Admiral Nimitzs' Cadillac

Started by Big Fins, March 15, 2008, 12:48:05 PM

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Tom Hall 7485

#20
You should start your search with an order for the authentication materials from GM (now being farmed out to
Allied-Vaughn).  This will probably be a copy of an invoice or production record.  If it indicates that the car
was originally shipped to a distributor and not the US government, then I think it is somewhat less likely the
car was one Nimitz rode in for a long time during his career in the USN.

Chester Nimitz rode in many fine cars during his career.  We see a couple in this thread.  One is a Packard
and the other (with FDR in it) is probably a Cadillac Series 67 or a Buick Series 90 Limited.

I don't think it's likely that Nimitz would have been assigned a limousine in 1937.  If Wikipedia is correct,
Chester Nimitz was only a Captain and not yet a Rear Admiral.  He was promoted to Rear Admiral in June
1938, at which time he may have been assigned a car and driver.  With that promotion, he became
commander of Cruiser Division (CruDiv) 2, followed shortly afterward by transfer to command of Battle[ship]
Division (BatDiv) 1 in September 1938.  It's possible that a 1936 Cadillac V-12 sedan purchased by the US
Navy may have been his transportation where his unit was based.

If you research these units as of 1938-40, do not assume that they were composed of the same ships as in
December 1941 or based at the same places as in 1941.

Once you learn where these units were based, you can then contact those naval bases and see if there
is a base historian, as there is for many USAF bases.  They may have a photo or other record of the car.
They won't know cars, though. 

It's also possible that Nimitz rode in the car later in his career, although I know of a 1941 Cadillac that he is
said to have used.

P.S. -- Also try Naval Historical Center at Washington Navy Yard.  They'll have a lot about Nimitz but not
much about cars.  Nice folks. 
Tom Hall, CLC Member 7485, Lifetime member since the mid-1990s.

Roger H

The Dash has been removed and it appears the original color was olive type green. Also this 8509  is a five passenger but has no trunk,
it looks from the outside like a 7 pass imperial.  It has a ton of leg room.
Roger
Roger Hundtoft
1936 Fleetwood 8509
Lynnwood Wa

Roger H

Well, I contacted GM Heritage Center and sadly my vin number is one of a few they do not have
Roger Hundtoft
1936 Fleetwood 8509
Lynnwood Wa

Tom Hall 7485

Thanks for getting back to us with that.

Do you think the olive paint is an ordinary green offered for Cadillacs that year, or do you
think it's a special shade?  I don't usually think of olive as being a color for US Navy cars.
What's the color combination number on the cowl?
Tom Hall, CLC Member 7485, Lifetime member since the mid-1990s.

Roger H

Well here are the numbers from the tag and not all good, it seems their is a discrepancy,  the car is a v12 and  but the numbers on the tag are
style 36-7509
body  # 10
trim # 4718
paint 33

why would a v12 be a 75 not a 85?

Anybody have any ideas?
Thanks

Roger
Roger Hundtoft
1936 Fleetwood 8509
Lynnwood Wa

Bob Hoffmann CLC#96

Roger, for some strange reason, Cadillac did not use any 80 or 85 series data  plates in 36 or any 85 series in 37.  They used only 70 or 75. The bodies were mounted on both V8 & V12 chassis. That's why they may have used the stencils as I mentioned in a previous post. Your car was originally Thessalon green. I don't have a chart showing the trim.  I don't want to break any bubbles, but I really doubt that your car was sold to anyone but a rich person that could afford it at that time. HTH, Bob
1968 Eldorado slick top ,white/red interior
2015 Holden Ute HSV Maloo red/black interior.
             
Too much fun is more than you can have.

Jon Riley

It is my understanding that, because the only differences between the V-12 (series 80 and 85) and the V-8 (series 70 and 75) was the motor, Cadillac only produced one body tag.  Meaning, that a series 70 body tag was used for both series 70 and series 80 and the series 75 body tag was used for both series 75 and series 85.

For 1936, the Cadillac Fleetwood color combination 33 was the following:

Body and fenders: Thessalon Green
Wheels: Scarab Green.

Also, Trim No. 4718 was a Brown Bedford Cord material.

Hope this helps.

Jon Riley

Tom Hall 7485

Thessalon Green was very dark.  See chip IM-1204 at /www.tcpglobal.com/autocolorlibrary/cgi-bin/search/searchpic.pl?/ims/im1203-1222.jpg, "Bolling Green", which was another name for this shade. 

So, Roger H, when you say the car is/was "olive type green", do you mean that it was subsequently painted a lighter, browner shade of green than Thessalon Green that you think was a military paint?  Or, are you looking at a spot where the paint isn't very thick and it looks olive only because some of the primer is showing through?
Tom Hall, CLC Member 7485, Lifetime member since the mid-1990s.

Roger H

Hello and thank you all for the great information, I  did not know that about the body tags,   The only part of the car that I have found the original color is when I removed the dash.  It looks lighter   than Thessalon Green  on the color chart.  Possibly  the color   has faded over time.  I will take a picture of it and post it.  I looks like a thick as normal layer of paint.

Thanks

Roger
Roger Hundtoft
1936 Fleetwood 8509
Lynnwood Wa

Roger H

Here is the picture of the dash, It sure looked like it had never been removed before.
Its lighter than thessalon green

Roger
Roger Hundtoft
1936 Fleetwood 8509
Lynnwood Wa

Jon Riley

Roger,

It is my understanding that all 1936 Cadillac dashes were painted one color.  It did not matter what color the body was painted. 

Last time I checked, the 1936 Cadillac Authenticity Manual was not yet completed.  If it is completed, I would purchase one before doing much restoration work (if you want to bring it back to "factory" specs.).  However, I would check to see if there is a 1936 authority and check with them as to the proper dash color.

Jon Riley

Tom Hall 7485

There's no reason for paint that was not exposed to sunlight to have faded very much.
Paint that was exposed to the sun a lot shouldn't be used for color measurements.

The photo is looking upward, isn't it?  There's a left front door upper hinge in the photo?

If there's Thessalon Green here, I'd say it's along the channel for the windshield.  On the
other hand, I see a fair amount of brown on the dash or cowl, along with some gray-green. 
That's not Thessalon Green.  If you find similar brown or gray-green on exterior panels of the
car, please let us know.

I'm afraid I don't see a strong connection to the military yet.  Still, you may want want to
consider stripping the old paint off the exterior of the car very slowly, maybe just wet-sanding,
to look for a serial number or other military markings.
Tom Hall, CLC Member 7485, Lifetime member since the mid-1990s.

veesixteen

QuoteWhile touring a few of the local collections on Friday, we ran across a Series 75 Limosine ...

In the roster of surviiving V-16 Cadillacs [check Club's "Cadillac Database"] there is a 1936 Town Car (the only one built on the V-16 chassis that year) that was acquired by the U.S. Navy and used by Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King from 1941 through 1946; at that time it carried USN tag #17200. It was owned later by aficionado Leo L. Gephart (in the mid-sixties). Mr. Gephart told another V-16 colllector, in August 1965, that the car had been Admiral Nimitz' staff car through WW2. This could be fact or simply a case of mistaken identity between two admirals (Nimitz and King).
Yann Saunders, CLC #12588
Compiler and former keeper of "The Cadillac Database"
aka "MrCadillac", aka "Veesixteen"

Roger H

Thanks  for all the input,  yes the picture is pointing up on the left side,  It looks like the  chances are getting slimmer it belonged to Nimitz.   I will  contiunue the restoration and keep checking for signs of the original color and post if I find any starteling discoveries.   I did not know about the manual, I will be sure to order one.

Thanks again

Roger
Roger Hundtoft
1936 Fleetwood 8509
Lynnwood Wa

Graham Shanks

Regarding finding the Admiral's driver, unfortunately he died about 5 years ago.  Lester Ansell of Brighton, Illinois. My grandfather did mention it was a 75, but beyond that I have no additional info. Sorry.