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New Presidential Cadillac Features "Optimal Visibility;" Few Specifics Known about Glass

Though few specific details are known about President Barack Obama's brand-new Cadillac presidential limousine, General Motors officials say the vehicle features "optimal outward visibility," and is slightly more upright than its predecessor.

The all-new Cadillac Presidential Limousine has a completely new design from past presidential vehicles.

The vehicle includes many signature Cadillac elements, such as an intricate, dual-textured grille, and vertical design elements, such as the car's front and rear lighting, which are similar to the company's production models.

The rear passenger area of the car is designed specifically and prepared for presidential use and includes an extensive executive compartment with seating space, outward visibility and mobile office features. An embroidered presidential seal appears in the center of the rear seat back panel, as well as on each door trim panel, and on the exterior rear doors. The U.S. flag is placed on the right front fender, and the presidential standard will be located on the left front fender when the president is en route. The Cadillac is equipped with high-tech LED spotlights to illuminate both flags at night.

General Motors spokesperson David Caldwell declined to comment on the details of the glass used in the vehicle, due to the security involved.

"We cannot discuss the tech[nical] details … due to our agreement with the federal government," Caldwell told™/AGRR magazine.

Speculation is that the vehicle is equipped with bullet-proof windows, but Caldwell could not reveal the thickness, construction nor supplier of the glass.

Historic Moments

The "Presidential Cadillac" has been a tradition since 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson sported a Cadillac in a World War I victory parade in Boston. The Calvin Coolidge administration kept up the tradition, utilizing a 1928 Cadillac Town Car.

In 1938, the U.S. government created two special Cadillacs for the office of the presidency; they were "named" the "Queen Mary" and "Queen Elizabeth." The vehicles were 21.5 feet long, weighed 7,660 pounds and were equipped with a full ammunition arsenal, two-way radios and heavy-duty generators. These two vehicles were utilized by three different presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1953, Eisenhower rode in one of the first Cadillac Eldorado models ever produced during his own inaugural parade. This vehicle also held a special moment in glass history for the presidential vehicles-it was the first Eldorado with a wraparound windshield.

In 1956, the White House gained replacements for the two previous queens-Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth II-both fully armored convertibles. Both were fitted with narrow rims in case the tires were shot out. These two vehicles were used by Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, until they were retired in 1968.

The Ronald W. Reagan administration utilized 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine, and Bill Clinton continued the tradition with his own Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham - Presidential Series in 1993. This was the first vehicle designed, developed and manufactured completely within General Motors and Cadillac-a secure process that continues today.

Cadillac and General Motors produced a Deville Presidential model in 2001 for President George W. Bush, and in 2004, a DTS presidential model. Both of these are still in service.The Reagan administration utilized a 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine.

William J. Taft began using Cadillacs during his presidency, but the real trend didn't take off until the Woodrow Wilson administration. The Reagan administration utilized a 1983 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine.

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