National STONEWALL Veterans Association

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1969 Cadillac DeVille
"The Stonewall Car"


1969 Cadillac Stony Brook LI

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


This popular and scenic photo has been sampled on many automobile websites:
Click on the picture for an enlargement of the blue 1969 "Stonewall Car"!

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Sonia Attkiss with SW Car in Brooklyn

Pictured: Sonia Jane Attkiss and Willson L. Henderson with 1969 "Stonewall Car"
Location: Borough Park area 55th St. off New Utrecht Av. in Brooklyn, NYC
Wonder who owned the car? Look at the N.Y.S. license plate: WLH-33!
[Photograph by Max Attkiss on Sunday, May 12, 1974]


1969 Cadillac Stony Brook LI

Picture is of the 1969 convertible also known as the "Stonewall Car" being serviced at
Prestige Auto Repair on Third Avenue in the Upper, Upper East Side of Manhattan, NYC
[Photo by Youth-4-SVA's female organizer Gina Dora Wright]


STONEWALL Veterans' Association * Current & Upcoming Events

STONEWALL Veterans' Association * Current & Upcoming 2019 Events


1969/1970 Cadillac fronts

Classic car parade on the original Long Beach Boardwalk in Long Island, N.Y.
Convertibles shown: (left) 1970 dark green Cadillac; (right) 1969 blue Cadillac
Note:  New York State license plate "69 Caddy"
[Photo by Donald Ray Williams of Long Beach, New York]


69 Caddy License Plate

New York State License Plate: "69 Caddy"


SW-Car parked in house driveway

Autumn in New York -- with a touch of autumn-otive classic class
Location: Barbara Lane, East Meadow, Long Island, New York
Car driven to former childhood home by Willson Lee Henderson
[Photo by Willson L. Henderson ]


1969 Caddy on Flatbed rear

The grand 1969 convertible extra-carefully transported
Location: Lido Beach Boulevard, Lido Beach, Long Island, NY
Note: New York State license plate reads "WLH-69"
[Photo by Willson L. Henderson]


1969 Stonewall Car  on Greenwich Avenue in Manhattan, New York

1969 "Stonewall Car" Close-Up for a Photo-Shoot in Manhattan, New York City
Location: Greenwich Avenue near Eighth Avenue and next to Jackson Triangle Park
[Photography by Bronwyn Ishii]

The now famous 1969 "Stonewall Car" was so named not by members of the STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association ("S.V.A."), which now owns the car, but by many people in the streets subsequent to the historic 1969 Stonewall Rebellion.  The eye-catching, metallic blue, show-boating, big convertible was regularly driven 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 is -- and many Gay and other people yelled out -- and still do -- "The 'Stonewall Car'"!


The true blue Stonewall Car at night and, from a downward angle, looking coupey

The true blue "Stonewall Car" at night and, from a downward angle, looking coupey! 
Location: Lower Second Avenue in the East Village, Manhattan, NYC
at an event for the Gay Officers' Action League of New York City.
That crease caused by a side-swapping NYC mayoral vehicle was removed when car restored in 1999.

[Photo by Terri Van Dyke of the S.V.A.]

= history of the "Stonewall Car" =

Those original participants and observers readily recognized the cool, unique, stand-out, metallic blue, classic convertible, the 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 1:45 a.m.  The car with the top 'down' had been parked, as usual, on the same long block of the original STONEWALL Club on Christopher Street -- really only a stone's throw from the club's entrance. The car was driven (not towed, as many mistakingly think) by two un-uniformed NYCPD police officers to the old Sixth Precinct on Charles Street near the Hudson River in Greenwich Village.  Fortunaetely, the event was a 'rebellion' and not a 'riot' or the car would have been definitely damaged or possibly destroyed.  If it had ben a 'riot', 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.  The police illegally held the car -- their 'trophy' -- for three nights and two days at their precinct!  Thus, it was never officially impounded.  Instead, it was marked in chalk on the windshield: "RTO": Return To Owner!  


1969 Cadillac and rare 1959 Edsel leading a N.Y.C. Gay Pride Parade
[Digital Photography by Hal M. 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 for 'historic' designation. 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 within the same year!  Throughout the Spring of 1994, the "Stonewall Car", with actual veterans of the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, was on prominent display at seemingly endless events, celebrations, commemorations and even Gay clubs and restaurants hosting "S/W-25" parties and dinners and churches memorializing this historic anniversary.  On "Stonewall Sunday", June 26, 1994, the famous 1969 "Stonewall Car" was in the New York Sunday News (with a circulation of about one million), describing the history of the car vis-a-vis the Stonewall Uprising.  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 in Central Park for the entire day.  The New York Times described the "Stonewall Car" as "... in mint condition". That is the supreme automotive compliment!


Captivating Video of the 1969 Cadillac Convertible -- Photos Outisde and Inside!

The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible is shown on this brief video from all sides and the interior!  This is not -- repeat 'not' -- the "Stonewall Car"!  However, ironically, it is the same exterior color of metallic blue and the exact white leather interior.  It fully shows the dashboard and even the rear seat two chrome ashtrays.  You will notice that the Cadillac convertible in the video does not have the big wide whitewalls.  It does interestingly have the rare custom wheel extension off of the rear bumper. That would make the already very long car about twenty-one feet long!


Upfront and up close: the unmistakeable front of the 1969 Cadillac

Upfront and up close: the unmistakeable classic front of the 1969 Cadillac 
Location: Next to Jackson Triangle Park in Greenwich Village, NYC  
[Photo by Marlon W. Hunter]


S.V.A. event flyer for an external 'restoration' benefit for 1969 Stonewall Car

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"=

Spirit of Stonewall March 1994

Shown above leading the parade and waving to the spectators is Queen Allyn Ann Allante in the famous, classic and valuable vehicle!  The beautiful, blue acrylic lacquer 1969 convertible "Stonewall Car" led the historic 1994 "International Spirit of Stonewall March" from the landmark STONEWALL Club area in Greenwich Village, New York, through some narrow Village 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 and into Central Park!  In the photograph above, the famous Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue is shown to the left.  At the Avenue of the Americas and West 59th Street entrance to the park is where the two huge G.L.B.T. marches came face-to-face!!  There was a loud street 'debate' from the heads of both groups screamin' as to which march should enter first. That, to a historically-correct, respectful, prideful person was a no-brainer.  Basically, the Stonewall veterans were just sitting a spell in the sunny light with people gratefully taking pictures of the classic and famous 1969 car saying to each other that "...ain't no one gonna be goin' into that park on this glorious day before this beautiful 1969 convertible "Stonewall Car".  It was ultimately 'decided' via edict by Queen Allyson Allante that the march with the historic 1969 "Stonewall Car", the historic National STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association and the legendary Imperial QUEENS & Kings of Greater New York, et al. would go first!  The decision was actually enforced by the S.V.A. troops and put into action when the queen issued her royal warning: "Watch out... or you'll get run over by the two-and-a-half ton "Stonewall Car"!  So, this popular car now led hundreds of thousands of G.L.B.T. people and their friends and supporters and the press into the park, where hundreds of thousands had already congregated in anticipation of the biggest G.L.B.T. 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, as estimated by the New York City Police Department, about 1.1 million people!


New York State Registration Cardfor the 1969 Stonewall Car

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


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

The 1969 classic convertible "Stonewall Car" is proudly owned, diligently maintained, safely garaged, fully insured and carefully cleaned by the STONEWALL Rebellion 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 the license plate may only have eight characters (letters and/or numbers).  The saved last "L" is for "Liberators".


Accommodating note from the local Sixth Precinct of the New York City Police Department

Accommodating note from the local Sixth Precinct of the New York City Police Department


1969 Cadillac Stonewall Car on display at the New York City Convention Center

1969 stunning "Stonewall Car" on display at the New York City Convention Center
[Photo by Willson L. Henderson]

Non-Profit Organization Maintaining the Classic 1969 Convertible

The cost of garaging this historic, valuable, classic car is about $400 per month in a solid, heated, 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 or two.  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!


US Senator Daniel Moynihan declared the SW-Car A rolling symbol of Gay Pride

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


Roadblocking -- with permission of the NYCPD

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 1969 Cadillac DeVille Convertible =

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?  Virtually 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").


The "Stonewall Car" has traditionally led the New York City Pride parades!
[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 wrap around 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 "S/W-30" on the S.V.A. website "Photo Album" icon for photos 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. The 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 photo of the lantern 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's returned to the Cadillac its 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!


2009 Stonewall License Plate

A "Stonewall Car" prior New York license plate: "STONEWAL"
[Image courtesy of New York State Department of Motor Vehicles]


Happy Tails 2 U!

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

= questions and answers: 1969 "Stonewall Car" =

The most frequently asked question about the 1969 "Stonewall Car" ("S/W-Car") is:  "What is the mileage?"  At the turn of the millennium (2000), the S/W-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 alow 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 S/W-Car drove less than 40 miles!  In mid-2013 after the annual New York City G.L.B.T. Pride Parade, the original mileage was 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 Willson Henderson, the car's one and only owner, was there!  After all, there was no crime and, thus, no 'evidence'.  Another often-asked query is how long did the New York City Police Department ("NYCPD") have (illegal) possession of the car?  It was for three nights (June 27 and 28, 1969) and two days in between.  The vehicle literally was a "P.O.W." (prisoner of war)!  Thankfully, the out-standing 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!


Classic car with classic people evoking an historic classic carscene

Classic car with classic people evoking an historic classic car scene
[Photo by Willson L. 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:


Letter authored by CEO Cristyne Lategano-Nicholas the president of NYC & Company

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


King Cadillac on location near Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NYC, in 2002 to lead a big nighttime parade
[Photo by Willson L. Henderson]


The 1969 convertible "Stonewall Car" has appeared in several movies, television commercials,  and photo shoots, print ads and videos!  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 occasionally 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....)


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]


General Motors Catalog: 1969 Cadillacfront view with massive grille

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


General Motors Cadillac Catalog: 1969 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

General Motors Cadillac Catalog:  1969 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
Note:  This artistic photograph is from the original 1969 Cadillac catalog.
[Photo courtesy of General Motors Corporation]

"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


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 uniquely interesting article on the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car"
featuring an eye-catching collage of pictures by famed car columnist Murilee Martin.


1969 Cadillac deVille Convertible

Classic Cadillac Convertible clearly commands the community!
[Photo by AnDre M. Christie on Northern Boulevard in Queens County, NYC]


New York State Statue of Liberty Custom License Plate: STONEWAL

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".


Allyson 1994 LI SW Car

1969 convertible (with top down) featuring Queen Allyson Allante (with top up)
[Photo by Jeremiah Jay Newton in Huntington, LI]


= Cadillac Car Club story on the 1969 "StonewallCadillac" =
This is a very interesting story about the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car"
in the Cadillac Car Club national newsletter by author VinceTaliano.
Some excerpts are posted below. This is the direct link to the story!

"On Friday night, June 27, 1969.... a metallic blue 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 car 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...."


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, NY]

1969 "Stonewall Car" -- website statistics

On this S.V.A. website, the 1969 "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 "S/W-Car" file had a huge over 72,000 visits!  The 1969 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 "Stonewall Car" webfile are cumulatively stronger than ever!  The S.V.A. always adds new pix throughout the year!

See 1969 "S/W-Car" statistics for current month of April 2021.
Out of over 100 webfiles at the S.V.A., the "S/W-Car" in April is #1!!
At the statistics file, scroll to"Referrer Report". U-turn can't miss it!


1969 Caddy on Flatbed front at Carefully-carried Cadillac convertible cargo at Lido Beach Boulevard., Lido Beach, Long Island, NY

Carefully-carried classic Cadillac convertible cargo
Location: Lido Beach Boulevard., Lido Beach, Long Island, NY
[Action photo by Willson Henderson]


Internet Photos of the 1969 Cadillac featuring the "Stonewall Car"

STONEWALL Veterans' Association's
internet 'search engine' of choice:
"The butler did it!"

Support the Historic "Stonewall Car"!

The STONEWALL Veterans' Association conducts a fund-raising campaign for the famous 1969 Cadillac DeVille
"Stonewall Car". The '69 convertible has its original engine -- which works great! The car has been treated with great
care, like a person -- thanks to one individual: Willson L. Henderson!  The automobile is one of the most famous
vehicles in America, if not the World!
You can support the maintenance, garaging, insuring, and other expenses,
including planned restorations, both pro-active and decorative, of the blue 1969 Cadillac convertible "Stonewall Car"!


Rear view of the grand 1969 Cadillac Stonewall Car leading a NYC Pride parade

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

You may contact the S.V.A. with comments, suggestions and/or questions!
E-mail the S.V.A. at:

 25th October

 S.V.A. theme color for October every year is orange for Halloween!


Stonewall Rebellion 52nd Anniversary
(1969 to 2021)
52nd year of the 1969 Cadillac ...and the 1969 "Stonewall Car"!!

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