Se­cret ser­vice

Sneak a peek in­side the Beast

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

THE world’s most pub­lic man is driven in the world’s most se­cret car. It’s so se­cret that at trade-in time it will be crushed be­yond recog­ni­tion.

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, who is in Aus­tralia to cel­e­brate the 60th an­niver­sary of the ANZUS al­liance, will be co­cooned in ‘‘ Limo One’’ as his per­sonal trans­port.

But ‘‘ Limo One’’— or ‘‘ Cadil­lac One’’ or ‘‘ The Beast’’, as it has been dubbed — isn’t one car and it isn’t even on the Cadil­lac model list. In fact, it’s the only Cadil­lac that doesn’t have a model name, though Cadil­lac refers to it in-house as ‘‘ Stage Coach’’.

Built in 2009, it is one of the 25 lim­ou­sines of the Obama Ad­min­is­tra­tion. And even Limo One is be­lieved to be one of three iden­ti­cal ve­hi­cles— some for­eign vis­its by the Pres­i­dent may re­quire the use of all the ‘‘ clones’’.

As Cadil­lac spokesman David Cald­well says: ‘‘ One of the spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the car is that I can’t talk about the spec­i­fi­ca­tions.’’

Limo One is be­lieved to be based on a Gen­eral Mo­tors 4WD chas­sis. The 6m long car looks sim­i­lar to pro­duc­tion Cadil­lacs but in de­tail is a mon­tage of body panels, head­lights and tail-lights.

These com­po­nents, bor­rowed from other Cadil­lac cars, pro­vide the skin over a six-tonne, grenade-proof ar­moured per­son­nel car­rier.

Neil Dowl­ing

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