BF Classified: 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan Presidential Limousine Used By Harry Truman

Seller’s Description: Offered for sale here is Harry S. Truman’s Lincoln Cosmopolitan Limousine.
Coachwork by Henney Motor Co.
Chassis no. 50LP6237H
Engine no. 0EL6520
*336.7ci, 152hp L-head V-8
*Custom ordered for President Harry S. Truman
*Built at the behest of the White House
*One of only a handful surviving, most of which are in museum collections

This specially bodied limousine is one of the nine custom-built 1950 Lincolns built at the behest of the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman. The seven-passenger car rides on a 145-inch wheelbase extended chassis and measures 240 inches overall. It weighs more than 6,000 lbs.

Leased to the Government by Ford Motor Co., the 1950 Lincoln Presidential Limousines replaced the aging pre-World War II White House fleet Truman inherited when he ascended to the presidency after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death in 1944. Truman chose Lincoln over Cadillac after GM had snubbed his requests for vehicles during his presidential campaign, which he had been expected to lose. The 1950 Lincolns remained in Presidential use well into the Eisenhower administration.

Price: $150,000
Location: Odessa, Texas

Seller’s Listing: Here on AACA

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Comments

  1. 370zpp

    One hundred fifty two horsepower and six thousand pounds? Uhhhhh . .

    3
    • Stan Marks

      It was 1950.This car was for cruising.Not Daytona.

      9
    • JoeNYWF64

      & that’s gross, not net hp. The late 60s chevy 250 ohv 6 was 155hp. Both about 110 hp net.
      With that weight, i guess it has bulletproof glass & door panels?

      • Bill McCoskey

        Joe,
        I consider myself an amateur specialist in presidential limousines [I’ve had one], and the ironic part of those vehicle’s legacy is this fact: The first armored “Presidential Limousine” was the one Kennedy was killed in. [FDR did ride in an armored car in December 7, 1941, when he visited the U.S. Capitol to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor, but that was not a Presidential Limo, it was formerly Al Capone’s armored sedan, the only armored vehicle available on short notice.]

        This car is not armored. The 1950 Lincoln was already a heavy car. The additional weight comes from all the work that the Henney Body Co did when the standard Lincoln Cosmopolitan sedan was lengthened, and the roof raised.

        And yes, from my records, this IS one of those special Henney limousines ordered by the Federal Government.

        5
  2. Rodney - GSM

    …and that’s without Bess on board.

  3. Rodney - GSM

    …and that’s without Bess onboard.

    11
  4. Steve Bush Member

    I remember my mom mentioning that she saw President Truman in his car during a Presidential visit. I assume it was this one.

    3
  5. Superdessucke

    Did Special Agent Dale Cooper ever ride in it?

  6. Ben T Spanner

    After Ike was sworn in, Bess and Harry packed their new 1953 Chrysler and drove home. No secret service. Ike and Mamie got escorted to the Pennsylvania line. Times have certainly changed.

    12
  7. Benjamin Haspel

    One of the nine was a present of Henry Ford 2nd to the president of Israel and is kept after restoration in Israel.

    1
  8. Chas358 Chas358 Member

    Give ’em hell Harry.

    8
  9. Mountainwoodie

    What a difference fifty years makes.

    Compare the Lincoln with the present day ‘Beast’ that drives the present day occupant of the White House around. The Lincoln is subtle, substantive and stylish, where as the “Beast lacks any of those descriptors. Very much reflects the different presidents who rode in the Lincoln and who rides today in the beast.

    5
    • James - Thuener -

      It also reflects on the times of the day. ” The Beast ” is bullet proof, & nearly rocket proof & is equipped with lifesaving medical supplies, an on board air supply, ” No Flat ” tires and hundreds of pounds of safety and protective features that are all designed to protect the POTUS in case of an attack by a nut case or determined enemy. There are several individuals and fanatics that would revel at killing the President. It wasn’t as severe during the 1950’s so such a ” Beast ” wasn’t necessary then.

      1
    • Scott

      The differences between the Lincolns of past and today’s Beast do not reflect the different presidents….. the Beast represents a consensus of security measures needed today for the leader of the United States.

      That being said, visit The Henry Ford museum to see 3 very special presidential limousines.

      2
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

      8
  10. Stan Marks

    The “Beast” is an ugly box, that lacks any styling,
    The “Cosmo” had the suicide doors,back then. Where as the Continental didn’t have them until 1961. .
    Truman’s limo belongs in his library. What a beauty.

    8
  11. Richard Van Dyke Sr Member

    I do believe there is a President Truman limo in his museum

    2
  12. Jim Benjaminson

    Interesting – one I hadn’t seen before. RE: The comments on the current passenger in the “Beast” – I remember when Obama got the first one and everyone jumped all over him for spending government money on that ride – as I remarked then – its the Secret Service that orders the cars. I doubt like blazes the president – who ever he is or from which party – has anything to do with it. The Secret Service is charged with protecting whoever the top dog is. I hadn’t heard of the tiff between Truman and GM — Give ’em hell Harry was a personal friend of K. T. Keller of Chrysler – I’m surprised none of the presidential cars back then weren’t Chrysler products. There were some mid-50’s Imperial limos in the White House fleet but never an official presidential car.

    5
    • Mountainwoodie

      On a minimally related point, Gov Pat Brown of California had a ’57 Chrysler Ghia with a padded roof.

      http://ch300imp.com/ghialimo_us.htm

      1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Jim;
      As soon as Ike was in office, K.T.Keller arranged to send a 1955 Crown Imperial limousine to the coachbuilder Derham, where the number 1 car was modified into a special hardtop style from the division window post rearward. A large sunroof was installed in the rear compartment. The rear seat was moved forward 8 inches, and the jump seats eliminated, allowing Ike to stand up thru the sunroof. During his term in office, Ike used this car all the time, unless he was using the convertible Lincoln parade limo.

      Later that year Keller sent an additional Crown Imperial limo to Derham. that limo had some interior modifications done, and was intended for Mamie’s personal use. I used to own that one, it was serial number 110

      In 1989 I arranged to use Ike’s sunroof car to transport David and Julie Eisenhower from the Vista Hotel in DC, to the Eisenhower theater in the Kennedy Center. I have a photo of them standing up thru the sunroof, but can’t post it here.

      As I began the trip to the Kennedy Center, Julie told David, who had been sitting on the front edge of the back seat, to sit back and enjoy the ride. David replied that he like riding at the front edge of the seat, as that’s how he sat on the seat as a little boy!

      This all came about as a result of my vintage Rolls-Royce Limousine service in Washington DC. We often provided our special limousines to the Kennedy Center for special guests. I had taken David and Julie Eisenhower to the Kennedy Center the previous year, and David had remarked how the Rolls-Royce limo reminded him of his grandfather’s Imperial limo.

      I slipped Julie a short note explaining that I could use the Presidential limo, should they come back to town. Julie and I worked to set it all up as a surprise for David.

      As we all walked across the lobby, towards the front entrance of the Vista Hotel, The entire front wall of the lobby was glass, and the limo was in full view. David was quick to recognize the car as his grandfather’s, so he quickened his pace, with a big smile on his face.

      The serial #1 limo [sunroof version] now sits on display at the Eisenhower Farm Museum, as part of the National Park Service. I sold #110 about 30 years ago, and don’t know where it is today.

      12
      • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

        @Bill McCoskey – Very interesting story. Thanks for sharing!

        2
      • Jim Benjaminson

        Bill – thank you for your reply. I’ve long been a collector of presidential limo photos. My original intent was to locate photos of all the presidential cars that have visited North Dakota – not all, of course, were true presidential cars but vehicles borrowed by the SS for use. Is there a possibility of getting photos from you? My email is benji at utma.com. I’d love to discuss this subject further! Speaking of Ike – I got to photograph Maimi’s ’62 Valiant at her girlhood home in Boone, Iowa a couple of years back – I knew the curator so got special access to the car.

        2
  13. Stan Marks

    Bill McCoskey,

    The sad thing, about Kennedy’s assassination is, it didn’t have to happen.
    The Secret Service wanted to put the top on.

    .Hindsight is 20/20, and certainly in hindsight it looks like a bone-headed decision. But as you no doubt have heard many times before, the early 1960s was a relatively innocent time in the United States, a continuation of the peace and prosperity of the 1950s. It was light years from the security state the US is today.
    Even though Dallas was broadly thought of as a very conservative city, and thus with some potential hostility towards JFK (no one dreamed the danger was actually from a Marxist), the idea that he’d be shot while driving briefly through downtown Dallas clearly did not seem plausible enough to warrant a top on the car. He was riding with his Texan vice-president and the state’s governor, and JFK wanted to see and wave at the crowds. From the vantage point of what we know in 2020, this seems a terrible idea, but history is only written from the past forward without such knowledge.

    3
    • Bill McCoskey

      Stan Marks,
      You are so correct. Had the Plexiglas top been in place, trying to make accurate shots would have been very, very difficult. One of the reasons JFK disliked the top was it distorted the view*, for both those on the inside and those on the outside. And as it was then, and it is today, the President has the last say.

      *In making a multi-sided Plexiglas cover like the one on the Presidential limo, a thick flat Plexiglas panel is heated until it is flexible. In the 1960s It was then placed on a wooden form and hand stretched to match the wooden form. Forming a flat panel into a 3-D curved form, required several men using heavy insulated cotton gloves, to hand shape the plastic. This typically resulted in waves in the final panel. The process often took more than one attempt until a decent panel resulted.

      3
  14. Steve Bush Member

    A few observations on Stan and Bill’s comments about the JFK limo. One, the top wasn’t bulletproof so it might have only helped to prove where the shots actually came from and that there were multiple shooters. Two, the motorcycle officers weren’t in the proper protective positions; otherwise at least one of them might have been hit. Three, if the Secret Service driver had floored the limo the moment of the first shot, JFK might have been saved. Finally, in the matter of Presidential protection, the Secret Service has the final call.

    2
    • Jim Benjaminson

      Clint Hill, a North Dakota native, was the Secret Service officer that ran from the second car to the Kennedy limousine and climbed up the back of the car. He’s been my hero since the incident happened. He took it personally and fought a lot of demons during his lifetime over what happened, blaming himself. He’s still alive and has written several books about what happened that day.

      2
      • Stan Marks

        I’m very familiar with Clint Hill. I’ve read his books & over the years, seen many interviews, on TV. He did the best job he could, under the circumstances. He should have been on the back of Kennedy’s limo.
        His demons will go to the grave, with him.
        What a shame….. God bless him…..

        2
  15. Stan Marks

    For my job, I visited the Ford Museum, in Dearborn, Mi., many times.
    I took several pics of the limo. I also have a small scale model, of the car, with all of the passengers.The faces are true-to-life.
    Here is the model.
    https://www.mdiecast.com/mpictures/minichamps/430086100.jpg

    Here’s a 10 minute video about the car.
    https://www.torquenews.com/1083/5-facts-about-president-kennedys-limo-you-didn-t-know

    1
  16. Stevieg Member

    The Henry Ford museum is outstanding, even better because of the presidential line’s they display. That is my favorite display. I look forward to going back there, hopefully soon.
    Bill McKoskey, I have read a lot of your comments & I just gotta say you have some great stories! I would love to sit down with you, talk & learn from you!

    • Stan Marks

      So many displays at the museum. The first lunar land rover, Clothes Abe Lincoln wore, when he was assassinated. Fun day for the entire family.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Stevieg,
      Thanks for the kind comment, I’ve been lucky in having a career in the antique car business and hobby, a career that has taken me all over the world and allowed me to meet wonderful people, from working guys who keep the old cars running and restored, to the world’s elite that includes world leaders. My close friends keep telling me I need to write a book about my life, maybe someday it’ll happen.

      I live on Maryland’s eastern shore [“the land of easy living”], and after this Covid19 problem is lifted, I welcome Barnfinds members to contact me & visit. [My email at AOL.COM is my name, without the space.]

      • Stevieg Member

        You bet you need to write a book Bill!
        I’ve been very blessed in many ways too, especially for someone in my financial state lol. I’ve known a number of great people, some even famous.
        Let’s face it, even the rich & famous put on their pants one leg at a time lol.
        I hope you do write that book one day, I will buy a copy!

  17. Stevieg Member

    Absolutely! I could really spend a couple days there.

  18. Stan Marks

    I drove chartered motor coach for 20 years, till I retired 10 & a half years ago. The museum was one of my favorite destinations. Drove many middle school rug rats there.

    I knew the first astronaut, the late James Irwin, who drove the lunar rover. He told me it was a very bumpy ride. No shocks.

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