US presidents and their cars, part 2

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Black-and-white vector graphic of President Obama's right profile.

President Obama first learned to drive in his grandfather's Ford Granada. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Vectorportal/Wikipedia)

If you’re a fan of presidential car trivia, you’re in the right place. This concludes the look into the history of presidential cars. Part one: President Taft to President Kennedy.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)

President Johnson’s long, white Lincoln Continental Convertible carried visitors on tours of his Stonewall, Texas, ranch. But it was his blue Amphicar – one of 3,878 and the only “civilian amphibious passenger automobile ever to be mass produced” – that was most notable.

Richard Nixon (1969-1974)

Much like President Johnson before him, President Nixon used a modified Lincoln Continental Executive limousine for official business. He had the one-piece glass roof of his X-100 replaced with a smaller glass roof with hinged panel. The car stayed in service until 1977, at which time it was retired to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.

Gerald Ford (1974-1977)

According to Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library archive specialist Nancy Mirshah:

“President Ford briefly used the 1961 Lincoln Continental in which JFK was shot,” she told the Times via email. “It was also used by LBJ and Richard Nixon. But the bulk of Ford’s presidential travel was in a 1968-1969 Lincoln Continental.”

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter bought their first automobile together in 1948, a Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser. As President Carter told Turning Wheels magazine in 1992:

“It turned out to be a superb vehicle – fast, smooth-moving, with never any repair problems … The Studebaker has always been our favorite automobile, partially for sentimental reasons but also because of its qualities in providing us enjoyable and dependable transportation.”

[Kennedy Mazda of Valparaiso, IN has enjoyable, dependable transportation for you!]

Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)

President Reagan used a 1952 Army Jeep, Model M-38A to get around on his California ranch. It bore the distinction of being a part of the “Reagan Protective Division. U.S. Secret Service.” This Jeep was “the first manifestation of the round-fender Jeep that would ultimately become available to consumers as the CJ-5,” said Jo Snyder of the Worldwide Auctioneers Group.

George H.W. Bush (1989-1993)

President Bush the first enjoyed the use of a modified 22-foot Lincoln Town Car. This presidential limousine, which can be seen at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Texas, features a D-pillar roof that bears a special “President Edition” decoration.

Bill Clinton (1993-2001)

President Clinton’s 1967 Ford Mustang convertible was a family affair, first purchased by his stepfather, Jeff Dwire. The white rag top and interior provided a stunning contrast to the Clearwater Aqua body. Unfortunately, as U.S. presidents aren’t allowed to drive themselves, Clinton had to give it up upon entering office. The former president claims it was the most difficult thing for him to leave behind upon moving into the White House.

George W. Bush (2001-2008)

President Bush the second rode to his second inauguration in a 2006 Cadillac DTS limousine. This sleek, black beauty was nicknamed “The Beast” by Secret Service, a reference to the latest on-board armor and security systems. Before “The Beast,” President George W. Bush rode a 2001 Cadillac DeVille.

Barack Obama (2008-present)

President Obama reportedly learned to drive in his grandfather’s Ford Granada. Now he owns a Ford Escape, which some conservative pundits off-handedly exclaim is what Obama has done, escaping rather than driving through policy. Joking aside, President Obama is an unabashed Ford man.

Sources Mustangs


Los Angeles Times

New York Daily News:

Presidential state car Wiki

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