Historic Presidential Limos Shown Off for RNC Attendees

Posted on September 4, 2008 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

When the Republican National Convention opened this week, so did the doors to the White House and a presidential limousine -- thanks to a south Lake County museum.

In fact, thousands of pieces of presidential memorabilia, including a 60-by-20-foot White House replica and a 1938 limousine used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, are part of an expansive display at CivicFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The pieces -- all part of the collection from the National Presidents Hall of Fame in Clermont -- have been shipped to the event held in Minneapolis.

Before leaving for the event, the museum owner and curator, John Zweifel, said the display would take up thousands of square feet and is meant to bring visitors closer to American history. It has taken at least three tractor-trailers to haul the pieces to the show.

He said the event isn't about being a Republican or a Democrat.

"We're passionate about America, and we're doing this to instill pride in America," he said. "This is the chance of a lifetime for a person who wants to do a celebration of America."

CivicFest covers the 300,000-square-foot convention center in Minneapolis and is expected to bring in more than 150,000 visitors. The event is billed as a "civic festival celebrating Minnesota and American history, democracy, and the U.S. Presidency," according to its Web site. It is being held in conjunction with the Republican convention this week in St. Paul. The event not only features Zweifel's collection but other collections, multimedia events, a re-created convention floor and a 60,000-square-foot marketplace.

MaxeneFernstrom, director of CivicFest, said that when she started planning the event in 2007, Zweifel was her first call. She knew the miniature White House would be a highlight of the event.

"It's definitely going to be the centerpiece," she said.

She said the Zweifels are dedicated to preserving American history and showing it to the world.

"It's really an opportunity for citizens to see the People's House, as John calls it, in all of its exact details," she said. "This is a remarkable story of his gift to the nation. He's a real patriot and a lover of America."

Zweifel, 71, said event coordinators began transporting pieces of the display several weeks ago. Up to 800 crates were taken, Zweifel said. Just one of the pieces, the miniature White House, weighs more than 6 tons. Zweifel and his wife, Jan, travel to the White House every two months to photograph the rooms to ensure their miniature replica is authentic.

The couple left the Orlando area two weeks ago to help in the event setup. He and an army of volunteers started assembling the display Aug. 22. It took about four days to put it all up.

Other pieces in the collection include White House china, gowns worn by first ladies, letters and displays about the 43 presidents, to name a few. Visitors will get to have their pictures taken in a replica of the Oval Office and glimpse inside a Cadillac used by Roosevelt, the 32nd president.

Zweifel and his wife, 72, also will use the time in St. Paul to be on the convention floor, but he said they are nonpartisan. They typically go to the Republican and Democratic conventions, but this year the Democrats seemed less interested in their displays, he said.

"They decided not to do very much," he said. "The door wasn't open."

Zweifel said he's thrilled about the event. It's a chance to show off American history.

"It's exciting, and it's a world stage," he said. "It's every artist's dream to create things that live longer than he does."

Source: Orlando Sentinel

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Arkansas Operation Recognized As Small Business of the Year

Pinnacle Car Services, Inc. recieved the accolade from the Greater Bentonville Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce.

How To Make Your Buses Comply With The Latest Rules

eNews Exclusive: Joe Guinn guides operators on the best ways to prepare for the large leap from sedans and SUVs to buses and motorcoaches.

What Is The Future Of The New Luxury Traveler?

There is a growing demand for more human connectedness and meaningful experiences for both adults and children.

DWIs Down In One City Since Uber Launched

Springfield, Mo., saw an average of 47 drunk driving arrests per month down from 55 per month in 2016.

Party Bus Entrepreneur On The Road To Growth

Operator with military experience launched her Mobile, Ala.-area business with a custom-built vehicle.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - May 2017 $12.95 Post International LCT Show Issue COVER STORY: * Best Operators of 2017: Their Winning Secrets Revealed * *
LCT Magazine - April 2017 $12.95 F&I / SPECIAL EVENTS ISSUE COVER STORY: * Don't Panic: Confronting Worst Fears - Fleet Risks * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close