From William Howard Taft To Donald Trump: U.S. Presidents And Their Cars

Donald Trump's presidential limousine 1 photo
Photo: U.S. Secret Service on Twitter
The automobile is an integral part of the 20th century and development of the United States. Given these circumstances, have you ever wondered what kind of cars U.S. presidents own or used to own?
Modern Muscle put together a video that answers this question, starting with William Howard Taft (in office from 1909 to 1913). Succeeding Theodore Roosevelt, the 340-pound Republican president used to own an example of the Baker Electric Runabout. That’s right, ladies and gents; Taft is the first U.S. president to drive an electric vehicle!

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1913 to 1921) was driven and drove around in a Pierce-Arrow Limousine back in the day. Warren Gamaliel Harding (1921 to 1923) could be seen in a Stevens-Duryea, and Herbert Clark Hoover (1929 to 1933) was enraptured with his Cadillac V-16 Fleetwood.

As you can tell, we’ve skipped John Calvin Coolidge Jr. (1923 to 1929) because he didn’t bother owning a car. What Coolidge lacked in curb appeal, Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933 to 1945) had in spades. The Packard 12 was his favorite, and at some point during his presidency, the car was equipped with bulletproof glass.

The 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman (1945 to 1953) wasn’t as opulent in his choice of cars. A 1946 Ford Super Deluxe Tudor Sedan was Truman’s means of personal transportation, and he never drove it. Dwight David Eisenhower (1953 to 1961) had different taste in cars, owning a 1956 Chrysler Imperial convertible equipped with an all-transistor radio developed by Mopar and Philco.

Fast-forward to John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1961 to 1963), and the Ford Thunderbird was all the rage back in those days, the most popular personal luxury car of them all.

The second tallest U.S. president after Abraham Lincoln (1861 to 1865) entered office in 1963 after JFK was assassinated. You’d expect an imposing man such as Lyndon Baines Johnson to drive an imposing car, but LBJ owned an Amphicar Model 770 that was small even by 1960s standards.

Next up, Richard Milhous Nixon (1969 to 1974) had an Oldsmobile 98 mentioned in his Checkers Speech at the 1952 Republican Convention. Given these circumstances, it’s believed that Nixon dropped greenback on this car as a political stunt.

Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. (1974 to 1977) was born in Nebraska, but his heart was rooted in Michigan. Jerry loved the Detroit Motor City scene, owning a Boss 429 Mustang among other high-performance vehicles. Jimmy Carter (1977 to 1981) and George Herbert Walker Bush (1989 to 1993) both owned Studebaker models from the 1940s, collectibles from an automaker that went bust in 1967.

Ronald Wilson Reagan (1981 to 1989) had a collection of Jeep models, including a CJ-6 and CJ-8. And the award for most unexpected car owned by a U.S. president also goes to Reagan. His Subaru BRAT was kept under covers at the Heaven’s Ranch because it wasn’t alright for the champion of Reaganomics to be seen in a vehicle made on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.

William Jefferson Clinton (1993 to 2001) bought a 1967 Ford Mustang convertible from his brother, but wasn’t a car guy at heart. George Walker Bush (2001 to 2009) kept true to his Texan lifestyle, driving a Ford F-150 King Ranch on his… wait for it… ranch in McLennan County.

Barack Hussein Obama II (2009 to 2017) was rolling in a Chrysler 300C with a HEMI V8 before running for office. But right before winning the elections, ol’ Barry purchased a Ford Escape Hybrid. Political stunt or just another means to tease Al Gore, the Escape Hybrid is remembered as the first sport utility vehicle to be offered as a hybrid.

Donald John Trump (2017 to the present day) is the U.S. president with the most vehicles owned. A 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is one of his earliest investments, a collectible which was produced in 2,238 examples. Trump also owns or used to possess Ferrari, Lamborghini, Cadillac, and Mercedes-Benz models, as well as the first generation of the Tesla Roadster.

On that bombshell, Paul Teutul Sr. of Orange County Choppers made a custom chopper for Trump back in 2012, lavished with 24-karat gold. But at the end of the day, there's no denying that nothing compares with The Beast 2.0 presidential limo.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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