Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln Continental: How Philippine presidents rolled in style

Jose P. Laurel’s 1942 Packard Custom Super Eight: One-Eighty Limousine. This car was granted by the Japanese administration to Laurel. This is also the same car used by President Sergio Osmeña because his government opted to channel funds to the devastation caused by the war instead of buying a new vehicle. Photo by JL JAVIER

By CNN Philippines – Inside Quezon Memorial Circle is a contemporary museum that hosts 13 luxury cars of the previous presidents of the Philippines — from Emilio Aguinaldo to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The National Historic Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) has maintained the cars since 2008, and later signed a memorandum of agreement with the Quezon City government to give them space to display the luxury vehicles. On Aug. 19, 2018, it was formally inaugurated as the Museo ng Pampangulong Sasakyan.

The museum also includes four other “special” vehicles that are deemed important in Philippine history: The 1934 Cadillac V16 of Douglas MacArthur; the “karwaheng Apacible,” the carriage owned by Leon Apacible, one of the authors of the 1899 Malolos Constitution; the 1943 Willys Jeep, the military jeep that Gen. Douglas MacArthur gave Ramon Magsaysay; and the 1960 Rolls-Royce Phantom V of Imelda Marcos.

Perhaps the kind of vehicle these heads of state used is an indication of their leadership — strong, secure, or just plain shiny. Here’s a glimpse of some of the presidential cars in the museum:

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