January 21, 2013 - Today, the President takes his most famous drive. He slowly makes his way from The Capitol building to The White House in his Inauguration Parade. Approximately 700,000 people will attend the Inauguration and watch Barack Obama be sworn in for a second term. Enough about politics, this is a car blog! What kind of limo is Barack travelling in these days?
First off, let’s look back at some of the Presidential Limos of the past. Over the years an assortment of cars has been officially and unofficially dubbed the presidential vehicle. President McKinley was the first to ride in an automobile, but Theodore Roosevelt’s Stanley Steamer was the first presidential car purchased by the United States. Woodrow Wilson preferred an automobile over horse drawn carriages, quite a progressive! The first president to take a limousine to their inauguration was Warren Harding in 1921. Harding’s vehicle of choice was a Packard Twin-Six.
But, enough about the past! We have learned plenty of times that the past doesn’t play into politics. We cannot learn anything from the past or anything like that. Let’s get to the present. That is all we really care about anyway, right?
So, what kind of limousine does POTUS take his Sunday strolls in? The answer is more complex than you would think. The easiest way to describe what he has is, Cadillac Frankenstein. The President started using what the Sercret Service call The Beast in January 20, 2009. It has all the normal styling of a Cadillac, but is a mishmash of GM models. The body is a modification of the previous DTS Presidential limousine. However, the vehicle’s chassis is from a Chevrolet Kodiak, a heavy duty commercial truck. It continues its GM hodgepodge with Escalade headlights, side mirrors, and door handles. Then it finishes up with taillights, and backup lights from a Cadillac STS sedan.
This limousine is not just used for the Inauguration Parade. It gets airlifted for both domestic and international visits. The presidential motorcade has consisted of approximately 45 cars. That can cause quite a traffic jam.
You will find one feature in this limo which you are sure not to find in any other. It has a blood bank in the trunk with a healthy supply of the president’s blood. Hopefully he never gets rear-ended. That could get messy.
Are you interested in purchasing one of these limousines for yourself? Unfortunately, GM has not released a price tag on The Beast. However, sources say that it costs the government around $300,000 to produce. It also gets a whopping 8 miles per gallon. So, the sticker price and the price at the pump would hit you pretty hard.