In an era in which increasing numbers of Americans are holding onto their older, high mileage cars for fear of getting caught up in long term car sales contracts, the Secret Service is busily shopping for a new limousine for the next President, who will take office in January of 2017. President Obama's current limousine, called "The Beast," was built and commissioned in 2009, according to ABC News on March 12.
The Beast is a big, heavily armored Cadillac and has served President Obama since his first inauguration as President. It often is accompanied by the Presidential helicopter, Marine One, when transporting the President. Although the Secret Service has said that the new Presidential limo will be American made, it has not indicated which of the three major American car manufacturers will get the contract to produce the limo. In years past, both Lincolns and Cadillacs have been utilized as Presidential limousines.
The first Presidential limo was a Pierce Arrow that was commissioned for Woodrow Wilson in 1919. The limo still is in full working condition and is on display at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Museum.
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a convertible Lincoln limousine in the streets of Dallas in 1963. Governor John Connoly (D,Tx) was shot along with the President on that fateful day. He survived the shooting and lived to become a member of President Ronald Reagan's Cabinet.
President Ronald Reagan was shot while preparing to enter his limousine, thirty-three years ago today, on March 31, 1981. The shooter, later identified as John Hinckley Jr., was obsessed with actress Jodie Foster and shot the President to "impress" Foster. Hinckley was committed to a mental hospital where he remained for years before being released in April of 2013.