The Present Day Presidential Limousine
by Jennifer Jordan
Sometimes I wonder how US Presidents used to get around. Before the invention of the limousine, the private jet, or even the car, what exactly set the President’s mode of transportation apart from the mode of the regular citizen? Did George Washington and John Adams ride on a fully armored horse, complete, of course, with tinted windows? Did Thomas Jefferson and James Madison ride in a carriage as secret service agents ran beside, ready to receive any urgent telegrams warning them of trouble up ahead? However the Presidents used to get from place to place, the present Presidents travel in one major mode: a Presidential Limousine.
A Presidential Limousine has become virtually synonymous with the word “Armored Car,” in essence, it is a vehicle of hardcore protection. It is also quite a spectacular site to look at. Distinct and unlike any other automobile around, the Presidential Limousine is a car we’d all like to take for a drive. Unfortunately, prison gets in the way of that desire.
The recent 2006 Presidential Limousine is a handcrafted version of the Cadillac Deville Touring Sedan. It features leather interior, a foldaway desktop, an entertainment system, massaging cushions, and a communications panel. In other words, it will make all of the Toyota Camryâ€˜s and Honda Civics we drive feel very insecure about themselves; drops of wiper fluid will fall from their windshields when they think no one is looking.
When it comes to being armored, the Presidential Limousine can withstand all sorts of attacks. The outside of the car is five inches thick with ballistic armor, and is rumored to be able to sustain an attack from a grenade launcher. Not to be upstaged, the underside of the car is also protected. The windows don’t open at all and the doors don’t open without the engagement of an automatic system. The Presidential Limousine also contains a run-flat tire system, which allows to car to, quite simply, continue to run when a tire is flat (although at a slower pace). It is also sealed with a repellent that would keep it safe against chemical and biological warfare.
The Presidential Limousine always uses the call sign “Cadillac One.” Cadillac One goes wherever the President goes and is distinctive, branded with Presidential seals. On national and international trips, it is airlifted to the President’s destination. Cadillac One typically flies the US flag and the Presidential flag. However, when visiting a foreign nation, the flag of that country replaces the Presidential flag.
The Vice President also has a presidential limousine, or rather, a vice presidential limousine. It is similar to the President’s except it flies the Vice President flag and is branded with the Vice Presidential Seal. Like Cadillac One, the Vice Presidential Limousine also travels wherever the Vice President goes.
In the motorcade, the Presidential limo is followed closely by several other vehicles. These include an ambulance (filled with bags of blood of the President’s type), policeman, reporters, staff members, and a secret service vehicle that houses communications. All in all, the motorcade usually involves 35 vehicles for the President, and a lot of traffic for local citizens.