From western forts to Victorian mansions and pivotal battlegrounds, the Texas Historical Commission's 20 state historic sites exemplify a breadth of Texas history. Come explore the real stories at the real places.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Cadi Will Not Lack

by Anne Carlson, site staff at Sam Rayburn House Museum

Sam Rayburn’s 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood is one of the most visible and well-known attractions at the Sam Rayburn House Museum. Many visitors often ask about “Mr. Sam’s Cadillac” and are eager to hear how he acquired it. The story about how Sam Rayburn came to own the car tells a lot about the Congressman’s character and his relationship with his fellow political colleagues. See the full story at Our Stories page.

Sam Rayburn's 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood at the Sam Rayburn House Museum prior to transport to Canton, TX for mechanical restoration.

In recent years, the car has not been mobile due to needed engine and brake repairs.

Cadillac in the shop at Hatfield Restorations

A generous donation to the Friends of Sam Rayburn, combined with money from the Texas Historical Commission, gave the museum the opportunity to have the mechanical restoration completed. Since August 2009, the Cadillac has been off-site undergoing repairs at Hatfield Restorations, a well known and highly respected vintage car restoration shop. As of December 2009, mechanics have replaced all the brake components and were rebuilding the engine and transmission.

Carole Stanton, site manager of Sam Rayburn House Museum and Gary Hatfield, owner of Hatfield Restorations take a look at the undercarriage of the Cadillac

Once the work is completed, the Cadillac will once again be operable and will be featured prominently in events at the museum and parades in Bonham. The classic car is expected to return to Bonham in spring 2010.

** The Sam Rayburn House Museum is located two miles west of Bonham on West State Highway 56 in the Texas Lakes Trail Region.

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