CarStories.com and the Petersen Automotive Museum would like to take this Veterans Day to honor all the brave men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. These proud people have helped shape the history of America. This Veterans day, we thought it be a good time to feature two patriotic cars from the Petersen's collection that also have become ingrained in the history of this country.
In 1952 Chrysler supplied custom-built Parade Phaetons to New York, Los Angeles and The White House for transporting dignitaries in parades and other special events. Built on extended Crown Imperial chassis, all three were returned to Chrysler in 1955 to be updated with new 1956 "Forward Look" styling. Their striking appearance and frequent use by high-profile celebrities gave Chrysler important exposure that enhanced the prestige of their production cars. This car was originally intended for the White House. However, since the White House is not permitted to receive gifts of this nature, Chrysler retained the car and shipped it around at its discretion. Known as "The Detroit Car," this phaeton was often used by President Eisenhower and President Nixon. It was sold out of the Chrysler motor pool in approximately 1970 and today is the only one of the original three that is privately owned. The other two are still owned and used by the cities of New York and Los Angeles.