October 03, 2016

Rebuilding the world's longest car

Struth! 100-footer was world's longest car
IN its hey-day, the 26-wheel, 100ft long American Dream carried its own helicopter, and needed a driver in both front and rear. (New York Autoseum)

David Ellis

STUDENTS at an automotive college in America's New York State have set themselves a massive task – they're rebuilding the world's longest car, a Cadillac-badged monster that's a whopping 100 feet, or just over 30 metres long.

The flamboyant auto was built in Burbank, California in the late 1980s by car buff Jay Ohrberg, who is both a collector and a specialist-vehicle builder for local movie and TV studios.

Basically a super-stretched 1970s Cadillac Eldorado and named American Dream, the monstrous 26-wheeler (with those wheels not only in front and back, but centre as well) had a special swivel in the middle so it could navigate around corners, and be taken apart for transporting on a low-loader to filming sites.

FORLORN: how it was found after being abandoned in an open carpark after Hollywood lost interest in its novelty value. It is now being rebuilt by students at an auto teaching museum in New York State. (New York Autoseum)
And on the road it needed specialist drivers both at the front and the rear.

Luxuries included a "living room" with a lounge and multiple-seat dining table with candelabra, a king-size bed, heated Jacuzzi tub, and an extended boot with splash pool and diving board covered by a folding landing pad for its own helicopter.

When Hollywood eventually lost interest in the American Dream it was simply abandoned in an open carpark and slowly stripped; in 2012 the New York Autoseum automotive teaching museum in the village of Mineola bought the forlorn-looking wreck at auction, and today it is being slowly rebuilt as a teaching project for students.

And that project, staff say, could take years.

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