A Brief Timeline and History about Limousines


We’ve all seen various limousines of all sizes, models, and makes, including a few new ones like the stretch hummer limousine. For those of you who don’t know the symbolism behind a limousine, according to the Nationwide Auto Transport Arizona the length of the car signifies importance and power and associates it with the people it carries. They are used by powerful people like world leaders and public icons, as well as Hollywood celebrities and other famous people.

Whether you desire to ride or had the privilege of riding in one, it’s time for you to know the brief history of the limousine.

What’s in a name?

The words LIMOUSINE AND CHAUFFEUR have been used before the invention of the automobile. Back then, professional drivers were in charge of transporting important people from A to B via horse carriage or a steam-powered train as early as the 1700s. This was the modus for important people to get around during this era until the invention of the automobile.

By 1920s, automobiles, specifically limousines, were the symbol of power, fame, and wealth. Famous luxury car builders were getting the same recognition as fashion designers like Vanden Plas, Fleetwood, Locke, Derham, Judkins, and LeBaron just to name a few. Everyone knew that limousines made by these brands were good and a cut above the rest. Within the same timeline, limo hire also started to grow in popularity. Limo hire pioneer JP Carey started out in New York and many people took advantage of this service. Carey soon realized that tourists preferred to travel around the city in style with a limousine as opposed to hiring a taxi service. It was also during this time when the automobile was accepted as one of the means of transportation.

Into the future

Fast forward 20 years later in the year 1940s, the luxury car industry was delayed due to the effects of the war and Depression. The double blows to the luxury car industry meant that manufacturers who survived the Depression were destroyed in the war. Isotta Fraschini, one of the prominent limousine manufacturers, cancelled production after the war and their last model only created 5 units. It was during this time when Cadillac started to rise as one of the stronger manufacturers during the 1930s and 1940s.

By the year 1970s and 1980s,  the use of the limousines started to grow again in popularity and it was already associated with luxury and recognition. Majority of the limo users were young professionals who visited a certain town or city and wanted to make a good impression. During this time, Cadillac decided to revamp the styling of their cars and their new 80s limousine line already had a recognizable Cadillac grille, horizontal headlamps, and a new rear bumper. The industry was dominated by two luxury car giants: Cadillac and Fleetwood, both of which had individual styling unique to their makes and models. Other brands like Ford also started to rise and compete with these giants.

Today, limousines are now being used for just about any occasion; from proms to weddings to high end parties to touring the city.

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