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Limousines The Ultimate Auto Accessory

In the past, limousines were the symbol of success priced well out of reach of all but the rich and famous. There is still something intriguing about the heavily tinted windows that prevent people from peering at the occupants. I am guilty of being one of the many people who will literally stop and stare at a limousine as it passes me by and try to imagine who the well-known passenger is. Chances are that it might be anyone who isn't famous at all but simply treating themselves to a trip in a limousine as part of a special night out. It amazes me that any make of car can now be converted into a limousine and the wealth of the owner is matched only by the extravagance of the fittings that he or she has. The most ludicrous one I ever saw in a magazine was a Lada fitted with a whirlpool where the trunk should have been.

The word 'limousine' actually derives from a region of France called Limousin. The local shepherds wore huge outer clothing to protect themselves from the wind and the rain while they were tending their flock. Some time later a similar garment was worn by chauffeurs to ward off the elements as they sat in the open cockpit of early automobiles while their employer sat inside the cabin in dry comfort. The first stretch limousine was built around 1928 by Armbruster of Arkansas.

It soon became a symbol of the Roaring Twenties and was a firm favourite with the big band leaders of the day, including Glenn Miller. The fact that the limousine could accommodate the entire band and its instruments gained it the nickname of 'Big Band Bus'. During the 30s and 40s the limousine became the status symbol that it is today and every successful person in Hollywood wanted to be seen in one, or at least getting in and out of one! In 1962 Armbruster joined with Stageway Coaches and the company became Armbruster-Stageway Coachbuilders who continued making limousines for the rich and famous until 1974. Nowadays chauffeur driven limousines are far more widely available for anyone to hire, even for a very short trip down the Las Vegas strip. Limousines still are the ultimate auto accessory because they still turn heads whenever one passes by.

S. Stammberger is editor of Luxury Car Vault. Get details on finding the car of your dreams for the price of your dreams.



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