When the President of the United States of America travels to, well, anywhere, we all know he does not just hop in his family car. When he’s not flying in an Air Force One, the most powerful man on the planet moves about in a rather impressive motorcade. You already know that he has a swarm of Secret Service agents around him at all times, and that the limo is bullet proof, but we are willing to bet there are some fascinating things about his motorcade that you did not know. Continue on for how the POTUS is kept as safe as possible.
1. Research & Development
The President’s limousine is the main focus of any presidential motorcade. At some point, you’ve probably seen video or pictures of this majestic limo moving quickly through the streets, or of course, you’ve simply watched a regular limo dart around in person. But the President’s limo is much more than just a beefed up version of the original. In addition to adding some armor and special tires, there’s an incredible amount of research and development that goes into creating, designing, and constructing a presidential car. In fact, so much R&D goes into it, that President Trump’s limo has been in the works for literally years. Rumor has it that General Motors spent more than $15 million dollars on development costs.
2. The Beast
So after years of preparation, the Presidential Limo, also known as “The Beast” is probably better categorized as a tank than as a car. It has glass that can stop a .44 magnum bullet, 8-inch thick armored doors, armor floor plates, and a body with 5 inches of military grade armor. You can be assured that grenades or bombs coming from over, under, or from the side, are not going to so much as scratch The Beast. It’s advanced enough that it has a gas tank that will seal itself if punctured!
3. A Mini Fleet
via Getty + Leigh Vogel
The President needs a lot of cars. A lot. While previous agents have claimed that motorcades are usually about 10 vehicles, it’s easy to see how there are often much more. In more potentially threatening areas, motorcades can grow to well over 40 cars, motorcycles, and SUVs. In President Trump’s case, we’ve seen his motorcades to be even greater than this.
4. Limousine Price
So as I’m sure you’re already assuming, the Presidential Limo is pretty expensive. Just think, a regular one costs upwards of $75,000 dollars. After you add in the amenities, tank-like qualities and armor, and all the gadgets, you’re looking at a good ol’ $1.5 million dollars. The exact price is classified. Oh, and let’s forget the gas prices for a second, even though the car only gets an estimated 4 miles per gallon. Yeah. 4 miles per gallon.
5. Loyal Lookouts
With the vehicles, come even more personnel. Every presidential motorcade has dozens of police and secret service agents on constant lookout. Clearly, they are there to detect any potentially dangerous situations. However, just as many are scanning airwaves and listening for any sound or indication that the President is threatened. In an awesome job, in 1996 agents picked up on the words “Bridge” and “Marriage” while escorting President Bill Clinton through the Philippines. “Marriage” at the time was a well known code word for an attack, and thus they diverted their motorcade to an alternative route. Later, a security search found explosives lining the bridge that Bill Clinton’s motorcade was originally going to cross over.