The history of the limousine

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21 Dec The history of the limousine

The first ever limousine was created way back in the 1720s, based on existing historical evidence. It was designed in the shape of a Sedan Chair (a transport vehicle that was carried by humans) and used in pre-revolution France. Most likely, this vehicle was an extreme preserve of the upper class. Unfortunately, there are no existing photographs of this first limo, since photography itself was discovered and developed in the 1820s.

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Sedan Chair

The word limousine is derived from the French region Limousine. This was the name assigned to vehicles that could handle 3-5 individuals since their hood resembled the hoods of the cloak worn by shepherds in the Limousine area of France. The first limousines were horse drawn, and they lacked a separate passenger compartment. Today, horse-drawn limos have sprung up, and are usually used in some weddings.

Who invented the limo?

There are no existing facts to reveal who discovered the limousine. However, in the modern sense, Armbruster Coach Company (which built the first-ever stretch limo in 1928) is credited as being the first true limousine company.

armbruster

Armbruster

Internal Combustion Limos

In 1902, the first internal combustion (petrol-powered) limo was designed. It included a separate passenger compartment, which provided privacy away from the driver (chauffeur).  It’s not explicitly clear which company built this engine-powered limo, but the 1908 Studebaker-Garford B happens to be the most notable limo constructed in the early 1900s. Another iconic luxury limo back then is the Winton Six, which was designed in 1915.

The definition of a limo as ‘A closed car seating three to five inside, with driver’s seat outside’ was published by the Society of Automobile Engineers in 1916. In 1928, Armbruster built the first stretch limo in 1928, which opened a whole new frontier for the business. This vehicle only transported the richest people, including the likes of bandleader Glenn Miller.

Modern Limos

Today, Limousines are a whole different story. Advances in automotive technology mean that various limo companies are able to install extreme amenities for luxury and comfort. Modern limos are available in all sizes and shapes, and they are even more accessible. The use of limousines among celebrities and politicians is well known, but limos can no longer be said to be a reserve for the rich and famous. Unlike the early 1900s, when you actually had to buy a limo to use it, you can just rent it today.

Which companies make limos?

Some examples of impressive limos available today include the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Cadillac One (Government only), and the Century Royal by Toyota. Other firms that manufacture luxury limousines today include Accubuilt Inc., Atlantic Turtle Top Inc., Audi of America LLC, Cadillac Professional Vehicles, Chrysler Fleet, Ford Motor Co., and Carat Security Group, among others. This means that limousine service consumers have much more options to choose from, and this has led to explosive growth in the industry. Whether you’re looking to get yourself a classic Chrysler or a Toyota Century for your next event, there’s always a firm within town that can deliver it to you.

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