What Makes A Limo A Limo...
When we think of 'limo' we immediately think of 'stretch limo' however, there are many cars labelled as limousines which are not stretch. So when does a car stop being a car and start being a limousine?
The noun limousine has several definitions; a large passenger vehicle, especially luxurious, driven by a chauffeur, usually with a partition separating the passengers from the driver. Or simply, a large automobile driven by a chauffeur.
So why are buses not called limousines? Or taxis?
The term limousine was first used in Europe to denote the covered carriages the upper classes rode in and were driven by chauffeurs. So is it simply the cost and class of the car which determines its limousine status?
Often, even if you do belong to the upper echelon of society, you may not own a limo of your own. Most limos are owned by government to transport politicians or by limo hire companies who provide a stylish alternative to hiring a taxi. Limos may also be hired for weddings, Proms, birthdays, Anniversaries, business meetings or for important clients.
The limo got its early beginning from being an extension of a large sedan. With a longer wheel base, the limousine passenger was able to have ample leg room, as well as the option of up to five companions by folding down additional seats. Modern limos however, have scaled down the number of passengers they can carry in place of elaborate stereo systems, TVs and bars.
Also, rather than forcing passengers to travel backwards, many modern limos have seats running down one or both sides to allow the passenger to talk to each other. This style is preferred over the 'stage' vehicle which has extras doors which allow access to several rows of forward facing seats.
The stage style of vehicle however is not considered a true limousine, but lies somewhere between a sedan and a bus. However, a bus will have a centra aisle for access between rows, while the stage has multiple doors. So why is the stage not classed as a limousine? Is it because some passengers have their backs to each other?
You can of course have a limousine custom made. Either by adding your own personal luxuries to an existing limo, or choosing a totally new model of car to cut open and extend. But will you be able to call it a limo? Will the seating be open plan? Will it be stylish and luxurious enough? How do you measure that?