Here’s Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States driving a German Amphicar in its natural habitat with Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Paul Glynn as passengers. This was a thing in the sixties.

When President Obama mentioned a transportation network fit for the 21st Century in last night’s State of the Union, he didn’t have President Johnson in an Amphicar on his mind.

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I’m only pointing out the obvious here, but Jerry Seinfeld’s brilliant Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee episode with President Obama driving a 1963 Corvette only reminded me again how strict those regulations are when it comes to the transportation of the most powerful leader in the world.

Unsurprisingly, the fiberglass body of a split-window Sting Ray is not good enough for the Secret Service. In fact, nothing under a tank disguised as a Cadillac gets the green light, which really sucks if you’re a car guy.

And who wouldn’t turn into one driving that Corvette?

Lyndon B. Johnson became the 36th President of the United States of America on November 22, 1963, right after J.F. Kennedy was shot in an open top Lincoln Continental. Yet in May of 1965, he could still go out and have fun in the middle of a lake, in what’s almost certainly the most unsafe vehicle this side of a Citroën 2CV.

The current situation is no better if you’re “only” the Vice President. Zero Corvette time outside of the premises is what that position lands you as well.

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That’s something to think about if you plan on running for office.

Photo credit: Yoichi Okamoto via LBJ Library


Contact the author at mate@jalopnik.com.