"Safe" Before "Sleek" with Presidential Limousine

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This presidential limousine includes thousands of pounds of metal and bulletproof glass. Photo Credit: L.A. Times/HO/AFP/Getty Images.

Safety was the top concern during President Barack Obama’s historic inauguration events this week, with Time Magazine noting that presidential security was prepared for “everything short of an asteroid strike.” The newest presidential limousine didn’t fail to disappoint.

General Motors Corp. created the limousine with the president’s protection in mind. Currently nameless, the Cadillac limousine, complete with truck platform, already earned two nicknames — the Beast and the Stagecoach — for its five-inch armor plating and heavy weight. The car weighs somewhere between 14,000 and 16,000 pounds.

Thanks to bulletproof glass and steel fortification, this beast isn’t the sleekest automobile to come to office — but there’s no doubt that it’s the safest. Adding to the pounds of glass and metal, the limousine includes a Kevlar under-floor blanket and more materials to absorb possible shocks, as well as “ballistic-resistant windows and tires, and a sealed air-circulation system,” the L.A.Times revealed in an online article.

The government replaces presidential limousines every four years, destroying retired limousines to guard their secrets after years of service. But retired cars like Franklin Roosevelt’s “Sunlight Special” have nothing on Obama’s new transportation, designed in-house under high security. Other protection for President Obama during yesterday’s events and his moving inaugural address included fighter planes overhead and highly-trained Secret Service SWAT teams.

–Amy Edwards

Comment (1)

  1. Nate says:

    The secret making of President Obama’s limousine rivals that of Q’s R&D of Agent 007’s rides, which are sleek and sophisticated, but not Presidential. Thanks for this article.

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