By on June 7, 2009

“Inside the Obama White House” (which re-airs today at 12 p.m. EST on NBC) gives us a rare glimpse inside the US President’s limousine, known as Cadillac One. This isn’t “The Beast,” the newest limo built by GM and delivered shortly before Obama’s inauguration, but one delivered while G. W. Bush was still in office. This DTS-lookalike-but-not-really is rumored to have an Escalade powertrain including all-wheel drive. I did a cursory search and came up with bupkis on other video shot from inside a moving US presidential limo, so what can we learn? Ignore the chitchat between the President and Brian Williams and listen to the super-annoying rattle and the surprisingly-noticeable exhaust note. Also, note the dearth of luxury on the inside: cloth seats, vinyl trim, etc. Oooh, and they weren’t wearing their seatbelts!!!

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20 Comments on “Rare Video of Inside of Presidential Limo (Cadillac One)...”

  • avatar

    I noticed the rattle as well. My ’85 Jetta Diesel had less annoying rattles on a cold start than the Presidential Limo. That’s pretty sad.

  • avatar


    you wouldn’t accept that in a rental sebring so god knows why this price no object car sounds like a carrot in a cuisinart

  • avatar

    To be fair, NVH is only a priority for mass-produced cars built for the public. For a vehicle like this one, other factors take top priority like bulletproofedness and getawayittude. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there was too much armor underneath to leave room for Midas’ best muffler either.

  • avatar

    What a loud and bumpy ride!!
    Is he going offroad?
    No wonder that GM is going down, if this is the best they can do.
    POS car, but here at TTAC it´s much better than the Maybach!!!

    It´s ugly too.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I noticed the rattle when that segment was on TV. Sounded like a broken shock absorber mount to me.

  • avatar

    I thought it was openly admitted that the powertrain was diesel-motivated. I could definitely pick up a diesel exhaust note, particularly where they are driving past a line of buses. You hear the bus noise, but it’s constant and doesn’t cycle through high and low amplitude as they rapidly pass the line of buses. I don’t think you can get an Escalade diesel, can you?

    Besides, with the chassis being GMC medium duty truck, it’ll be more likely to be a Duramax 6.6 (or possibly Isuzu) with an Allison trans.

  • avatar

    I was at the mall the other day and ended up in a parking lot next to a DTS LIMO. As far as I’m concerned, these Cadillac Limos are awesome.

    You could literally drive through a war in one of these Beasts.

    Not to mention the 2 vans Obama’s got with pop out Machineguns spraying thousands of bullets a minute.

  • avatar

    That rattle might not be the car. It could be the camera mount.

    Furthermore – I’m upset this isn’t THE BEAST. What the hell is the point of showing Obama in an old Presidential Limo?

    That’s silly.

    I’ve got an idea… put George Bush in JFK’s limo and drive it around with the top down for a couple hours.

    Oh…and Cheney too.

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    Flashpoint, Obama probably didn’t want to get grease (from the two huge bags of Five Guys burgers and fries) on the Beast’s leather.

    Great idea re Cheney…

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    I’m also inclined to think that it was the video equipment rattling.

  • avatar

    In fairness I don’t think the major intent in a Presidential limo is luxury. The two things they were most likely going for were (in this order) 1) security, i.e., be able to withstand most anything short of a direct nuclear blast, and 2) making it a rolling oval office. Luxury? The guy has freaking Air Force One for that!

    It would be interesting to see how this compares to the state vehicles used by other chief executives of world powers, though.

    EDIT: Found an official list of state cars

    The most surprising one to me on the list is that the President of Brazil has a Ford Fusion! You think they’d at lest give him a Lincoln MKZ!

  • avatar
    Jeff Puthuff

    I’m fairly certain the camera wasn’t mounted. NBC had dozens of camera crew on that shoot and you can see when the cameraperson pans Obama’s legs that the movement is not smooth and bounces as the car moves.

    BDB, the Beast has leather and Clinton’s DeVille had reclining, body forming-seats with massage function. Perhaps Bush didn’t like leather. Marine One also had cloth seats during his presidency.

  • avatar


    I wasn’t aware this was that different from the new limo. Yeah, I think it might have been a Bush aversion to leather for some odd reason.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen video of the inside of W’s limo, and I’ve got to look inside through the windows (don’t ask, can’t tell) and what really strikes me is how little shoulder room there is – there is THAT much armor on it.
    BTW: When Obama goes on these stealth missions, they use the old limo, official stuff they use The Beast.

  • avatar

    I’m not sure, but I was under the impression that the windows were so thick that they “blocked out natural light” or something. I guess not? Who knows.

    At any rate, its possible the rattle was from something else, like a glass in a cupholder or something. But I agree, the priority probably isn’t luxury. This isn’t the queen of england here. Well, its not supposed to be.

  • avatar

    It’s only natural to use a diesel powerplant in a limo like this. As tank drivers learned even before WWII, gasoline is a serious explosion hazard when the bullets start flying around. Spilled diesel, on the other hand, burns but won’t explode.

    As far as seat belts go, I’d sure like to see our C-in-C wear one. He’s probably safer than my kids are in their school bus that doesn’t have seat belts, but why take the chance? POTUS’ health and safety costs us at least a hundred million dollars a year, and all that effort could be for nought if the Beast loses a tire at highway speed and slides into something immovable, like an overpass abutment. Princess Di would probably still be with us if she’d buckled up.

  • avatar

    No camera crew worth their salt would allow their equipment to intrude in an interview especially when the interviewee is the POTUS! Rattling camera mount indeed!

  • avatar

    He’s probably safer than my kids are in their school bus that doesn’t have seat belts

    The fatality rate in a truck or SUV is 48 times that of school buses per passenger-mile.

  • avatar

    I loved the poke @ “Cable News.”

    Damn! These guys have propaganda down don’t they?

    Brian, better wipe off your nose.

  • avatar
    limo hire

    Might have all the gadkets of a knight industrys car but how ugly is that car!!!???

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