At the time, limousines weren't necessarily longer than regular cars, seating only 3 to 5 people. It wasn't until 1928 that a company in Fort Smith, Arkansas, called Armbruster created the first “elastic limousine”. This marked the beginning of a new era of luxury transportation, as the first limousines for cars had originated in 1902, less than two decades after the invention of the first practical car. It is said that the separate and covered compartment of these first engine-powered limousines in which the driver sat looked like a cape worn by the inhabitants of the French region of Limousin, which gave rise to the word “limousine”.To this day, we have maintained the concept of a limousine with a driver separated from the passengers.
This partition also allows passengers who are partying in the back of limousines to legally consume alcohol. Nowadays, “limousine” usually refers to an elastic limousine, in which several passengers can ride in a large cabin in the back of the vehicle. This type of limousine was invented in Arkansas in 1928, but was not associated with formal occasions as it is today. Instead, the vehicle was mainly used to transport famous leaders of big bands and orchestras to performances across the country. Vehicles converted into innovative elastic limousines include the East German Trabant, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Fiat Panda and the Citroën 2CV.
It wasn't until the late 1920s that the “stretchy limousine” phenomenon really began, when an Arkansas company built a longer version of a standard limousine. The incorporation of new technologies and different types of vehicles available for stretching has led to an increase in “new style” limousines. Around 1928, a coach company called Armbruster created an elastic limousine in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Today's stretch limousines also have luxury and comfort amenities, such as full bars, plasma screens, colorful fiber-optic lighting systems, strobe lights, sunroofs, DVD players, CDs or multimedia streaming, intercom systems, leather seats and luxurious carpets. Elastic limousines are longer than regular limousines, usually to accommodate more passengers. However, before the invention of the car-shaped limousine in the early 20th century, chauffeur-driven rides in carriages drawn by golden horses were all the rage in the 18th century. A luxury sedan with a very long wheelbase (with more than four doors) driven by a professional driver is called an elastic limousine.
There are cases where Corvettes, Ferraris and Mini Coopers stretch to accommodate up to 10 passengers. The invention of stretch limos can be traced back to 1928 when Armbruster created their first elastic limo in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The vehicle was mainly used to transport famous leaders of big bands and orchestras to performances across the country. The incorporation of new technologies and different types of vehicles available for stretching has led to an increase in “new style” limousines. Stretch limos are now associated with luxury and comfort amenities such as full bars, plasma screens, colorful fiber-optic lighting systems, strobe lights, sunroofs, DVD players, CDs or multimedia streaming, intercom systems, leather seats and luxurious carpets. They are also used to transport famous people such as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman and their entourages. So Karl Benz invents the modern car powered by an internal combustion engine in 1886 and people immediately begin to figure out how not to drive it.
Later Benny Goodman performs at one of his concerts in a brand-new elastic limo developed by Ambruster just that year. The fascinating history of stretch limos began with Armbruster's invention in 1928 and continues today with new technologies and different types of vehicles available for stretching leading to an increase in “new style” limos.