Limousines 101: How It All Began

Developed with having the wealthy and famous in mind, the concept of a chauffeured vehicle such as the limousine, has been in existence since the middle ages, with the advent of the chauffeured horse-driven carriage .

The word limousine is generally a female, or feminine adjective that was taken from the word Limoges, which is the province in France that started it all. One of the famous features which made the limo a unique one from other vehicles is that the driver is situated or placed inn an entirely separate chamber, or compartment from their passengers.

The earliest automobile limousine was created in 1902, and was designed so the driver sat outside under a covered compartment. The initial limo design, with the covered compartment, typically resembled the cloak hood worn by those that resided in the Limoges region in France.

Early Stretch Limo Versions

The earliest version of the stretch limousine was manufactured in the US state of Arkansas in 1928. These vehicles were often called “big band buses”, because they were specifically utilized in transporting well-known and popular big band leaders, their entourage, as well as their instruments and logistics, to various destinations and venues.

Years after the first six-door limousine was created, these vehicles were used as funeral cars, and were built on a Cadillac Chasis’. Soon afterwards, the limousine industry grew, a lot of newer designs were made, and they continued to become more and more popular. These vehicles were used to transport famous personalities, ranging from movie stars to the President of the United States, whenever these were needed.

Newer Design Formats Evolve For Limos

Generally, the limousine has been defined as an extension of a large sedan. The vehicle’s longer frame and wheelbase let the rear passenger compartment contain the standard forward facing passenger seat, however a substantial amount of foot room has been added, which is more than is actually needed. At present, limousines are still utilized for shuttling VIP’s, the rich and famous, as well as political figures and royalty.

However, they are also designed to carry much larger numbers of passengers. The development of new technologies, and different types of vehicles available to stretch has led to a rise in the “new style” limos. These new style limos are used for shuttling large numbers of people around to corporate or private parties, night-time clubbing, proms, weddings & city tours.

New Technologies Have Made Limos Extra Special

The development of newer limousine versions, such as the Audi A8L, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Hummer H2, BMW 760li, Lincoln Town CarL Edition,Leland Miracle,and the Cadillac Escalade and DTS do not feature such seats, because stretch limousines are generally used to carry more than three passengers, excluding the driver. In the case of production limousines however, the jump seats almost always faced forward.

The last production limousine, developed by Cadillac, with forward facing jump seats was in 1987, the last Packard in 1954, and the last Lincoln in 1939, though Lincoln has offered limos through their dealers as special order vehicles from time to time. These newer, more high-tech vehicles, which in private use, may specifically contain technologically advanced electronic gadgets such as GPS navigation systems, satellite radio, audio players, DVD’s, plasma television sets, video players, and even bars with fully-stocked refrigerators.

Vanessa Arellano Doctor


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