George Washington may have gotten around on horses, but things have moved on since the eighteenth century. It’s hard to see newly elected president, Donald Trump, ride on our four-legged friends; the wealthy businessman will go about his work as the 45th President of the US in a car that’ll likely be armored like a battle tank. So, what better time to look back on five of the most memorable presidential rides there have ever been…
1 - 1939 Lincoln “Sunshine Special”
Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the US, nicknamed the Lincoln the “Sunshine Special”. Why? Duh, because as he loved riding with the top down of course. The 12-cylinder Lincoln, which was based on the Lincoln K-Series chassis, featured oversize rear-hinged rear doors to make ingress and egress for the wheelchair-bound Roosevelt easier and jump seats for passengers - but after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 the Secret Service fortified it with an armored body, bullet-resistant tyres and fuel tank for extra protection. The Lincoln was in use until 1950.
2 - 1961 Lincoln Continental SS-100-X
The new for 1961 Continental had been stretched by Hess and Eisenhart of Cincinnati by 838mm to create more room in the passenger compartment. The dark blue four-door convertible featured a 430 cubic inch (7.0-litre) V8 and was fitted with a metal hoop behind the driver. This would allow President John F. Kennedy something to hold onto while in motion during parades. Sadly, it’s remembered as the car that he was assassinated in on November 22 1963. It was fully rebuilt after that grim day and fitted with a permanent bulletproof hard-top but was retired in 1977.
3 – 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood
Lincolns were the go-to brands for Presidents of the US until Cadillac was given the chance in the Eighties. Built by Hess and Eisenhardt, the 1983 Fleetwood was stretched by 431mm and had its roof raised – and it was bullet proof of course. It may have looked awkward in appearance but it gave President Ronald Reagan very good visibility – but best of all it was powered by a 500 cubic inch (8.2-litre) V8.
4 - 2001 Cadillac DeVille
The Secret Service required more than just bullet proof glass by the time George W. Bush was elected President, and so the DeVille was seriously kitted out. Built atop a full-size SUV chassis, it featured a self-contained passenger compartment (which even had its own air supply…) 130 mm armored doors, and the 454 cubic inch (7.5-litre) V8 had its work cut out to lug the 6,400kg car around. Oh, and the bullet proof glass was so thick that it even blocked part of the light spectrum…
5 - 2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine
President Barack Obama's Cadillac ran on Goodyear Regional RHS tyres - normally for heavy duty trucks. But the Caddie needed them for it weighed even more than Bush’s car. It was called The Beast, and had everything from armor plating, advanced night vision system and even a blood bank.
BONUS! Inkas Huron APC
We could see President Donald Trump in this. With a machine gun located on the roof and the ability to withstand grenade explosions, it looks like it could survive doomsday…