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December 23, 1923 – A Rolls-Royce for the president

Having a birthday during the holiday season can be difficult for people who fear their special day will be forgotten. Well, nobody forgot former US President Woodrow Wilson on this day in 1923 when he was presented with a Springfield Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Oxford Touring Car for his birthday (which is actually December 28). Left by anonymous supporters, the RR had even been modified with a higher windshield and folding roof so Wilson wouldn’t have to remove his favorite top hat while riding. 

Full length portrait of American President Woodrow Wilson seated outdoors, circa 1920. (Photo by Fotosearch/Getty Images).

Wilson is acknowledged as being the first president to truly understand the appeal of the motor car in the United States. During his presidency he became a champion of national road-building, paving the way for America’s highway system.

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