Fascinating Facts to Know About the President's Limo

The Presidential Limousine, known officially as "Cadillac One" and called "the Beast" by the Secret Service, is a remarkable machine. The president's car is capable of transporting and protecting him, letting him work undisturbed, and if necessary, unleashing nuclear hell. President Obama's car is a unique vehicle built around a Cadillac DTS that almost everyone has seen, but almost nobody knows anything about. And that's on purpose - the details of its protection and weapons are closely guarded secrets.

Wait, there are weapons on the President's limo? According to rumors, there are shotguns and tear gas cannons. But it's also got bulletproof armor and glass, rims that can run even without tires, a blood bank, and of course, a mobile uplink to a military satellite. It flies on its own plane, costs millions of dollars, and travels with an identical buddy, should it break down. Which it has.

Here are some things you probably didn't know about President Obama's limo - the ultimate in stylish, bomb-proof, transportation.

Photo: flickr / CC0

  • Presidents and Cars Have a Long History

    Presidents and Cars Have a Long History
    Photo: Bain News Service / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
    Presidents have long been early adopters of automobile technology, with William McKinley being the first POTUS to ride in a car, all the way back in 1900. William Howard Taft was the first president to regularly use motor transportation, as opposed to horse-drawn carriages, and successive presidents have bought more and more lavish state cars. Barack Obama's Presidential State Car is an armored Cadillac DTS known as "The Beast."
  • The Beast Earns Its Name

    The exact details of the weight and outfitting of the President's limo are closely guarded secrets, but the car is thought to be about 18 feet long and weigh around 7.5 tons. Its speed is also classified, but it's speculated that the car gets about eight miles to the gallon - not being designed for fuel efficiency.
  • It's Essentially a Moving Fortress

    It's Essentially a Moving Fortress
    Photo: Connect2Canada / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
    President Obama's car is a bulletproof mobile bunker made of steel, ceramic, and titanium. It's designed to keep the President safe from a variety of attacks, and to serve as a mobile command center in the event that the White House has to be evacuated.
  • Bombs and Grenades Can't Touch It

    While the specifications of the Beast are classified, one of the most speculated about features is a reinforced, five-inch steel plate said to run underneath the car. This protects the President in the event that a bomb is placed on the car, a grenade rolls under the car, or the car rolls over a land mine.
  • It's Resistant to Chemical Weapons

    The main cabin of the Beast seals when the doors are closed, meaning poison gas or nerve agents can't get in. It also has its own filtration system to ensure clean air is always being pumped through.
  • The Doors Are REALLY Thick

    Legend has it that the doors of the Beast are as heavy as the cabin doors of a 757 jet. They feature bulletproof glass said to be five inches thick, and have over eight inches of armor plating.