The New Dear Leader Mobile

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Here are some spy shots of the new Dear Leader Mobile, which GM is building . . . your tax dollars at work.

 

When the vehicle will be released to the federal government remains unclear, though the contract between the Department of Homeland Security and GM had a March 30 completion date.

David Albritton, executive director of global product development for GM, said contractual obligations with the U.S. government prevent the company from discussing details of the program.

The vehicle will replace a 2009 Cadillac presidential limo, nicknamed “The Beast,” that GM created and delivered after Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2009.

A new presidential limousine has been designed and engineered every four to eight years, with Cadillac being the most popular choice in recent administrations.

The latest limo undergoing tests represents an amalgamation of styling features from Cadillac’s current lineup. The back end and grille mimic the flagship CT6 sedan. The vehicle is expected to feature a reinforced frame similar to what’s on GM’s commercial truck line, but the sloping roofline is reminiscent of a Rolls-Royce coach.

What’s under the hood is far less certain, especially since vehicle technology and security requirements have changed dramatically since the early days of the Obama administration.

How the limousine will be outfitted remains under wraps; Trump’s current presidential limo has an armor-plated fuel tank, bullet-proof tires, fire-suppression systems and military-grade armor surrounded by fiberglass. Additionally, the current presidential limo is equipped with encrypted satellite access, weapons and medical supplies.

“The car may say Cadillac, but very little in that car is Cadillac,” one secret agent said of Obama’s “Beast” in 2013.

Still, the Beast is an upgrade from Trump’s former Cadillac limousine, which was sold for $68,261 at a Bonhams sale earlier this year in England.

GM accepted the contract for the latest presidential limo in September 2013, long before the 2016 election was decided. Until its release, Trump will continue using the executive branch’s current fleet of Cadillac presidential limousines.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. There’s a good video on YouTube done by an obvious aviation enthusiast, because he trains his camera on the engines for the whole time. You can watch a 707 giving her loudest and best here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI3owgIj6zs

    When I left for Navy bootcamp out of Newark, I flew on a 707 to Chicago. This was back in 1980, so we got the ticket, made the MAD DASH through the airport, and boarded right before they left! That was the only time I flew on one though, because the major airlines were phasing them out at the time.

    They did so for efficiency, and courtesy of Uncle. 707s, though they’re wonderful airplanes, were too noisy and smoky for Uncle’s liking…

    • Hi Mark,

      That made my day!

      The 707 was a sexy – and fast – bitch. High subsonic; it got you from NY to LA faster in 1970 than a 757 gets you there today.

      Only thing that gets me going more is the sight (and sound and smell) of the Concord’s four Olympus turbojets with their afterburners lit.

      Sigh.

      As a kid, I used to watch these graceful birds arrive and depart Dulles Airport in DC.

      That was 30 years ago.

      We’ve regressed much since then.

      • What’s the saying, what’s old is new again? The Convair 990 was the fastest subsonic airliner ever. Before Boeing brought out the 787, they were talking about the Sonic Cruiser, a plane that would travel at close to mach 1; by doing so, it would save an hour on long flights. IOW, it was to have done what the Convair 990 did back in the day-fly at high subsonic speeds.

        As for the Concorde, I saw it one day. I was at Mt. Mitchell scenic overlook in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. From there, you could look out over Raritan Bay and see NYC on a clear day. Anyway, I was there on a good day, and I had my binoculars with me. I had the chance to see the Concorde landing @ JFK; because the winds were blowing from JFK, I could faintly hear the Condorde’s engines as she approached. That was the only time I saw her in flight though.

        If you’re ever in the DC area, you can see an Air France Concorde @ the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center; it’s a satellite facility of the National Air & Space Museum located at Dulles Airport. They have lots of good stuff in there, like the only Arado Ar234 in existence.

  2. The likely reason for the delay is because the designers had to increase the headroom. They designed for the biggest head they thought was out there with Obama, but turns out that wasn’t enough. Fortunately they had planned for sufficient hip room given the ass they expected to win in November’s elections.

  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_official_vehicles_of_the_President_of_the_United_States

    You have to wonder, why get rid of a functioning vehicle? I’ll bet there’s pretty meticulous maintenance schedules, and in-house mechanics (after all there’s official White House gardeners) who probably are highly skilled and compensated to keep el Presidente’s ride moving. Optics, I guess.

    And even though this was in the works since before Trump, couldn’t he shut down the program so that he could actually make a symbolic gesture toward cutting back waste? Oh never mind…

  4. I wonder how many of those we get to pay for. There’s at least 2 Air Force 1’s. Will those be replaced too? Don’t know as I’d want to ride on anything made for BO since unfriendlies might have some knowledge of the specs. Just sayin. The “other side” is taking everything very badly.

    • There are replacements in the works for the air force one planes. The Marine one helicopters were going to be replaced, but after spending muti-millions, the program failed! How do you fail at buying copters? Well, the feds can. Can’t just buy off the shelf stuff for our “leaders” can we?

      • One story going around a while back about Marine One replacements was they were going to be foreign made. That might be the “fail”.

    • 8S,

      AF1 will be replaced. Boeing is working on a modified version of the 747-8 to replace the 747-200s now in service. The current AF1s have been in service since the George H.W. Bush (Bush 41, or Poppy) Administration and are nearing the end of their useful lives.

      • Marky,

        “nearing the end of their useful lives.”

        ???

        I bought my 1966 in 1993. It was the average age of the fleet (American aircraft) at the time. 27 years.

        Word on the street (or taxiway) was 100 year useful life for any given airplane in the states. Less in other third world countries.

        Did Boeing get a cash for clunkers law passed?

        • Not that I’m aware of. That said, the old AF1, the 707, served about 30 years; the first of the 707s started flying in 1958. The 747-200s, which entered service in 1990, are coming up on 30 years in service.

          • Morning, Mark!

            The 707 (along with the Convair 880/990) are, to me, the godhead of commercial aviation – glorious birds, unlike the airborne busses of today. Hearing those four turbojets spool up on take-off roll… that’s the ticket!

            Modern airplanes are as exciting as a can of Spam.

            • Yeah, Baby! In that video I shared with you earlier, there’s nothing better than hearing those JT3Ds at full throttle singing their song. They sound especially good when the engine RPMs are all synced up, just like in that video. Notice how gracefully and imperceptibly she lifted off?

              On the older airplanes, you still heard and felt enough to know you were FLYING. On a newer plane, you don’t hear much; on 707, you heard enough to know you were on an AIRPLANE, not a bus. Plus, they got you where you were going faster than today’s buses with wings. The old Convair 990 flew at 0.95 or 0.96 Mach, whereas the newer planes fly around 0.85 Mach; over a long flight, that can add an hour or so to your flight. Boeing didn’t break any new ground when they touted their Sonic Cruiser, because the Convair 990 had already been there, and done that.

              The other major difference between the old Convairs and Boeings is that they were more old school, more low tech vs. the newer equipment. For example, you had old analog instrumentation, fuel controls, etc.; today’s new planes have glass cockpits-ugghh! Did analog instruments break more often than the digital controls and instruments? Yes, but they were easier and cheaper to fix. Plus, you didn’t lose everything at once; with analog instruments, you normally only lose one or two, whereas when you lose the big LCD display, you lose almost EVERYTHING. Newer aircraft are like newer cars; they’re transportation APPLIANCES-nothing special or exciting.

        • Tuanorea, there is a difference between pressurized and non-pressurized aircraft.

          Small Cessna or Piper, etc can fly damn near forever if maintained and not damaged, but high altitude aircraft are limited to so many pressure cycles due to metal fatigue. Remember the “convertible” 737 in Hawaii some years back?

          • I remember that 737; it flew for Aloha Airlines between the Hawaiian islands. What also doomed it (in addition to the numerous pressurization cycles) was the fact that Aloha’s 737s flew in salty air all the time.

        • It was a matter of FUEL efficiency. As expensive as these birds are, it’s operating costs that will make or break an airline. Second is maintenance, turn-around time, and related down-time.

          This is why Southwest has done so well…in addition to managing to keep unions at bay. One standard aircraft, and the lowest TAT average in the industry. Insiders have figured that the average SWA bird gets three more flights per week than their competitors. With the fixed costs of airport gates, ground staff, sales, etc, and an estimated 750 aircraft in service, that’s 2,250 flights per WEEK. Assuming average sales of 150 paying customers per flight, with an average of $200 per ticket, that’s $67.5 million in extra revenue thanks to increased efficiency.

          • There’s no question about that. Airlines have one of the THINNEST profit margins out there, rivaled only by supermarkets.

            Even if Uncle’s fatwas hadn’t come along, the 707 would have been phased out anyway. The 757, 767, and Airbus A300 had come out and offered more efficiency. Here are fuel efficient twin engine jets that carry more pax; did so over long distances; and offered the parts and maintenance savings of two engines vs. four.

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