Hooniverse Asks: Are stretch limousines still relevant?

There was a time when the rich and famous motored almost exclusively in stretched limousines. Limos trickled down to the rest of us by the means of rentals. Prom, wedding, fancy dinner date, a long ride to the airport, or a sporting event, limos were the best way to feel fabulous about commuting. Limousines were featured and movies and magazines. People posed for pictures with limos. Kids, myself included, would go crazy in them playing with all the things.

Limos were everywhere and some limo builders even became household names. But lately, with the increase of commuting options and in some places the social stances, limos have gone down in popularity. Factory luxury sedans and SUVs have gotten much better over the years, which could be considered a factor. For instance, a modern Lincoln Navigator L can comfortably sit as many people as a stretched Town Cars from the 80s.

Today we ask – Are stretch limousines still relevant? Pandemic aside, which basically prevents us from participating in the above-stated activities, have you even considered hiring a limousine?

13 Comments

  1. It is my heartfelt belief that only about 2% of Hooniverse readers will appreciate the absurdity of this Aphex Twin video – which incidentally features a limo of brobdingnagian proportions: (skip to 2:28 or so unless you’re a fan of interminable gutter talk)

      1. I did not know that, will add it to my repertoire of things to not say. This video amuses me thx to its unwatchableness.

  2. Sheepish admittance here – I’ve never been in a limousine. Not a stretch Caddy or Lincoln, or even a party bus. Nobody rented limos for prom (I don’t know where the nearest limo rental company even is. Maybe an hour away? Two?). I drove my new bride around in the GTX on our wedding day. I’ve never been royalty, or a celebrity, or wealthy.

    So for this plebe – no, not relevant.

    1. I’m in the same boat (or out of it, I guess). I’ve never ridden in any of those, either, and likewise I’ve never felt they were relevant. Plebeians unite!

    2. Never been in one either. We used a Saturn SL for my wedding. It really was the only way to travel in the mid ninties.

    3. We were driven from the wedding venue to the hotel but in a Ford Tempo instead of a limo.

      A friend of mine in high school rented a limo for my 18th birthday. He blew all his money on it so we had dinner from the McDonald’s drive thru.

  3. The overwhelming majority of my stretch limo experience has been as airport transportation. That was in the days when a taxi was the alternative, and a flat-rate limo trip generally cost no more (and often less) than a metered taxi fare. Rideshare services have kind of changed the economics, though, by making cab fares even less competitive and offering cheaper alternatives. I had a trip out to Hollywood last fall, and the studio sent a black car, not a limo.

    I think stretch limos still have their place, though, particularly with a large group of people. I know someone who rented two stretches for her teenage kid’s birthday party, divided the guests into two groups, and sent the on a scavenger hunt. They’re good for bachelor/ette parties, and weddings, too, particularly if the bride and groom don’t already have a photogenic “getaway” vehicle (I suppose that’s true, for my own wedding day, my wife and I used FOUR of our vehicles).

  4. Culturally I think they’ve fallen out of fashion. Stretch limousines were only ever popular with the under-30 crowd and the generation that developed them is “so over that” now. The new cohort of 20 year olds grew up watching the stretch limo go from luxury statement to hackneyed, formulaic joke.

    Technologically, as you point out, there’s no need for limousines at all, and there never really was a practical need for a stretch other than seating capacity. Kids today are perfectly happy to show up in a minibus.

  5. I think the stretch limo’s time has passed. The practical needs met by the airport limo was filled by vans decades ago and the passing of the BOF luxury car has eliminated the classic base vehicle. These days ostentation is expressed by other vehicles and stretches are just bigger SUVs for the junior prom crowd.

  6. I drove limos and party buses for a while during my post-college job hunt. The party bus is vastly superior for general debauchery and, well, partying. Limos are just super awkward to move around in, especially when you’re all dressed up.

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