Have Hookah, Will Travel

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Louie Mattar's 1947 Cadillac came with everything required to survive a long road trip, grill, television, toilet and… hookah. He took his Turkish water-pipe-equipped machine and set a world record with it.

Louie built this Caddy to last and used it to set a world endurance non-stop record across the United States. The record setting haul was round trip from New York to San Diego and back covering 6,320 miles September 20 through September 27, 1952. He had a little help from police escorts and a trailer with 230 gallons of gasoline in it.


Three men drove five hour shifts refueling on airfields from a moving gas truck at Kansas City, MO., Camden N.J., and Omaha, NE. The Caddy was set up to change oil on the run as well as refill its own radiator. The axles were drilled to pressurize the tires with air and if their was a complete tire failure the vehicle had airplane landing gear which would drop down and raise part of the car. It also had narrow running boards so a crewman could hang on for dear life and change the tire while the car was still moving at 25 miles an hour. In order to gain the courage to do that, you had a few pulls on the ole hookah.


And of course, since this car had all of the amenities of home, it also had a full bar in the dashboard within reaching distance of the right front passenger. Only in 1952 could you get a police escort across country with a hookah and a bar inside the car.

The car that never stopped is now permanently stationary at the San Diego Automotive Museum in California.