Earlier today, the President of the United States faced a problem that has plagued motorists since the day the first car hit the road when his official presidential limo suffered a breakdown. While we might call for roadside assistance, it’s a slightly more complicated situation for a US President.
The breakdown actually happened while the President was still in the air on his way to Tel Aviv and his limo simply wouldn’t start. How, exactly, does a car dubbed “The Beast” for it’s impressive amount of gadgets, gizmos and armor, break down? Isn’t that the kind of thing they have Secret Service people to supervise?
Well, yes, yes they do, but all it took was a simple mistake to put the 8-ton Beast out of commission. Instead of filling up the presidential limo with gasoline, someone accidentally filled the tank with diesel fuel. Some reports say the fuel mix-up was the other way around, but either way, the incorrect fuel went in the tank and The Beast is toast.
Since The Beast is a rolling fortress, it wasn’t like they could call a cab or bum a ride with a friend. Instead they had to break out their spare presidential limo which was quickly flown in from Jordan just in time to meet the President as his plane landed. Yeah, and you thought your car was cool just because it had a full-size spare tire.
An official White House statement on exactly how the mix-up happened will be forthcoming, but it should serve as a lesson to drivers everywhere to pay attention when you grab that gas nozzle. If it can happen to the presidential limo, it can happen to you, and unlike the President of the United States, you won’t be able to rely on the Secret Service to procure a back-up vehicle so you make it to work on time.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. When not drooling over cars, Nicole writes for Wired’s GeekMom.