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A limousine (/ˈlɪməziːn/ or /lɪməˈziːn/), or limo (/ˈlɪmoʊ/) for short, is a large, chauffeur-driven luxury vehicle with a partition between the driver compartment and the passenger compartment.
In some countries, such as the United States, Germany, Canada, and Australia, a limousine service may be any pre-booked hire car with driver, usually but not always a luxury car. In particular, airport shuttle services are often called limousine services though they often use minibuses.
Rich owners of expensive carriages and their passengers were accustomed to their own private compartments leaving their coachman or driver outside in all weathers. When automobiles arrived the same people required a similar arrangement for their chauffeurs. As such, the 1916 definition of limousine by the US Society of Automobile Engineers is "a closed car seating three to five inside, with driver's seat outside".
In the United States, sub-categories of limousines in 1916 were the berline defined as "a limousine having the driver's seat entirely enclosed", and the brougham, defined as "a limousine with no roof over the driver's seat."
Many nations have official state cars designed to transport government officials. The top leaders have dedicated and specially equipped limousines. The United States Presidential State Car is the official car of the President of the United States.
A "stretch limousine" was created in Fort Smith, Arkansas, around 1928 by a coach company named Armbruster. Armbruster's cars were primarily used to transport famous "big band" leaders, such as Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, and their bands and equipment. These early stretch limousines were often called "big band buses". Armbruster called their lengthened cars "extended-wheelbase multi-door auto-coaches". Their 12-passenger people movers were used by hotels, taxis, airlines, corporations, and tour companies. Knock-down programs by automakers made coachbuilders stretch vehicles, but Armbruster also custom built limousines using unibody construction such as the 1969 AMC Ambassadors.
A variety of vehicles have been converted into novelty limousines. They are used for weddings, parties, and other social occasions. Another style of novelty limousine are those painted in bright colors, such as purple or pink.
Vehicles converted into novelty stretch limousines include the East German Trabant, Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat Panda, and Citroën 2CV. There are instances of Corvettes, Ferraris, and Mini Coopers being stretched to accommodate up to 10 passengers.
The last production limousine, by Cadillac, with forward-facing jump seats, was in 1987 (with their Fleetwood Series 75 model), the last Packard in 1954, and the last Lincoln in 1939, though Lincoln has offered limousines through their dealers as special order vehicles at times. Several Lincoln Premier cars were also built, one being owned by Elvis Presley. Vehicles of this type in private use may contain expensive audio players, televisions, video players, and bars, often with refrigerators. The President of the United States has ridden in a variety of brands of limousine stretching back to 1899.
Due to the partition behind the driver, the Hackney carriages are a type of limousine, although not typically identified as such in Britain. The occasional seats, also referred to as taxi-tip-seats, usually carry advertising on the underside; the advertisements are visible to the passengers when the tip-seats are not in use.
Borrowed from French limousine, from region Limousin, originally an adjective referring to the city Limoges, from Latin Lemovices (adjective Lemovicīnus), name of a Gaulish tribe in central France, most likely a reference to their elm bows and spears, of same ultimate origin as elm.
Since 2006 Atlantic Limousine has completed over 35,000 reservations. In that time we have grown to be the largest limousine service in Maine. We are proud to offer our customers the very best in luxury