A Brief History of the Limousine
A little word association: What word comes to mind when you hear the word limousine? Luxury? Flashy? Famous? Whatever the word, the automobile does project a certain kind of elegance and class that cannot be achieved by any other vehicle. People generally love riding in limousines. This is how Eddie Slinin of Corporate Transportation Group went from driving limos to riding in them after he started a successful limo service business.
The stereotypical limo of today is a far cry from the original concept. Even the word “limousine” refers to its humble origins. The word actually refers to the Limousin region of France, more specifically the type of hood and clock worn in the region. So what does that have to do with the limousines of today?
The first limo was built in 1902 and the driver state outside of the enclosed cab under a cover, the whole layout resembling the hood and cloak mentioned earlier, hence the name. 1928 saw the first stretch limo designed by the Armbruster coach company. Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller and other big band leaders were the primary users of these cars, so much so that they were often referred to as “big band buses.”
Fast forward to the present. Our modern day version of the limo typically refers to a luxury car with an extended chassis. This may be made by the manufacturer or built by a coach builder. These stretch limos are driven by a chauffeur or professional driver. Although his seat is within the car, there is a dividing screen that can be raised or lowered by the passengers or driver.
There are typically an abundance of amenities in a limo, from minibars, televisions, cool lighting, powerful speakers. Although there are some that get a little crazy with hot tubs where the trunk should be. They can hold between six to thirty-eight people, depending on the type of vehicle. The larger limos are a group of vehicles between a sedan and bus, and are not “true” limousines but rather modified vehicles using limo design elements.
Politicians, celebrities, and other VIPs are not the only ones who have access to this stylish ride. In nearly every big city across the United States there is at least one limo service. Limo companies serving college towns will have five dollar deals, perfect for the wallet and their safety. Proms, weddings, bachelor parties can all be taken up a notch or two by adding this sweet ride.
Riding in a limo is quite a novelty. And you can be taken a step more into the surreal by renting a novelty limo. Maybe it is lime green. And maybe it is a VW bug. Imagine what that would look like coming down the road!