Louie Mattar's Fabulous $75,000 Cadillac

Field review by the editors.

San Diego, California

Balboa Park contains a number of fine attractions, including the San Diego Automotive Museum. Among its exhibits is a road trip marvel: a 1947 Cadillac transformed by Louie Mattar over a seven year period into his dream camping and traveling vehicle. The 8,500 lb. car was modified to fill its own gas tank and swap tires while moving. Its trailer held 230 gallons of gas, 15 gallons of oil, and 30 gallons of water.

In 1952, Louie's crew of three men drove an early incarnation of the Fabulous Cadillac in five hour shifts, some 6,320 miles in a grand loop around the United States, refueling without stopping by driving adjacent to moving fuel trucks at airfields. By 1954, Louie's ride included a trailer, hydraulic jack tire changer, and other automation to eliminate any need to slow down. The Cadillac was driven on a 7,484 mile "good will tour," from Alaska to Mexico, without stopping.

Louie Mattar's Fabulous $75,000 Cadillac.

Louie Mattar's Fabulous $75,000 Cadillac

San Diego Automotive Museum

2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA
Balboa Park. Park Blvd to Presidents Way, left on Pan American Plaza.
Daily 10-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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In the region:
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