History and Origin of Limousine
Millions of cars grace the roads with their presence every day. Vehicles with unique features, breathtaking aesthetics and unconventional sizes can be seen cruising on the roads and turning heads no matter where they go. Speaking of vehicles that turn heads, Limousines have been doing it since their inception. A Limousine on the road means business, there’s no other way of putting it. The vehicle is an epitome of class and luxury but this fame is not recent, Limousine history dates back to the 20th century.
Showing up in a Limousine is mostly about making great grand entrances. It’s one of the reasons why people book it for some of the biggest days of their lives like weddings, convocations and seminars, to name a few. But what makes these long luxury vehicles famous among the masses? Let’s find out all about Limousine history and how they have evolved over the years.
Limousines aren’t your conventional cars. The unique long shape makes them different from other cars. Additionally, Limousines are known for their luxurious and spacious interior. For a vehicle this big, extra effort is needed for its maintenance like proper car interior protection and others. The concept of a luxury vehicle for the elite class like the Limousine is a rather older one. Let’s take a look at the origins of this running-luxury.
1700s – LIMOUSINE ORIGINS
The first car was built in the late 19th century but the concept of travelling on wheels was growing from previous centuries. During the 1700s foresay, horse carriages were used as the primary source of transportation. The well-to-do preferred using carriages for their trips. The special carriages had drivers sit out of the carriage while the passengers enjoyed their privacy in the closed space. The private space was perhaps the first luxury feature and it became highly popular among the elite class.
1902 – FIRST MOTORISED LIMOUSINE
In 1902, the world witnessed the first motorised Limousine. It wasn’t a stretch model and resembled a conventional car in more ways than one. The wheelbase of a conventional car was used in this Limousine. Although the rich class that hired the Limousine got their privacy, chauffeurs still had to sit outside. The chauffeur had to endure all kinds of weather conditions while the rich class enjoyed their ride in a closed cabin.
1928 – STRETCH LIMO INTRODUCED
Although the first Limousine was a long vehicle compared to a car, it wasn’t as long as the ones we witness nowadays. In 1902, a company based out of Arkansas, ‘Armbruster’ introduced the first stretch Limousine. This was a significant point in Limousine history. The new stretch model had more interior space which gave room for innovation. The chauffeurs got their own covered compartment in this model while the people who hired the services had their private, packed space.
THE STRETCH MODEL GETS NOTICED
The stretch model caught several eyes and it was mainly used by pop groups as their primary means of transportation. Big bands and jazz celebrities also used Limousines as they accommodated more people with their privacy in check. Limousines matched their luxurious lifestyle and gave them grand entrances to events.
During the 1930s, Limousines were also being used for transportation to and from the airport and the hotels. Limousines were seen as the luxury vehicles that were meant to be. This also gave rise to the Limousine rental business as showing up in a Limousine had become an act of class.
1960s-1970s – LIMOUSINES GET STRETCHED FURTHER
The first stretch did wonders for Limousine. During the 1960s, Limousines were stretched further. The stretch made more room for innovation and six door Limos were introduced. In 1974, the most stretched Limousines were introduced with Cadillac chassis. The six door vehicle became the new sensation and was used for corporate events, funerals and red carpets.
Elvis Presley, an iconic American singer and actor, had a Rolls Royce Phantom V. The model had air-conditioning, power windows and a microphone which Elvis used for trip singalongs. Besides this, many other models were used and purchased by people who could afford the luxury at that time.
1980s-1990s – INNOVATIONS IN LIMOUSINES
The journey of Limousines continued seamlessly from its first vehicle in 1902. During the 1980s to 1990s, Limousine history saw many innovations. Luxury features like personal bars, TV system, sound system and even video games were available for the occupants to enjoy.
LIMOUSINES OF RECENT TIMES
In the years to come, leading automobile brands hopped onto the bandwagon to produce and add luxury versions to their lineup. Some major automobile giants like BMW and Rolls-Royce introduced their own Limousine models with added features. There are now numerous models of Limousines available and with custom-built features, they can be like a personal oasis. You can even find Hummer Limos and SUV Limos which shows the popularity of the brand.
WHAT MADE LIMOUSINES SO FAMOUS?
The Limousines were equipped with all luxury car features and a bit more. There were many other reasons that contributed to Limousine becoming a preferred choice for the elite class including:
- Celebrity status – As more and more celebrities used Limousines, the stretch vehicles which were already a status symbol, became more popular.
- Drunk driving rules – Celebrities were part of exotic parties and drunk driving was prohibited. Celebrities and rich people used to hire Limousines to travel in style while avoiding conflict with the law. Drunk driving is prohibited all over the world but in limousines, rich people could consume drinks in the luxurious cabins and let the chauffeurs do the driving.
- Airport transportation – Limousines weren’t limited to tours. The wealthy class started to use Limousines for their trips to the airport.
- Funeral processions – Instead of the traditional last-ride vehicles, Limousines were used in funerals of the well-to-do. The stretch vehicle had enough space to accommodate several people along with the coffin.
- Added luxuries – Personal bar, TV system, interior space, customised lights and much more
With a vehicle as big as a Limousine, there was room for innovation and the automobile industry did not shy away from experimenting with various Limousine models. Regardless of different changes, the luxury element remained intact and various models gathered huge fame for one reason or another. Listed below are some of the popular and unique Limousine types:
It’s a combination of SUV and Limousine that can accommodate 6-7 people easily. A good choice for long family trips and outings.
Limo buses are ideal for large groups of people seeking luxury transportation. With space for over 30 people and amenities such as air-conditioning, lighting, TV system and more, limo buses are good for large group tours.
Stretch Limousines are a stretched version of sedans. With a space for 10-12 people, they are commonly used for parties, weddings and special occasions.
Hummers are known for their gigantic size and a hummer limo is a combination of size and luxury. A hummer Limousine can accommodate up to 20 people and it can also come with a personal bar, video game setup and much more.
This brings us to the end of Limousine history. These luxury vehicles have been around for more than a century and yet they are still thriving in the automotive industry. People prefer Limousines to travel in style and recent models even come with amenities like personal bars, individual TV screens, intercom to contact the driver, exotic lighting and more. If there’s an upcoming event and you want to make a grand entrance, there are many options for you to choose from in the UAE. Check out the following:
Luxury travel has a charm but it isn’t limited to Limousines. There are many other luxury vehicles which you can buy at affordable prices. Go through these used cars for sale in the UAE and select from a wide variety of luxury vehicles listed.
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