This 1947 Cadillac Drove Over 6,000 Miles Without Once Stopping – Not Even for Gas

This 1947 Cadillac Drove Over 6,000 Miles Without Once Stopping – Not Even for Gas

Stephanie Schoppert - December 22, 2016

Louie Mattar purchased a 1947 Cadillac and the car had all the modern features of the period but that was not enough for Louie Mattar. He spent the next 5 years completely changing the brand-new Cadillac. He spent $75,000 on these changes and all of them change this modern Cadillac into something the world had never seen before. Louie Mattar had a dream to drive his car from San Diego to New York and back without stopping once. For the period, it was an unheard-of feat and it was only due to the number of modifications

Over those five years he made the car almost unrecognizable. The back seat of the car was modified to include an electric stove, a chemical toilet, a washing machine, a working refrigerator, an ironing board and even a sink. The front of the car was also modified to include a full bar, a PA system, a Turkish water pipe and even a mobile phone. Louie Mattar was able to get his phone hooked into the brand new wireless telephone system that was just developing at the time. On the rear panels outside the car was a shower and drinking fountain.

This 1947 Cadillac Drove Over 6,000 Miles Without Once Stopping – Not Even for Gas
thespeedtrap.net

But the car was not modified just for creature comforts for the three men who would be taking turns driving. Louie knew that cars were not always reliable, especially on long road trips, so he had to make sure that repairs could be made on the car while on the go. One of the most ingenious changes was to modify the car so that the tire could be changed while driving. Using hydraulic lifts and small but strong tires he was able to lift any corner of the car up and let it run on the small wheels. Then platforms were deployed around the car to allow one of the riders to get out of the car and stand next to it and change the tire while the car was in motion. The platforms were also used in case the engine needed to be worked on during the drive. Clear panels in the hood meant that the men could get access to the engine without obstructing the view of the driver.

But all these modifications meant nothing if the car could not keep running without stopping. This meant two major problems, water for the radiator and fuel. He built a reservoir for the radiator that had 50 gallons of water (which was shared with all the appliances). There was also 15 gallons for oil so that the car could change its own oil through a device of Louie’s creating. The tires were also able to re-inflate themselves in case of small holes or leaks.

There still remained the problem of gas, he needed gas to keep the car going but getting gas typically meant stopping to refuel. So how did Louie Mattar use his own ingenuity to ensure that he could get the gas he needed to keep going without ever stopping? Read on to find out!

This 1947 Cadillac Drove Over 6,000 Miles Without Once Stopping – Not Even for Gas
thespeedtrap.net

Louis Mattar was not one to let something like fuel keep him from making his historic drive. So, he managed to find a way to keep 230 gallons of fuel on board. This allowed the car to drive a good distance without refueling but not far enough for Louie. If he wanted to make his drive to and from New York, he would have to find a way to get fuel three times. Luckily, he had people who were willing to support his crazy endeavor and the money to do the rest of the convincing. He made arrangements to have a tanker trunk drive beside him at airstrips along his route so that he could get fuel in the tanks while still not stopping.

It really did seem like Louie had thought of everything and that his drive was really going to happen. On September 20th, 1952 Louie and his two friends set off. They were making good time and doing well until about 60 hours into the drive when things started to go bad. All three of the men found themselves feeling sick and very constipated. None of them had been used to sitting for so long and it was obvious their bodies were not used to it either. While Louie Mattar had thought of some medications to bring and even had a small medicine cabinet, there was nothing to treat constipation. It seemed that the trio were going to have to give up until Louie remembered his mobile phone. He did the only thing he could think of and called the police. He explained the situation to the police. The police then called a local doctor who gave the police a bottle of laxatives. The police then pulled up alongside the moving car and handed over the medicine…saving the three men from discomfort and allowing the drive to continue.

On September 27th, 1952 Louie Mattar and his friends arrived back at his San Diego home having made the 6,320-mile drive in just 7 days and without stopping. The drive was so successful that Louie continued to make modifications and even designed a trailer that held more fluids and had a nice seating area for those who were not driving to have a bite to eat. So, in 1954 Louie and his two friends attempted another drive, this time from Anchorage, Alaska to Mexico City, a distance of 7,482 miles. They were once again successful. Today Louie’s car can be seen at the San Diego Automotive Museum.

This 1947 Cadillac Drove Over 6,000 Miles Without Once Stopping – Not Even for Gas
http://www.trombinoscar.com/
Advertisement
Advertisement