Limousine

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1908StudeLimo.jpg
1908 Studebaker limousine with an open driver's compartment
Phantom IV.jpg
1953 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV (coachwork by Hooper)

A limousine ( /ˈlɪməzn/ or /lɪməˈzn/ ) is a large luxury vehicle driven by a chauffeur usually with a partition between the driver's compartment and the passenger's compartment. [1]

Contents

A very long wheelbase luxury sedan (with more than four doors) driven by a professional driver is called a stretch limousine. [2]

In some countries like the United States, Germany, or Canada, a "limousine service" is a pre-booked hire car with driver, regardless of the type of vehicle. It also describes a large vehicle for transporting passengers to and from an airport. [1]

In German-speaking countries, a Limousine is simply a full-size sedan, while a lengthened-wheelbase car is called Stretch-Limousine.

Etymology

The type of limousine hood or roof described in the text (1912 Vauxhall) 1912 Vauxhall 30hp B-type landaulette.jpg
The type of limousine hood or roof described in the text (1912 Vauxhall)

The word limousine is derived from the name of the French region Limousin. A particular type of carriage hood or roof physically resembled the raised hood of the cloak worn by the shepherds there. [3] [4]

An alternate etymology has the chauffeur wearing a Limousin-style cloak in the open driver's compartment, for protection from the weather. [5]

The name was then extended to this particular type of car with a permanent top projecting over the chauffeur. [3] This former type of automobile had an enclosed passenger compartment seating three to five persons, with only a roof projecting forward over the open driver's area in the front. [6]

History

Rich owners of expensive carriages and their passengers were accustomed to their own private compartment leaving their coachman or driver outside in all weathers. When automobiles arrived the same people required a similar arrangement for their chauffeurs. As such, the 1916 definition of limousine by the US Society of Automobile Engineers is "a closed car seating three to five inside, with driver's seat outside". [7]

In Great Britain, the limousine de-ville was a version of the limousine town car where the driver's compartment was outside and had no weather protection. [8] (p103) The limousine-landaulet variant (also sold in the United States) had a removable or folding roof section over the rear passenger seat. [8] (p100).

In the United States, sub-categories of limousines in 1916 were the berline defined as "a limousine having the driver's seat entirely enclosed", and the brougham, defined as "a limousine with no roof over the driver's seat." [7]

Characteristics

The limousine body style has a partition separating the driver from the rear passenger compartment. [5] [8] (p96) This partition includes a usually openable glass section so passengers may see the road. Communication with the driver is possible either by opening the window in the partition or by using an intercom system.

Limousines are often long-wheelbase vehicles, in order to provide extra legroom in the passenger compartment. There will usually be occasional or jump seat at the front of the compartment (either forwards-facing, rear-facing or able to face either direction).

Many nations have official state cars designed to transport government officials. The top leaders have dedicated and specially equipped limousines. Presidential state car describes the history of United States presidential limousines.

Stretch limousines

Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine 98-02 Lincoln Town Car limousine.jpg
Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine

Stretch limousines are longer than regular limousines, usually in order to accommodate more passengers. Stretch limousines may have seating along the sides of the cabin.

A "stretch limousine" was created in Fort Smith, Arkansas, around 1928 by a coach company named Armbruster. Armbruster's cars were primarily used to transport famous "big band" leaders, such as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, and their bands and equipment. These early stretch limousines were often called "big band buses". Armbruster called their lengthened cars "extended-wheelbase multi-door auto-coaches". Their 12-passenger people movers were used by hotels, taxis, airlines, corporations and tour companies. [9]

Novelty limousines

A variety of vehicles have been converted into novelty limousines. [10] They are used for weddings, parties and other social occasions. [11] Another style of novelty limousine are those painted in bright colours, such as purple or pink. [12]

Vehicles converted into novelty stretch limousines include the East German Trabant, Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat Panda, and Citroën 2CV. There are even instances of Corvettes, Ferraris, and Mini Coopers being stretched to accommodate up to 10 passengers.

United States

Lincoln Navigator stretch limousine Lincoln Navigator Limousine.jpg
Lincoln Navigator stretch limousine

The last production limousine, by Cadillac, with forward-facing jump seats was in 1987 (with their Fleetwood Series 75 model), the last Packard in 1954, and the last Lincoln in 1939, though Lincoln has offered limousines through their dealers as special order vehicles at times. Several Lincoln Premier cars were also built, one being owned by Elvis Presley. Vehicles of this type in private use may contain expensive audio players, televisions, video players, and bars, often with refrigerators. The President of the United States has ridden in a variety of types of limousine stretching back to 1899. [13]

In the United States, the most popular vehicles for stretch limousines conversion are the Lincoln Town Car, Cadillac XTS, Cadillac Escalade, Chrysler 300, Hummer H2, Ford Excursion, and the Lincoln Navigator.

United Kingdom

Division in a 1993 Bentley Turbo R 1993 Bentley Turbo R LWB limousine 7954752566.jpg
Division in a 1993 Bentley Turbo R
The division in a London cab, black occasional seats folded up to bulkhead Driving in a London cab (5227723180).jpg
The division in a London cab, black occasional seats folded up to bulkhead

Due to the partition behind the driver, the London black cabs are a type of limousine. The jump seats, also referred to as taxi-tip-seats, usually carry advertising on the underside; the advertisements are visible to the passengers when the tip-seats are not in use.

Current limousine production

Examples of limousines produced by vehicle manufacturers include:

"Limousine service" hire cars

In the U.S., Canada, and Australia, "limousine service" (also known as "car service") is the process of pre-booked hire of any car with a driver. The car is usually a luxury car, but not necessarily a limousine.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Chauffeur profession; french term meaning person employed to drive a passenger motor vehicle

A chauffeur is a person employed to drive a passenger motor vehicle, especially a luxury vehicle such as a large sedan or limousine. A woman employed to drive a passenger motor vehicle is a chauffeuse.

Sedan (automobile) passenger car in a three-box configuration

A sedan, or saloon, is a passenger car in a three-box configuration with separate compartments for engine, passenger, and cargo.

Lincoln Town Car car model

The Lincoln Town Car is a model line of full-size luxury sedans that was marketed by the Lincoln division of the American automaker Ford Motor Company. Deriving its name from a limousine body style, Lincoln marketed the Town Car from 1981 to 2011, with the nameplate previously serving as the flagship trim of the Lincoln Continental. Produced across three generations for 30 model years, the Town Car served as the flagship sedan of Ford Motor Company, marketed directly against the Cadillac Fleetwood.

Coupe de Ville

Coupe de ville — also known as town car, sedanca de ville or coupé de ville — is a car body style produced from 1908 to 1939 with an external or open-topped driver's position and an enclosed compartment for passengers. Although the different terms may have once had specific meanings for certain car manufacturers or countries, the terms are often used interchangeably.

Lincoln Continental car model

The Lincoln Continental is a series of mid-sized and full-sized luxury cars produced by Lincoln, a division of the American automaker Ford Motor Company. The model line was introduced following the construction of a personal vehicle for Edsel Ford, who commissioned a coachbuilt 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr convertible, developed as a vacation vehicle to attract potential Lincoln buyers. In what would give the model line its name, the exterior was given European "continental" styling elements, including a rear-mounted spare tire.

Automobiles' body styles are highly variable. Some body styles remain in production, while others become less common or obsolete. They may or may not correlate to a car's price, size or intended market classification. The same car model might be available in multiple body styles comprising a model range. Some distinctions, as with four-wheel drive vs. SUV models or minivan vs. MPV models, the distinction between body style and classification can be particularly narrow.

Chrysler Imperial full-size car

The Chrysler Imperial, introduced in 1926, was Chrysler's top-of-the-line vehicle for much of its history. Models were produced with the Chrysler name until 1954, and again from 1990 to 1993. The company positioned the cars as a prestige marque to rival Cadillac, Continental, Lincoln, Duesenberg, Pierce Arrow, Cord, and Packard. According to Antique Automobile, "The adjective ‘imperial’ according to Webster's Dictionary means sovereign, supreme, superior or of unusual size or excellence. The word imperial thus justly befits Chrysler's highest priced model."

Sunroof

An automotive sunroof is a movable panel that is operable to uncover a window in an automobile roof, which allows light and/or fresh air to enter the passenger compartment. A moonroof has a glass panel that is transparent and usually tinted. Sunroofs are either manually operated or motor driven, and are available in many shapes, sizes and styles. While the term sunroof is now used generically to describe any glass panel in the roof, the term "moonroof" was historically used to describe stationary glass panes rigidly mounted in the roof panel over the passenger compartment. Previous terms include Sunshine Roof, Sliding Head and Sliding Roof.

Power window automobile windows which can be raised and lowered by pressing a button or switch, as opposed to using a crank handle

Power windows or electric windows are automobile windows which can be raised and lowered by pressing a button or switch, as opposed to using a crank handle.

Cadillac DTS car model

The Cadillac DTS is a full-size luxury notchback sedan that was produced by Cadillac. The DTS replaced the Cadillac DeVille as Cadillac's largest luxury car for the 2006 model year. This renaming followed new nomenclature conventions set by the earlier CTS and STS.

Cadillac Sixty Special special model since 1938

The Cadillac Sixty Special is a name used by Cadillac to denote a special model since the 1938 Harley Earl-Bill Mitchell-designed extended wheelbase derivative of the Series 60, often referred to as the Fleetwood Sixty Special. The Sixty Special designation was reserved for some of Cadillac's most luxurious vehicles. It was offered as a four-door sedan and briefly as a four-door hardtop. This exclusivity was reflected in the introduction of the exclusive Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham d'Elegance in 1973 and the Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham Talisman in 1974, and it was offered as one trim package below the Series 70 limousine. The Sixty Special name was temporarily retired in 1976 but returned again in 1987 and continued through 1993.

Cadillac Series 70 full-size car

The Cadillac Series 70 is a full-size V8-powered series of cars that were produced by Cadillac from the 1930s to the 1980s. It replaced the 1935 355E as the company's mainstream car just as the much less expensive Series 60 was introduced. The Series 72 and 67 were similar to the Series 75 but the 72 and 67 were produced on a slightly shorter and longer wheelbase respectively. The Series 72 was only produced in 1940 and the Series 67 was only produced in 1941 and 1942. For much of the postwar era, it was the top-of-the-line Cadillac, and was Cadillac's factory-built limousine offering.

Lincoln Mark series car model

The Lincoln Mark series is a series of personal luxury cars that was produced by Ford Motor Company. The nomenclature was launched in 1956, as the 1939-1948 Lincoln Continental was succeeded by the Continental Mark II. From 1958 to 1960, the Mark III, IV and V were marketed by Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln (M-E-L) Division. Following a hiatus, the Mark series was relaunched in 1968 by Lincoln-Mercury; six further generations were produced through 1998.

A land yacht is an informal category of large automobiles. While full-size cars are manufactured worldwide to this day, the term is most often used in reference to cars built in North America between 1960 and 1976. Distinguished from both limousines and truck-based vehicles, land yachts are among the largest mass-produced cars ever manufactured.

The Chrysler Executive was a car offered by the American automobile producer Chrysler from 1983 through 1986. The Executive was a stretched version of the Chrysler LeBaron aimed at the then booming market segment of limousines.

Cunningham automobile pioneering American production automobile

The Cunningham automobile was a pioneering American production automobile, one of the earliest vehicles in the advent of the automotive age. It was produced from 1896 to 1931 in Rochester, New York by James Cunningham, Son and Company.

Brougham (car body) car body

A brougham was originally a car body style where the driver sat outside and passengers seated within an enclosed cabin, as per the earlier brougham horse-drawn carriage. Similar in style to the later town car, the brougham style was used on chauffeur-driven petrol and electric cars.

The 2005 Cadillac DTS Presidential State Car was the official state car used by President George W. Bush of the United States during the second term of his administration. Analogous to the President's use of an airplane designated Air Force One, the automobile—traditionally a limousine—is informally known as "Cadillac One". The limousine model was replaced on January 20, 2009, upon the inauguration of President Barack Obama, although both models are still in use.

Cadillac XTS large luxury sedan

The Cadillac XTS is a full-size luxury sedan from Cadillac. It is based on an enlarged version of the Epsilon II platform. The XTS replaced both the Cadillac STS and DTS, and is smaller than the DTS but larger than the STS. It began production in May 2012 at the Oshawa Assembly Plant and launched in June as a 2013 model. The XTS is available with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

References

  1. 1 2 "Definition of limousine". merriam-webster.com. 28 October 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  2. "Definition of Stretch Limo". merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  3. 1 2 Dyke, Andrew Lee (1920). Dyke's Automobile and Gasoline Engine Encyclopedia (Twelfth ed.). p. 582. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  4. Ayto, John (2009). Word Origins. A&C Black Publishers. ISBN   978-1-4081-0160-5 . Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  5. 1 2 The Random House College Dictionary. Random House. p. 777. ISBN   0-394-43600-8. 1. an automobile having a permanently enclosed compartment for from three to five persons, the roof of which projects forward over the driver's seat in front...[< F, special use of limousine long cloak, so called because worn by the shepherds of Limousin, a former province in central France]
  6. "Definition of limousine" (Complete & Unabridged Digital ed.). Collins English Dictionary. 2012. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  7. 1 2 "What's What in Automobile Bodies Officially Determined". The New York Times. August 20, 1916. Retrieved 27 June 2015. Here it is, with other body types and distinctions, officially determined recently by the Nomenclature Division of the Society of Automobile Engineers
  8. 1 2 3 Haajanen, Lennart W. (2003). Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. ISBN   0-7864-1276-3 . Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  9. Coachbuilt.com accessed July 19, 2018
  10. "Dave's Classic Limousines Pictures: Novelty Limousines" . Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  11. Pedersen, Stephanie (2004). KISS guide to planning a wedding. DK Publishers. pp. 195–196. ISBN   978-0-7894-9695-9.
  12. Naylor, Sharon (2004). 1000 Best Wedding Bargains. Sourcebooks. p. 198. ISBN   978-1-4022-0298-8 . Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  13. Huffman, John Pearley (19 January 2009). "The Secret Seven: The Top Presidential Limousines of All Time". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 27 June 2015.