National STONEWALL Veterans Association
1969 Cadillac DeVille
"The Stonewall Car"
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
Click on the picture for an enlargement of the blue 1969 "Stonewall Car"!
S.V.A. E-Mail Sign-Up
The S.V.A. never sells, rents or trades its private email address list!
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]
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]
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 ]
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" Close-Up for a Photo-Shoot in Manhattan, New
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,
= history of the "Stonewall Car" =
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 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"
[Design by Shari Clemons at Liz J. Abzug Consultant Services]
="Stonewall Car" leads "Stonewall-25"=
|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 STONEWALL Rebellion Veterans Association and the Imperial QUEENS & Kings of 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 Card for the 1969 "Stonewall Car"
The vehicle identification number (VIN) has, of course, been deleted.
|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 you can only have eight characters (letters and/or numbers) on a license plate. The saved last "L" is for "Liberators".|
Accommodating note from the local Sixth Precinct of the New York City Police Department
|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!|
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
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!
A "Stonewall Car" prior New York license plate: "STONEWAL"
[Image courtesy of New York State Department of Motor Vehicles]
"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.
years later, at the end of June in 2008, the mileage is merely 95,233.
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
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
added to this restricted-mileage "historical" vehicle.
Classic car with classic people evoking an historic classic
[Photo by Willson L. Henderson]
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 in Brooklyn, NY, in 2002 to lead a big
[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
Note: The building designation states "One Police Plaza"
[Photo by NYCPD Sgt. Erin J. O'Reilly in June 1998]
General Motors Catalog: 1969 Cadillac front view with
[Photography courtesy of General Motors Corporation]
General Motors Cadillac Catalog: 1969 Cadillac DeVille
[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 interesting article on the 1969 Cadillac "Stonewall Car"
featuring an eye-catching collage of pictures by car columnist Murilee Martin.
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"
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".
See 1969 "S/W-Car" statistics for month of
Out of over 100 webfiles at the S.V.A., the "S/W-Car" in January was #2!!
At the statistics file, scroll to"Referrer Report". U-turn can't miss it!
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"
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]