Writing from India, one of the stops in his nine-month honeymoon, Nelson Rockefeller could hardly contain his enthusiasm for his favorite wedding present. Along with politics and modern art, fast cars would remain a life-long passion:

February 5, 1931

Dear John, 
I'm so thrilled about the new Lincoln that I don't know what to do. Can Mr. Gumbel arrange to have it delivered before we get back so we can have it first thing? We would like the following:

    Car -- 1 Lincoln with Le Baron convertible roadster body.

    Paint -- Black all over with six chromium plated wire wheels with an aluminum paint stripe running the length of the body and hood.

    Excesories -- On trunk behind

    Upholstery -- Black leather with a set of covers of lighter color (same for the wheels on the side).

    Top -- This was to be of a tannish (light) colored cloth.

    If you can arrange, I'll be a friend of yours for life. I get so excited just writing about it that I don't know what to do. I really think it is going to be the smartest car in New York.

    Oh! One more thing! Can you have my initials -- just plane in block letters done on the aluminum paint -- on both doors.

[Rockefeller’s original spelling and grammar are retained. From The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America’s Greatest Family, by John Harr and Peter J. Johnson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988]

My American Experience

My American Experience photos

Share Your Story

We invite you to tell us your own stories - whether you lived through a tumultuous time period or learned about it from a relative, a book or a movie.