Not every vehicle at LeMay: America's Car Museum is on display because of its forward-thinking look or features. Sometimes the car is there because of who sat behind the wheel.
Such is the case with the Fabulous Wailer Mobile, a Cadillac Brougham Tacoma’s Fabulous Wailers had crafted for themselves. The car was painted by Teddy Haggerty, the artist credited with the cover artwork from the Wailers’ album “Cadillac to Mexico” as well as various paintings around Tacoma.
Band members donated the 1976, four-door Cadillac in 2010. Founding member Kent Merrill died of cancer the following year.
The Fabulous Wailers stand along with the Ventures and the Sonics as Tacoma-born bands that made it big during the early days of rock and roll. They reached Top 40 status in June, 1959, receiving national attention from their hit “Tall Cool One.” They are also one of the first bands to record the iconic “Louie, Louie.”
The Wailer Mobile is equipped with a public address system, mounted to the roof, and accompanied by the sign that advertised the group’s “LouieFest” music festival, well-known for featuring a huge cavalcade of talent that presents the very best in Northwest music.