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December 8, 2008



Presidents, too, have taken the steering wheel – of cars

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Americans love their cars – and presidents are no exception. The difference is that the latter don't get to drive for security reasons, so chauffeurs take over. But each president since William Taft, the first to own cars during his presidency, has had a history with the automobile. Hagerty Insurance of Traverse City, Mich., the largest US agency for collectible vehicles, studied these histories to learn about favorite (or at least notable) cars owned by presidents, including the incoming commander in chief, Barack Obama. His current ride: a Ford Escape hybrid, which should sit well with Detroit automakers. In Hagerty's estimation, the presidents who owned the most interesting cars and the make and model in each case (before or after he took office):

  • William Taft: Baker Electric
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: 1939 Packard 12
  • Harry Truman: 1945 Ford Super DeLuxe Tudor sedan
  • Dwight Eisenhower: 1956 Chrysler Imperial
  • John Kennedy: 1961 Thunderbird convertible
  • Richard Nixon: 1950 Oldsmobile
  • Ronald Reagan: 1952 Army Jeep, Model M-38A1
  • Bill Clinton: 1967 Ford Mustang convertible
  • Barack Obama: Ford Granada (first car)
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