Presidential Limos

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Presidential Limos

The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn USA is famous for its unique collection of automobiles, especially its collection of Presidential limousines. American Presidents are some of the most watched and talked about people in the public eye. They are also some of the most well protected. This is why their cars were of such importance, and of such interest now.

The 1939 Lincoln known as ‘Sunshine Special' was a presidential limo in its day, used by Presidents Franklin D Roosevelt and Harry S Truman. The ‘Sunshine Special' is powered by a 414-cubic-inch 150-hp V-12 engine.

The Lincoln is part of a display about American history from the time of Roosevelt to the assassination of Kennedy, including the attempted assassinations of Ford and Regan.

Also part of the display is the 1950 Lincoln Bubble Top Limousine used by Presidents Harry S Truman, Dwight Eisenhower and John F Kennedy.

Probably the most infamous limo on display is the 1961 Lincoln ‘Kennedy Car' which President Kennedy was riding in when he was shot in Dallas in 1963. The same limo was later used by Lyndon B Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. After the assassination however, the limo was rebuilt with titanium armour, bullet proof glass and a permanent hard top roof.

The 1972 Lincoln limo on display at the museum had a most interesting life. It is known as the ‘Regan Car' as it is the car he was riding in when an attempted assassination was carried out. The car was then used by Nixon, then Ford, when an attempt was also made on Ford's life. The car later went on to be used by Carter with its 460-cubic-inch V-8 rated at 214 hp still going strong.

The 1972 Lincoln appears to have frosted windows. However, this is actually a reaction caused by the failure of the bullet proof glass which cased a polymer layer of the glass to become contaminated and change composition.

At the Henry Ford Museum, you are able to see much of America's political history played out in Presidential luxury limousines.

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