Yat Ming YM24088 1972 Lincoln Presidential Parade Limousine - President Ronald Reagan (1:24 Scale)
"Yesterday, December seventh, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."
- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, speaking before a joint session of Congress, December 8th, 1941
The Sunshine Special was the official state car used by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States. It is said to have been the "First Presidential car to acquire its own personality" although the exact origin of its nickname is unknown. It was a 1939 twelve-cylinder engine, four-door convertible originally built by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company and was specifically modified for the President by a specialty coach builder, Brunn & Company, Inc. in Buffalo, New York, at a cost of $4,950 (the original cost of the car was $8,348.74). Initially called "Old 99," in reference to a number on its first license plate, it was later nicknamed the "Sunshine Special" (the name was most likely first used in a photo caption) as a reference to its retractable roof, and was famously enjoyed by the president, who had its roof brought down during public gatherings. At other times, the car was used as traditional presidential transportation. This was in spite of a previous assassination attempt against Roosevelt as he was riding in a Buick convertible, prior to the creation of the Sunshine Special.
The Sunshine Special was originally a Lincoln K-series built by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company, and modified by Brunn & Company to U.S. Government specifications. It was powered by a 150hp, 414 cubic inch V12 L-head engine. The limousine was originally equipped with a siren, running lights, and a 2-way radio, as well as extra-wide running boards and grab handles for Secret Service agents. The vehicle had convertible roof, hence the reasoning for the car's nickname. The car quickly became known as a favorite of the president who was a victim of polio and used a wheelchair. With the convertible top down Roosevelt sometimes appeared before crowds without actually leaving the vehicle. There are newsreels of the time showing the car being driven on stage, such as the podium constructed for a campaign appearance at Ebbets Field in New York in 1944.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Secret Service began to express concern in relation to potential assassination attempts against the president, as his limousine at that time was not armoured and had no protective features. The following day, December 8th, 1941, a heavily armored 1928 Cadillac 341A Town Sedan, which had originally belonged to gangster Al Capone, was used to transport the president to the Capitol to deliver his "Infamy" speech. The car had been confiscated by the Treasury Department following Capone's arrest and stored in an impound lot until its ironic final duty. Roosevelt used the Capone car until his Sunshine Special was modified to be capable of protecting him, with armor plating for the doors, bullet-proof tires, inch-thick windows and storage compartments for pistols and sub-machine guns. All of the safety modifications increased the car's weight to 9,300 pounds(4,218 kg). Despite these precautions, Roosevelt preferred to ride with the top down during parades and at most public gatherings. The car was also fitted with the then-current 1942 Lincoln front end in 1942 from the Lincoln H-series.
Pictured here is a 1:24 scale diecast replica of President Franklin Roosevelt's 1939 Lincoln V-12 Sunshine Special Presidential Parade Limousine.
Length: 10 inches
Width: 3.25 inches
Release Date: June 2009
Historical Account: "The Edison Institute" - The Henry Ford (also known as the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village), in the Metro Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan, USA, is "the nation's largest indoor-outdoor history museum" complex. More than a museum, it is a museum-entertainment complex where patrons can take a ride in a Model T, ride the train, visit an IMAX Theater, or see a live show. Named for its founder, the noted automobile industrialist Henry Ford and based on his desire to preserve items of historical significance and portray the Industrial Revolution, the property houses a vast array of famous homes, machinery, exhibits, and Americana. The collection contains many rare exhibits including John F. Kennedy's limousine, Abraham Lincoln's chair from Ford's Theater, Thomas Edison's laboratory, and the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop.
The oficial name for the complex is "The Edison Institute" (though now that name only appears on paper work), which was dedicated by President Herbert Hoover to Ford's longtime friend Thomas Edison on October 21st, 1929 -- the 50th anniversary of the invention of the incandescent light bulb. Of the 260 people in attendance, some of the more famous were Marie Curie, George Eastman, John D. Rockefeller, Will Rogers, and Orville Wright. The dedication was carried on radio with listeners encouraged to turn off their electric lights until the switch was flipped at the Museum.
The Edison Institute was originally composed of the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and the Greenfield Village Schools (an experimental learning facility). Initially, Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum were used as a laboratory for the school which included practical work in the machine shops. Admission to the Village was free to the public for the first few years. By 1937, the school had 300 students ranging from kindergarten to college age. The last original school on the grounds closed in 1969 although informal community education classes and school field trips continued. The Henry Ford Academy opened in 1997 and is now a 400-student secondary level charter school with admission open to all county residents by lottery. Students have classes in a glass-walled section of the Museum, a converted carousel building and in Pullman cars on a rail siding, feet away from the active Village railway.