Chauffeured vehicles existed as far back as the 1700’s (although the first ones were horse powered)! They were developed for the upper classes with excessive income. The first limousines had a driver’s seat which was outside of the main cab, a feature that exists today.
In 1902 the first limo (they are named after the Limousine region in France) with an engine was built. There are two stories about how the name originated. The first story is that in this first motor powered limousine, the drivers seat was covered with a hood which was like the hood of the shepherds in the limousine region in France. The second story is that the chauffeur wore a cloak which was similar to the shepherds.
It was not until 1928 when the first stretch limousine was manufactured by a U.S. company Armbruster. These stretch limos were made to carry around people in the “big band” industry. The first stretch limos were nicknamed “big band buses” after musical icons.
After the “big band buses” came the “airporter stretch coach”. These were used by the movie industry to carry film stars and crew around movie sets. This was the time when limos grew in popularity quickly becoming a necessity for any movie star to show that they had made it.
The six-door limo was invented shortly after movie stars took a liking to the vehicles with everyone wanting to display there status wanting one, namely actors, actresses, bureaucrats, politicians, and royalty.
Limo popularity continued to grow because of ‘no drink and drive’ policies across the world. The separate compartment for the driver allowed passengers to indulge themselves and still get a vehicle home. They also quickly became used by the mainstream public with people wanting to experience the celebrity like feeling.
Modern limos now include TV’s, fridges, special lighting, and plush interiors.
The Stretch Limo today is made from a wider variety of cars such as SUV’s. They are now also commonly used for wine tours, graduations, birthdays, weddings and any occasion that people want to remember for special reasons.
Zoom into present day here and now, our Stretch limousine services in Vancouver BC are so far beyond anything anyone would have thought of back in the 1700’s.