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TABLE OF CONTENTS

i. Welcome!
ii. Foreword
iii. Introduction

1.The Origins of the Limousine
2
. The Traditions of Riding in the Back Seat
3. Chauffeurs
4. The Coachbuilders
5. The Factory Limousines
6. The Commercial Limousine Operators
7. Getting What You Want -- Buying a Limousine
8. The Limousine -- Inside and Out
9. Building a Stretch Limousine
10. Exotic Limousines
11. The Classics and the Not So Classic: Celebs, High Rollers and Their Limousines
12. Presidential Rides
13. Fit for a King -- Royal Limousines
14. Limousine Etiquette and How to Enjoy Riding in the Back Seat
15. The Cultured Limousine
16. Glossary (definitions as seen from the back seat of a limousine)

Photo Gallery

1. Welcome
2. Back Seat Riding
3. Cadillac Pages
4. Lincoln Pages
5. Lehmann-Peterson Pages
6. Limousines Pages
7. Reader Pages

See also:
Chauffeur and
Passenger stories

Used by permission Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE Press, Copyright 2002 www.sae.org and by private contributors, as noted.

Back to Front

 

Copyright 2002
by
Michael L. Bromley

All Rights Reserved

 

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The first limousine, 1900

 

The Origins

We might as well let it out right away. Who made the first limousine, a question
posed by Jean Henri-Labourdette, a prominent Parisian coachbuilder who learned the
art in 1905 from his father, goes unanswered here: "Who, then, was the first to
baptize this type of automobile carriage?"

[But one thing we know, the limousine has always been
and always will be, the stuff of legend...]

 

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The first 3/4-enclosed limousine, 1901

 

The carriage was a sure symbol of status -- and sex appeal. In an outpouring of
enthusiasm worthy of Madison Avenue's best, Jean de La Bruyère wrote,

"When a society lady hears the noise of a carriage stopping at her door she sparkles
with life and goodwill towards the occupant without knowing who it is; if from her window
she has seen a magnificent team and liveries, if several rows of perfectly gilded studs
have dazzled her, what impatience seizes her to see the gentleman or magistrate
immediately in her room! What a charming reception she will give him!  She will
not take her eyes off him. He can do no wrong in her sight for he is still held
responsible for the double suspension, and the springs which allow
the carriage to run smoothly. She esteems him more highly on
account of them; she loves him more for their sake
."

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The first fully enclosed limousine, 1902

 

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