Hooniverse Asks: What is History's Most Awesome Political Leader Car or Truck?


Theodore Roosevelt was the first U.S. President to ride in an automobile (that’s what they called them back then) while in office. He was also the first sitting President to ride in an aeroplane. Ever since then, world leaders and automobiles have been inexorably linked as cars are generally seen as a status symbol of a nation’s manufacturing prowess.
The leaders of the Soviet Union had their ZILs, while the Brazilian President gets to roll in a ceremonial 1952 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, the lucky bastards. Here in America we cocoon our current Presidents in something called “the Beast” a GMC truck-based conveyance that, owing to its safety accoutrements, looks like a Cadillac drawn by a 4th-grader.
What we’re interested in today is your opinion on which world leader—past or present—got to have the sickest ride. What do you think, what is the most awesome political leader car or truck?
Image: Pinterest

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64 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What is History's Most Awesome Political Leader Car or Truck?”

  1. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    http://www.montrealracing.com/wp/wp-content/gallery/trudeau-mercedes-300sl/justin-trudeau-mercedes-300sl_3.jpg
    I appreciate that my current PM owns a car handed down from his dad, really keeps you humble.

  2. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    The President of Gabon rides in a Stutz Royale.
    http://www.madle.org/bsb16.JPG
    http://www.madle.org/egabon.htm

    1. nanoop Avatar

      Jäger bought the best ad spot.

  3. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    The President of France has a sweet Citroen SM 4-door convertible.
    https://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/gallery/CITROENSMPresidential-1998_5.jpg

    1. nanoop Avatar

      And its predecessor (well, one of them, a black DS19) saved de Gaulle’s life, the suspension tackled two flat tires well enough to pull out of the assassination attempt.

    2. AlexG55 Avatar
      AlexG55

      Note the licence plate: 2 PR 75. PR for Président de la Republique, 75 for Paris. 1 PR 75 was the DS.
      Also, that’s the Queen in the back (and her standard on the right front fender).

  4. Sjalabais Avatar
    Sjalabais

    Scandinavian monarchs are usually…eh…not particularly interesting or smart. But King Olav of Norway was popular. He had a ’43 Packard and a ’53 and ’82 Cadillac:
    http://www.mhkd.no/img/filarkiv/Image/Kong_Olav/img637.jpg
    Later, the local-ish auto industry was supported:
    http://www.mhkd.no/img/filarkiv/Image/Kong_Olav/img635.jpg
    http://www.cdn.tv2.no/multimedia/TV2/archive/00785/Bakfra_785227p.jpg
    …and the S80 Oprah Winfrey liked so much:
    http://www.cdn.tv2.no/multimedia/TV2/archive/00994/Volvo-limo-bakfra_994940a.gif
    At the moment though I think they run a medley of Audi, Mercedes and Volvo limousines, jut because they can. None of them is known to be a car enthusiast.

    1. Jofes2 Avatar
      Jofes2

      Actually, the king of Sweden is known to be quite a petrolhead. A quick Google search found this list of his current cars:
      1965 Ford Mustang
      1966 Pontiac Tempest GTO
      1971 De Tomaso Pantera
      1966 AC Cobra
      1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupé
      1973 Porsche 911 Targa
      1946 Volvo PV 60
      1966 Ford Mustang Shelby
      2007 Ferrari 599 GTB
      The first paparazzi photo of him together with who later became the queen features what might be the same Porsche 911 Targa as the one in the list. My excuse for knowing this is that it was taken in 1973 at a petrol station I’ve been to that still uses it as their claim to fame.
      http://royauxsuedois.r.o.pic.centerblog.net/Kungen_Porsche_911.jpg

      1. Sjalabais Avatar
        Sjalabais

        Yeah, you’re right. I thought of him, then discarded his credentials for all the rich-kid-crashing he has done…

      2. dukeisduke Avatar
        dukeisduke

        Ooooh, she looks nice (and the 911, too).

    1. P161911 Avatar
      P161911

      With optional bullet proof clear bubble top.
      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/2e/9b/38/2e9b38593bf2b43b1ce61e8e522f719a.jpg
      Obviously not used in Dallas, but it was available.

    2. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      That blue color was lovely. It was repainted black during the overhaul, after the assassination.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      First one I thought of, too.

      1. dukeisduke Avatar
        dukeisduke

        He had a Continental convertible, too, that he would drive around the ranch in the winter, with the top down, and the heater on full blast.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar
          Sjalabais

          I’d like to add that to my list of hobbies myself.

          1. Inliner Avatar
            Inliner

            There’s something about driving around in the winter with the top down and heater on, or in the summer with the A/C on, especially when your car gets terrible mileage anyways.

  5. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    I’m all about the people, not the ruling class. Instead of paying homage to a privileged ruler’s whip, I honor the car company that allowed every man to be the man behind a Commander, Dictator or President. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0cc61a77878440e6f8b1f7ee90a82e3828a8aa64e1a6d4237c98d4a31a460b70.jpg

  6. Kiefmo Avatar
    Kiefmo

    You can’t get more presidential dictatorial than the Großer Mercedes, owned by such political luminaries as Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein, the North Korean Kims, and various other monarchs around the world.
    And this orangutan:

    View post on imgur.com

    1. Fred Talmadge Avatar
      Fred Talmadge

      Maybe that’s why I don’t like him. I bet he doesn’t even drive.

  7. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    Prince Charles has a rather nice Aston Martin that he loaned to his son for the wedding.
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/09/07/article-2199970-14E5429E000005DC-253_634x392.jpg

    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      I remember that day. Man, what a sweet machine.

    2. Ed Avatar
      Ed

      I’m sure Prince Charles has more than one but I recall a story back when he was still married to Princess Diana that at one polo match she decided to sit on the hood of the car and when he saw that, he was fuming. Within a couple of days he got in an accident with the car and it got pretty banged up in the front.

  8. tonyola Avatar
    tonyola

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7845afcbbb189bf0cb9b04c746b28c51a95d74314b004176033bd5124bfb22c3.jpg The 1913 Delaunay Belleville 70 SMT (Sa Majesté le Tsar) built for Tsar Nicholas II.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar
      Sjalabais

      The barrel shaped engine…a steam boiler?

      1. tonyola Avatar
        tonyola

        Nope, it’s a gasoline car. Round radiators were a sort of fashion trend in the early 1900s.

  9. linkpin Avatar
    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      Recently underwent a full restoration. Man, it sounds good, and I think it’s just the base 327, with a four-speed. The ’67 is my favorite C2, and that color (Goodwood Green) is classy.

  10. Atomic Toast Avatar
    Atomic Toast

    Five guys squeezing a 429 into a 1969 Ford Mustang. (Unrelated Content) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0c34555f7d27aca2d0240d4ab79f3c9e727ea81ac4d56336408f2ac80d6225bd.jpg

    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      A SOHC 429. Holman and Moody?

      1. 0A5599 Avatar
        0A5599

        Not a SOHC (which was built on FE architecture). It’s a Boss 429. Assembly was contracted out to Kar Kraft.
        http://www.luxury4play.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/11-1969-mustang-boss-429-rm.jpg

        1. dukeisduke Avatar
          dukeisduke

          Oh yeah, what the heck was I thinking? No massive timing chain case on the front, like the SOHC. It does have an air pump – was that only on California cars?

  11. SlowJoeCrow Avatar
    SlowJoeCrow

    Tuesday’s answer is former King Juan Carlos of Spain, shown riding what appears to be a Bultaco, although he was also fond of BMWs
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02928/juan03_2928758c.jpg

    1. jim Avatar
      jim

      That’s not to say he didn’t like cars, as evidenced by this one-of-two Frua-bodied Maserati Quattroporte:
      http://www.rmsothebys.com/images/lots/medium/MO16/MO16_r174_001.jpg
      Prince Karim Aga Khan liked it so much he commissioned the second example.

  12. Inliner Avatar
    Inliner

    The Fusca of Jose Mujica, the President of Uruguay.
    http://jalopnik.com/a-sheik-wants-to-buy-the-president-of-uruguays-vw-beetl-1655694226

  13. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    Caption for above: “Yeah, it burns a little oil, and it’s a PITA to keep in tune…”
    ALERT: I wonder the photo is flipped – RHD Alfa?

  14. NapoleonSolo Avatar
    NapoleonSolo

    Maybe FCA will use this picture of Fidel Castro as part of an Alfa Romeo advertisement.

  15. ptschett Avatar
    ptschett

    Harry S. Truman was a longtime Chrysler man. Here’s his last car. Note the plate – 5745 – for V-E Day.
    https://i0.wp.com/www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/truman-72-chrysler.jpg?w=1200

    1. dukeisduke Avatar
      dukeisduke

      Where’s that car now? Does it still exist? Is it in a museum?

        1. Inliner Avatar
      1. Inliner Avatar
        Inliner

        There’s much more on Truman’s cars on Curbside Classic.

        Automotive History: The Cars of President Harry S Truman

  16. Lokki Avatar
    Lokki

    Joseph Stalin had a pretty impressive 15,000 pound armored 1937 Packard V-12.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75f9a4f7bfaaedf7fafdf0bdeb98876485869da50a492c0622d8679265383c48.jpg

  17. AlexG55 Avatar
    AlexG55

    This deserves a mention:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/Imperial_Processional_Car.jpg
    Toyota Century Royal, belonging to the Emperor of Japan. Only four exist, and features include rice-paper headlining and granite entry steps…

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