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The Beast Arrives in Jay Leno's Garage, He Is Not Even Allowed To Peek Inside

The Beast 8 photos
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage | YouTube
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Jay Leno dressed up to the nines to introduce the Beast. The car barely fits inside the studio for the latest episode of his car show. Two members of the Secret Service brought it in. Nobody else is allowed to drive it or take a look inside it.
The three-generation Beast, a unique Cadillac, debuted in 2018 as the official state car of the President of the United States. There is no official information about its powertrain, specs, or equipment. Steve Abel, Protective Armored Specialist, and Jay Nasworthy, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Presidential Protective Division, brought the limousine to Jay Leno's Garage but asked anyone to keep their distance.

The two of them have one mission to accomplish, and it is dead serious: to protect the President of the United States, no matter what his name is.

The Beast is built by General Motors and it sort of is a Cadillac. "Built to resemble a Cadillac," they say and insist that it is the safest vehicle in the world. What makes it that safe remains a secret. Of course, we know the general details. It is armored, it's got bulletproof glass, and run-flat tires the size of big trucks rubber.

Because the president would not ride in anything else but the Beast, the Secret Service has moved it all around the world. Wherever the president goes, the Beast goes with him. In fact, there are two or more that are transported by plane every time.

The Beast changes every eight years or so. Each of the limousines that is no longer in use gets dismantled and completely destroyed with the assistance of the Secret Service to prevent its secrets from being disclosed. And there are many secrets no one else outside the SS should know.

The Beast
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage | YouTube
The secret agents on the show can't reveal much about the car, but they say that the dashboard is much like the one of a Cadillac Escalade. The headlights also resemble those of the SUV.

When GM's Defense division gets an order from the Secret Service, there are certain special requests they need to follow. The names of those involved in the project are top secret. It takes several years to roll out a Beast, but it takes America's best engineers to develop it.

The first armored presidential limousine was used after Pearl Harbor was bombed, and Roosevelt went to the capital to ask for the declaration of war against Japan. Rumor has it that it was Al Capone's car after the gangster was imprisoned. However, that is just a myth spread by the documentary Pearl Harbor: 24 Hours After, broadcast by History Channel.

The so-called Sunshine Special, a name inspired by the fact that it featured a convertible roof, was originally a Lincoln Series modified to protect the head of state. Presidents did ride onboard convertible-top cars before the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in Dallas.

The Beast
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage | YouTube
There is a lot of wood trim on board the Cadillac. The wood is from a horse chestnut tree that George Washington planted in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He planted 13 trees between his mother's and his sister's house for them so that they would have some shade on the way.

In 2004, the last tree succumbed to age. That wood was used for the door trims. However, all limousines are black. And you can't take a peek inside to see what is behind the dark-tinted windows which are so thick tha there is really no chance to see what they hide. Only the president, the First Lady, and secret agents know that cabin.

President Joe Biden sits in heated and cooled seats with massage functions, they slide back and forth to offer the president the necessary comfort. He's got everything he may desire back there. But safety is a top priority, sitting above anything else.

The follow-up Chevy Suburban in which the shift agents ride also carries several parts, oils, and components that The Beast may need at some point. Steve Abel is also one of the mechanics. He worked for a Ford dealership before joining the Secret Services. So, if anything happens, he is there to say the day.

The Beast
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage | YouTube
But still, unpredictable things can happen. One day, in North Carolina, they went to a local gas station after days of rain. They had no idea that water had infiltrated in the gas tank at the petrol station. So, the secret agents filled up the gas tank of the Beast and drove away. However, at some point along the way, the team called Steve to tell him that one of the cars had shut off.

When he checked the fuel, it looked like muddy water. The team of secret agents rapidly got the delivery of another car. But on the day of the president's arrival, the door of the new car wasn't closing properly. Steve had to fix the issue and managed to get the car to the airfield, where the president landed just in time to see him as he was approaching.

Jay Nasworth tells about how stressful it is to get behind the wheel and look in the rearview mirror and see the most powerful person in the world staring back at him.

Earlier this summer, during a trip to Mississippi, the air conditioning system gave in. Steve instantly suspected the compressor, but it was too late, and there was nothing he could do in time. So, President Joe Biden was hot the moment he got in the car for his 45-minute drive to the airport. He was told that the AC didn't work. Nope, nobody was fired.

The downsides of the Beast? It's got a big turning angle, there are many blind spots, and it drinks up a lot of fuel, and driving along city streets, with people gathering to get a glimpse of the president, they must also try to keep them safe because anticipating how much space they need around for the limo isn't easy.

The Beast
Photo: Jay Leno's Garage | YouTube
All potential Beast or presidential motorcade drivers go through a one-week driving course and then get to drive the second generation of the state limousine. But that is not all. That is just the beginning.

The team doesn't like to slow down because they might give someone the chance to attack. The agents are amused by all the movies that focus on the President of the US and his protection.

For the first time on Jay Leno's Garage, the doors of the car presented on the episode remain closed. However, we do get to see the Beast being loaded onto the plane for the president's next trip.

It weighs anywhere between 15,000–20,000 pounds. The powertrain that pulls all that weight is also top secet, but it supposedly is powered by a massive 8.1-liter V8 petrol engine. If you are wondering about horsepower, don't even ask. We are not supposed to know. Of course, the internet is full of numbers. None has ever been confirmed.

Each of the Beasts reportedly cost between $1 and $1.5 million.

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