizona next month.
People collect all sorts of things. Some collect classic cars, while others collect presidential memorabilia. But when RM Auctions opens its event on January 18 at the Arizona Biltmore, the two will come together in the vehicle you see here. This 1955 Cadillac Series 75 was made specifically for the White House for use during President Eisenhower's term in the Oval Office. But rather than transporting the president himself, it was made for the First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower.
It rolled off the line at the Fleetwood assembly plant in 1955 as an eight-passenger Imperial sedan, and was subsequently modified for state duty. In addition to the power brakes, tinted glass, rear compartment radio, heating and air conditioning that it came with from the factory, Hess & Eisenhardt of Rossmoyne, Ohio, fitted it with the rear roof section from the Series 62 Coupe de Ville and a sunroof with grab rail for parade duty. The White House held onto it until long after the Eisenhowers left office, replacing it with the ill-fated Lincoln Continental that fatally served the Kennedy administration.
The government rejected a request placed by GM to display the car at the Washington Auto Show in 1958, but it was later sold to French collector Olivier Delafon, who later sold it to its current European owner in 2006. It's now offered for auction with a $120,000 - $150,000 pre-sale estimate, not including the 2.5% duties required to import it back into the US (apparently despite its obvious American origin). Photos by Teddy Pieper, courtesy of RM Auctions.