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More than 50 years have already passed since the assassination of J.F. Kennedy. Since that time, no similar incident in which a head of state has been shot in a car has occurred. This is certainly not due to the fact that the public adores its presidents. Their luxury armour-plated limousines are responsible for this.

What are American presidents driven around in?

Eva Ledecká
18.May 2017
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2 minutes to read
Luxury limousine for US  president

Times have changed and American presidents can no longer expose themselves to the public merely in order to bask in their admiration. Bodyguards watch their every move and the greatest of attention is paid to their safety at all public events. Things are no different in the case of the luxury vehicles used to ferry presidents of the USA from place to place. 

Presidentiam Beast
Luxury limousine for US  president
Luxury limousine for president of USA

The official car of the president of the United States

The president of the USA must use a car manufactured in the United States of America. The current model of the US presidential car is a unique Cadillac which comes from the workshops of General Motors. The car which is nicknamed “The Beast” is equipped with many safety and defensive measures and is manufactured to meet the standards of the American secret services. During transportation, the president is completely cut off from the outside world, yet despite this has at his disposal extensive communications equipment offered by the 21st century.

The road to the armour-plated presidential “tank”

Until that time when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president, American presidents were transported in unmodified cars. It was not until the Roosevelt government when the first presidential state car was purchased – the Sunshine Special.

Prodej unikátního rodinného domu - 755 m²
Prodej unikátního rodinného domu - 755 m²,

Presidential cars always made it possible for the head of state to show himself to the public. This all changed with the fateful assassination attempt on Kennedy’s life in 1963, which ended in his death. Work began on improving the safety of cars after this until they reached their current form. They are now reminiscent of the luxury cars driven by the famous James Bond due to their equipment.

Equipment of presidential limousines

As opposed to other cars and luxury limousines, the presidential one does not have any keyholes and how to get into the car is a secret closely guarded by the American secret service.

The presidential car for 7 passengers and a driver is fitted with bullet-proof glass more than 130 mm thick and the only window which can be opened is the one next to the driver – due to payment of toll charges. The interior is completely hermetically sealed against any potential chemical attach from outside. The model used by President Barack Obama was equipped with night vision optics, on-board oxygen tanks and an armour-plated fuel tank to prevent it exploding. The car has a shotgun, grenade launcher and 0.95 litres of the president’s blood type. It is possible to fire infrared smoke grenades from the car as a measure to combat a rocket-propelled grenade attack or tank projectiles.

Not much information has been made public yet about the upgraded version of the luxury car used by President Donald Trump, but we can count on it boasting similar properties to those which Barack Obama’s The Beast had. 

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