The Origin of the Limousine: A Brief History

The limousine is a classic symbol of luxury and sophistication, but where did it come from? In 1889, the first limousine car was introduced in Paris, France. The word limousine actually comes from the French word “limousin”, which was an old province full of farmland and shepherds. The word limousine is derived from the name of the French region of Limousin. However, it is not known how the name of the region was transferred to the car.

The first limousines for cars originated in 1902, less than two decades after the invention of the first practical car. It was 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, going somewhere by limousine is much more accessible to the general public than in previous decades. In German-speaking countries, a limousine is simply a sedan, while a car with a longer wheelbase is called a Pullman Limousine. In theory, a limousine can be built on any chassis with a variety of seat designs and configurations. Region of central France, originally an adjective that referred to its capital, Limoges, from the Latin Lemovices, the name of a town that lived nearby, which was perhaps called that in reference to its spears or elm bows. Limousines are usually vehicles with a long wheelbase, in order to provide additional legroom in the passenger compartment.

An alternative etymology speculates that some of the first drivers wore a limousine-style cape in the driver's open compartment, to protect themselves from inclement weather. The word “limousine” was in common use in France, long before the creation of the car that now bears that name. In 1928, a company called Armbruster (based in Arkansas, USA). USA) built the world's first elastic limousine, but it would be a few years before the full potential of these vehicles became evident. A luxury sedan with a very long wheelbase (with more than four doors) driven by a professional driver is called an elastic limousine.

The last production limousine, from Cadillac, with forward-facing folding seats was in 1987 (with its Fleetwood Series 75 model), the last Packard in 1954 and the last Lincoln in 1939, although Lincoln has offered limousines through its dealers as special-order vehicles on occasion. In the United States, the limousine subcategories in 1916 were the Berliner, defined as a limousine with the driver's seat fully closed, and the Brougham, defined as a limousine without a roof above the driver's seat. In recent years, there has been an increase in popularity for limos as they are no longer just for celebrities and high-end events. Vehicles converted into innovative elastic limousines include East German Trabant cars, Volkswagen Beetles, Fiat Pandas and Citroën 2CVs. In Great Britain, there was also a version of city limo cars where there was no weather protection for drivers. The history of limos is fascinating and shows how far they have come since their inception over 130 years ago.

From being used by royalty and celebrities to being available for anyone to rent for special occasions or just for fun - it's clear that this classic symbol of luxury will continue to be popular for many years to come.