The Great Gatsby, by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald is set on Long Island’s North Shore and New York City during the summer of 1922. For Fitzgerald-both in fiction and real life-the automobile and more specifically, the limousine, was the ultimate status symbol; it gave proof of one’s location on the road to social and financial success. The chauffeured car was a device he often used as a central symbol in his writing, and Fitzgerald was not blind to the social phenomenon to the appearance that “wealth rolls by in limousines”.
Historically, the limousine has been a status symbol for powerful and rich people in American society, whether they were presidents, business bosses, celebrities or gangsters.
Though the word limousine is of French origin – it was originally used as a term for a cloaked carriage driver – the limo is a uniquely American invention. The first stretch limo was constructed in 1920’s by Armbruster & Company of Arkansas and rapidly became an international standard in ground transport for those wanting a blend of both comfort and prestige.
Most recently, news headlines have reported that the number of limos owned by United States government owned limousines increased by 73 percent during the first two years of the Obama administration. Officials said the increase reflects an enhanced effort to protect diplomats and other government officials in a dangerous world.
The presidential limousine or “state car” that transports President Obama carries many current Cadillac styling themes, but doesn’t exactly resemble any particular production vehicle. The car is fitted with tear-gas cannons, reinforced run-flat tires, and a wheelbase built to resist bomb and missile attacks. The interior is completely sealed to protect the President against the risk of a chemical or biological attack. Kept in the trunk is a blood bank of the President’s blood type. Interestingly, there are no key hole in the doors. Although a price tag has not been announced, there is a rumor that each limousine costs US$300,000.
The most expensive limousine ever made was produced by Rolls-Royce in December 2006. It is a stretched version of the Phantom and it is designed to be bulletproof and capable of sustaining a mine detonation. The granddaddy of all limos has a price tag to match its uniqueness: $3.8 million! So far, it’s the most expensive luxury car ever.
Even with the exorbitant price tags of these elite automobiles, hiring a limousine for the rest of us has become a popular and economical way to celebrate a special occasion. It is no longer limited to the world leader or the business executive. They are now an affordable option to anyone who wishes to travel in this mode of supreme luxury.
Long Island limousine services such as Long Island Limousine by Broward Limousine in Island Park, NY offer a wide array of ground transportation solutions that make travel by limousine a perfect addition to any birthday celebration, prom night or wedding ceremony. Stretch limousines are elegant and sophisticated which ensure that passengers arrival to their destination in style.