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A landaulet or landaulette is a car body style similar to a limousine, but with the passenger section covered by a convertible top. It was based on a carriage of similar style that was a cut-down (coupé) version of a landau. Landaulets are usually used by public figures in formal processions.


Landaulet carriage at Łańcut Castle

A Landaulet carriage is a cut-down (coupé) version of a landau carriage The landaulet retained the rear half of the landau's two-part folding top. Like many other coachbuilding styles, the term landaulet was transferred from horse-drawn carriages to motor carriages.[1]

In 1916, the Society of Automobile Engineers defined a landaulet as: "a closed car with folding top, seats for three or more inside, and driver's seat outside."[2] The term has also been defined as "an automobile having a convertible top for the back seat, with the front seat either roofed or open",[3] and "an enclosed sedan or coupé with a folding top at the extreme rear quarter, over the rear seat."[1]

A landaulet is a chauffeured vehicle. Since the Second World War, conventional use has been largely restricted to formal processions by dignitaries when the dignitary's security can be assured. Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, and Pope Benedict XVI used landaulets based on Mercedes-Benz automobiles.

21st century landaulets[edit]

Maybach 62 landaulet at Dubai Airport

The Maybach division of Daimler AG showed a landaulet concept car at the Middle East International Auto Show in November 2007.[4] They added the landaulet to their 2009 model line.[5] The Maybach division has since been discontinued.[6]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "P". The Merriam-Webster new book of word histories. Merriam-Webster. January 1991. pp. 358–359. ISBN 978-0-87779-603-9. Retrieved 2012-06-02. "The motor landaulet was essentially an enclosed sedan or coupe with a folding top at the extreme rear quarter, over the rear seat." 
  2. ^ "What's What in Automobile Bodies Officially Determined" (pdf). The New York Times (New York, NY USA). Nomenclature Division, Society of Automobile Engineers. August 20, 1916. ISSN 0362-4331. OCLC 1645522. Retrieved 2012-05-31. "Here it is, with other body types and distinctions, officially determined recently by the Nomenclature Division of the Society of Automobile Engineers:" 
  3. ^ Stein, Jess, ed. (1975) [1968]. The Random House College Dictionary (Revised ed.). New York, NY USA: Random House. p. 753. ISBN 0-394-43600-8. "landaulet, n. an automobile having a convertible top for the back seat, with the front seat either roofed or open." 
  4. ^ "Car Body Design – Maybach Landaulet Study". Car Body Design. Rome, Italy: Line22 SRL. 8 November 2007. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2012-06-02. "Maybach has revealed the Landaulet Study, an exclusive one-off based on the Maybach 62 S that revives the classic landaulet theme, with a soft top for the passengers compartment." 
  5. ^ "Left Lane News: 2009 Maybach 62S Landaulet". Left Lane. Left Lane News. 2008-10-10. Archived from the original on 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2008-10-19. "Daimler added the Maybach Landaulet – an open-top version of its Maybach 62 S – to its lineup for 2009." 
  6. ^ "Mercedes puts Maybach out of its misery". CNN Money. 28 November 2011. 

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