When it comes to vehicle bulletproof security, aesthetics can range widely. From the obvious bulletproof protection of a SWAT vehicle to the more streamline security of the presidential limousine, there are some situations where an installation that is visibly “bulletproof” is exactly what is required. However, more often than not a more low-profile design is preferred.
The armored vehicle industry may seem extremely specialized and reserved for an elite few, but the market is surprisingly broad. Customers range from government/military use and commercial clients to private citizens, who seek a more subtle approach to security. Common vehicle security upgrades may include:
- Reinforcing all metal panels with ballistic steel plates;
- Protecting the engine components and gas tank;
- Installing bulletproof glass in the windshield and side windows; and
- Changing out other vehicle elements to support the added weight.
A “Presidential” Approach to Bulletproof Security
Bulletproof technology has come a long way since Franklin D. Roosevelt debuted the first armored presidential vehicle in 1932. The newest Cadillac Presidential Limousine, nicknamed “Cadillac One” or “The Beast,” went into service on January 20, 2009. It takes cues from a variety of Cadillac’s vehicle line-up but is not a true production vehicle. Due to its 8-inch thick doors and 5-inch thick bulletproof glass, as well as additional armoring throughout, it weighs in at more than 10,000-lbs. Even the tires are reinforced with DuPont™ Kevlar® fiber and contain inner liners just in case the outer tires are damaged.
The First Bulletproof Car
Al Capone owned one of the first built with his 1928 Cadillac Model 341A Town Sedan. This vehicle weighed in at roughly 7,000-lbs and was capable of hitting speeds near 110-mph. Even these early armored vehicles, however, took a more subtle bulletproof security approach with the goal of blending into traffic and not calling attention to themselves. Al Capone went as far as painting his car green and black, similar to Chicago’s police cars at the time.
While some circumstances require bulletproof security, adding bulletproof protection doesn’t mean your armored vehicle or commercial building have to scream “bulletproof.” If you’re looking to protect your car, there are experts in the industry that can help.
Photo courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org.