1. Nicholas II
“A miracle of the contemporary automobile industry. It is not possible to ask for more from its designers.” That’s how Moscow-based magazine "Automobilist" wrote about the Delaunay-Belleville car owned by Russian
For that epoch it really looked like a miracle – back then it was very unusual to start the engine from behind the wheel as opposed to winding it up from the front. The car also drove very smoothly and
The French company specialized in the production of luxury automobiles. Nicholas II owned two Delaunay-Belleville limos that were both named SMT – Sa Majeste le Tsar – His Majesty Tsar.
The Royal garage
What did the last Russian tsar have in his garage?
These limos were only a fraction of the grand collection. By 1910 the royal garage consisted of 22 cars, 17 of which served the needs of the tsar’s entourage and five belonged to the royal family (four were made by Delaunay-Belleville). Nicholas II himself preferred Cabriolets as he believed he should be seen by the public, while his security naturally opted for more inconspicuous rides.
Later, Lenin switched to a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost limo. It’s said the first one he adopted was confiscated from a Russian business tycoon but the Soviet government later bought several. Lenin was officially presented with one and from 1923 used it as his personal car.
4. Nikita Khrushchev
They say that the Soviet leader who replaced Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, was so impressed by the Cadillac of his American counterpart Dwight Eisenhower that he ordered the creation of a new Soviet limo to rival it. His demand was in line with his famous slogan: “To catch up and overtake America.” This is how the ZIL-111 model – and the later modified ZIL-111G – appeared (the ZIS factory was renamed to ZIL in 1956 following the period of de-Stalinization).
5. Leonid Brezhnev
Khrushchev‘s successor Brezhnev used the next ZIL model – the 114. Brezhnev liked modern cars, so the ZIL-114 was modified several times during his 18 years in power. He also had a soft spot for foreign cars, so they say that the first version of the ZIL-114 resembled the 1965 Lincoln Continental and the updated 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood 75. These references to foreign car design were not enough for the General Secretary, so he amassed a huge collection (more than 50) of imported rides that included fancy Rolls-Royces and Mercedes, among others.
Yeltsin and his Mercs
The uncomfortable entry problem was resolved with Yeltsin switching to Mercedes-made limos. In 2017 it was reported that his Mercedes was also put up for sale. The Mercedes-Benz S 600 Pullman-Limousine Guard was much cheaper than the ZIL, with the owner asking for a cool $570,000. The car was originally designed for German Chancellor Helmut Kohl but he gave it to Yeltsin as a present. However, some of the Russian president’s aides denied this. In open sources, the Mercedes-Benz-S500 usually features as the car of the first Russian president. The limo was ordered for Yeltsin back in 1994.
8. Vladimir Putin
Mercedes was also Putin’s official car make until his inauguration this
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