Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Carter. Carter Wonders, “who invented the limo” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Carter!

For many of our Wonder Friends, the high school prom is a long way off. A wedding is even farther down the road. However, sooner or later, you’ll probably ride in a limo.

A limo—short for limousine—is a luxury car driven by a chauffeur. Sometimes, limos are really long. These vehicles are known for their luxurious interiors. They might include couches, refrigerators, or special lights. Some have multiple sunroofs and special sound systems. Limos can even hold hot tubs!

Limos weren’t always like the vehicles we see today, though. Traditionally, a “limousine” was an automobile that had a closed space for passengers and an open driver’s seat. These vehicles looked like the cloak and hood worn by shepherds in the Limousin region of France. That’s where their name came from!

Today’s luxury limos are known for their long, extended wheelbases. Many limos look like regular cars that have simply been stretched out. This is why they’re called “stretch” limos.

Limousines are very expensive. Only very rich people can afford to own or ride in one regularly. Most limos are owned by companies that rent them for use at special occasions. It’s also common for large companies to use them to drive executives around. Some governments use them for high-level officials.

Special companies exist that build limousines out of regular cars. How do they do it? They stretch the wheelbase and use sheet metal and glass to make the body longer. They also add any desired luxury features.

Limos aren’t all fun and games, though! They may also have special security features. Those owned by government officials, for example, might be made with armored steel and/or bulletproof glass.

Just how long have stretch limos been around? The first one was made in 1928 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. A company named Armbruster built it. The first stretch limos were usually used by bands. As a result, they were often called “big band buses.”

Today, novelty limousines have become popular. People turn all kinds of everyday vehicles into stretch limos. Some popular choices are those made from the H2 Hummer, Corvettes, and Ferraris. Even Volkswagen Beetles can be turned into limos! Some of these vehicles are stretched 140-200+ inches over their normal wheelbase.

Have you ever ridden in a limo? Would you like to? It can certainly be a unique experience! What kind of limo would you order? What special features do you think you would most enjoy?

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2

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