Donation Commands Attention
Hickory Corners, MI
The Gilmore Car Museum of Hickory Corners, MI, near Kalamazoo, is delighted with the recent donation of a 1950 Cadillac 2dr Club Coupe and the intriguing story of its owners.
The immaculate one-owner automobile was purchased new by Brigadier General William S. Rader, and his wife, Major Stephanie Rader, both USAF (ret.), in 1950. For 57 years, the Raders faithfully recorded every tank of gas, oil change, and repair made to the car. In 1994, they had the car restored to showroom condition and in 2007, donated it to the Gilmore Car Museum.
General Rader served in the Army Air Corps during WWII as pilot of a B-17 Bomber, known as the “Flying Fortress.” While B-17 crews were required to fly 25 missions to complete their tour of duty and return to the states, General Radar flew an astonishing 89 missions in both the Pacific and European theaters. After crash landing into the Pacific Ocean during one mission, he and his crew clung to a half-inflated life raft for 18 hours before rescue over 100 miles from shore. General Rader was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Legion of Merit, and went on to hold several Air Force Strategic Command posts before retiring in 1968.
The recently donated 1950 Cadillac was the first new car that the General and his wife purchased following the war and they obviously took pride in its impeccable care.
Michael Spezia, Executive Director of the Museum, said, “we are very honored that Mrs. Rader selected the Gilmore as the new home for their Cadillac, such a prized part of their lives.”
Spezia went on to explain that, “the Museum collection is far more than just horsepower and wheelbases. Each artifact in the collection has a story waiting to be told.” The distinguished career of this 1950 Cadillac is now prominently displayed in the Museum’s exhibit, “The Fabulous ’50s.”
The non-profit Gilmore Car Museum, located near Kalamazoo, MI, maintains a world-class collection of over 200 extraordinary vehicles and several historic structures on its 90-acre campus. To learn more about the Museum, which is open daily from May through October, call 269-671-5089 or visit www.GilmoreCarMuseum.org