Limousine: Extra Long Vehicle
The term limousine refers to an unusually long luxury car that has been traditionally painted either black or white and is most often driven by a chauffeur. Though some people can afford to have their own personal limousines, the majority are owned by governments to move important dignitaries as well as senior politicians or by large corporations to convey executives or even by broadcasting companies to transport their guests.
There are also many limousines that operate as livery vehicle in upmarket segments and are in direct competition with taxicabs. The term limousine owes its origins to the name of the French region Limousin where the people living there used to wear hoods that were like the profile of a car.
Stage, Stretch and Traditional
There are many types of limousines and typically it has a partition between the driver compartment and the back passenger compartment. There is usually a sliding glass window to ensure that private conversations amongst passengers are not overheard by the chauffeur. The different types of limousine are traditional, stretch, stage, as well as exotic custom limousines and the party bus. The traditional version was really an extension of the sedan having a longer wheelbase as well as a frame to allow the rear passenger compartment to have the forward facing passenger seat but with much more leg room. Behind the driver are two jump seats facing backward.
The stretch limousine is extended in length much more than is required for personal use and is normally used to convey partygoers to and from dances as well as weddings. The stage version though not considered as being a true limousine has its design somewhere between a sedan and a bus and has multiple doors and is derived from the Chrysler New Yorker and the Cadillac DeVille as also the station wagons. It also sometimes has large racks on the roof to carry passenger baggage. The modern version of the stage limo can be evidenced in the novelty stretch Hummer or Hummer H2 vehicles and they are also used in some funeral homes to carry families of the deceased.
The exotic custom limousine is the ultimate in stretch limousines that has amenities that may be impractical but are a significant design statement. A notable design feature of this type of vehicle is the double rear axles that support the weight of an operational hot tub. The party bus is able to carry 16 to 35 passengers and may offer leather couch seating and plenty of other electronics and is primarily used though not limited to carrying passengers to proms, weddings and bachelor parties.