They say you can tell a lot about a man by his car.
Same goes for presidents.
And while they weren’t always as luxurious as Barack Obama’s super-armored limousine, you can bet your tailpipe the Leaders of the Free World weren’t jaunting around our nation’s capital in clown cars.
The proof is below, in our roundup of 11 stylish rides that carried our former heads of state to safety.
They call it The Beast. It’s virtually indestructible.
The ‘67 Ford Mustang is the vehicular manifestation of all things baby boomer. This Clearwater Aqua edition originally belonged to Bill’s younger brother — he was only allowed to take a stroll in it briefly, at the car’s 30th anniversary celebration in ‘94 … He drove it a whopping 250 feet.
In the ‘70s, Reagan is said to have driven a Subaru Brat test car around his California ranch in secret. He then gave the manufacturer feedback on the DL, as Eastern production was at the time frowned upon.
Johnson was known to scoop up visitors at his Stonewall, Texas ranch for a spin in his rare German ‘60s Amphicar and joke that the brakes went out as they approached the property’s lake. In addition to this odd breed, he also owned a Jolly 500 Ghia via Fiat and the ever-popular Lincoln Continental.
John F. Kennedy
President and Mrs. Kennedy owned a custom modified limousine that was originally made for a visit from Queen Elizabeth II. The specs included a removable rear plastic top section.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
The champion of our country’s highway system, Eisenhower was known for driving decades-old electric makes during the ‘52 campaign. This 1914 Rauch and Lang previously belonged to his parents, and now lives in the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas. A well-known car enthusiast, he cruised to his inaugural address in a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible — one of the first off the line, no less.
Harry S. Truman
Truman favored the ‘47 Cadillac Limousine and the 1953 Chrysler New Yorker. The New Yorker was a symbolic ride at the time, a bastion of industrial optimism with a HEMI engine. He and his wife took a highly documented road trip in the beauty after his presidency, logging some 2,500 miles.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, FDR used a heavily armored ‘28 Cadillac Town Sedan rumored to have originally been owned by Al Capone.
Hoover picked up this ‘32 Cadillac 452 before leaving office, and took the ride with him when he exited the White House. Few were built, and it was a pivotal make, as it was among the small number crafted during the Great Depression.
After signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, Wilson exited state left in a Pierce-Arrow Limo. A special ride for a historic moment, his loved ones purchased it for him and he continued to drive it after his term.
The first president to have a fleet specifically designated for the White House and purchased for the government, Taft cruised around town in a Pierce-Arrow and a Baker Electric.