The Birth, Downfall, and Rebirth of the World Record-Setting "American Dream" Limo

The American Dream 10 photos
Photo: Dezerland Park
The American DreamThe American DreamThe American Dream (Restored)The American Dream (Restored)The American Dream (Restored)The American Dream (Restored)The American Dream (Unrestored)The American Dream (Restored)The American Dream (Restored)
The year is 1986, and Jay Ohrberg, a man known for his quirky and mind-blowing vehicle projects, unveiled what would ultimately be considered the "World's Longest Car" by Guinness World Records, a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado dubbed "The American Dream."
Yes, things truly are bigger here in the U.S., and I think it has a lot to do with the expanse of land available under our feet. Well, no matter how you look at it, it makes a whole lot of sense for the World's Longest Car to be crafted in America. You don't agree? Take a look at the differences between European, Asian, and American cars and tell me that it doesn't make sense for the U.S. of A. to be the mother of such a record.

However, The American Dream, the vehicle under our eyes today, wasn't always the showy, helicopter-carrying machine it is today. Yes, in 1986, Jay Ohrberg unveiled this project, and after being recognized by Guinness that same year, it quickly burst into fame. During its lifetime, it would ultimately be rented and used in movies, but because of high maintenance costs, and, the more obvious, a place to park it, the Dream would eventually be left to the elements. Yes, it was basically left to rot and to the whim of graffiti artists. Yet, it wasn't the end of this machine.

Years later, a man by the name of Michael Manning was browsing eBay and saw the rotting project for sale. After a rejected offer, Manning decided to make things work out by all means and eventually came into possession of this heavily modified Eldorado. But it was, well, " was garbage." as Manning reveals in an interview with Guinness.

Yet, Manning's acquisition of The American Dream wouldn't change the fate of the vehicle nor bring it back to life. It sat in the same condition as it had in the yard he purchased it from. So, in time, The American Dream would once again be put up for sale on eBay.

The American Dream \(Restored\)
Photo: Guinness World Records / YouTube Screenshot
Once 2019 rolled around, Michael Dezer would pop up in Dream's life. If the name Dezer sounds familiar, it's because we've written about this gentleman before. He's the founder of Dezerland Park, a not-so-little establishment in Orlando, Florida, known for its collection of all sorts of vehicles. For example, the Bond Museum showcases cars, aircraft, and memorabilia from the Bond movies. Cars of France is just that, an area with French vehicles, and Cars of the Stars includes cars from TV and movies like Dukes of Hazard, the Fast and the Furious Franchise, and even Harry Potter.

These days, Dezerland is also home to The American Dream, so if you're ever in Florida, this is the place to see this thing in all its reconstructed glory. Yes, Dezer would ultimately be the one whose hands would reconstruct the Dream to its former glory. Actually, it's now just a tad longer than the original version, so a new record had to be written up all over again.

But the three-year restoration process was no easy feat. It required the members to source parts that were no longer being built, completely rebuild particular sections from donor cars, and cost over $250K (€231K at current exchange rates) in parts, shipping, labor, and everything else. However, it wasn't at all in vain. Even the completely destroyed and rebuilt interior looks so fresh you can't even tell that it was literally eaten away by dust, dirt, and grime.

The American Dream \(Restored\)
Photo: Guinness World Records / YouTube Screenshot
Just last year, The American Dream saw the final moments of its rebirth, and even though it's designed to be nothing more than a "display" piece, apparently, the features still work. The extended hood is held up by three axles, but the rear is supported by five axles, and it's here that we find two of the Dream's hidden tricks. Not only is there a hot tube back there, but that "H" plastered on the platform is precisely for what you think, a damn helicopter! And yes, apparently, it works, and when MaxFlight Helicopter Services decided to land on it, it held up just fine.

Now, these days, Dream is, as I mentioned, just kicking it over at Dezerland, but what does it take to get in on the action yourself? Well, entry to the Auto Museum that the park includes will run you a solid $30 (€27) per adult entry. Children under four years of age get in for free. However, the Dezerland website isn't very clear on whether or not the Dream is viewable with this ticket. Still, if we consider that there is over $200 million worth of cars, it might not matter that you need to pay extra for a viewing, which shouldn't be very expensive considering access to the entire museum is just 30 bones.

By the looks of things, The American Dream has finally found the place that will be housing it until its death yet again. However, this time around, it's being displayed in all its glory, and the fact that it's bringing in steady cash flow for Dezer ensures that it will remain in peak condition for the rest of its days. Is anyone up for breaking a world record?

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories