Celebrities may not be better people than the rest of us, but they’re better at limousines. Lim
ousines and fame have a long association, and celebrities have both the need and the means to travel in style, safety, and comfort. So it’s not surprising that limos owned by celebrities over the years have had the latest technology, the most over-the-top features, and the best stories. We feature a few of the greatest.
The King’s limo, a 1963 Phantom V Touring, was fitted out with some impressive features for the time: a microphone, electric windows, air conditioning—plus the amazing 1963 version of the car phone. Elvis’s limo suffered some of the strangest damage ever inflicted on a limousine—it was attacked by chickens when his mother’s fowls saw their own reflections in the midnight-blue paint. Elvis owned it for about five years before donating it to charity. The refurbished limo sold at auction last year for $396,000.
John Lennon took delivery of a new Rolls-Royce limo in 1965. It was black. So after a while Ringo Starr suggested he paint it a more interesting color. He chose yellow. Then he had designs—usually described as psychedelic but actually Romany-inspired—painted on it by a group of Dutch artists. Infamously, the redecorated car was attacked by a woman with an umbrella, yelling, “You swine, how dare you do this to a Rolls-Royce?”
At various times, the car featured a “floating” record player that could withstand the bumps of driving, a TV, and a double bed. When Lennon moved to the U.S., the car came as well, and was donated to a museum to settle a tax bill, ultimately ending up in a museum in Victoria, British Columbia.
The late actor and singer, who died in tragic circumstances in 2012, once owned a 1986 Rolls Royce Silver Spur, which featured a truly old-school TV and VCR and bar with crystal glasses. It wasn’t a mere trophy piece, either: it’s said to have been used “extensively for her daily activities over a number of years.” The limo is now on display at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West
Kimye’s inclusion on this list should come as no surprise, but their cars might still raise eyebrows. According to the UK’s Daily Star, Kimye has ordered a Chevrolet Kodiak which is referred to as “Limo One” and cost around £250,000, and is based on President Obama’s car (which we’ll come to).
It doesn’t stop there: for Kim and their son North, Kanye also bought a Prombron Iron Diamond, a kidnap-proof, hijack-proof, armored SUV from Dartz Motorz, a Latvian carmaker. In addition to protecting the family from the “weirdos and psychopaths” that their celebrity attracts, the vehicle will also protect the family from landmines and rocket-propelled grenades.
Kanye in particular gets a lot of use out of limos. Last year he rapped the entire follow-up to his album Yeezus to Seth Rogen in the back of one.
Arguably the most famous limo in the world, the Beast—or Beasts, since there are actually 12 of them—is tasked with protecting the most powerful man in the world. Traditionally, the Secret Service bought commercial limos and modified them for Presidential use, but the weight of armor and equipment caused them to break down constantly.
George W. Bush was the first to ride in a specially built limo, and the current version used by Obama is a Cadillac, although the working parts are based on the Chevrolet Kodiak, a light truck. The beast is a technological marvel that features puncture-resistant tires, a foam-sealed fuel tank, tear-gas cannisters, and a door the size of an aircraft cabin door. The limo is completely sealed in case of biological attack.
And yet the next president probably won’t even ride it: the government is already working on a new one.
If you need a ride in a top-quality, reliable limo and don’t have your own, make sure you get in touch with us.