Can You Stretch Any Vehicle?
You have a favorite type of vehicle and want to turn it into a custom limousine unlike any other on the road. The problem is you’re not sure if you can turn your standard car or truck into a luxury limo. While some might say you can stretch any vehicle, the answer isn’t that simple.
Most vehicles can be stretched, but there are limits. After all, could you image a Toyota Prius being stretched to four times its length and still being stable? The short answer to stretching is mostly yes, but within reasonable limits.
Can You Stretch Any Vehicle? – Limits To Stretching
While Lincoln, Cadillac and Chrysler are commonly stretched manufacturers, those aren’t your only options. A quick look at some of the extreme limos created from a Ferrari F1 360 and Chevy Camaro (aka the Bumblebee Transformer) prove that the standard idea of what a limo should look like has evolved.
The reason certain manufacturers are more commonly seen is due to their original structure and framework. The longer body styles of a classic Lincoln and Cadillac are already longer, making them easier to stretch into limousine. Shorter sedans are limited by their original length.
The more a vehicle has to be stretched from its original length, the less stable it becomes. Every vehicle has a limit and for some, even a small stretch is too much. Each manufacturer has differing specifications for safely stretching the vehicle while remaining structural integrity. It’s important to think realistically with your custom limo. If you want one to fit 30 people, a Fiat probably isn’t going to work, but a Hummer could be the perfect solution.
Meeting Federal Standards
According to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, extensive safety tests are required after a vehicle is stretched over twice its original length. Many limousines are stretched based around QVM (Qualified Vehicle Masters) and CMC (Cadillac Master Coach-builder) programs. Each has its own set of standards and offers guidance for components, such as brakes, brake lines, axle weight ratios and electrical lines.
It’s also important to note that individual states also have their own standards. Even if you could stretch your vehicle into a limousine, it may not be safe or legal to drive. That’s why part of our process is determining the feasibility of your project.
Within a specified range, which varies based on the original length of the vehicle, components, such as braking and roll stability, still function normally. For instance, a Lincoln MKT Town Car’s maximum stretch length is 120 inches, accommodating up to 10 people, including the chauffeur. Anything outside this range distorts the vehicles sensors, resulting in unsafe braking, issues with handling and other safety concerns.
While components are modified to account for the additional size of the vehicle, there’s only so much that can be modified. At that point, you’re risking the integrity of the vehicle and the safety of its passengers. Safety is a major consideration before you stretch any vehicle.
As you can see, it’s not as simple as just stretching a vehicle into a limo. From state and federal regulations to safety concerns, every vehicle can’t be stretched into a full length limousine. This doesn’t mean you should abandon your limo idea. A reputable company will work with you to stretch any vehicle if it’s possible. While it might not be as large as you wanted, you can ensure it will still be unique, luxurious and safe.
Ready to buy a limo of your own for your company or hotel? Look no further than American Limousine Sales for a wide variety of new and used limos.
Image: Alan Light