Limousines, Ferrari 360 Stretch
Demystifying How Cars Get Turned into Limousines

If you’re like me, then you’re fascinated by limousines. If you look at some of the cars on you will naturally wonder how the hell they deck out regular cars and turn them into such beautiful limos. In this article, I’m going to demystify the process of turning regular cars into limousines.

A Brief History

The very first stretch limousine was built in 1928 by Armbruster, a car company. They started with the main compartment, where the high rolling passengers would sit. This was called the coach. They didn’t convert a regular car into a limousine. Instead, they built limousines from scratch. They were long right off the bat and were meant to carry more passengers than the average vehicle. At some point, a merger occurred between Armbruster and Stageway Coaches and the whole process of building limos from the ground up ceased. Now, they took Lincolns and Cadillacs and converted them into stretch limos. These were mainly for funerals at first. However, in time, they became pretty popular and other companies ventured into the industry. Now, they convert anything and everything. Luxury vehicles, sports cars, SUVs, everything is turned into limousines. Just about everything on the road today can become a limo.

Strip the Interior

Some companies are a little more elaborate than others. However, the process is pretty much the same. The first step, after buying a car to turn into a limo or take one that is already in the stable, is to take the interior and strip it out of the car. They then cover everything with fire-retardant paper to protect it, including the glass components of the car. The car is then mounted on rails and that’s when the real work begins. The purpose of the rails is to balance the car. This ensures the back and front of the car are aligned properly. They are also used to lift the car above the ground during operations.

Cut the Car in Half

Limousines, idiot cutting car in half Once on the rails, the car is cut in half by mechanics. This is the most important part of the conversion process. The mechanics use either of two methods here to cut the vehicle in half: by hand or with a laser-guided machine to ensure precision. Once done, the back of the car is pulled back on the rails. The next step is to extend the car by welding a base to both the back and the front of the car. It protects the vehicle from warping and twisting by temporary braces. This step requires a high amount of precision as any mistakes often mean a vehicle that is unsafe or even impossible to drive.

Extend Drivelines

The driveline is then extended from the front to the rear axle via the combination of multiple drivelines. The electrical components are also extended using connectors between the original and new wiring.

Build the Framework

Limousines, Bentley Stretch The next step is to build the framework for the new doors. Pillar posts are installed at the points of attachment for the new doors. The floor plan of the limo is next, which include the reinforcement of the suspension, steering and braking mechanisms. These additions, however, also make the limo more difficult to brake and steer due to its massive size. The next step is to install the exterior of the limo, which is usually made by an outside fabricator and designed to give the limo a new, more luxurious interior. The final step is to give it a new paint job. The process has been repeated multiple times through the years and is what goes on behind the scenes of the luxurious limos we see on our roads today. It ultimately takes talented mechanics, good planning and some patience but is every bit worth the effort, especially for the passengers.  Limousines, Ferrari 360 Stretch
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