The classic car choice of US Presidents


2015-06-26 11:40:33


The classic car choice of US Presidents

The story of the Lincoln Limousine...

Henry Leland created the Lincoln back in 1917, naming it after the first President he voted for back in the 1860s.

His intent was to create a car which was reliable and luxurious like his other creation the Cadillac.

Ford took over the company in 1922, but they kept Leland's ideas going in the manufacture, and Lincoln limousines have been used by US Presidents for over 80 years.

Calvin Coolidge used a Lincoln, but Franklin D Roosevelt actually had a V12 convertible made especially for him.

The 'Sunshine Special' had 150hp, 414 cubic inch V12 L-head engine, and was fitted with grab handles for Secret Service agents. It is now on show at the Henry Ford museum.

A Cosmopolitan model nicknamed Bubble Top was used by Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson from 1950, though Johnson only used it once.

Kennedy also used a specially made 1961 Lincoln Continental known as 'SS-100-X'.

This, sadly, was the car in which he was assasinated, but even this did not lead to the cars retirement, rather it was improved with a roof and general armour-plating.

Richard Nixon alone made use of a 1969 Lincoln.

Four presidents made use ofthe 1972 model: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr.

The most recent Lincoln, used until 2004, was a 1989 model. A Cadillac is currently in use instead.

The interiors remain luxurious, with temperature controls, beautifuland adjustable perforated leather seats, entertainment systems and noise absorption, allowing the occupants to conclude meetings before they've finished travelling.

In the most recent models, such as the MKZ, the power is greatly increased from the Sunshine Special with 263hp, which the Secret Service believe is only appropriate for a Presidential car, as evasive manoeuvres need power. /

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