Florida Keys visitors can ride in President Truman limousine

Writer: Derrick Shaw
In this Thursday, March 11, 2021, photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, people load into a presidential limousine once used by President Harry S. Truman in front of the Harry S. Truman Little White House Museum in Key West, Fla. A ride in the limo, one of the vehicles that transported Truman during his 1945-1953 presidency, is part of the museum’s recently debuted “White Glove Tour,” providing small groups views of Truman objects not on public display. America’s 33rd president spent nearly six months in Key West spread over 11 visits while in office. (Steve Panariello/Florida Keys News Bureau via AP)

Visitors to the Florida Keys can now take a ride in one of Harry S. Truman’s presidential limousines.

The non-profit Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation recently acquired the vintage Lincoln Cosmopolitan stretch limo from a private collector in Texas. The vehicle was based in New York City during Truman’s presidency, which ran from 1945-1953. It’s new home is the Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West.

The car, which has about 32,000 original miles (51,000 kilometers) on its odometer, features an intercom system, interior privacy shield, security elements and an airflow controller for the president’s comfort.

“This limo is one of nine situated at different cities throughout the United States for use by the president when he would travel to different locations,” Little White House museum operations director Clinton Curry said. “Back in that period, the presidential limousine did not travel on the presidential plane.”

Limo rides are part of the museum’s new small-group White Glove Tour, where participants can view galleries of Truman objects not on public display. They can even wear white gloves to hold presidential belongings, like Truman’s prized whiskey jigger.

“Truman made 11 presidential visits to Key West totaling 175 days of his presidency, essentially running the United States right here from the Key West Little White House,” Curry said.

Restored to its Truman-era appearance, the Little White House showcases artifacts including the former president’s handmade poker table, one of the tropical shirts he wore in Key West and the desk where he carried out his official duties.

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