Published on January 19th, 2009 | by Zane Merva0
President Obama’s new ride has a deep Cadillac history
When President Obama takes office he’ll bring more than a change in policy to Capitol Hill. He’ll also usher in a new generation of Presidential Limousine. Lets take a look at the President’s new ride and compare it to Cadillac rides of Presidential past. We’ll start with the present and work our way back.
2009 – President Barack Obama
When President Obama takes office on January 20th he’ll ride in a Limo based on not one, but multiple Cadillac models. Preceding the DTS limousine that went into service in 2004, this new model shares cues from the current DTS, tail-lamps from the STS, and a grill reminiscent of the CTS and Escalade.
The interior is hand assembled, a embroidered presidential seal is positioned in the center of the rear seat back and on each door. The US flag and presidential seal located on the front fenders are illuminated by LED lights at night.
1993 – President Bill Clinton
In 1993 when President Bill Clinton took office, his Limo was a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. It’s currently located at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Unlike previous models that were production models adapted specifically for presidential duty- this model was hand crafted by GM for the task of protecting the president completely in house.
1982 – President Ronald Regan
The Ronald Regan administration was delivered a 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine.
1959 – President John F Kennedy
President Kennedy rode in two Presidential Limousines, the Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth II. The were smaller than their predecessors, fully armored, and featured state of the art communications equipment. The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth were also the first Presidential Limos to be fitted with narrow rims inside the tires, in case the rims were blown out. Both vehicles, used by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, were retired in 1968.
1953 – President Eisenhower
One look at this 1953 Cadillac Eldorado and you could tell President Eisenhower must be a car buff. It transported President Eisenhower during his 1953 inaugural parade and was one of the very first Eldorado models ever produced. It featured a unique wrap-around windshield- which was quickly adopted on other new production Cadillac models.
1947 – President Harry Truman
In 1938, the original Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth took service. Named after the great ocean liners of that time period, the cars were 21.5 feet long, weighed 7,600lbs, and were equipped with a full ammunition arsenal, two-way radios, and heavy-duty generators. The two queens served Presidents Roosevelt, Truman (seen above) and Eisenhower.
1907/1908 – President Taft
We could not really pin this one down but thought you’d enjoy looking at it. President Taft and a Cadillac Model G circa 1907.
Books could be written about the history of the Presidential limousine. While this article focuses on Cadillac, Lincoln also had a hand in protecting the commander in chief over the years. No matter the brand- the days of the President riding in a modified production vehicle are long gone. Today’s super purpose built Presidential Limousines are more reminiscent of a tank than anything you could buy on the lot. We may never know the full technology behind some of these great examples but one thing is for sure- Cadillac or Lincoln- the Presidential Limousine is always above and beyond anything in its time.