(from Cadillac Press
Release) An American Tradition Continues: New Presidential Era
Begins With a New Cadillac Presidential Limousine
WASHINGTON – As Americans celebrate the inauguration of a new
president of the United States next week, another new Cadillac will
grace Pennsylvania Avenue to lead the proceedings. President Barack
Obama will ride in an all-new Cadillac Presidential Limousine,
continuing a long tradition of Cadillac limousines that have served
many U.S. presidents.
“Cadillac is honored to again provide a new Presidential Limousine,”
said Mark McNabb, North America vice president, Cadillac/Premium
Channel. “This is a great American tradition that we’re delighted to
renew with an all-new car featuring the best of Cadillac’s dramatic
design and technology.”
The image of an American president greeting crowds from a Cadillac
limousine dates to President Woodrow Wilson and the early days of
the automobile, and continues into a historic new era. The latest
Cadillac Presidential Limousine is a completely new design,
succeeding the DTS Presidential Limousine that debuted in 2004. The
new car incorporates many of the dramatic design and technology
features of new and highly acclaimed Cadillac vehicles in a
purpose-built format tailored to specific and exacting
specifications befitting presidential transport.
Inside and out, the Cadillac Presidential Limousine includes many of
the brand’s signature design elements. Assertive, modern and
elegant, the front of the car includes the intricate, dual-textured
grille made famous by Cadillac’s most popular current models, the
CTS sport sedan and Escalade. Vertical design elements, such as the
car’s front and rear lighting, mirror those used on production
For largely functional reasons, such as optimal outward visibility,
the car is slightly more upright than its predecessor. However, this
new Cadillac Presidential Limousine occupies roughly the same
overall footprint on the road as the previous model, with a similar
size and proportion.
The side and rear profiles of the new Presidential Limousine are
classic, elegant forms, evocative of Cadillac’s STS and DTS luxury
sedans. Inside the cabin, the car includes the finest examples of
Cadillac’s recent renaissance in design, technology and
craftsmanship. The cabin blends modern design and technology with
old-world craftsmanship. Major aspects of the cabin are cut and sewn
by hand, the same process used in popular Cadillac models such as
the CTS sport sedan.
Naturally, many purpose-built aspects of the car are specially
designed and prepared for presidential use. The rear passenger area
includes an extensive executive compartment with ample seating
space, outward visibility and useful mobile office features.
The car was designed, developed and tested by specialists who
adhered to an extensive set of specifications. It was subjected to
an extreme testing regimen to ensure performance that achieves
precise functional requirements. In doing so, security provisions
were undertaken at all times during development to ensure the car’s
functional capabilities are preserved and confidential.
An embroidered presidential seal is positioned in the center of the
rear seat back panel, as well as on each rear door trim panel.
Presidential seals are also affixed to the exterior rear doors. The
U.S. flag is placed on the right front fender, and the presidential
standard is located on the left front fender when the president
travels in the vehicle. High-tech LED spotlights illuminate the
flags at night.
History – Cadillac and the U.S.
Cadillac has built
limousines and special vehicles for U.S. presidents, diplomats,
ambassadors and foreign dignitaries since the early 20th century, an
iconic aspect of the brand that continues today.
Cadillac’s central role began during World War I, when many Cadillac
engines and cars were transferred to military and government service
because of their superior durability and power. One of the first
chief executives to use a Cadillac was President Wilson, who rode
through the streets of Boston during a World War I victory parade in
1919. A lavish 1928 Cadillac town car was used in the Calvin
In 1938, two Cadillac convertibles, dubbed the "Queen Mary" and
"Queen Elizabeth," were delivered to the U.S. government. Named
after the great ocean liners of the time, the vehicles were 21.5
feet long, weighed 7,660 pounds and were equipped with a full
ammunition arsenal, two-way radios and heavy-duty generators.
Durable and reliable, the two "Queens" served Presidents Franklin D.
Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
President Eisenhower, known as a car buff, rode in one of the first
Cadillac Eldorado models ever produced during his 1953 inaugural
parade. The Eldorado represented a high point in automobile design
history, as it had the first wraparound windshield, a feature
quickly adopted on other new production models.
In 1956, the Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth II convertibles
replaced the original series. The vehicles were slightly smaller,
but like their predecessors, were fully armored and featured
state-of-the art communications. Moreover, the vehicles were fitted
with narrow rims inside the tire in case the tires were shot out.
The Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth II served not only President
Eisenhower, but also Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B.
Johnson. Both vehicles were retired in 1968.
The Ronald W. Reagan administration was delivered a 1983 Cadillac
Fleetwood limousine and a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham – Presidential
Series was delivered to the William J. Clinton administration in
1993. Unlike previous models that typically were Cadillac cars
adapted and modified by independent limousine companies, the 1993
Presidential Brougham was designed, developed and manufactured
totally within General Motors and Cadillac. This included an
extensive set of security measures to maintain confidentiality, a
process that continues today.
Currently, the 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine resides at the
Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley,
Calif., while the 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham is at the Clinton
Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark.
Cadillac has produced two presidential limousines this decade that
remain in service. The first was a Deville Presidential model
delivered to President George W. Bush in 2001. In 2004, President
Bush debuted a new DTS Presidential model. It was the first
application of a new design that launched later that year for the
production DTS full-size sedan.
Cadillac is a division
of General Motors Corp., and a leading luxury auto brand since 1902.
In recent years, Cadillac has engineered an historic renaissance led
by dramatic new designs and global expansion. More information on
Cadillac can be found at www.cadillac.com.
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM) Founded in 1908, GM manufactures its
cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM
cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands:
Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel,
Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary
is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information
services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.