Pull Up To The Bumper, Baby

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
pull up to the bumper baby

I bet you’ve always wanted to know how limousines are made, right? What’s that? You’ve never had any interest in that whatsoever?

From the folks at Limousine World comes a nice look at how cars are stretched and rebuilt. It’s easy to see how the process works for both body-on-frame vehicles like the Panthers and for the unibody limos such as the Chrysler 300s that have popped up all over urban centers. It’s also easy to see that there’s room for considerable variation in craftsmanship; think about that the next time you’re headed to a party in a stretched H2 or Navigator.

Of course, the arms race in modern limousines coincides almost exactly with the disappearance of factory-built limos. Cadillac offers just one livery vehicle now: a new variant of the XTS. Lincoln wants you to call the MKT a “Town Car”, which despite my personal partiality to the MKT is a lot like asking someone to refer to Lindsay Lohan as Marilyn Monroe. One wonders what’s changed so much about the purpose of the limousine in the past thirty years to force such a change in their morphology… so stay tuned to TTAC, because we’ll be considering that in an upcoming article!

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7 of 15 comments
  • Toad Toad on Mar 04, 2013

    The SUV limos are very cool if you are trying to fly under the radar in style.

    • Racer-esq. Racer-esq. on Mar 04, 2013

      At first I thought your comment made no sense. The stretched Hummers/Escalades/Navigators etc. are the least under the radar limos. But then I realized that you are probably talking about the standard length Suburbans/Yukon XLs that have the back two rows gutted and turned into only a rear row, or a rear row with a small bench or jump seats facing it. E.g.: http://www.flickr.com/photos/armoredcars/sets/72157622524635576/ Those are very low key, and are probably how many of the very wealthy are traveling. If anything has replaced the factory-built limos those have.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Mar 04, 2013

    Jack, will there be any word on the armoring process as well?

  • Econobiker Econobiker on Mar 04, 2013

    I had read that real limousines do not have the rear doors open to the rear seat but have the rear seat behind the rear door entry. And that real limousines stopped being made when Cadillac and Lincoln stopped making OEM Iimousine combinations of 4 door cars back to the rear door and the 2 door sedan from rear door to the rear bumper which then put the passenger in the back seat unexposed when the rear door opened...

  • MeaCulpa MeaCulpa on Mar 04, 2013

    Mercedes still builds stretched factory limos such as the 600 pulman. I went skiing with friends, we were heading out for some "reasonable drinking and socializing" (sort of), as the group wouldn't fit in one regular cab we asked the dispatcher for a "large cab". We were expecting a grand voyager, a Multivan or something ells along those lines, but no. A stretched, 6 door, mint condition, mercedes w124 turns up, almost made my eyes tear up.

    • See 1 previous
    • MeaCulpa MeaCulpa on Mar 04, 2013

      @28-Cars-Later I'd imagine that the downside is that the turning circle gets pretty cumbersome around the city. I do love not having to break my back getting in/out as you do in a minivan or 4door limo if more then two people are riding in the back.