Logo Polskiego Radia

Pilsudski's Cadillac given new lease of life

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 06.03.2014 17:27
Work is under way on the restoration of a Cadillac bought for 'father of Polish independence' Marshal Jozef Pilsudski after President Bronislaw Komorowski championed the initiative.

The restoration of Marshal Pilsudski's Cadillac in Poznan. Photo: Jakub Kaczmarczyk

The revamped automobile will serve a mainly decorative purpose on national holidays, and plans have been laid for the limousine to be unveiled on 11 November, Poland's Independence Day.

The restoration of the vintage vehicle is being carried out in Poznan, western Poland, and the battered car needs to be turned inside out before it can be made roadworthy again.

Another Cadillac has been ordered from the US so that missing or unusable parts can be replaced.

The original car, a Cadillac Fleetwood Special 355D, had bulletproof windows, and was specially commissioned for the ailing Polish leader, only arriving in Poland in 1935, just months before his death.

It is unclear whether Pilsudski actually used the limousine, but apparently on seeing the vehicle he made the characteristically sarcastic quip that he had been bought a coffin.

Jozef Pilsudski proclaimed Polish independence at the tail-end of the First World War on 11 November 1918, becoming 'Chief of State' for four years, until the office of president was created in 1922.

After a series of governments collapsed, he led a military coup in 1926, but refused the office of president thereafter. However, he maintained a tight grip on power until his death in May 1935, sometimes using authoritarian methods to keep his opponents in check. (nh)

Copyright © Polskie Radio S.A About Us Contact Us