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Driving the World's Longest Limousine Is Quite an Anti-Climatic Experience

The American Dream is believing in and having equal opportunity to achieve your biggest dreams. For car fabricator Jay Ohrberg, the American Dream is about being able to build the most incredible vehicles in the world, including the physical representation of that ethos, the American Dream limousine.
The American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former self 24 photos
Photo: YouTube/Supercar Blondie (Composite)
The American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former selfThe American Dream limo remains the world's longest car ever builtThe American Dream limo remains the world's longest car ever builtThe American Dream limo remains the world's longest car ever builtThe American Dream limo remains the world's longest car ever built
The American Dream limo is a twice Guinness World Record holder, ironically in the same category, that of longest limousine. It's an iconic custom vehicle, both because it perfectly represents the shameless extravaganza of the '80s and because of the features it originally had, including themed rooms, a cinema, and a pool with a diving board.

This limo still exists today, and it still holds the title of the world's longest. It remains an impressive build, having been restored after three years of hard work and an estimated budget of $250,000. However, as the video below shows, in restored form, the American Dream feels slightly anti-climatic.

The American Dream limo remains the world's longest car ever built
Photo: Dezerland Park

A limousine like no other

Jay Ohrberg was a man with a very peculiar taste in cars, and he turned that into a most prolific career in Hollywood. He is the man behind iconic on-screen vehicles, both on the big and the small screen, including General Lee from Dukes of Hazard, KITT from Knight Rider, the DeLorean in Back to the Future DeLorean, several Batman vehicles, the RoboCop car, the Ford GT from Starsky and Hutch, and the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters.

In between building vehicles for all the major studios and private customers, mostly celebrities and public figures who wanted to stand out, Ohrberg also did several iconic limousines. His motto seems to have been "the stranger the better," so over the years, he worked hard to outdo himself. His portfolio includes a Ferrari F40 limo, a Mercedes convertible limo with a heart-shaped hot tub in the back, the Extra-Wide limo that looked like a living room on wheels, and the unmistakable American Dream.

The American Dream was based on the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado and used parts from six of them. The initial build was shorter and less fabulous, at "just" 18.28 meters (60 feet), which he later extended to 30.5 meters (100 feet), adding a hinge in the middle that would allow it to turn. It never got much use like this, though, because it would be hauled from location to location in two pieces secured to flatbed trailers.

The American Dream limo remains the world's longest car ever built
Photo: Dezerland Park
The original American Dream had two driver's cabs, one in the front and one in the rear, and bonkers features even by the bonkers standards of those days. It had a helipad in the back with a putting green you could extend over the launching pad when not in use, and it had a diving board and a pool. No one dared dive off that board, but that was hardly the point.

Inside, the American Dream dripped in excess. Hardwood furniture, crystal chandeliers, large-screen TVs, professional audio systems and lights, a water bed, a spa area, and seating for as many as 75 people were among the features presented to the media at the time.

It was no surprise that the limo became a success, traveling to 30 countries and impressing audiences wherever it went. Then, by the late '90s, it slipped off the radar and into oblivion, abandoned to the elements until the early 2010s.

A legend reborn, but not quite

In 2020, news broke that the American Dream limo was being restored. Owner Mike Manning and billionaire Mike Dezer had joined forces on the project, which would end up on display at the famous Dezerland Auto Museum in Florida.

The American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former self
Photo: YouTube/Supercar Blondie
The reborn American Dream was unveiled in mid-2022 to great fanfare. Not only had it been able to live up to its Guinness reputation, but it actually set another record in the process because builders added a new bumper that extended the total length to 30.54 meters (100 ft and 1.50 in). The American Dream had beat itself for the title of the world's longest limousine.

Carfluencer Supercar Blondie was recently in Florida and was invited to tour the limo and take it for a very short drive. While there, she also offered a better look at the renovated interior, which is shockingly bare except for the L-shaped sofa you can see when you open the large drop-down gullwing doors.

The American Dream, once built as a functional premium party venue on wheels, is now an empty carpeted tunnel that allows you to crawl from the rear to the front. The bottom of the pool is cracked, and, at least on this occasion, the small two-person helicopter only touches the helipad briefly before taking off again.

The American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former self
Photo: YouTube/Supercar Blondie
The same underwhelming vibe persists in the cabin. It's the original '76 Cadillac, but it's rendered more difficult to use because of the support beams that cross it on the sides. To get into the driver's seat, you have to pour yourself inside in the most inelegant manner. Once you're there, good luck with getting out because the support beams block access to the interior door handle.

Driving the American Dream is surprisingly un-challenging, at least in Supercar Blondie's case. She's only allowed to drive it forward and backward over a short distance – so short that she doesn't even close the access door in the rear. She says the limo is no longer able to turn because the builders only had to make it drivable in the most basic sense to secure the new Guinness record.

That last part contradicts what a rep for Dezerland was saying at the big unveil in 2022. According to him, the limo has two 8.2-liter V8 engines under the hood, and it could be capable of topping 120 mph (193 kph), though in theory only. Stopping it was the real issue, though. He also said that it could turn, adding that it would need an airport to do so safely.

The American Dream limo has been restored but it's a shadow of its former self
Photo: YouTube/Supercar Blondie
Still, the American Dream is an impressive vehicle, not because of its functionality or features, but mostly because it exists – and defies common sense by so doing. It's not half as impressive as it was back in the day, but maybe we're just looking at it through nostalgia-tinted glasses.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
Elena Gorgan profile photo

Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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