The Presidential limo is a marvel of engineering. It’s built to keep the leader of the United States safe in a vehicle that’s built like a tank, but looks like a typical limo, with luxury appointments befitting a VIP. “The Beast,” as it’s known, would never be sold to a civilian, and replicating it would be an incredible drain on anyone’s finances. That’s where this pair of mid-1990s Cadillac Fleetwood limos come in. They’re like the dollar store versions of the Presidential limo.
Limousines are some of my favorite custom cars. The concept is simple: Take a production vehicle, saw it in half, add several feet to the middle, then reassemble it. Ditch the stock interior for something lavish or maybe a bit daft. Look hard enough and you’ll see all kinds of wild limos out there, from Chrysler Aspens to Volvo S90s and even Smart Fortwos.
But if you don’t have the cash for a flashy modern limo, maybe you can get away with an old limo wearing a new car’s face. That’s the proposition offered by consignment outfit Classic Car Deals.
According to the listings, at some point these limos were “remodeled” to resemble the far newer Cadillac XTS. The potential problem with calling this a remodel is that it might be a bit of a stretch. Looking at the pictures, the only changes to these limos were grafting on newer front and rear clips. If you squint real hard they sort of look like XTSs.
The monsters have six doors, so you could fit yourself and seven of your best buds, so long as all of you are pretty close.
Even the interiors are untouched and dare I say, they don’t look too bad — though there is some rust bubbling on the doors, a sign of the donor cars’ age.
In case you’re curious, here’s an actual Presidential Cadillac Fleetwood, built for parade use.
Back to our grafted-together Fleetwood/XTS mashups: In each car, power comes from a 5.7-liter LT1 V8 making 260 hp delivered to the rear wheels through a 4L60E auto. These Corvette-derived engines are known for their longevity.
The 1995 has 96,943 miles while the 1994 has 95,000 miles, so both have plenty of life left.
Weirdly, I actually love what’s going on here. These cobbled-together limos look totally awkward, but that’s what makes them great. I’d take one, put on some big all-terrain tires and slap some parody Presidential seals on the doors then take it off-road. The cost to do so is just outside of the magical “screw it” range, though, with each limo listed for around $8,400 in Georgia.
Correction: An earlier version of this story noted the vehicles’ location to be Michigan, not Georgia where the really are. Thanks for spotting that, kind reader!
H/T to Opposite-Lock!