Sunday, August 03, 2008

Rides of Heads of State (Final Edition)

196. Thanks to the good people at The Kaselehlie Press, we have confirmed that President Mori of the Federated States of Micronesia rides in a black Hyundai Tucson.

When I started this series, I did not think I'd get past 75 to 100 cars/countries. But thanks to the power of the internet, and the help of a few tipsters from abroad, I have compiled the most comprehensive list of presidential/prime ministerial/royal rides anywhere.

Here is the final tally:
S-class: 61
Land Cruiser: 22
7 series: 16
A8: 11
Caddy: 7
Maybach: 6
Suburban/Yukon/Escalade: 6
Mitsubishi Montero/Pajero: 4
Phaeton: 4
G-wagen: 4
Holden-Chevy-Opel: 4
H2: 3
Toyota Crown: 3
Lincoln: 3
Jag: 2
ZIL: 2
Volvo: 2
Touareg: 2
Merc E-class: 2
Lancia: 2

One of each of the following: Hyundai, Skoda, A6, Peugeot, Renault, VW van, London taxi, Daimler, Toyota Century, Hongqi, Bentley, Rolls, Ford Fairlane, Aston Martin, SEAT, Ford Expedition, Nissan Patrol, Stutz, Suzuki, Camry, Toyota Sequoia, Proton, Land Rover, Ford F150, Mitsubishi Galant, Hummer H1, Chrysler Imperial, Mitsu L200 pick-up, Mazda truck, Hyundai Tucson.

Well, the Mercedes S-class trounced the competition, beating the second place Toyota Land Cruiser by a margin of nearly 3:1.

Ratio of cars versus trucks/SUVs: 143:53

Vehicle nationality:
German: 109
Japanese: 37
Other: 27
American: 23

Most surprising: Tonga's London taxi, Malta's Cadillac CTS, Chile's Peugeot 607 (tied)
Most undignified: Thailand's VW van
Ugliest: China's Hongqi

Fastest: Mauritius' Aston Martin DB9
Most pimp: Peru's 1972 Chrysler Imperial

Most in need of bullet-proofing: East Timor's Land Cruiser

Biggest gas guzzler: Zimbabwe's S600 Pullman


Update 8/5/08: I did a reconcile. Here are the official stats:
Ratio of cars versus trucks/SUVs: 144:52

Vehicle nationality:
German: 108
Japanese: 37
Other: 28
American: 23


Anonymous said...

61 MB S-Klasses
+16 BMW 7ers
+11 Audi A8s
+7 VW Caddys
+6 Maybachs
+4 VW Phaetons
+4 MB G-Klasses
+2 VW Touaregs
+2 MB E-Klasses
= 113 German state vehicles

kashgar216 said...

Sorry, mate, I think you and I both did the math wrong. You counted 7 Cadillacs as German.

But I think I counted wrong too. I'll do a reconcile next weekend.


Anonymous said...

Yep, but there's a major difference - I'm an idiot. Took 'Caddys' for the vans that Volkswagen sells in Europe, not Cadillacs. Pathetic, I know. Sorry, should've read the whole story before performing as the good Will Hunting.
You did amazing job, mate! Really blew my head off.

Cheers from Bulgaria

P.S. Thought you might find this interesting. Few pics from an auction here last month - Over 20 state limousines from the Soviet era were sold for 250 000 euro or something, although the secret services chose to keep the real gem, former bulgarian dictator Todor Zhivkov's Mercedes-Benz 600 Pulmann Landaulet.

Eyjólfur Karl said...

Thought you'd might like to know, the President of Iceland drives a Lexus LS600h (Hybrid) that he got in August 2007 (head of Toyota Europe Tadashi Arashima delivered it himself. (pictures here: )

He also has a LandCruiser and a Cadillac sedan (old), might find some pictures later...

kashgar216 said...


Thanks. I counted the old Cadillac as Iceland's president's car.


Romane Tomkin said...

Most of this cars were made in Germany, because BMW and Mercedes have long running contracts with the German government. So basically it is cheaper to bulletproof a car that was made for the government in the first place.

Also, there is always a debate on German TV about what car any new head of state is driving. It is eather VW, BMW, Audi or Mercedes, depending on the news from those manufacturers.

Håkan said...

Hello, I have a picture of the Icelandic Cadillac. I'll try posting it here:

If it doesnt work I'll be happy to mail it to you.