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1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car"

#1
1969 Cadillac Stony Brook LI

1969 Cadillac DeVille with background of Long Island Sound, Stony Brook, N.Y.
Notice the original hubcaps before they were replaced with spokes!
[Picture-perfect photograph by Leighton Coleman, Sr., Esq.]


You can support the preservation and maintenance of the "Stonewall Car" here:

www.GoFundMe.com/1969StonewallCar

 

 


 STONEWALL Veterans' Association  *  Current & Upcoming Events

  

              

   #2

1969/1970 Cadillac fronts

Classic car parade on the Long Beach Boardwalk in Long Island, N.Y.
Shown:  (left) 1970 dark green Cadillac; (right) 1969 blue Cadillac
[photo by Donald Ray Williams of Long Beach, New York]
   
   

         

#3

     
   


   
       #4
        SW-Car parked in house driveway
 
Autumn in New York -- with a touch of autumn-otive classic class
(Location:  East Meadow, Long Island)
[Photo by Williamson Henderson V]


    

  

 
 
                                                                                            #5


1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car" on Greenwich Avenue in Manhattan, New York
[Photography by Bronwyn Ishii]


The now famous 1969 "Stonewall Car" was so named not by the STONEWALL Veterans' Association ("S.V.A."), which now owns the car, but by many people in the streets subsequent to the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion.  We regularly drove the eye-catching, metallic blue, show-boating, big car down the full length of Christopher Street from Greenwich Avenue to West Street (West Side Highway) at the Hudson River in Greenwich Village, New York -- and still do -- and many Gay and other people yelled out -- and still do -- "The 'Stonewall Car'"!

                                                                                       

        

                                                                                    #6
 
   
The true blue "Stonewall Car" at night and, from a downward angle, looking coupey!
{That crease caused by a mayoral vehicle was removed when car was restored in 1999.}
[Photo by Terri Van Dyke]
 

                                                                                                                       


   
=history of the "Stonewall Car"=      

Those original participants and observers readily recognized the cool, unique, stand-out, metallic blue, big Cadillac convertible, one-and-only car impounded ("hijacked") by the New York City Police Department ("NYCPD") on the first night of the Stonewall Rebellion (it was not a 'riot' -- no vandalism, no injuries, not one auto insurance claim) on Friday night, June 27th, 1969 at about 2 a.m.  The car with the top 'down' had been parked, as usual, on the same block of the Stonewall Club on Christopher Street -- really only a stone's throw from the club's entrance.  The car was driven (not towed, as many think) by two un-uniformed NYCPD police officers to the old Sixth Precinct on Charles Street near the Hudson River in Greenwich Village.  Fortunately, the event was a 'rebellion' and not a 'riot' or the car would have been definitely damaged or possibly destroyed.  There would have also been a huge amount of other automobile insurance claims.  In reality, there were no insurance claims by anyone for anything -- not even a scratch.

 
#7


1959 Edsel and 1969 Cadillac leading a N.Y.C. Gay Pride Parade
[Digital Photography by Hal Weiner]


A quarter-of-a-century later on January 1, 1994, the 1969 "Stonewall Car" officially was bestowed with "vintage" automobile status in accordance with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles' requirements and guidelines.  A vehicle must be at least 25 years since production.  It is ironic that this silver milestone for the historic car occurred in the exact year of   "Stonewall 25".  Remember, the car and the rebellion were born in the same year!  Throughout the Spring of 1994, the "Stonewall Car", with actual veterans of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, was on display at seemingly endless events, celebrations, commemorations and even Gay clubs and restaurants hosting "SW-25" parties and dinners and churches memorializing this historic anniversary.  On "Stonewall Sunday", June 26, 1994, the "Stonewall Car" was in the New York Sunday News (with a circulation of nearly one million), describing the history of the car vis-a-vis the Stonewall Rebellion.  The only Gay newspaper in New York City at that time was the New York Native, which assigned a reporter to the car, the Stonewall veterans, the "alternate" march and the S.V.A. at the huge rally for the entire day.  The New York Times described the "Stonewall Car" as "... in mint condition".  That is the supreme automotive complement!

 


 

#8

Upfront and up close: the unmistakeable 1969 Cadillac convertible 
[Photo by Marlon W. Hurt]

 

   

#9 


    S.V.A. event flyer for an external 'restoration' benefit for 1969 "Stonewall Car" 
[Design by Shari Clemons at Liz J. Abzug Consultant Services] 

   

 

="Stonewall Car" leads "Stonewall-25"=    

The beautiful, blue acrylic lacquer 1969 "Stonewall Car" led the 1994 "Spirit of Stonewall March" from the legendary Stonewall Club in Greenwich Village, New York, through some narrow streets passing the historic Washington Square Arch, with the huge Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the distant background, all the way up Fifth Avenue with cheering spectators, to Central Park.  At the Avenue of the Americas and West 59th Street entrance to the park is where the two huge marches came face to face.  There was a loud street 'debate' from the heads of both as to which march should enter first.  That, to a historically-correct, respectful, prideful person was a no-brainer.  Basically, we were just sitting a spell in the sunny light with people gratefully taking pix of the car saying to each other that "...ain't no one gonna be goin' into that park on this glorious day before this classic and beautiful 1969 Cadillac convertible "Stonewall Car".  It was ultimately 'decided' that the march with the historic 1969 "Stonewall Car", the STONEWALL Veterans' Association, the Imperial QUEENS of New York, et al. would go first.  The decison was actually enforced and put into action when a queen -- the Queen -- issued a royal warning:  Watch out! -- or you'll get run over by the two-and-a-half ton "Stonewall Car".  So, this famous car now lead hundreds of thousands of GLBT people and their friends and supporters into the park, where hundreds of thousands had already congregated in anticipation of the biggest GLBT rally in history.  Have you ever brought your car to be part of an event with a real million people?  The "Stonewall Car" was the only car in the entire Central Park that glorious day -- along with about 1.1 million people.

 

 
   
#10

New York State Registration Card for the 1969 "Stonewall Car"
The vehicle identification number (VIN) has, of course, been deleted.  

 


   

#11   

 After a parade, the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car" on Hudson Street in Greenwich Village

   
The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible "Stonewall Car" is proudly owned, diligently maintained, safely garaged, fully insured and carefully cleaned by the STONEWALL Veterans' Association ("S.V.A.").  Years after the Stonewall Rebellion, the appropriate license plate for the "Stonewall Car" was secured:   "STONEWAL".  In New York State you can only have eight characters (letters and/or numbers) on a license plate.  The saved last "L" is for "Liberators".


 
   
#12

Accommodating note from the local Sixth Precinct of the New York City Police Dep't 

     


 #13

1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car" on display at the New York City Convention Center
[Photo by Williamson Henderson]





The cost of garaging this historic, valuable, classic car is about $400 per month in a solid, secure and convenient Manhattan, New York, garage, that is, totaling nearly $5,000 per year.  And, that is just for the garaging of the car!  There is also auto insurance, maintenance, license plates, registration and sometimes a repair.  The "Stonewall Car" is one of the many worthwhile reasons why the S.V.A. must upkeep its fund-raising throughout the year.  Otherwise, there would be no irreplaceable "Stonewall Car" for the future -- starting tomorrow!




#14

     New York Daily News does a popular story on the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car".
   US Senator Daniel Moynihan declared the SW-Car "A rolling symbol of Gay Pride"!
[Article by Tara Crosson]


 

     

#15

Roadblocking -- with permission of the NYCPD
Note:  In the purple shirt is Vito Abzuzzoluccione.
[Photo by Leigh McManus of the S.V.A. in Manhattan]


                     =background 411 on the 1969 Cadillac=

For you car buffs, and other interested parties, here are some very interesting factoids regarding the 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible.  General Motors Corporation (GMC) described this Cadillac as its "crown jewel".  Right they were!  Its weight is over 4,600 pounds (nearly 2 1/2 tons!); its length is 225 inches (nearly 19 feet long!); its width is 80 inches (over 6 1/2 feet wide); its height is 55 inches (with convertible top up); its wheelbase (the distance between axles) is 130 inches; and its massive, powerful, fuel-efficient, 375 horsepower, V-8 engine is 472 cubic inches at 4,400 r.p.m. (revolutions per minute).  It is the largest V-8 engine ever produced to power a passenger car!  The Cadillac has the great  standard-equipped power steering, power brakes, six-way power bench seat, power windows, A.M./F.M. stereo radio, power radio antenna and, most importantly, power convertible top.  The convertible top is made of white, triple-woven padded canvas with a real glass rear window.  One option the car has which we rarely use is the "automatic climate control system".  When is the top up?  Never!  No, not even in winter.   The car is kept with the top down year-round and a custom canvas cover over it.  The seating areas are white sierra ostrich-grain leather.  The flooring is midnight black pile carpeting.  The dashboard, door panels and rear seating area side panels have inlaid, designer grain wood.  The entire car interior is original!  The custom Vogue tires are extra-wide whitewalls.  The wheel covers are solid chrome spokes.  The fuel tank capacity is a whopping 26 gallons (plus one gallon reserve).  The locked gas cap is hidden behind the rear license plate ("STONEWAL").



   
  #16


Cadillac has traditionally led the parade!
[Photo by a United Kingdom Promotional Agency]



=more 411:  1969 Cadillac=  
Over 16,000 of these classic Cadillac convertible cars -- a very large number for a luxury convertible -- were produced by General Motors Corporation with "Body by Fisher".  The huge chrome bumpers and massive front with cast aluminum "egg-crate" grille was used as a design model for Cadillac grilles for the following two-plus decades into the 1990s.  The car front debuted the innovative and safety-conscious wraparound cornering lights (now found, though less grandly, on almost every car).  1969 was the year that front seat headrests (restraints) became mandatory by law.  Seatbelts were now required to have a push-button open/close mechanism.  The 1969 Cadillac marked the public-wanted return of the dual horizontal headlights (after four years of the vertical, un-Cadillac, 'stacked' headlamps).  (See "SW-30" on the S.V.A. website "Photo Album" icon for pix of a 1966 blue Cadillac convertible,  periodically with the S.V.A. in the parades.)   In 1959, back-tracking a decade, Cadillac had the incredibly unique, "bullet" tail-lights.  Ten years later, it seems that they made a point to have the 1969 tail lamps be unique.  1969 was the only year that the Cadillac had the distinctive "lantern" tail-lights.  They complemented and were built-in to the slowly sweeping, modified tail fin.  For an excellent foto of the tail lamps, see the Greenwich Village, New York photo on Greenwich Avenue at Jackson Triangle Park below.  In fact, virtually the only difference between the 1969 and the 1970 Cadillacs (same body, same size, same stats, etc.) were the tail-lights.  The 1970 returned to the Cadillac's well-known, long, vertical tail-lights.  The 1969 and 1970 Cadillacs (98% identical twins) were widely described as "muscle cars with tuxedos".  It is most appropriate that the 1969 is both distinctive and 'different'.  The ad slogan for the 1969 Cadillac was:  "The pleasure of driving the only luxury convertible built in America!"  Over three decades later, that horn slogan still blows true -- and with even greater significance!


 

#17
2009 Stonewall License Plate

A "Stonewall Car" prior New York license plate:  "STONEWAL"
[Photo by New York State Dep't of Motor Vehicles] 

   


   
#18


"Happy Tails" 2 U!
[Photo by Bronwyn Ishii]
   

=questions and answers:  "Stonewall Cadillac"=

The most frequently asked question about the "Stonewall Car" (SW-Car) is:  "What is the mileage?"  At the turn of the millennium (2000), the SW-Car had an original mileage of 94,169 on New Year's Day.  It continued to stay in the heated garage until June!  The mileage was only 94,894 original miles three years later as of January 1, 2003, actually regarded as a very low figure considering the vehicular age.  At 35 years, as of April 1, 2004, the mileage was only 94,954.  On June 11, 2005, the odometer read a low 95,169.  Again, three years later, at the end of June in 2008, the mileage is merely 95,233.  Since the car did not do a few parades for various reasons -- including predicted thunderstorms, lightning and rain downpours -- in the past four years (as of mid-May 2013), the SW-Car drove less than 40 miles!  In mid-2013 after the annual New York City GLBT Pride Parade, the original mileage is only 95,386.  In the last dozen years less than 1,000 miles have been added to this restricted-mileage "historical" vehicle.  

An interesting question asked is:  Was the "Stonewall Car" held by the police as 'evidence'?  No!  Evidence of what? -- other than the fact that Williamson Henderson, the car's owner, was there.  After all, there was no crime and, thus, no 'evidence'.   Another often-asked querrie is how long did the NYCPD have (illegal) possession of the car?  It was for two nights (June 27 and 28, 1969) and the day in between.  It was a "P.O.W."!  Thankfully, it was rescued and there was absolutely no damage to the beauty.  And, considering that the NYCPD are known as "the boys in blue" and the car is police blue, we're lucky we ever got it back from them!  Is the engine the original?  Yes, it sure is -- and absolutely nothing overhauled.  It even has the original glass window cleaner bottle and mount adjacent to the engine!  Needless to say, the engine is huge!  




#19
     

Classic car with classic people evoking an historic classic car scene

[Photo by Williamson Henderson]

To many people who have written to the S.V.A., the above photo of the very classic convertible car evokes a well-known historic car scene from the early 1960s -- long before this 1969 car was even built!  If you have any ideas on this deja vu scenario, please e-mail the S.V.A. with your comments to:  SVA@STONEWALLvets.org.   


 

#20


New York City thanks to the blue & white 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car" honored
being featured in another New York City Yankees Baseball World Series Parade
with Derek Jeter, Paul O'Neill, David Justice, Mariano Rivera, et al.
[Letter authored by NYC & Company's President & CEO Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas]

 


 
#21


King Cadillac on location in Brooklyn in 2002 to lead a big nighttime parade
[Photo by Williamson Henderson]
 

The "Stonewall Car" has appeared in several movies, television commercials, print ads and photo shoots.  It was used in the promotional poster for both the premiere of "Stonewall: The Play" in 1994 and "Stonewall" (the movie) in 1996.  Since the "Stonewall Car" had a professional exterior restoration in mid-1999, S.V.A. members voted unanimously to again make the car available (after a 20-year hiatus) to be 'leased' -- with S.V.A. supervision -- for films, commercials, print ads, editorials and videos.  We had a pending arrangement recently for the front page of a design magazine; however, they didn't want to pay anything!?  The yuppies thought it would be enough for people to see the car on the cover!  Hunh?  How does that pay the garage bill?  (It doesn't....)
   



#22


The 1969 "Stonewall Car" on display at New York City Police Headquarters
Note:  The building designation states "One Police Plaza"
[Photo by NYCPD Sgt. Erin J. O'Reilly in June 1998]





   
#23


General Motors Catalog:  1969 Cadillac front view with massive grille
[Photography courtesy of General Motors Corporation]

 


   
#24


General Motors Cadillac Catalog:  1969 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
[Photo courtesy of GMC]


"100 Years of Cadillac History"
(excerpted from Popular Mechanics magazine)

"You'd be hard-pressed to find an automaker as consistently innovative as Cadillac.  For well over 100 years now, from the first automobile electric starter to V-8s to 16 cylinders to automatic transmissions to power windows and world-famous tailfins, Cadillac traditionally led the parade!" -- Popular Mechanix

 


   
#25


General Motors Corporation (GMC) Catalog:  Rear View of 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood Sedan
[Photo courtesy of GMC]
   
   



  National Story:  1969 Stonewall Rebellion Veterans Car

Read a 2009 interesting article on the 1969 "Stonewall Car"
featuring an eye-catching collage of pictures by Murilee Martin 

Technical Note:  fixed link!

Jalopnik.com/Stonewall-Veteran-1969-Cadillac-DeVille-Convertible


 




    #26    

     1969 Cadillac deVille Convertible

Classic Cadillac convertible clearly commands the community!   
[Photo by SVA's AnDre Christie in Queens County, New York]





                 #27


 New York State "Statue of Liberty" Custom License Plate:  "STONEWAL"
  Note:  In N.Y.S. and elsewhere a license plate allows only up to eight characters
(letters and/or numbers).  Many years ago, the NYS plate was "69 CADDY".

 


 
#28
Allyson 1994 LI SW Car
   
1969 blue Cadillac convertible (with top down)
featuring Queen Allyson Allante (with top up)






=Cadillac Car Club story on the 1969 Stonewall Car= 

This is a very interesting story about the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car"
in the Cadillac Car Club national newsletter by author Vince Taliano.
Some excerpts are posted below.  This is the direct link to the story!
Visit:  
http://www.CLCPR.0906Newsletter.StonewallCadillac.pdf

  "On Friday night, June 27, 1969.... a 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible had been parked with its top down on the same block as The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Streeet....  It was spared any damage in the chaos that followed only because the Cadillac was driven (not towed) by two plainclothes NYCPD police officers who drove the eye-candy car to the old Sixth Precinct police station in Greenwich Village...."







#29
   
1969/1970 Cadillac rears

1969 Cadillac with lantern taillights and 1970 Cadillac with vertical taillights
Prominently pictured is the original Long Beach, Long Island, Boardwalk
[Photo of 1969 and 1970 Cadillacs by Donald Ray Williams of Long Beach, New York]





1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car" -- website statistics

On this S.V.A. website, the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car" is always one of the "Top 5" weblinx out of over 100 files!  Just to see this car,
there were over 57,000 visits in the month of May 2006.  There were over 50,000 visits in April of 2007 for the classic 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible "Stonewall Car"!  In September of 2007, there were over 56,000 verified visits.  There were a whopping over 70,000 visits in just one month for the historic "Stonewall Car" in April 2008!  For September 2008 and February 2009, there are over 50,000 visits each month!  In July 2009, there were over 61,000 visits just to see a certain vintage Cadillac!  Hot August 2009 hit over 70,000!  With the new decade, the "Stonewall Car" is getting way over 50,000 verified visits per month!  In August of 2010, the "SW-Car" file had a huge over 72,000 visits!  The 1969 Cadillac convertible file at the S.V.A. website kicked off 2011 with over 64,000 visits in January, over 60,000 big ones in April and over 62,000 in May 2011!  For December of 2011, there were again over 60,000 visits!  In fact, verified 'visits' to the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car" webfile are cumulatively stronger than ever!  Look for new pix to be added soon!

 See 1969 "SW-Car" statistics for month of March 2014.
     Out of over 100 webfiles at the S.V.A., the "SW-Car" in August was #1!
 

www.STONEWALLvets.org/stats/2014_08.html
At the statistics file, scroll to "Referrer Report".  U-turn can't miss it!
 
       

 

  #30       
v

 Rear view of the grand 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car" leading a NYC Gay Pride parade
Note:  The brown arm in the red shirt belongs to the SVA's AnDre Christie.
[Digital Photography by Hal B. Weiner]

  

 



STONEWALL  Veterans' Association's
 internet search engine of choice:

www.AskJeeves.com
"The butler did it!"







Support the "Stonewall Car"!

The STONEWALL Veterans' Association is currently conducting a fund-raising campaign for the famous 1969 Cadillac
 "Stonewall Car".  
You can support the maintenance, garaging, insuring and other expenses, including planned restorations, both pro-active and decorative, of the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car" here:

www.GoFundMe.com/1969StonewallCar






 
       
     

     You may contact us with comments, suggestions or questions.
  E-mail the S.V.A. at:  SVA@STONEWALLvets.org



20 November
2014

*
"SW-Car" background color for November is brown for Thanksgiving!

*
 

 Stonewall Rebellion 45th Anniversary (1969 to 2014)
and
45th year of the 1969 Cadillac ...and the "Stonewall Car"!!
 

   
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