January 20, a jet-black, state-of-the-art Cadillac limousine will roll
through the nation's capital during the Presidential Inaugural Parade.
This remarkable vehicle is the latest accomplishment from Cadillac and
the first chief executive limousine of the new millennium. It is also
the first Cadillac to carry the division's new wreath and crest emblem.
The newly elected president will be the first to travel in the Cadillac limousine, which shares the same exterior design with 2001 DeVille production models.
The sight of the president waving from a Cadillac has become a tradition in Americana. "It is a great honor for Cadillac and GM to be associated with the highest office of the United States and to serve our country in this way," says Cadillac General Manager Michael J. O'Malley. "In fact, Cadillac has been building limousines and special vehicles for U.S. presidents, diplomats, ambassadors an ambassadors and foreign dignitaries since the early 1900s."
One of the first chief executives to ride in a Cadillac was President Woodrow Wilson, who rode through the streets of Boston during a World War I victory parade. A lavish 1928 Cadillac town car was used extensively throughout the Coolidge Administration.
In 1938, two Cadillac convertibles dubbed the "Queen Mary" and "Queen Elizabeth" were delivered to the U.S. Government. Named after the great ocean liners of the time, the 21 1/2 feet, 7,660 pound vehicles were equipped with a full ammunition arsenal, two way radios, and heavy duty generators. Durable and reliable, the two "Queens" served Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower.
President Eisenhower, who was known as "car buff," had ridden in one of the first Eldorados during the 1953 Inauguration Day Parade. The vehicle was unique as it had the first wrap around windshield, which quickly became a standard in domestic and foreign automobiles.
In 1956, the Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth II convertibles replaced the original series. The vehicles were 21 feet long and weighed 7,000 pounds. Like their predecessors, these vehicles were fully armored with state-of-the art communications at that time. Moreover, the vehicles were fitted with narrow rims inside the tire in case the tires were shot out. The Queen Mary II and Queen Eln Elizabeth II served not only President Eisenhower, but also Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Both vehicles were retired in 1968.
The predecessor to the current limousine was the Fleetwood Brougham - Presidential Series delivered to the Clinton Administration in 1993. Unlike previous models, the Presidential Brougham was designed, developed and manufactured totally within General Motors. Moreover, the vehicle was designed to provide unquestionable protection. Minimizing exposure to external threats, no sunroof or running boards were installed on the vehicle. The vehicle is still in service today and will be used in the upcoming Inaugural Parade.
The new 2001 Cadillac Limousine is the finest and most technologically advanced vehicle ever constructed. General Motors President and CEO Rick Wagoner said, "Cadillac is proud to write this latest chapter in American automotive history with the introduction of this new presidential limousine. We are pleased that our historic relationship with the U.S. government and chief executive office will continue into the new millennium."