Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Harry Truman's Last Car

We know of President Harry S Truman's first automobile after he left the White House -- a 1953 Chrysler -- told about from the delightful book Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip by Matthew Algeo.  

But few may know of his "last car" purchased only a few months prior to his death

Harry loved his cars. From his first car, a 1911 Stafford, to his last one, a 1972 Chrysler Newport (see photo following). And Harry took great pride in driving and maintaining his vehicles. He had his cars washed every few days, the interior made spotless, and he never allowed anyone to smoke in his vehicles.

Parked in the garage behind the Truman Home at 219 N. Delaware, Harry Truman's last car, a light green 1972 Chrysler Newport, purchased only six months prior to his passing.
The car would be used by Bess until she passed on in 1982. Harry traded in a 1969 Chrysler and purchased the '72 model in nearby Odessa, Missouri (always looking for the best deal). Supposedly, Harry picked the exterior color, while Bess picked the interior. With less than 19,000 miles on the odometer, the 4-door, 8-cylinder coupe remains almost like new.
For the license plate number, Mr. Truman asked the Missouri  state license bureau for 5745, the date of VE day in Europe, May 7th, 1945, just one day before his birthday on May 8th. The plate number has been permanently retired. The car was inherited by Margaret Truman upon the passing of her mother. Margaret donated the car to the National Park Service which still maintains the vehicle today. The car is visible to visitors to the Truman home during the summer season.
One wonders if anyone has recorded the cars owned by other former presidents after they left office?

No comments:

Post a Comment