The Liberty Car: Great War Cadillac US1257X
In 2005 Marc Lassen, a lifelong automotive enthusiast, discovered The Liberty Car—Cadillac US1257X—in a shed in Spokane, WA, with its WWI military history having been lost to time. Since its discovery, Marc has been committed to the authentication and preservation of this Great War Cadillac. He has collected countless artifacts verifying its extraordinary military service. The car, artifacts, and amazing story are currently displayed in the museum’s Members 1st Gallery.
The Liberty Car, a Cadillac officer’s car, was in France for the entire U.S. involvement in the Great War, 1917-1919. It is believed to be the sole surviving Cadillac with a verified record in WWI and the last known car that saw action on the Western Front in 1918. It was used during the Second Battle of the Marne, supporting French and American troops near the front line.
Eleanor Butler Roosevelt (wife of Teddy Roosevelt’s son, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.) also used the Cadillac for two months while she sought locations for soldiers to spend rest and recuperation leave. Mrs. Roosevelt even mentioned the car in her 1959 autobiography.
The car made it home and survived 100 years without being touched. It retains many of its original materials, components, craftsmanship, and evidence of its service during the war. Due to its historical significance, in 2014, the car was added to the Historic Vehicle Association’s (HVA) National Historic Vehicle Register and the U.S. Department of the Interior Historic American Engineering Record.