Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple months, we just had a presidential election! And regardless of who your pick for president was, there’s one thing we can all agree on, if you’re here reading this article, it means you love cars. And guess what, so have a few of our presidents!
So, in honor of the last election, we’ve put together a list of some of the coolest cars driven by American presidents. I’m about to tell you all about the dopest from the POTUS!
Bill Clinton’s 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible
Bill Clinton is undoubtedly one of the most controversial presidents in history. Loved by some for his charming personality and saxophone serenades, hated by others because of, well, you know. I must say, he seemed cool on Family Guy. And if his taste in cars is indicative of what the guy’s like, I probably wouldn’t mind hanging out with him.
I mean, just check out his 1967 Ford Mustang convertible. What other American pony car is as iconic as the classic Mustang? That galloping pony on the front grill and triple taillight setup are a staple of American culture. Everytime I see a classic Mustang roll by, I instantly want to become friends with the driver.
Bill bought the Mustang from his stepfather, who had previously bought it from Roger Clinton, Bill Clinton’s own brother. It was destiny that it would stay in the family I guess.
Clinton wasn’t the only president to own a Mustang either, Gerald Ford owned a 1969 model himself. Good to see the Leaders of the Free World supporting American muscle.
Next on the list is a sample from the last president’s stable. President Trump’s personal car collection is vast and eclectic, but perhaps his slickest ride is the 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud.
Donald J. Trump’s 1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud
This classic luxury limo is powered by a 4.9-liter inline-six engine that produced a tiny 155 horsepower. Now, that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but remember, it was built in the 1950’s. The original Silver Cloud started production in 1955 as the core Rolls-Royce model.
It was built with a body-on-frame construction, most of them made with pressed steel. Special-bodied versions could be commissioned as well, for the well-off. The Silver Cloud was the replacement for the Silver Dawn, which was later surpassed by the Silver Shadow.
Trump’s own Silver Cloud is one of the standard body-on-frame construction, but I think we can all agree that it still looks exquisite. Want your own steel-body Silver Cloud like Donnie’s? It’ll cost you a pretty penny.
This is a little bit of blast from the past, but we think it fits in perfectly on this list. Ronald Reagan was our 40th president, and didn’t have a typical political career. He started out in Hollywood as an actor and then moved to politics 1966. Looks like we found The Governator’s inspiration. The thespian-turned-Commander-and-Chief has been considered more conservative than most of his peers, but we think his favorite toy is anything but.
Ronald Reagan’s 1978 Subaru Brat
Reagan used a Subaru Brat to get around his expansive California ranch, and this is where we can start using the word “rad” in excess. If you’ve never seen a Subaru Brat before, Google it and come back when you’ve finished scouring Craigslist. You all good? Good, now we can talk about how rad these things are.
The Brat, or Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter, was a car/coupe/truck thing developed by Subaru in the 1970’s. The Brat came with full-time all-wheel drive that could be switched on and off on the fly, ence “Bi-drive”. It was also a two-door, two-seater with a truck bed and not much more ground clearance than your average Outback.
One party trick the Brat also had was the option to have two rearward facing seats in the bed, like outside the actual cabin. Yeah, super weird, but doesn’t that make you want one more. I wonder how the IIHS would feel about that now.
Not many Brats were sold in the USA, and it was eventually replaced by the Subaru Baja in 2003. Looks like our president at the time was the only person with some real taste.
Now, let’s talk about another Trump-mobile, one that’s actually cool. Yeah, I bet you wouldn’t have guessed he’d have more than one bitchin’ ride in his stable. That was sarcasm obviously, this is Mr. Wealth himself we’re talking about.
Donald J. Trump’s 2003 Mercedes SLR McLaren
This next entry in Trump’s garage is much more supercar than luxury land yacht. I’m talking about the very special Mercedes SLR. The SLR was a project spearheaded by both Mercedes and McLaren to make one seriously impressive grand tourer, which they produced from 2003 to 2010.
The SLR is powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 making a modest 617 horsepower. It also features some of the best aerodynamic setups from that time. The rear spoiler would deploy during braking to create drag and could even be adjusted by the driver.
The SLR also had a flat underbody and a rear diffuser to make it even more aerodynamic. Fortunately, this design meant there was no place for the exhaust underneath, giving us the iconic side exhausts that makes the SLR McLaren look like it’s got a little private jet in its bloodline.
And on the other side of the aisle from the flash of Donald Trump, you’ve got Barack Obama’s own personal favorite, a 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid.
Barack Obama’s 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid
This might be the least exciting cars we’ve ever covered on this channel. But hey, it’s Obama’s, and that makes it kind of cool, right? Obama has been driving around in a Hemi-powered Chrysler 300C while living in Chicago. Wait, I thought becoming president gives you more style?
The Escape Hybrid was a more fuel-efficient alternative to the big V8 sedan, and shortly after trading the 300C for the Escape, White House secret service took over driving duties for the former president. Man, I don’t envy those guys.
Obama’s stint in office wasn’t all bad, though, his vice president, and our current president, Joe Biden had a 1967 Chevy Corvette he got as a wedding gift. Let’s just hope Joe let him take that ‘Vette for a spin when he got tired of his underpowered Escape.
Now, let’s move onto a presidential ride that’s just about the exact opposite of a hybrid, Bush’s F-150.
George W. Bush’s 2009 Ford F-150
What else would the president from Texas drive other than an American-made truck? More often than not, you’ll never see any USA presidents driving themselves, unless they’re on private property. But when Bush was cruising around the family ranch in Crawford, Texas, he could be seen in his two-tone King Ranch Supercrew 4×4. That’s how you truck!
This full-sized pickup uses a 5.4-liter V8 packing 310 horsepower that makes it easy to traverse even the toughest backwoods terrain without a single fishtail. Maybe that’s what Bush was talking about when he said, “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.”
This F150‘s also well-insulated and well-equipped with presidential comfort. You can’t say that seeing George W. Bush drive by in his King Ranch, cowboy hat on head, and smiling from ear to ear wouldn’t put a smile on your face too.
In his younger years following school, Bush could be seen driving around in a Triumph TR4. Not a bad repertoire for a farm boy.
Let’s take a step back one generation to the first Bush to ever take a seat in the oval office, George H.W. Bush.
George H.W. Bush’s 1947 Studebaker
George H.W. Bush was definitely a polarizing president. His attitude while in office was loved by some and hated by others. But one thing is for sure, he had a good taste in cars. Bush Sr.’s favorite car was his 1947 Studebaker.
The old Studebaker was powered by an L-head six-cylinder engine making around 94 horsepower. You heard that right, a Studebaker propelled by less than 100 horsepower. I’m not that good at math, but a car from the 1940’s with that little power must have an almost non-existent power-to-weight ratio.
This power, or lack thereof, was transferred to a 3-speed manual transmission. Regardless, the 1947 Studebaker is one seriously cool machine, and a staple of classic post-war American motoring. Let’s just hope Bush Sr. had something with a little more pep to get to his important meetings.
There’s a restored model in the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas. Go check it out if you’re ever in the Lone Star state!
Next up is a car from Tricky Dicky!
Richard Nixon’s 1950 Oldsmobile 98
If Futurama taught me anything, it’s that Richard Nixon was not someone to mess around with. Nixon’s short-lived presidency was pretty much synonymous with controversy. While under investigation, in his infamous “Checkers” speech, he cited his Oldsmobile 98 as his connection with the common man.
This old rocker was powered by the legendary Oldsmobile Rocket V8, a massive 5.0-liter powerplant making 135 horsepower. Yeah, some old American V8’s aren’t as amazing as we may remember them. There was 263 pound-feet of torque on tap, so the 98 didn’t find itself completely out of breath when it came to a hill.
Still, this is a 4,000-pound stainless steel yacht we’re talking about. There’s something about classic American cars from the 1950’s that both makes me smile, and also give me flashbacks to my parents quoting I Love Lucy or The Twilight Zone.
Anyway, the Oldsmobile 98 was meant to establish a connection between the shifty president and his people. While that may not have totally worked, in fact, I’m pretty sure we all know it didn’t, that doesn’t stop the Oldsmobile from being one seriously cool classic car.