When it comes to modifying cars, you probably think of something along the lines of the Fast and Furious franchise, but car modifications can do a lot more than improve performance and appearance. In fact, there are some types of car modifications that are considered a necessity, and when it comes to protecting important cargo, the secret service that protects the President of the United States have their work cut out of them.
As the President, there are many tasks and responsibilities that require traveling, and while there are specific planes like the Air Force One dedicated to safely transporting the President and his family, the President can’t just fly everywhere he needs to go. In fact, a lot of the President’s travel requires being in a car, and while you may think that cars are safe, there are a lot of modifications that can be done to make them even safer.
The presidential state car – also called The Beast and Cadillac One – is the President’s go-to vehicle for safe traveling. It has five-inch thick bulletproof glass and polycarbonate windows that don’t roll down, except the driver’s window which rolls down just a few inches. It makes sense that if you are going through such measures to add a window that can stop armor-piercing bullets that you wouldn’t want to ruin the protection by having the windows rolled down.
The doors of the Cadillac One are also several inches thick with bullet-proofing material, and the body of the car is lined with five inch-thick armor composed of steel, aluminum, ceramic, and titanium. A seem of steel reinforces gaps created by joining body panels or where the door meets the car to ensure that the cabin is completely secure from bullets and other projectiles.
The chassis of the car is reinforced steel with additional steel plates to protect the Cadillac One from a terrestrial bomb. The gasoline tank is also reinforced with steel for protection and has an emergency supply of a special foam that will prevent the tank from exploding if it is shot or hit. The tires are the run-flat tires many Mercedes-Benz and BMW have come to love and appreciate because they allow you to continue driving on a flat tire. The tires are also reinforced with Kevlar to make them more difficult to damage.
The Beast also has some defensive measures to protect the President and save his life in case of an emergency. The front seats store a pump-action shotgun and a store of the blood in the President’s blood type in case he needs an emergency transfusion. The front of the car as a hidden, front-mounted cannon that launches tear gas in case a crowd gets to close or a mob starts to form around the car. In the trunk of the car, you could expect to find more tear gas and a fire extinguisher with other firefighting necessities.
Inside of the cabin, where the President can sit with up to four of his guests, there is a satellite phone that has direct access to call the Pentagon or the Vice President in case of an emergency. The cabin can be completely sealed with the push of a button – a button only the President has access to, and the rear seats have their own supply of oxygen in case chemical or biological debris outside of the car is evident.
Overall the car has some very extensive and surprising modifications to protect the President that many people never know about.