When it comes to getting around town, politicians make wide swerves in the types of cars they drive. While some make a point to be humble with their chosen wheels, choosing economy and energy efficiency over prowess, others seem to not care less and sport around in exotic cars.
Over the years, Canadian Prime Ministers have shown their own flair for exotic cars, often choosing to get behind the wheel of an automobile that not only reflected their own personal style, but also spoke volumes about the state of the nation during the time of their rule.
Sir Wilfrid Laurier
The first Prime Minister to use a car was also one of the most influential in Canadian history. Laurier saw Canada through the turn of the 19th century, when immigration was at a peak and the nation struggled to find its own separate identity from the mother land. His car of choice was the right-side driven Napier, a tribute to his roots and desire to create a nation that valued liberty above all else.
The conservative Diefenbaker stepped down the official car a notch when he took office, opting for a sedate Oldsmobile 88 over the exotic Cadillacs that his predecessors were seen in. Hailing from the newly formed Saskatchewan, his choice in wheels was more relatable to the average Canadian. He also oversaw the official opening of the Trans-Canada highway, making car ownership an even more important part of the nation, and leisurely travel from Vancouver to Montreal possible.
Lester B. Pearson
Universal healthcare, pension plans, the Order of Canada and the flag can all be attributed to Pearson, along with a growing obsession with exotic cars in Canada. He drove around the country in a Ford Frontenac that was decked out in Maple Leaf badges, and gifted the Queen a made in Ottawa amphibious car appropriately named the Penguin. This little exotic never saw much road time, but it certainly made an impression on the monarch.
Trudeau’s flair will follow his term as prime minister forever. From his sideburns and natty suits to the rose in the lapel and convertible Mercedes Benz, Trudeau was a Canadian politician who was not afraid to defy convention. Nothing manufactured today can rival the beauty of Trudeau’s exotic car, and his family can still be seen riding around in it.
Unlike the rest of us, who have to rent an exotic car to get the thrill for a day, it is the Canadian taxpayer who pays for the Prime Minister’s wheels. It’s for that very reason why politicians may want to consider keeping it toned down to something their constituents could readily afford.