Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, is proud to announce that its “King’s Cadillac,” a classic, one-of-a-kind 1951 black and chrome limousine that originally belonged to King Olav V of Norway, will be on view at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Cedar Rapids July 10. (Submitted photo)
Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and heritage center, announces its "King's Cadillac," a classic, one-of-a-kind 1951 black and chrome limousine that originally belonged to King Olav V of Norway, is on view at the Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Cedar Rapids July 10.
The American Car Club of Norway (AMCAR), whose members buy and restore vintage American cars, arranged this special viewing of the "King's Cadillac" as part of their Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour. The public is welcome to come in the late afternoon and evening to view this special car, along with the 75 cars participating in the tour.
King Olav V of Norway bought the Cadillac after WWII. It symbolized Norway's road to recovery and became the King's favorite car. His son, King Harald V, later donated the car to be used as a fundraising tool for the International Disabilities Foundation. It appeared at many Scandinavian events before it was given to Vesterheim in 1994.
The first transcontinental highway in America, the Lincoln Highway, turns 100 this year. To celebrate, the AMCAR Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour will set out from Times Square July 1 in restored American cars made from 1930-1979, plus a 1982 Corvette and 1987 Citroen 2CV. The tour will conclude at the Lincoln Highway's western terminus, Lincoln Park in San Franciso, July 26, after covering an approximate 3,389 miles and journeying through 13 states.
Participants come from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany, with a few Americans joining in along the way.
"This tour is an amazing undertaking, shipping all these classic cars from Norway to New York, and then driving them all the way across the United States," Steve Johnson, Vesterheim's executive director, said. "We're glad Vesterheim can participate by showing off the King's Cadillac, a unique symbol of the history and connection our two nations share," he added.
For more information on the museum's exhibitions, classes, events, membership opportunities and ways to donate, check Vesterheim's web site at vesterheim.org, call (563) 382-9681 or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.