Limo Fun Facts

Limo Fun Facts

Sep 30

Did you know that in Driving Miss Daisy the car that was most closely associated with the movie was a 1949 Hudson Commodore sedan but it wasn’t a limousine? She had a chauffeur (which incidentally is derived from the French word for “stoker” because the earliest cars were steam driven, just like a train, and had to be “stoked”) but in order for the car to be considered a limousine, it had to have a partition separating the driver from the passengers. Which brings us to our next fun fact.

The word “limousine” is taken from the name of a region in France called Limousin where the shepherds wore cloaks that was said to resemble the canopy covering the driver portion of the first cars built for the rich in 1902. Nobody seems to know who actually built the first limousine but the first stretch limousine was built in 1928 by Arkansas-based Armbruster Company, which was actually a bus but with attitude. It was often used to transport musicians Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller and their equipment to and from concerts. This was the beginning of the “band bus” using limos, so if you hire a limo for your band, you’re being faithful to the tradition established by music legends.

The reason for the partition was to give the passengers privacy, but it was a sad time for limo drivers because in the first limousines, the driver partition had a roof but was open on the sides so they were exposed to the elements. Fortunately by 1939, limousines were the first automobiles to be equipped by The Packard Motor Car Company with modern air conditioning, so drivers could now work in relative comfort. It wasn’t like car air conditioning today, however; it was bulky and not thermostat controlled back then. But while the air conditioning was a necessary evil, stretching a limousine beyond the realms of reason is not. Riding in a stretch limousine is indeed a hard-to-miss status symbol, but when it is 100 feet long, it is just ridiculous. Imagine trying to steer the thing! But hey, it was good for an entry into the Guinness Book of Records, so it isn’t totally impractical.