In case you ever wondered, the limousines that have been used by American presidents over the years are not by any stretch ordinary vehicles. While the early presidential limousines were mildly-modified Cadillacs and Lincolns, today's presidential limousines are so heavily modified that only a tiny fraction of each vehicle comes from the original car manufacturer. The rest is custom made by authorized military contractors and other 3-party suppliers. Want to learn more? With the assistance of King Chevrolet Buick in Longmont, CO, we put together a fascinating list of presidential limo factoids.

  1. The current staff refer to the presidential limousine as "The Beast." This no doubt is because it is 18 feet long and weighs an astonishing 14,000 lbs. By comparison, standard automobiles weigh in the 3000 to 4000 range.
  2. There are no keys or keyholes to open the limo. The Secret Service agents in charge of operating the vehicle are the only people who know how to open it.
  3. Naturally, the presidential limousine has bulletproof glass. Not ordinary bulletproof glass, though. The glass is a multi-laminated matrix of glass and plastic that is a full 5 inches thick. This is surpassed by the rest of the vehicle which has seven-inch thick plated armor.
  4. The present presidential limo has serious weaponry installed. Underneath the hood lies multiple rocket-propelled grenade launchers and a massive tear gas cannon.
  5. At all times, two pints of blood in the President's type, as well as oxygen tanks, are inside the vehicle.
  6. A heavily armored Chevrolet Suburban, with a pop-up machine gun capable of firing 4,000 rounds per minute, rides in the Presidential Motorcade at all times.
  7. Heavy Kevlar mats line the underbelly of the presidential limo to protect the president and guests from IEDs and grenades thrown underneath.
  8. The vehicles' tires are a proprietary design that cannot go flat if punctured.
  9. The Limo goes everywhere the President goes. If the president goes to an international destination, then "The Beast" often is flown there by a massive C-17 Globemaster.
  10. The driver's window is the only window in the vehicle that opens, and it only opens a maximum of three inches.
  11. The air inside the vehicle is sealed completely from the outside air, so a chemical attack would have no effect on the occupants.
  12. The Presidential State Car travels with its own mechanic. This mechanic is an armed federal agent who carries a full set of tools in another car within the Presidential motorcade.
  13. "The Beast" is equipped with a full complement of outside cameras that display to monitors inside the cabin.
  14. As many as 12 Presidential State Cars exist and they are used in rotation.
  15. Whenever the President is in the vehicle, his chief security officer is always in the front passenger seat.
  16. The rear seats have reclining and massaging capabilities.
  17. The driver is a highly-trained specialist in evasive driving techniques.
  18. When a presidential limo is retired, the Secret Service completely disassembles it destroys every part.
  19. Due to its weight, the Presidential vehicle has a maximum speed of only 60 mph.
  20. The presidential limos run on diesel because it's less flammable than gasoline.
  21. The motorcade always includes a special vehicle, code named "The Roadrunner," which contains the communications equipment necessary to link the presidential limo directly to a Department of Defense satellite.
  22. The Presidential Limo is powered by a supercharged 6.5 liter diesel engine, the same type of engine in a military Humvee. It gets approximately six miles per gallon.
  23. Outside noise is pumped in through speakers inside the limo, This is because the President can't hear anything outside once he's inside.
  24. Sometimes, "The Beast" is a decoy. The President may travel in an armored bus referred to as "Ground Force One".
  25. The Presidential State Car goes from 0-60 mph in 15 seconds.