Museum Acquires “Star Car”
Betty White’s custom-ordered 1977 Cadillac Seville on display now.
The AACA Museum is pleased to announce the exhibition of the personal car of actress and television icon, Betty White. This car, acquired by the Museum last year, was owned by the actress for 25 years and appeared on-air in a two-part episode of TV series, “Mama’s Family.”
The Cadillac Seville debuted in 1975. It was a radical departure for Cadillac, due to its smaller, more contemporary size and relative fuel efficiency. Smaller, however, did not mean less luxurious and Cadillac remained the vehicle of choice for buyers who wanted the ultimate in creature comfort and smooth ride from an American car. Such features may have been on the mind of renowned game show host, Allen Ludden, when he purchased the car for his wife, Betty, in May of 1977. The car was ordered in the custom color, Seamist Green, from Martin Cadillac in Los Angeles, California. It was given to her as a surprise gift. Both owners’ names appear on the original title, a copy of which came with the car.
The vehicle sported a mere 14.3 miles when it was driven of the dealership’s lot. Mr. Ludden had it equipped with a small dash plaque that reads “Betty.” The car also features an old AT & T analog mobile phone. Ludden passed away in 1981 and Mrs. White maintained the car in like-new condition. After 25 years of ownership, she donated the Cadillac to charity. A long-time supporter of animal causes, the car was given to the Los Angeles Humane Society to auction. It was purchased by a private collector who owned it for several years before offering it to the highest bidder on eBay. The car’s last private owner, Mr. Nicholas Ferrantino, of Houston, Texas, presented it to the AACA Museum.
The Cadillac currently has less than 18,000 miles on its odometer and looks very much like the day Betty White took possession of it as a surprise gift. It is currently on exhibition in the Museum’s lobby, along with a selection of photographs covering Betty White’s acting career, including an image showing the car being used on-air as part of the two-part episode “Mama for Mayor,” from the series “Mama’s Family.”
The car’s last private owner, Mr. Nicholas Ferrantino, of Houston, Texas, presented it to the AACA Museum. Mr. Ferrantino is a Lifetime Member of the AACA National Organization, a member of the Gulf Coast Region of AACA and a Lifetime Member of the AACA Museum.