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January 21 Weekly Open Thread: "The Beast"

The beast 1About this time every four years in our Nation's capital, we get to see an amazing spectacle. That's right, we get to see live on TV the car we citizens provide to transport and protect our President.

"The Beast" will make its second inaugurational appearance today. And regardless of our political views, any inauguration is a time to relax and enjoy the peaceful transition of power that our country uniquely provides.

Some insiders say that this car is more truck than anything else. I don't believe it's a crossover though. And it definitely was not built for good gas mileage. It, in itself, is an ambassador to the world, as every other Presidential transport, including Air Force One, has been.

The limousine has everything that even the best James Bond vehicles could hope for and more. Except, of course, it can't fly or swim on its own. And the Secret Service won't tell us everything about the car either, except that when its service is finished, it will be blown into bits. But it's safe to say that the car is armored, has run-flat tires, looks something like a Cadillac, and costs a ton of money.

The Beast 2

The text above is hard to see, but here's where I found the link to the original image. It's a bit easier to read there.

So please share any automotive-related thoughts relevant to anything but politics here.

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Image Credits: The first image of The Beast is from The Beast diagram image is from


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It's more an Armored Personnel Carrier dressed up like a Cadillac.

Ugly. Can't they come up with something that looks like a "real" car?

Instead of a Cadillac, it should be called "The Bailout Special."

Wonder how much it weighs. Quick, someone find a similar vehicle with the same engine. . . .

According to this ( ), The Beast weighs 7-8 tons. But other sites report different weights, so we may never know for sure.

It hit me this morning that 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, and, later this year, the JFK assassination.

And to think, I originally thought that the 10th anniversary of the release of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution on the American market, a realization that hit me while browsing car magazines, was big news.

Something that fits in with what tigerstrypes said: there's an interesting piece in a law prof's blog this morning on how the automobile contributed to the civil rights movement:

Tried to get a peek at this monster when OBAMA came to town they guard this beast bettter than the prez and when you get near the SS gets real nervous about people taking pics of the real car...BTW it's built on a CADDY SUV chassis...........

I like this blog. Nice work. May I respectfullyc inform you that other countries have entirely peaceful transitions of power. The United Kingdom has had peaceful changes of administration for centuries. And today the entirety of W Europe has routine peaceful changes of administration. The US is not "unique" in this regard and I find it odd to think that you imagine we change our heads of state only by means of coups, revolution or invasions.
Richard in Denmark (no revolutions in a thousand years).

By "unique," I meant that our day of inauguration was unique in its pageantry, not that we were the only people that did it peacefully. For example, the Presidential Oath of Office is not used by any other country.

It's just a shame that we need "The Beast" in the first place. Our presidents used to be able to ride in open cars.

I see. Thanks for clarifying that. I would think or expect that it might be possible to design something less unattractive. Personally, were I president I'd take the risk and travel in an open car. As the saying goes, alertness is the price you pay for liberty. At the very least a less obviously armoured car would be sufficient, no?

Richard, please understand that many Americans resent the fact that Mr. Obama is our first non-white President, and many hate groups and individuals have threatened him. Also, 2013 is the 50th "anniversary" of the murder of President John F. Kennedy, who was riding in an open car when he was shot. I remember that day which changed our country forever.

So The Beast was designed to protect Mr. Obama against anything foreseeable, including explosives. It even has his blood on board in case transfusions are needed.

Again, it's a shame that we have to have The Beast in the first place.

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