The limousine concept


The word ‘limousine’ is the feminine adjective formed from the word Limoges – the province in France where it all started. The notable feature differentiating limousines from other vehicles (or in this case carriages) is that the driver is in an entirely separate compartment from their fare.

The concept of a chauffeured vehicle has been in existence since the 1700’s. Developed with the wealthy in mind, limousines started as horse-drawn carriages, gilded in gold and pulled by only the finest animals

How limousines got their name

The first automobile limousine – developed in 1902 – was designed so the driver sat outside under a covered compartment. This compartment bore a strong resemblance to the hooded cloak worn by the people of Limoges – hence the name ‘limousine’.

The first ‘stretch’ Limo

Created in Arkansas around 1928, stretch limousines were often known as “big band buses”. It’s not hard to guess why when you know these were the main form of transport for famous big band leaders, their orchestras and their instruments.

It wasn’t long – during the 1930s – before Limousines really took control of the transport market and they quickly became the ‘transport du jour’. They were used to ferry hotel guests to and from airports and comfortably accommodate them on their various sightseeing tours.

The movie industry adopted them to ferry film crew and stage personnel around their sets. If you didn’t arrive arrived in a stretch limousine, you were considered a ‘nobody’.

High-end transportation

The 6-door limousine soon followed. Built on a Cadillac chassis, these were mostly used as funeral cars. But their popularity grew quickly and soon everyone – including the US President – was using them on a daily basis.

No drinking & driving

There’s another very valid reason for the growth in limousine appeal. In many countries, the ‘no drinking and driving’ rules means that, to meet the ‘no open alcohol containers’ regulation, drivers must be completely separated from their passengers.

Recent trends

Today’s rich and famous still use limousines. The variety of stretch vehicles together with the rise in new technologies has resulted in “new style” limos ideally designed to transport large groups for parties, night-clubs, weddings and even wine tours.

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Areas Covered

Grosvenor hires limos to most towns and villages throughout Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and Warwickshire including Oxford, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Witney, Aylesbury, High Wycombe, Wellingborough, Kettering, Bedford, Buckingham, Leighton Buzzard, Abingdon, Bicester, Banbury, Thame, Daventry, Rugby, Warwick and Leamington Spa.

Choosing wedding transport?

Grosvenor offers a flexible, professional wedding limo hire service, serving Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Warwickshire & Bedfordshire.