Inside The Cadillac One Presidential Limousine6
We already know that Cadillac vehicles offer a slew of safety features to protect their driver and passengers. But there’s one particular model that stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to occupant protection: The Cadillac One. AKA, the Presidential Limousine. AKA, “The Beast”.
Even though it features styling cues from the late DTS along with giant Cadillac badges, ” the One isn’t really a Cadillac” you might say. And you’d be correct.
According to an agent, “The car may say Cadillac, but very little in that car is Cadillac.” It is built by GM in Detroit, by some secret R&D division, we assume. Heck, “even the Cadillac emblems on the hood and trunk are supersized. The car is really a truck that looks like a limo. And it drives like one, too.”
Once upon a time, the Presidential Limousine was merely a Lincoln straight off a dealer’s lot with some reinforcement modifications here and there. In 2014, Former President George W. Bush was the first to receive the Cadillac One, a vehicle built with one purpose in mind: getting the Commander-in-Chief to his destination safely. Why did Mr. Bush become the first?
Apparently, the preceding limos were known to be unreliable thanks to excessive weight added by all of the extra security and protection features. According to a veteran agent, “the brakes would last about two trips. The cars were just too heavy, and they were a terror to drive, and even harder to stop.” On that note, the “Beast” averages 3.7 MPG, and doesn’t drink diesel, as many had thought before.
And there isn’t just a lonely One. There’s twelve of them, each costing over a million dollars. There’s always a well-trained special mechanic (ahem, federal agent) on board who brings many tools and forms of diagnostic equipment. But what exactly does The One feature that makes it cost a hefty seven figures? Autoweek lists a few reasons:
- The fuel tank has armor plating, and it’s encased in a special foam to protect it from opening in case of a collision or small-arms fire. To go along with it, there’s a special fire-suppression system.
- In the boot, you’ll find extra weapons, a separate oxygen supply under the president’s seat, emergency medical equipment, and bottles of the president’s blood type in case the ambulance for the motorcade is under attack.
- The armor plating (on five of the twelve) is so thick and hefty that the president virtually cannot open the doors from the inside. The plating is made of a combination of steel, aluminum, titanium, ceramic material, and removable fiberglass sheets.
- The interior is sealed, and there’s an encrypted satellite phone along with an interactive video system to allow the President to video conference with officials in the Situation Room, various embassies, or the Pentagon.
- It has several unique locking mechanisms (and probably differentials).
- It rides on special Kevlar-reinforced Goodyear run-flat tires that will most likely not improve the limo’s track time.
Want to become a driver? You’ll first have to become a Secret Service agent, which is nearly impossible, and then endure a weeklong defensive-driving course on a dedicated track at the Secret Service academy in Beltsville, Maryland. You would cover “The Transporter” style evasive maneuvers, and Stig-like racing techniques, on top of being a surgeon with practically any firearm. We wish good luck to all who apply.
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3.7 mpg and he’s forcing automakers to get their fleets to 54.5 mpg. Unbelievable.
These cars must be some of the most hated street vehicles on this planet. Their appearance is alway a real chastisement for the whole region – traffic blocked many miles around, drainage holes sealed, roofs occupied by armed snipers, prohibition of looking out of the windows or even to enter and leave the house. It is always a kind of police state emerging. The passage of mediaevel kings must have been less of a nuisance. Its better to avoid them by taking a vacation far away from where their appearance is announced to come.
I was visiting and driving in Washington, DC in the early 1980s and got caught in a traffic jam when there was a presidential parade of a sort passing through an intersection, complete with motocycles, sirens, many black vehicles, and one large Lincoln limousine with U.S.flags. It took several minutes to pass. I didn’t see President Ronald Reagan , but it was a slight rush to be so close to this parade in real-time, after seeing it so many times on the news!
We did not hate seeing these cars as much as the person in them for coming here to campaign several times at rush hour. To be honest we loved seeing the cars but someone on his staff should have got him in and out at a time that everyone was trying to get home.
In the past I had Bush the father come buy in the middle of the day in the high top Cadillac. I could clearly see the governor and he in the car talking.
Also in Washington one night after dinner we were out side the archives and a small motorcade went buy and it was just my self and my wife as the car passed with in 8 feet of us. Bill Clinton was in back and even waved. I was not sure if there was a woman on the floor in a blue dress. LOL!
These things are neat to see and it is sad we have to go to these extremes to protect out leaders. It is ok to not agree but if you do not like them just vote them out.
I do like the story of Regan and his wife and how they slipped away in the Caprice of the woman who was their cook in California. They were about to leave office and wanted to look at a house they may buy but did not want a crowd to make the neighbors mad. Nancy got in the car in disguise as the cook and Ronny got on the floor in the back of the car. After clearing the Secret Service Ronny got in the front seat and went on to check the house.
Might note that the presidents also use a armored black Suburban too. When making fast trips and last minute travel they get it out and often go more un noticed. Most folks do not think the president would be in one of the SUV’s normally carrying his guards.
I also remember as a kid when Nixon was here they left the cars off to the side and we could go right up and look in them.
If you want to see several cars the Henry Ford has them on display including the reworked Kennedy car. It is next to the Lincoln Regan was shot in and A Lincolns rocker he was shot in. Kind of a morbid but historical sight. Do not miss the tube with Edison’s last breath. Yes it is on display too. H Ford has some idea to save his last breath. We figured it is a serious case of halitosis. Also how did they get it? did they stick a tub in his mouth and push his stomach after he passed? Anyways the HF Museum is a great visit even with the oddities.
Yeah, put him in a bullet-proof Prius, no Make it a Volt as it’s his “baby” from GM anyway. HA HA! And they haul them all over the World as he thinks he has to be the Jetsetter on the taxpayers expense too. All things considered though, I think these are an engineering marvel of sorts just to keep the prez. safe and are pretty neat.
It may interest GM Authority readers to know that Draganel Magda, one of the designers of the beloved Corvette C5 and John Cafaro’s assistant during the fifth generation Corvette’s birth, was one of the primary designers for the presidential limousine. Certainly the limo and the C5 show no resemblance but is an interesting comparison , from the beautiful flowing lines of the C5 to the boxy and stately presidential Cadillac and illustrates the diversity and abilities of the engineers at GM. I think Jim Perkins, former Chevrolet GM and National Corvette Museum Hall of Fame member, said it best when he said “There’s a little Corvette in every Chevrolet.” I think in the broader perspective there may be a little Corvette in every GM vehicle.