Who Invented the Limousine?

In the late 1920s, a coach company called Armbruster created an elastic limousine in Fort Smith, Arkansas. These cars were mainly used to transport famous leaders of big bands, such as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, and their teams. The first automotive limousine was designed in 1902 with the driver sitting outside under a covered compartment. This is where the word limousine comes from, as this covered compartment resembled the hood worn by people living in Limoges.

Armbruster and other companies built these cars from the ground up rather than converting an existing vehicle; they were always meant to be longer cars that could seat more passengers than the average car. Bentley produced 20 specialized Arnage limousines, making them one of the rarest limousine models in the world. Rolls-Royce created cars with elegant and mysterious names, such as Silver Cloud, Phantom and Wraith. For around three decades, limousines lacked air-conditioning, however, the first air-conditioned limousine was built in New York City in 1939.