Ever since US President John Kennedy got assassinated in Dallas, US presidents and hopefuls get the full security measure whenever they are traveling. One of the ways to ensure their safety is making sure that their rides are up to the job. In the case of current US President Barack Obama, his presidential limo nicknamed the Beast can be likened to a tank.
The presidential motor pool boasts a dozen reinforced limos and SUVs is composed of at least half a dozen vehicles that reportedly cost more than $1 million each. The cars travel with their own mechanic and a federal agent who is in charge of diagnostics and tools. After JFK got assassinated, the US Secret Service who is in charge of the president’s safety usually bought limos off the lot and fitted them with gizmos and protection. But the cars kept breaking down. It was simply too heavy and as a result the breaks lasted around 2 trips and the transmission frequently failed.
As a result the Secret Service decided to create a presidential limo from scratch. According to a Secret Service Agent, while the limo looks like a limo it is actually a truck designed to look like a limo. He also adds that while the car was built by General Motors in Detroit, there is very little GM left in the vehicle. Even the Cadillac emblem is oversized.
Here are some cool modifications on the Beast:
- Armor Plating – the Beast is heavy due to armor plating reinforcements. In fact, it is so heavy it is physically impossible for the president to open the door from the inside.
- Military Grade Armor – featuring a combination of steel, aluminum, titanium and ceramic surrounded by removable fiber glass sheets.
- Trunk – also reinforced carrying assorted extra weapons, medical equipment including bags of the president’s blood type and an oxygen tank located below the seat for the President’s personal supply.
- Fuel Tank – armor plated and foam encased for protection from rupture in case of small-arms fire or collisions.
- Electronics – state of the art communications and fire suppression system. Also features a special locking mechanism.
- Tires – Special Kevlar reinforced Goodyear tires.
- Gizmos – special satellite phone that allows the president encrypted access to the Situation Room and Pentagon. It is also capable of video conferencing.
The Secret Service Agent assigned to drive the Beast must undergo an intensive week-long driving test in a special track designed by the Secret Service Academy in Bethesda, Maryland. Here they practice defensive driving, precision driving and high speed cornering.
The Secret Service is sorry to report however that the beast does not have rocket launchers or built-in weapons. The beast also runs on gasoline V8 and not diesel as we originally thought. It can go 3.78 miles on a single gallon of gas, costs $1.8 million and is rumored to weigh around 15,000 pounds (the Secret Service won’t tell). It is almost as expensive as exotic cars like Bugatti and Lamborghini. Too bad there aren’t any Beasts in luxury car rentals in cities that specialize in exotic rentals like Montreal, Edmonton and Ottawa. We would love to give it a test drive.
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