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Tell us about Chuck Berry's Cadillac

Dr. Kevin Strait

Kevin Strait tells us about Chuck Berry's Cadillac, which he helped to collect along with Chuck Berry's guitar, "Maybellene." They can both be found in the "Musical Crossroads" exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Collection Object: 
Red Cadillac Eldorado owned by Chuck Berry
Topic
African American
Identity
Musicians
Rock and roll (Music)
Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Created by
General Motors Corporation, founded 1908
Owned by
Chuck Berry, American, 1926 - 2017
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Donation of Charles E. Berry
Medium
steel, chrome, glass, rubber, plastic
Dimensions
Overall with Weight: 53 x 83 x 236 in., 5400 lb. (134.6 x 210.8 x 599.4 cm, 2449.4 kg)
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification
Transportation Vehicles
Exhibition
Musical Crossroads
On View
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 053
Date
1973
Caption
The car is part of Berry’s personal fleet of Cadillacs and was driven during the filming of Hail! Hail! Rock ’n’ Roll, a 1987 documentary that chronicles two 1986 concerts.
Description
A red Cadillac Eldorado, model year 1973, owned and driven by Chuck Berry.
Type
convertibles
Object number
2011.137.1
Electric guitar belonging to Chuck Berry, nicknamed "Maybellene"
Topic
African American
Musicians
Rock and roll (Music)
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Rights
1960 Gibson Guitar Corporation
Manufactured by
Gibson Guitar Corp., American, founded 1894
Owned by
Chuck Berry, American, 1926 - 2017
Subject of
Chess Records, American, founded 1950
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Donation of Charles E. Berry
Medium
wood and metal
Dimensions
41 x 17 x 4 in. (104.1 x 43.2 x 10.2 cm)
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification
Musical Instruments
Exhibition
Musical Crossroads
On View
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 053
Date
1959
Description
A Gibson ES-350T semi-acoustic guitar named Maybellene. The wood is light, and the tuning keys are damaged. A black and orange label with the serial number (A33643) and where the guitar was made (Kalamazoo, MI) can be seen through one of the F-holes. The case is treated canvas on wood with velvet lining.
Type
guitars
Object number
2011.137.2