A limousine or limo for short is a luxury vehicle driven by a chauffeur to ferry passengers from one destination to the next. Some limousines may feature partitioned interiors that separate the driver and passengers for privacy purposes.
Limousines are often but not limited to sedans and saloon cars, as the term limousine applies to any luxury chauffeured vehicle.
These days, limousines are often used to transport people on business trips and VIPs to and fro locations. Nonetheless, affordable limousine services are also accessible to the general public for events such as weddings, parties, graduations, etc.
Limousines have been around since the 1700s. With such a long history, many limousine variations have appeared with numerous interesting stories to boot.
Here is a list of interesting facts about limousines that you may not be aware of!
Modern day limousines are the descendants of 18th century horse-drawn carriages. A symbol of wealth and status, the horse-drawn carriage was an essential service afforded to royalty and noble families.
Sturdy carriages transported passengers and protected them from natural elements such as sunlight, rain, wind, and snow. Drivers manning horses drew these carriages while sitting on the external front side of the carriage.
Prior to being associated with an automobile, the French word ‘limousine’ used to denote a type of hooded cloak. People living in a region called Limousin in France wore this cloak.
The cloak was a piece of heavy-duty clothing that sheltered people from harsh weather and could keep you warm even on the chilliest of nights. It was theorized that carriage drivers wore these cloaks and had to brave the weather when transporting passengers.
People then adopted the term to describe the carriage cover that appeared to resemble the hood of the limousine cloak. As the carriages also shielded passengers from natural elements.
This term was carried over to describe the first motorized limousine invented in 1902.
Since its inception, the limousine has been a symbol of luxury. As such, it actually became the first automobile to be fitted with an air conditioning system in 1939. Nonetheless, the air conditioning unit came with a hefty price tag, in addition to being bulky and ineffective.
As time passed, different variations of limousines made their debut on the market, each more extravagant than the other.
The stretched limousine (longer than regular limousines) became an extension of the pursuit of luxury for the limousine industry. Manufacturers and designers strove to outdo one another with limousines that were packed to the brim with exorbitant features and designs.
Californian Jay Ohrberg built such a limo in 1997, called “The American Dream”. It was 100 feet long, making it the longest limousine in the world. This limousine came with 12 pairs of wheels and two driver’s compartments at both ends. This record-breaking limousine came with even more surprises, as it even had a swimming pool with a diving board installed, a jacuzzi, sun deck, king-sized waterbed and a helicopter landing pad!
Fortunately, mainstream limousine services have stuck to automobiles with much more simpler designs for their fleet. But make no mistake, these limousines still exude luxury in every possible way.
When stretch limousines came about in 1928, they quickly became known as “big band buses”. These “buses” transported early 20th century big bands (jazz ensembles) from venue to venue. Stretch limousines were spacious enough to accommodate big band members and their equipment. This also allowed the bands to show up in style to any events.
To this day, celebrities are still transported to concert venues or movie premieres in chartered limousines. It is safe to say that limousines have certainly cemented their importance in the world of showbiz.
Most world leaders have their own dedicated limousines. Bentley gifted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with The Bentley State Limousine to commemorate her Golden Jubilee in 2002. While the current US Presidential State Car is a Cadillac known as “Cadillac One” and also by its other nicknames: “The Beast”, “First Car” and “Stage Coach”.
These and other limousines carrying VIPs come with state-of-the-art technology and security systems that guarantee the safety of their occupants. Some safety measures that are available in these limousines include bullet proof glass and armoured exterior.
Novelty limousines are regular vehicles that have been converted into limousines. Modifications made to novelty limousines include stretching and adding compartments to the cars, bright paint jobs and adding defining interior features. Some novelty limos include Ferraris, Mini Coopers, Volkswagen Beetles and even Hummers.
The “American Dream” made it into the Guinness Book of Records for being the longest limousine in the world. Another contender has also made it into the books. “The Midnight Rider”, a tractor-trailer limousine, is the world’s heaviest limousine. Weighing an outrageous 22,933 kg, “The Midnight Rider” is a nightclub on wheels. It can fit up to 40 people in its three lounges and one full-size bar.
Impressed by all the interesting stories about limousines? What better way to experience its legacy by trying out a limousine service to transport you around in style. Engage a trusted limousine service and travel in the lap of luxury to your destination at an affordable price!
Real United is a corporate limo service and limousine service in Singapore that is committed to providing the best quality chauffeur and limousine service to all our clients. We offer luxury transportation services at affordable rates, and are able to personalise your ride according to the size of your group and your transportation needs. We also provide concierge services to help you plan the best trip possible.