2005 Cadillac DTS Presidential State Car

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Identical Presidential State Cars at Zagreb Airport during the visit of president George W. Bush to the Republic of Croatia

The 2005 Cadillac DTS Presidential State Car was the official state car used by President George W. Bush of the United States during the second term of his administration. Analogous to the President's use of an airplane designated Air Force One, the automobile—traditionally a limousine—is informally known as "Cadillac One". The limousine model was replaced on January 20, 2009, upon the inauguration of President Barack Obama, although both models are still in use.

Specifications and capabilities[edit]

President Bush's limousine
A side view of the limousine

The model is a 2005 hand-crafted, custom built, heightened-roof, and armored vehicle designed with the styling of the Cadillac DTS sedan built on a GM four-wheel drive platform.[1] The vehicle was custom built by Centigon (formerly O'Gara, Hess & Eisenhardt).[1][2] It was first used on January 20, 2005, during the second inauguration parade of George W. Bush.

Most details of the car are classified for security reasons.[3] The vehicle is one of a kind. It sports a tall roofline, an all-wheel drive set up based on that of the Cadillac Escalade, red and blue emergency lights built into the front grille, and is fitted with red strobe lights in the headlights and rear brake lights.[3] The standard door handles have been replaced by those of a more loop design.[3] The vehicle is completely fitted with military grade armor 5 inches (130 mm) thick for maximum protection.[3] The windows do not open, the wheels are fitted with run flat tires, and five antennas are mounted on the trunk lid.[3] Due to the thickness of the glass, much natural light is excluded, so a fluorescent halo lighting system in the headliner is essential.[3]

The car can seat seven people, including the President. The front seats two, and includes a console-mounted communications center.[3] A glass partition divides the front from back. Three rear-facing seats are in the back, with cushions that are able to fold against the partition. The two rear seats are reserved for the president and another passenger; these seats have the ability to recline individually.[3] A folding desk is between the two rear seats. Storage compartments in the interior panels of the car contain communications equipment.[3]

Use, 2005-[edit]

On domestic trips, Cadillac One displays the American and presidential standard flags, which are illuminated by directional flood lights mounted on the hood.[3] The limousine is airlifted for domestic and international use primarily by a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III. When the President performs a state visit to a foreign country, the presidential standard is replaced by the foreign country's flag.

On May 23, 2011, the 2005 model presidential state car was involved in an incident when it got stuck on a ramp as it exited the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland, during an official visit by President Obama. It is understood that the wheelbase of the vehicle was too great for the ramp and it had to be towed off the ramp as a large crowd looked on.[4]


On January 6, 2009, it was announced that a new, model year 2009, modified Cadillac would be used during the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009.[5][6] The model was replaced by the "2009 Cadillac Presidential Limousine" on that day. Both cars remain in the presidential fleet and the older model is occasionally used. The older model mainly serves as a backup to the primary vehicle.

See also[edit]

Footnotes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b McDonald, Neil (2007-08-24). "By George, a Caddie that's bulletproof". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). 
  2. ^ "British company agrees to buy Armor Holdings". The Enquirer. Associated Press. May 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Merksamer, Gregg D (June 2001). "Take A Look Inside The President's New Cadillac One Limo". Popular mechanics. Archived from the original on January 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  4. ^ "RTÉ.ie Extra Video: President Bush's car gets stuck leaving the US Embassy in Dublin - Video - RTÉ News Player". Rte.ie. 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  5. ^ David Shepardson (2009-01-06). "Obama to ride in style in GM limo, "The Beast"!". Detroit News. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  6. ^ Ahlers, Mike M.; Eric Marrapodi (January 6, 2009). "Obama's wheels: Secret Service to unveil new presidential limo". CNN.com. CNN. Archived from the original on January 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 

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