When you think about luxury, your mind probably immediately starts imagining huge mansions, enormous pools, closets full of the fanciest clothes and of course, beautiful limousines stocked with the most expensive alcohol and state of the art sound systems. While limousines were once a luxury that was only enjoyed by the elite, today they are a staple of airport transportation and a fun way to get to formals, bachelor/bachelorette parties and weddings.
What Exactly is a Limousine?
For most people, the word “limousine” is associated with a long car with dark-tinted windows no one can see into. But in all actuality, a limousine can be as a nice Lincoln Town Car. There is no standard limousine make or model – instead the word refers to a vehicle that has a larger compartment in the back half of the car than your average automobile. All you really need to consider something as a “limo” all you really need a nice car that has a lot of leg room in the rear. It also helps if you have a driver that drives the car while you relax in the backseat.
The Origin of the Word Limousine
The word limousine comes from a town in France called Limousin. The original limousine wasn’t a vehicle at all – it was simply a piece of clothing. Shepherds in the town created a raincoat with a hood to protect them from the elements. They called this hooded cloak a limousine. Eventually, coach-builders in Paris began to call covered coaches limousines (some speculate that the first person to call it that was actually from Limousin). Wealthy passengers sat under the cover out of the elements while the driver handled the horses in the rain.
When automobiles came around, the word transferred to cars that were driven by a hired person to transport passengers. Limousine services sprang up in places like New York City as early as the 1920s. Some of these companies still exist today!
The Limousine of Today
Limousines are just for the elite anymore. While it is still pricey to have someone drive you around all of the time, enjoying a limousine ride every now and again and for special events is becoming increasingly more popular. With loads of amenities and pricing that makes it affordable, more and more people are taking their time in the backseat of a limousine.