The limousine is a classic symbol of luxury and style, but few people know the fascinating history behind this iconic vehicle. It all began in 1902, when the first engine-powered limousines were created, less than two decades after the invention of the first practical car. It was said that the separate and covered compartment of these first limousines, in which the driver sat, resembled a cape worn by the inhabitants of the French region of Limousin, which gave rise to the word “limousine”. In 1928, a company in Fort Smith, Arkansas called Armbruster created the first “elastic limousine”.
This was the first true limousine built as a car, rather than an evolution of a horse-drawn carriage. Its initial main use was to transport jazz celebrities and their big bands from one concert to another. Limousines were also often called big band buses, since they were mainly used as transportation for renowned big band conductors and orchestras. Limousines have been a frequent accessory for film actors and actresses since the 1930s, and they are still used to transport film equipment and staff today.
One of the most distinctive features of limousines is that they have a partition between the driver and passengers, which allows passengers to legally consume alcohol while partying in the back. This feature has been maintained to this day. In recent years, limousines have become even more luxurious with features such as mini-bars, flat-screen TVs, and even Jacuzzis. The most luxurious limousine in the world is the Aurus Senat limousine from the President of the Russian Federation.
Limousines have come a long way since their invention in 1902, but they remain a classic symbol of luxury and style.