If cars could talk, this car could recite the following:
During the 1948 campaign, the Truman administration was trying to arrange transportation for a campaign stop in Miami, Fla. The local Cadillac dealership was asked to provide vehicles for this visit. Like most of the country, this dealership felt President Truman was going to lose the election and did not want to be associated with backing a political figure who was going to lose. The local Lincoln dealer was asked when the Cadillac dealer declined to provide vehicles for the visit. The Lincoln dealer agreed to supply the needed cars. After the election results were in and it was confirmed that Harry S. Truman had won the presidential election, a call was reportedly made to the White House garage ordering the GM vehicles to be removed from the premises. Later that day, another call was made to report that the order had been followed and the GM vehicles were off the White House grounds. Not to come as any surprise, when the inaugural planning commission was looking for vehicles to be used in the inaugural parade, the Ford Motor Company was asked to supply the vehicles. However, a limited number of established GM vehicles essential to Secret Service operations were used in the Inaugural parade as well (mainly 2 – 1938 Cadillacs, which flanked the Presidents’ car). Ford Motor Company supplied 35 vehicles to be used in the Inaugural ceremonies and related activities. There were Lincolns, Fords and Mercurys present. The President felt the Sunshine Special (a 1938 Lincoln touring car with 1942 modifications) was too dated to be used as the Presidential Parade vehicle, so a new 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan was selected to carry the President and Vice President. According to a former Ford executive responsible for the special vehicle division of Ford Motor Company this was the only time the President and Vice President rode in open view of the public in the same car. The Secret Service would not allow this kind of security risk to the two highest office holders of The United States of America to happen again. After the, Inaugural ceremonies of 1949, 34 of the 35 Ford products were returned to Ford. The Secret Service worked out a deal to keep one of the vehicles and add it to their fleet of presidential security vehicles. The vehicle they kept was this 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan, which carried the President in the inaugural ceremony. The Secret Service liked this car and so did the President. The car was fast, reliable and stylish. The car was modified by adding a high output electrical system (needed for the communications radios), runningboards were added for the Secret Service personnel to stand on, grab ropes were added for the Secret Service personnel to hold on to, a siren was added, the fog lights were changed to red flashing lights, dual spotlights and dual antennas were added. The vehicle would now be referred to as “4X”. This car was used to supplement the Sunshine Special as transportation for the President and other dignitaries until the 1950 Lincoln “Bubbletop” Presidential parade convertible was ready for service (sometime in early 1950). Once the 1950 Lincoln “Bubbletop” and the other nine Lincoln Limousines used for the Presidential fleet were ready for service, the lone 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan “4X” was used as a back up car to the “Bubbletop” or it would follow or proceed the Presidential procession. Around 1956, two new Cadillacs were added to the Secret Service fleet and the two 1938 Cadillacs were retired. The actual retirement date for 4X is still unknown. After it’s retirement, “4X” bounced around several used car lots eventually ending up at Wards Auto Sales in Sandusky, Ohio. Nobody seemed to want the big old car. In an effort to reduce inventory, the car was set to be auctioned off. The car went through the auction but did not sell. After the sale, Ford Sterling of Fredericksburg, Ohio approached the owner and made a deal to purchase the car. The Lincoln went to Ford’s barn where it was driven lightly until 1966 when it was parked and where it stayed until 1992 when Mr. Sterling passed away. The current owner purchased the car at that time. After six months of hard work, “4X” was once again running and presentable. Today, the car is kept still mainly original with the exception of a new top, new front seat leather and a rebuilt engine and transmission. The paint, chrome and the rest of the interior are original. A Presidential flag and a 48 star American flag grace the front of the car, as they would have done during the Inaugural parade of 1949. There are no plans to restore the car at this time.