Art

The world’s longest car, over 100 feet, restored to its former glory

header image of Michael Manning standing at door of restored worlds longest car

Buckle up because you are going to have a long journey!

the longest car in the world has finally been restored and is ready to sail.

On March 1, 2022, the super limo came in at a length of 30.54 meters (100 feet and 1.50 inches), beating its 1986 record by a small fraction.

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First built in Burbank, California in 1986 by famed car customizer Jay Ohrberg, “The American Dream” was originally 60 feet (18.28 meters) tall, rolled on 26 wheels and had a pair of V8 engines front and rear.

Ohrberg then extended the limo to an astonishing 30.5 meters (100 feet).

To put its immense size into perspective, most cars are between 12 and 16 feet (3.6 to 4.2 meters).

In fact, you could park 12 Smart Fortwo cars in single file and The American Dream would still be longer than all of them.

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Based on the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado limousines, the record-breaking automobile can be driven from both sides and can also function as a rigid vehicle.

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The car was built in two sections, connected in the middle by a hinge to turn tight corners.

Its large size and extravagant features allow passengers to travel in luxury.

The American dream includes material pleasures fit for a king; a large water bed, a swimming pool with diving board, jacuzzi, bathtub, mini-golf, heliport and can accommodate more than 75 people!

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Image credit: Michael Manning

“The helipad is structurally mounted to the vehicle with steel supports underneath and can support up to five thousand pounds,” said Michael Manning, who helped restore The American Dream.

As if it wasn’t already rolling impressive, it is also equipped with several televisions, a refrigerator and a telephone.

“We have a putting green here, so you can come and land with your helicopter, put in some balls and then go for a swim.”

However, it took a lot of work for Manning and his team to restore The American Dream to its former glory, which, after years of sitting in the bottom of a New Jersey warehouse, had fallen into disrepair.

The story of the American dream

After first being recognized by Guinness World Records in 1986, The American Dream suddenly rose to fame.

As one of the most unique automobiles ever to be driven, the long stretch limo was often rented out for film appearances and featured in various films.

While the car was hugely popular in its heyday, it gradually lost the attention once devoted to its upkeep.

Obstacles such as where to park such a long vehicle and reduced demand for the one-car in the movies eventually depleted his fame.

After the world lost interest in The American Dream, the legendary car remained unloved for years.

Over time it started to rust until some of its parts became unrecoverable.

Image credit: Michael Manning

From tacot to classic

Autosuma technical education museum owned by Michael Manning in Nassau County, New York, salvaged the colossal Caddy for restoration.

“I first found the car at a body show in New Jersey and it was a dumpster. It was covered in graffiti, the windows were broken, the tires were flat, but I’m sorry. fell in love anyway. I said, “I’m going to get this car and I’m going to bring it back and restore it.” – Michael Manning

Manning saw The American Dream listed on eBay and made an offer, hoping it was his chance to own the super stretch limo.

“The company that listed it wouldn’t sell it to me because they thought my offer was too low, so I made a deal to partner with them and bring it to New York,” said Manning.

Plans to restore it to its former glory through community donations eventually dematerialized amid county politics and budget changes, once again leaving the car’s fate uncertain.

“We were going to restore it to my school, but there weren’t enough funds to undertake the project. He stayed behind my apartment building in Mineola for about seven or eight years,” Manning continued.

Image credit: Michael Manning

Autoseum’s lease with Nassau County was eventually terminated, leaving Manning struggling to find a place where he could move the car.

“I ended up listing it on eBay and figured if I didn’t sell it I’d haul it to a property I have in the Catskills,” Manning said.

“I was going to wrap it in plastic wrap, always knowing it would eventually be restored. I wasn’t going to give up and cut it.

In 2019, Michael Dezer, owner of the Dezerland Tourist Attractions, saw the iconic car listed on eBay and contacted Manning.

After Dezer purchased the Caddy, it was shipped to Orlando, Florida for restoration, and Manning agreed to take part in the project he had always dreamed of one day doing.

To prepare for its cross-country trip from New York to Orlando, The American Dream was split into two parts and loaded onto trailers.

With the help of auto body repair students and fellow auto repair experts Paul Novack and Stephen Wepprecht, Manning traveled to Florida where the group began working together to restore the car.

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The project, which cost over $250,000 (£190,725) in shipping, materials and labor, took three years to complete.

Although the vehicle was in poor condition, it proved resilient.

“We had to get some parts because they were destroyed,” Manning said.

“It was very difficult to find an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser roof for sale, but I found someone who had the roof cut and stored for 30 years and was willing to part with it.”

Most of the exterior work was done using additional parts from donor Eldorados to help with its restoration.

“It has the original look. It’s an original Eldorado extended to be the longest limousine in the world.

The impressive Caddy also had some interior issues that needed to be addressed.

“Getting him back was difficult. We took the whole cabin out of the car – the dash, the front seat, the engine, the transexual, and we cut it out of the car,” Manning said.

“We put in a new powertrain and Eldorado cab from a few donor cars because it was totally destroyed and we couldn’t rebuild that section.”

Ready to ride

After its long-awaited restoration, The American Dream finally makes its debut with its fresh paint and a flashy new set of wheels.

While it won’t sit in a warehouse waiting to be admired, it won’t necessarily hit the road either.

“You really couldn’t put it on the road because it’s too long,” Manning said.

“It was built for display.”

The car is now on display at Orlando Dezerland Park Automotive Museum in Orlando, Florida.

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“It’s something that needs to be seen in person. When you see it live, you think, ‘Wow, look at the size of that thing!’ »

Manning says he will miss working on this unique car, which has been a part of his life for more than a decade.

“Yes, I feel an attachment to that. Everyone thought I was crazy for wanting to restore it, but I had a vision.

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