A Brief History of the Stretched Limo

April 21st, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

Although the stretched limousine is, today, an iconic and quickly recognizable car, it was not always this way. These luxury chauffeured cars have come a long way from their beginning days in the early 20th century.

Before Ford
Long before Henry Ford invented his Model T, chauffeured carriages existed for the wealthy. These horse-drawn vehicles offered an enclosed space for their passengers to relax in without having to experience the harshness of the road. Passengers were separated from their chauffeurs, who were often exposed to the elements. This separation of rider and driver provided the building blocks necessary for the first motorized limos.

Early Models
The first motorized limousines were cars whose passenger seating was enclosed, like carriages of old. Most automobiles of the day had open chassis, so the enclosing of the chassis marked a distinct, new sort of vehicle. The very first fully enclosed limo was built in 1902, but earlier, partially enclosed prototypes existed.

Let’s Stretch
As cars became the standard transportation, especially for important individuals, there became a need to transport more people in a single vehicle. The very first stretch limo was created in 1928 by Armbruster, an Arkansas manufacturer. Often called “big band buses” because of the clientele they normally transported, these cars quickly became popular. Hotels began using them to take guests to and from the airport and on sightseeing expeditions. The Great Depression didn’t slow down the stretch limo’s popularity, and Hollywood quickly picked up on the trend, cementing it forever in our cultural landscape.

Truly, it seemed you hadn’t arrived if you didn’t arrive in a limousine.

Modern Day
The stretch limo evolved into the elongated sedan car we know and love today. Doors were added to accommodate extra guests, and amenities like sun roofs and in-cabin refreshments became the norm. Today, super-ultra stretch limousines can carry as many as 12 passengers, but normally they carry between 6 and 10 passengers.

With the rising popularity of SUVs, limousine manufacturers realized that they should create stretch SUV limos in addition to the traditional stretched sedan car. Early stretch SUVs created quite the stir, but today, they are as common as any other kind of limo. These vehicles can carry more people than sedan-style limos, accommodating a maximum of 20 passengers. Many people prefer this style of limo because it offers more room inside to add both space and amenities that do not fit in a sedan-style luxury automobile.


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