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This one produced by Atlas, this is one of several models of the 1939 Lincoln K series limousine leased from the Ford Motor Company and affectionately nicknamed, “Sunshine Special.” This vehicle was the first specifically designed and modified for use by the president. President Roosevelt, struck by polio in the early 1920's, was largely confined to a wheel chair. This special Lincoln was built with wider rear doors for better maneuverability, forward-facing jump seats, step plates, handles for Secret Service agents, and even featured a police light and siren system. It was also a convertible, which allowed Roosevelt to remain visible to the crowds. This car quickly became Roosevelt’s favorite because it projected the formality of a presidential vehicle, permitted people to see him, and was quite comfortable.
Although it provided visibility, formality, and comfort, the “Sunshine Special” lacked security. When the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the Secret Service realized that all vehicles would require far greater protective measures and acquired vehicles that would provide this additional security.
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