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Obama limo unwrapped: Cadillac we can believe in

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  January 15, 2009 09:47 AM

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Obama-limo-609.jpg(US Secret Service)

The United States Secret Service has torn the camouflage off the latest Cadillac DTS presidential limousine in time for President-elect Barack Obama's Inauguration next Tuesday.

Despite the rumors, Escalades and hybrids were out of the question (Tahoes, however, are the SUV of choice for the men in black). Based on GM's heavy-duty truck platform, the DTS is well over three tons and won't return more than 20 miles per gallon, which means Obama must offset his carbon footprint immediately. Hillary Clinton will ensure that - on Day One.

There are no other juicy details to share, but count on Jay-Z and Beyonce to spill some beans after the parties.

Might you fancy FDR's 1939 Lincoln instead? Browse photos and brush up on your automotive history in this gallery of past presidential limousines.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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43 comments so far...
  1. On the same day that an article on this site blasts the Bush Administration for buying new Presidential China with PRIVATE money, it runs article about the new TAX FUNDED Presidential Limo without posing the question. "Are the Old Presidential Limos not longer servicable?".

    Polical views aside, how is this balanced Journalism?

    I mean I voted for Pres-Elect Obama, but I wonder when the media love affair will end.

    Posted by PoliticallyDisenfranchised January 15, 09 03:19 PM
  1. He better continue to help the BIG 3 or at least GM or he will end up riding in a Prius !!! That would REALLY make a world statement.

    Posted by G.Sullivan January 15, 09 03:33 PM
  1. I could drive that thing here in Kansas City and never worry about whether I'll be shot or carjacked!!!

    Posted by Boston B January 15, 09 08:37 PM
  1. PoliticallyDisenfranchised -

    Obama has nothing to do with the new Presidential Limo. Not sure whether the development and purchase is in the Secret Service budget (Dept. of Homeland Security) or the White House budget but either way it is under the budget of the Executive Branch which is run by President Bush and NOT President-elect Obama. So, do you think the Globe should have screamed out that the Bush Administration was wasting taxpayer money on a new limo?

    Posted by NickinDurham January 15, 09 09:44 PM
  1. It may be splitting hairs, but how come the political leaders for the battle against global warming and for a green economy either fly in big private jets, or several car entourages with each car being a gas guzzler. You can talk about security all you want, but will Obama or Gore admit that their personal security is quite obviously more important to them than a green economy, or at least their active involvement in a green community. I know they are politicians, but if you are going to be so audacious to run on a campaign of change, then you better deliver or risk sorely disappointing the good people responsible for your election.

    Posted by steve January 15, 09 09:57 PM
  1. How much did it cost. seriously will you guys print anything these days? what happened to editors?

    Posted by Johninboston January 15, 09 10:01 PM
  1. Hello people...he is the President. Being the 1st African American President, he needs the best of the best, as he will undoubtedly have major threats against him...both substantiated and unsubstantiated. No expense should be spared in protecting OUR President. GOOD LUCK PRESIDENT OBAMA>>>>>Enjoy the ride.

    Posted by Mike January 16, 09 12:19 AM
  1. Why do the wheel covers look like cheap pie plates? Couldn't they afford allow wheels?

    Posted by David in Boston January 16, 09 02:49 AM
  1. To NickinDurham:

    If on the very same day that they ran the story about the new limo they had run a story critical of the previous (would have been Clinton) Administration spending private money, yes absolutely.

    It is called UNBIASED/BALANCED reporting.

    Posted by PoliticallyDisenfranchised January 16, 09 07:24 AM
  1. I did not vot for President Elect Obama. But I agree with the heavily armored limo. He and his family need to be safe from some of the goofy people in our country. I wish Obama the best of luck and my God bless him and keep him!

    Posted by drr1981 January 16, 09 09:18 AM
  1. David in Boston says: Why do the wheel covers look like cheap pie plates? Couldn't they afford allow wheels?

    Hey Dave, what the h-e-l-l are ALLOW wheels?

    Posted by numb skull January 16, 09 12:39 PM
  1. To Steve: Since Obama will be the PRESIDENT in a few days, his security is MUCH MORE important to him, the Secret Service, and most of the general public than "green" anything. C'mon man. Think a bit before you post.

    Posted by Chris January 16, 09 12:45 PM
  1. The wheels are made of steel. A new limo comes online with each new Preisdent. This is to ensure there is the latest security features on board.

    This limo has a blood bank with the President's blood, direct comm with the VP and the "war room", and built in weaponry (ala James Bond),

    Additionally, the doors are 8 inches thick and made of steel. The tires are solid, and combined with the steel wheels, can run after being hit with a direct shot. The only window that opens in the drivers window and that is only 3 inches so the driver can speak with the agents outside. The inside has an air purification system, and can also become self contained, sort of like a giant scuba system.

    Posted by Mikey January 16, 09 01:45 PM
  1. Can GM just "sell" this limo to the White House for $25,000,000,000.00 and end their finacial crisis?

    Posted by Cod Hunter January 16, 09 02:12 PM
  1. "Additionally, the doors are 8 inches thick and made of steel."
    Sorry Mikey. You sound well informed, but that's a little too over the top. Military tanks don't have walls that thick. Instead, the limo would likely have a couple inch thick doors (etc..) at best. The exterior of the limo would likely be made of a technically advanced metal that is strong but light. With an emphasis on weight savings. Remember, this limo need to be agile as well as durable. It can't weigh 30,000lbs.

    Posted by Anonymous January 16, 09 03:57 PM
  1. Who's going to bail out the USA when the big o bankrupts everyone! This thing looks like typical and consistent behavior from big o worried about his security the hell with the American people-a bulk of the Huge Inaugural money is going to security as well maybe that's why it cost 4 times that of Bush. I wonder how many trillion dollars we'll be in debt after his term for money spent on security alone!!!

    Posted by Steve January 16, 09 08:23 PM
  1. Come on folk lets use our heads... Safety is every presidents number one concern right? right! What's sad is that there is even a need for that type of security... and what's frightening is that the vehicle was created for every type of possible threat... So if we have to kill a few trees and spend a few dollars to keep the man alive then so be it.

    Posted by Eboni January 16, 09 11:03 PM
  1. never have i seen or heard so many uninformed americans, this is our presisdent.not the cfo of aig or ceo wall street. we must protect the symbol of our country finally coming together against a world that has no respect for us at all. black are white. brown are whatever .we are a family of mutts and if anyone should ever speak against the person we elected, we should stand united.A car be damed! please take a look a the big picture we are a family in crisis, wake up. each one teach one, God can still bless america.

    Posted by Will am i January 16, 09 11:34 PM
  1. Note to article writer and the editor ...
    "There ARE (not There's) no other juicy details..."
    Please check back in to remedial spelling and grammar before going to print.

    Posted by GR January 17, 09 09:50 AM
  1. Come on Put some wheels on that thing

    Posted by L.Leandre January 17, 09 07:04 PM
  1. I don't get the point of this blog. Its a single, safe, reliable vehicle in line with past choice of transportation for presidents. What was the expectation, spend millions on a custom hybrid? Even if it wasn't the previous presidents car, there is no serious waste of money here.

    I'm sure they all end up in museums and collect money sooner or later.

    Posted by tna3 January 18, 09 08:56 AM
  1. This man needs to be protected with EVERY possible resource available.
    As much as I loathe the current president I would never bemoan the costs of protecting him and his family.

    Posted by Fred January 18, 09 04:01 PM
  1. The Best looking Presidential Limo ever in my opinion! Part Escalade, part car! By the way, whoever said the doors aren't 8 inches thick, should look at pictures of Pres. Bush's limo, which are easily bordering near 8 inches thick.

    Posted by Jon January 18, 09 09:23 PM
  1. I was at a Air Base open house and they had the air plane that hulled the presidents limos in it. The man who was the pilot of the plane said the limo weights about 45,000 pounds.

    Posted by Bob January 18, 09 11:30 PM
  1. Obama will be our president and we literally can't afford to skimp by on protecting the person who is going to represent this country to the world. If their is going to be any hope of ever putting this country back on the right track we as Americans have to pay it forward now. So stop the bellyaching about a price tag already. Geesh.

    Posted by Lisa January 18, 09 11:32 PM
  1. How about some of you people think for a moment: Do you really believe this car was planned and built since November?!! I am sure this was ordered many months ago - maybe even several years, given the amount of engineering and hand-work that goes into it. I saw pictures of it weeks ago. Therefore, it was ordered long before Obama was even the democratic nominee, you numbskulls.

    And it is ordered by the Secret Service, not the president.

    And just to make the financial part even worse, they don't buy just one. Several are built to provide backups.

    Posted by nmc January 19, 09 02:24 AM
  1. I did not vote for Obama in Nov. but I agree he should be well-protected with this kind of car. I do, however wish, he could have forgone the expensive interior decorating as past presidents have used and started a new beginning and break with tradition. This would have convinced me he was very, very sincere in starting to economize right in his own home. As far as I can see, his wife and his kids have it all just being the president's family. They can make their dreams come true just as well in one of the beautiful bedrooms at the White House.

    Posted by Regina Dewey January 20, 09 11:09 AM
  1. The Presidential limo is destroyed and replaced after every term. After September 11th 2001 the Secret Service adopted this plan so they could secure all the secrets about the vehicle and as previously stated they can make sure the new limo has all the new bells and whistles.

    Also the Limo weighs a little more than 3 tons... (for one of the previous posters)

    Posted by kzm January 20, 09 01:20 PM
  1. Hehehe...It needs spinners...Where's X to the Z when you need him?

    Posted by anonymous Pimp January 20, 09 03:43 PM
  1. The title of the blog post is pretty interesting ... Cadillac is one of the bright spots in the GM lineup, they've been pushing out decent product since they broke the connection with the blue hair crowd and the first CTS rolled off the assembly line. Other products like the CTS-V and the remainder of the product line are great examples of the type and quality of product GM should be turning out, striving after the big boys in the luxury performance segment like BMW and M-B.

    The hard-edge design is definitely unique and stands out from the competition, and with all the laps they are putting on at the 'ring, they are definitely learning a lot about how to turn out performance machines.

    Posted by J January 20, 09 04:21 PM
  1. Should throw some D's on that. Spinners...with some 15's in the back. And the presidential cocktail bar should always be stocked with patron on ICE and KFC. Roll deep Mr. President.

    Posted by David January 20, 09 04:25 PM
  1. he needed the Cadillac from escape from new york with the chandaleers just hoping hes gonna do his best to make some major canges in the goverment.god luck obama and god bless

    Posted by keith January 20, 09 05:09 PM
  1. It says "Tahoes" are the SUVs that the Secret Service uses. Actually, they use Chevy Suburbans and GMC Yukon XLs .

    Posted by David January 20, 09 10:23 PM
  1. the car is fantastic

    Posted by shashank January 21, 09 02:37 AM
  1. Nice car, but can we get MTV to pimp it for him?

    Posted by phonyuser January 21, 09 03:57 PM
  1. $100M for his inauguration bash. . . W was crucified in the liberal media for his $40M inauguration. There wasn't a word about the price tag for Hussein's inauguration. Kool-Aid drinkers unite! Socialists rejoice! Is it 2012 yet?

    Posted by Nobama January 21, 09 05:50 PM
  1. obama truly deserves all this, ranging from his protection with the cadilac staff. yeallh and mellah out, shine coz this is a life tym opportunity to prove what ur worth of to the whole nation besides making kenya proud as the root for ur success.

    Posted by brian navwat January 22, 09 09:10 AM
  1. After the previous limo broke down in the middle of Rome, I think we can allow the need for a new one.

    Posted by DBX January 22, 09 10:46 AM
  1. I have never heard of people being so ignorant in my life. We are talking about the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. He needs whatever it takes to protect him.

    Posted by Lawrence January 23, 09 10:59 AM
  1. As one other blogger said, the President has nothing to with the Limo or the jet. The secret service designs and purhases the vehicle through tax payer dollars. This current limo has been in the works for 2 yrs. Hello people! We paid for it and its three sisters (there are 4 of them for when he travels) at least a year ago. Come on, surley you think he's paying a freekin car note do you? Grow up! If Mccain or Hilary had won, this is the limo they would have been riding in.... Read a little people, the Presidentila limo has been redesigned for each new sitting President. Yea, Lets have him ride around in the old jeloppy that Reagan had so we save money!

    Posted by Ray January 23, 09 11:08 AM
  1. What was the price tag on this thing? The rest of us are suppose to give give give :)

    Posted by bruce montague January 24, 09 11:51 AM
    I understand the old Presidential limos are destroyed and replaced after every term. This plan was adopted by the Secret Service after 9/11 so they could secure all the secrets about the vehicle and could make sure the new limos have all the new bell and whistles for the next upcoming President. Further several are or will not be purchased to have on hand to put into use as required. I am curious about the actual number being purchased since they indicate several. Does this mean two or three? What is the total cost and weight involved, and the yearly cost of fuel and maintenance?

    I likewise understand there are two Air Force One planes ordered (costing between $300,000,000-$400,000,000 each) and every time the President travels both are dispatched in case the one is out of operation, the other one can be used. I assume the policy is the same for the cars, that at least two are always dispatched whenever he travels. Considering the expense of personnel on hand standing at readiness to go into action and cost of fuel, I hope the trips he makes are kept to a minimum and only for those deemed of dire necessity. Are the airplanes likewise destroyed and replaced every 8 years?
    Due to the size of the Air Force One planes, the space where they can land is limited and I hope the second Air Force One is a smaller plane to enable quick departure when necessary. It wouldn’t make sense to have two traveling hotel-restaurants and min iature fully functional White Houses which either would have a hard time getting off the ground.
    It appears the extensive cost involved in securing the safety of our President must eat into our budget especially since both means of transportation are destroyed and updated every 8 years.
    Yet the safety and stability of our county and we, its citizens, receive such little concern. When Obama refuses to provide us with the seven documents we requested to assure us of his non-Muslim background and full qualification as our President (which could have minimized the amount of animosity presently existing) and chooses instead to hire a team of lawyers to look for loopholes signals to us there are valid issues he does not want disclosed which could change the outcome of the election. This is not about race, but about a potential imposter who has circumvented our constitution to suit his needs regardless of the consequences to the American people.

    Posted by Joanofarc February 4, 09 04:03 AM
  1. the policy used by the u.s goverment os no doubt is excelent, security system is ausum with consuming low cost as compared in INDIA ,.as in india there is lots of security cars in the track, i suggest instead of that they should have limited cars but loaded wth all the latest updates of security. still my country is improving alot and i m proud to be a citizen of India. Methods are always benchmarked so sometimes we correct ourselves in some cases and some cases when technologies are created or invented my country people puts their best and leave's a exaple for other to b benchmarked.

    Posted by sameer bansal May 14, 09 05:37 AM

About Boston Overdrive reports the latest trends, auto shows and wrings out the newest cars in our city's hellish maze — and across the great roads of New England.
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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
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