President presents Pilsudski's Cadillac
PR dla Zagranicy
President Bronislaw Komorowski has unveiled a restored Cadillac that belonged to 'father of Polish independence' Marshal Jozef Pilsudski, as Poland nears Independence Day on 11 November.
President Bronislaw Komorowski (R) presents the Cadillac at the Belvedere Palace. Photo: PAP/Rafal Guz
During the presentation at the Belvedere Palace in Warsaw, Komorowski confirmed that the automobile will take part in Tuesday's Independence Day procession, which the head of state will lead.
The original car, a Cadillac Fleetwood Special 355D, had bulletproof windows, and was specially commissioned for the ailing Polish leader, only arriving in Poland in 1935, just months before his death.
As historian Professor Jan Tarczynski noted during the unveiling ceremony, Pilsudski quipped that he had been bought a coffin when he first set eyes on the limousine.
Photo: PAP/Bartlomiej Zborowski
The restoration of the vintage vehicle was carried out in Poznan, western Poland, and work lasted from March 2013 to October 2014.
Jozef Pilsudski proclaimed Polish independence at the tail-end of the First World War on 11 November 1918, becoming 'Chief of State' for four years, until the office of president was created in 1922.
After a series of governments collapsed, he led a military coup in 1926, but refused the office of president thereafter. However, he maintained a tight grip on power until his death in May 1935, sometimes using authoritarian methods to keep his opponents in check.
Komorowski revealed that it is possible that another vintage car that belonged to President Ignacy Moscicki, Poland's last pre-war head of state, may also be restored for next year's Independence Day. (nh)