Louie Mattar's Fabulous Car

A man, a car and a dream. Soon after purchasing his 1947 Cadillac, Louie Mattar began the process that resulted in the creation of this dream car. In 1952, he and two other men established a cross-country endurance record by driving the Cadillac from San Diego to New York and back without stopping. Their trip totaled 6,320 miles and required refueling from a moving gas truck three times!

During the trips, Louie and his co-drivers had all the comforts of home, although space was limited. The equipment in the back seat includes an electric stove, a refrigerator, a washing machine, a chemical toilet, an ironing board, a medicine cabinet, and a kitchen sink. All of these appliances can be stored under the back seat cushions. Up front, in addition to the many switches and dials surrounding the dashboard, are a nationwide mobile telephone, a tape recorder, a bar, a public address system (which has speakers in both the trailer and on the hood of the car), and a Turkish water pipe. On the right running board is a shower and at the rear taillight is a drinking fountain!

The car holds 50 gallons of water, with a reserve of 30 gallon in the trailer. The trailer also holds 230 gallon of gas and 15 gallons of oil in addition to the dining area at the end. The car automatically refills the radiator and changes the oil, and the axles are drilled, which allow the tires to be inflated while turning. Hydraulic jacks allow the wheels to be raised for changing while moving. This could be accomplished from a movable platform that attaches to the car. Clear panels in the hood allow the car to be driven while the hood is open for repairs or adjustments. Under all the modifications is a stock 1947 Cadillac engine.

It took Louie Mattar 5 years and $75,000 to make his dream a reality. But this car was worth far more to Louie. He said, "If I sold that car and had all the money in the bank, I wouldn’t meet the important people I do. That's worth all the money in the world."

On Exhibit:

  • Louie Mattar's Fabulous 1947 Cadillac

Back To Exhibitions