Saturday, September 26, 2020

Woodrow Wilson’s “Beast”


At the Woodrow Wilson Museum, Staunton, Virginia

Woodrow Wilson returned from the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 to be greeted by cheering crowds and this gleaming new Pierce-Arrow limousine.

Leased by the U.S. Government, this car quickly became the President’s favorite. One of the finest luxury cars of the day, Pierce-Arrow sold cars to the Emperor of Japan, the Shah of Persia, the King of Greece and royalty throughout Europe and the Middle East.  The company was often referred to as “the American Rolls-Royce.”

When Wilson left office, five of his wealthy Princeton classmates bought the car and presented it as a gift to the ex-president.  Although the first president to join the American Automobile Association (AAA), Wilson never had a driver’s license.  His wife Edith, however, owned and drove her own electric car.

Edith Wilson and her electric car

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