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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Harry Truman's personal 1955 New Yorker was no trailer queen

We've read and written plenty of stories about cars with celebrity ownership history that have little in the way of celebrity driving history. This isn't one of those cars. On the contrary, this gorgeous 1955 Chrysler New Yorker Deluxe was not only owned by President Harry S.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/harry-trumans-personal-1955-new-yorker-was-no-trailer-que...
18 REPLIES 18
audiobycarmine
Technician

I'm a bit confused: "fully restored, inside and out", but it doesn't run, and the paint is cracking.
?
Air_and_Water
Instructor

It was likely restored as a museum piece.
SAG
Technician

Restored
doesn't mean "Concourse"
MustangJim
Technician

Restored for a museum: perfectly clean inside out and upside down, all fluid drained and ready to sit indoors never to be driven.
Izzl
New Driver

Harry primarily drove pea green Dodge Coronets. When he went back to Missouri they lived on his military retirement as there was no pension until Kennedy was shot. He received secret service protection then as well. He passed me one day in one of those Dodges. He was very approachable.
SLD
Intermediate Driver

My parents and grandparents met President Truman by chance when he was a sitting president in the early 1950’s. They had gone to Detroit for the afternoon, and were in one of its fancy hotels, looking for the coffee shop. They were lost, and had decided to take a service elevator to see if they could get back to the main part of the hotel. The elevator doors opened, and there was President Truman with two (yes two) secret service guards. No one had cleared the route for the President – that just wasn’t done in those days. The secret service guards stiffened, but relaxed when they realized my parents and grandparents were no threat to anyone. Then my grandmother spoke up, “Mr. Truman, I’ve always wanted to shake your hand.” Gracious and a gentleman, President Truman shook hands and took time to wish my parents and grandparents well. My mother was dazzled. She recalled him as a big, barrel-chested man with a glowing complexion and a big broad smile. “You could almost see the waves of charisma radiating out from him,” she told me, years later. From that moment she understood how he had won the whistle stop campaign in 1948. I’ve never been able to reconcile my mother’s description of him with the old black and white photos I see of him. They make him look like a little, grey washed-out man. But my mother’s recollection and description helps explain what his campaign managers must have known – put Harry Truman close to and in front of as many voters as possible and he’ll win.
MustangJim
Technician

T hats interesting

Very cool car and very cool history.
Huntz-Hall
Detailer

Way "Kool" car, I'd love to have. My Dad a 1954 New Yorker with the same drive train.
I'd sit on his lap when I was 9 years old & drive it, he did the braking! I'll never forget it.
FloridaMarty
Instructor

Why oh why would anyone "touch" the presidents car? I would rather have this as un restored. It wasn't too bright to change it from original.
bruold1
Intermediate Driver

That is way too much money for a car that has a non running motor and cracked paint, I don't care who owned it 😞
Inline8OD
Technician

One of our nation's better presidents with the best luxe distance road car of the '50s. But agree with Audiobycarmine above.
merlebalke
Advanced Driver

Cranks, but does not start. I'm surprised the seller doesn't get it running. Couldn't be that much of a challenge.
SAG
Technician

I use to service the "Paint" [shop in Palmer Lake, Co at that time]
on one of "Elvis's Lincoln Continental's"
owned by _
the guy who started 'State Farm Insurance'
SAG
Technician

So long ago,
it isn't funny.
VetteKid56
Intermediate Driver

Back in the 1970's I guy I knew had a body shop and car lot. His idea at that time of a restoration was bondo and paint and just enough engine work to get it off the lot, strictly surface cosmetics. If he couldn't bolt on a new fender or door it probably wasn't for him. just like the sale of Obama's Chrysler 300 that he leased before running for president the only value it had was who owned it.
Mxfrank
Pit Crew

Truman's last car is (or used to be) at the Truman home in Independence. It was a modest 1972 Newport. The beast barely fits in the turn of the last century garage. Truman lived in his in-law's home and the mother-in-law was the "president" of the home. She had the gate wired with a remote electric lock, and she would have to buzz him into the driveway.
hyperv6
Collector

Harry was better known for his walking than his cars. 

Nice car here no matter who it belonged to. Sadly many of these cars end up in museums and collection never Turing a wheel. Nice to see when they still are driven.

 

Harry was before my time but many forget he was not a very popular man while in office. He was hated by many. 

As hindsight emerged we found while he was not perfect he did do a very tough job and did well.