Funny Facts about Limousines You Probably Did Not Know

Updated on February 7, 2017

5 Interesting Facts About Limousines

Everybody knows what a limo is and how it looks like. There are different style, size, model and color limousines. Typically, a stretch Lincoln is related to luxury lifestyle, celebrities and class. It is easy to find information on limousine news, trends and rentals online.

However, considering that limousines have been around almost for a century, it is clear these classy vehicles also have a different side to their history. Throughout the years there accumulated a good number of fun facts about those black gas-guzzlers of Chicago streets. Here follows 5 funniest facts about limousines.

Back in 1902 the Driver Seat was Outside the Main Compartment - Wasn't it Cold for the Chauffeur in Winter?

1912 Lanchester Limousine
1912 Lanchester Limousine

Automobile limousines were first built back in 1902. These limos were not stretched giants as they are today - stretching of the cars stated just two decades after. First limousines were considered luxury automobiles. The design of a luxury automobile was based on giving the passengers privacy and put the driver outside. The driver seat was in the front of the car, outside the main compartment. The only thing that protected the driver from rough weather was a covered sunroof. How would you like to drive this limo during Chicago winter? The chauffeur must be freezing!

Even to this day the sound partition idea is still left in the limousine, however in the modern design it is a plastic divider which can be pulled up or down electronically.

The Origin of the Name "Limousine" - a Cloak?

Traditional shepherd's cloak was the inspiration for the limo hood
Traditional shepherd's cloak was the inspiration for the limo hood

The name limousine originated from a Limousin region in France. This region was best known for the local traditional outfit - a cloaked hood worn by shepherds for protection from the harsh weather. The covered compartment of the limousine closely resembled a hood, so the automobile was simply called a limousine.

The name has not changed since. However, an abbreviation for limousine—"limo"—became very popular.

The First Limousine Ever Built - Or Was it a Bus?

1928 Armbruster
1928 Armbruster

The first stretch limousine was built in 1928 for one of the best selling musical ensemble of the time, the "big band". The bus was built in Fort Smith, Arkansas, by an Armbruster Company. The big band musicians Glenn miller and Benny Goodman often used the bus to get to concerts as well as transport their band agents and equipment.

The big band was popular until 1944 and they used the bus for all their need until then. By the end of their career, the "big band" made band buses extremely popular in the music industry so that many more musicians started using limousines for their transportation.

Limousines Were the First Cars to Adopt Air Conditioning

Packard Air Conditioning System Under The Hood
Packard Air Conditioning System Under The Hood

Modern air conditioning was first built by the New York based Packard Motor Car Company. The first conditioners were built in 1939 for the New York and Chicago limousines and luxury automobiles. The first car with air conditioning was released the next year, 1940, with a built-in conditioning system. Air conditioning was optional - it cost an additional $274 if the clients choose to install it. The system, however, was not very efficient; it took about half the space in the trunk and did not have a way to measure the temperature.

Air conditioners were installed into luxury limousines around 20 years before the mass production of sedan cars.

Longest Limousine According to the Guinness Book of Records - A Useless Luxury Giant?

Worlds Longest Limo is a Record Holder
Worlds Longest Limo is a Record Holder

The longest limousine ever built was a 100 feet long Lincoln. It was manufactured in California by Jay Ohrberg in 1997. Because of its size, the limousine has 26 wheels spread out along its body. It also has two driver cabins: one in the front and one in the back. For this limo to turn, the middle part is split up and hinged, so it folds when the turn is made.

The limo was created for advertising purposes only, but since its display a lot of people wanted to rent the car. Moreover the white limo was also featured in movies and shows. The 100 ft giant even made it to the Guinness Book of Records. The limo was equipped with many amenities found only in the luxury houses: a Jacuzzi hot tub, two fax machines, four televisions, air conditioning compressor. It was marked as the world's longest limousine and its record has not been beat since.

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      LimoRSVP 2 years ago

      Really enjoyed this entertaining and informative piece. We've come a long way baby! I sure do love the looks of that first ever limousine. What a beauty! But thankfully over the years, the level of comfort and reliability has improved dramatically, making things easier for riders and the limousine services that provide them.

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      GreyHee 4 years ago

      Great lens..very interesting. Keep up the good work.

    • alittlebitofeve profile image

      alittlebitofeve 5 years ago

      This is the best lens I've seen yet today! Loved it and the fun facts it had, also the video of the police car limousine. Keep on making lenses I'm pretty intrigued.

    • Dave Lynch profile image

      David Edward Lynch 5 years ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

      This is a very informative and interesting lens.

      Have you tried commenting and liking other peoples lenses, this may help in getting others to read and comment on your lens