Presidential limo rides on Goodyear truck tyres
President elect Barack Obama’s brand spanking new presidential limousine has been given the ‘Pimp My Ride’ treatment by the US Secret Service – and a set of tyres normally seen in regional haul trucking applications is but one of a basket of features to be found on the modified Cadillac following a masterful makeover by the White House appointed customisers.
Despite campaign promises to transform all White House vehicles into hybrids and have a million hybrid vehicles on US roads by 2015, the President-elect has had to concede to security concerns and stick with the petrol powered Cadillac. Or perhaps he was simply afraid Jeremy Clarkson would heckle him on the next series of Top Gear.
What ever the reason, the Caddy that Barack Obama will use during his inauguration, on official business and when popping out for a pint of milk has been modified to the extent that it is now capable of surviving roadside bomb blasts or a sustained battle involving gunfire and grenade launchers. Code-named “Stagecoach,” the car has been likened to a rolling tank without a turret. According to the Detroit News, the new limousine also has bulletproof glass and a completely sealed interior to protect the next president in the event of a chemical attack. It also has encrypted electronic communications equipment, plus a CD player.
According to General Motors spokeswoman Joanne Krell, the presidential limousine is “built to precise specifications, undergoes extreme testing and development, and also incorporates many of the top aspects of Cadillac’s ‘regular’ cars.” She adds that the car “will fix you a latte if you ask.”
And as for the tyres – spy photography specialist firm Brenda Priddy & Company believes them to be Goodyear Regional RHS tyres on 19.5-inch wheels. Of course T&A cannot confirm this as, in the words of Secret Service spokesman Darrin Blackford, “we do not discuss specifics of design, dimensions, features or capability of presidential limousines.” However, should this be the choice of tyre for the president’s car, Obama will benefit from the three double-rib tread design and stone penetration protectors offered with the Regional RHS, and after racking up enough miles the new President will be able to reduce the Cadillac’s overall environmental footprint by having the tyres regrooved.
Spy photographs of Obama’s new limo are now circulating, and the modified Cadillac has been praised for its sturdiness yet ridiculed for its appearance. The general consensus seems to be that the car is as strong as a tank and every bit as attractive.
Regardless of the President elect’s feelings towards the Cadillac’s aesthetics, come January 20 the car will be his official set of wheels: “Typically, new armoured presidential limousines are integrated into the fleet for the inaugural parade,” Blackford added. The limo used by outgoing President George W. Bush’s will also continue to be put to use, either as a spare in the presidential fleet, for use by other dignitaries, or for training purposes. It will not, at any rate, end up in a second hand car dealer’s yard – presidential limousines, for security reasons, are never offered for sale.