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What they drive: world leaders' cars

January 29, 2015, 11:47 UTC+3
The cars chosen by presidents, kings, prime ministers and other leaders of the world in the past and today
1 pages in this article
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The car fleet of the last Emperor of Russia Nicholas II in 1913 had 29 vehicles and in 1917 there were 46. Emperror's main car was a French Delaunay-Belleville SMT. Photo: Nikolai II in Crimea
The car fleet of the last Emperor of Russia Nicholas II in 1913 had 29 vehicles and in 1917 there were 46. Emperror's main car was a French Delaunay-Belleville SMT. Photo: Nikolai II in Crimea
The car fleet of the last Emperor of Russia Nicholas II in 1913 had 29 vehicles and in 1917 there were 46. Emperror's main car was a French Delaunay-Belleville SMT. Photo: Nikolai II in Crimea
© Fotokhronika TASS/reproduction
Since Vladimir Lenin became the leader of the Soviet Russia, he had a Turcat-Mery 28, a Delaunay-Belleville-45 and a Renault-40 CV. In the 1920's Lenin used a Rolls Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost and the only Rolls Royce-based sledge-car in the world
Since Vladimir Lenin became the leader of the Soviet Russia, he had a Turcat-Mery 28, a Delaunay-Belleville-45 and a Renault-40 CV. In the 1920's Lenin used a Rolls Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost and the only Rolls Royce-based sledge-car in the world
Since Vladimir Lenin became the leader of the Soviet Russia, he had a Turcat-Mery 28, a Delaunay-Belleville-45 and a Renault-40 CV. In the 1920's Lenin used a Rolls Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost and the only Rolls Royce-based sledge-car in the world
© Fotokhronika TASS/Oleg Kuzmin
Another leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, preferred the American  Packard Twelve. Since 1949 Stalin drove an armored vehicle produced at the Stalin Car-Making Plant - ZIS-115 (ZIS-110S)
Another leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, preferred the American  Packard Twelve. Since 1949 Stalin drove an armored vehicle produced at the Stalin Car-Making Plant - ZIS-115 (ZIS-110S)
Another leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, preferred the American Packard Twelve. Since 1949 Stalin drove an armored vehicle produced at the Stalin Car-Making Plant - ZIS-115 (ZIS-110S)
©  AP Photo
Other Soviet leaders used mostly domestically produced cars. Nikita Khrushchev was driven in a ZIL-111 or a ZIL-111B (convertible). Photo: Nikita Khrushchev in Berlin, 1960
Other Soviet leaders used mostly domestically produced cars. Nikita Khrushchev was driven in a ZIL-111 or a ZIL-111B (convertible). Photo: Nikita Khrushchev in Berlin, 1960
Other Soviet leaders used mostly domestically produced cars. Nikita Khrushchev was driven in a ZIL-111 or a ZIL-111B (convertible). Photo: Nikita Khrushchev in Berlin, 1960
© AP Photo
Leonid Brezhnev (leader of the USSR 1964-1982) first used a hand-assembled ZIL-114 (photo) and from 1976 to 1982 he was driven in a ZIL-4104 (Zil-115)
Leonid Brezhnev (leader of the USSR 1964-1982) first used a hand-assembled ZIL-114 (photo) and from 1976 to 1982 he was driven in a ZIL-4104 (Zil-115)
Leonid Brezhnev (leader of the USSR 1964-1982) first used a hand-assembled ZIL-114 (photo) and from 1976 to 1982 he was driven in a ZIL-4104 (Zil-115)
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Sobolev
The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev also used a ZIL-4104 (Zil-115). He had up to 20 of those on each of his foreign visits. This required seven Il-76 transport planes
The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev also used a ZIL-4104 (Zil-115). He had up to 20 of those on each of his foreign visits. This required seven Il-76 transport planes
The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev also used a ZIL-4104 (Zil-115). He had up to 20 of those on each of his foreign visits. This required seven Il-76 transport planes
© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Lizunov
Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin changed to an armoured ZIL-4105 when he became president in 1991. Later he changed it to a Mercedes S500 Pullman Guard (W140)
Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin changed to an armoured ZIL-4105 when he became president in 1991. Later he changed it to a Mercedes S500 Pullman Guard (W140)
Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin changed to an armoured ZIL-4105 when he became president in 1991. Later he changed it to a Mercedes S500 Pullman Guard (W140)
© ITAR-TASS/Grigory Avanyan
Russian current President Vladimir Putin is driven in a Mercedes S600 Pullman Guard (W-221)
Russian current President Vladimir Putin is driven in a Mercedes S600 Pullman Guard (W-221)
Russian current President Vladimir Putin is driven in a Mercedes S600 Pullman Guard (W-221)
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel
Johan F. Kennedy (US president 1961-1963) used a Lincoln Continental. At the time of the assasination in Dallas, Texas, he was in a convertible Lincoln Continental SS-100-Х
Johan F. Kennedy (US president 1961-1963) used a Lincoln Continental. At the time of the assasination in Dallas, Texas, he was in a convertible Lincoln Continental SS-100-Х
Johan F. Kennedy (US president 1961-1963) used a Lincoln Continental. At the time of the assasination in Dallas, Texas, he was in a convertible Lincoln Continental SS-100-Х
© EPA/TANNEN MAURY
Chinese leader Mao Zedong had a ZIS-110 which he got as a present from Joseph Stalin in 1949. In 1958 he changed to a domestically produced FAW Hong
Chinese leader Mao Zedong had a ZIS-110 which he got as a present from Joseph Stalin in 1949. In 1958 he changed to a domestically produced FAW Hong
Chinese leader Mao Zedong had a ZIS-110 which he got as a present from Joseph Stalin in 1949. In 1958 he changed to a domestically produced FAW Hong
© bestcars.uol.com.br
Uruguay's acting President Jose Alberto Mujica spends up to 90% of his income on charity and his most expensive belonging is a VW Bettle made in 1987
Uruguay's acting President Jose Alberto Mujica spends up to 90% of his income on charity and his most expensive belonging is a VW Bettle made in 1987
Uruguay's acting President Jose Alberto Mujica spends up to 90% of his income on charity and his most expensive belonging is a VW Bettle made in 1987
©  AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico
US President Barack Obama is transported in the armoured Cadillac One (Cadillac Presidential Limousine) also known as The Beast. His motorcade counts up to 40 vehicles transported on three Boeing С-17 Globemaster military transport planes
US President Barack Obama is transported in the armoured Cadillac One (Cadillac Presidential Limousine) also known as The Beast. His motorcade counts up to 40 vehicles transported on three Boeing С-17 Globemaster military transport planes
US President Barack Obama is transported in the armoured Cadillac One (Cadillac Presidential Limousine) also known as The Beast. His motorcade counts up to 40 vehicles transported on three Boeing С-17 Globemaster military transport planes
© Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Brithish Queen Elizabeth sticks to the Bentley State Limousine, created in two copies specially for her in 2002
Brithish Queen Elizabeth sticks to the Bentley State Limousine, created in two copies specially for her in 2002
Brithish Queen Elizabeth sticks to the Bentley State Limousine, created in two copies specially for her in 2002
© AP Photo/Franka Bruns
British Prime Minister David Cameron uses a Jaguar XJ X351. Photo: Cameron's car damaged in a road accident
British Prime Minister David Cameron uses a Jaguar XJ X351. Photo: Cameron's car damaged in a road accident
British Prime Minister David Cameron uses a Jaguar XJ X351. Photo: Cameron's car damaged in a road accident
© AP Photo/Jon Super
French President Francois Hollande changed an armoured Renault Vel Satis to a Citroen
French President Francois Hollande changed an armoured Renault Vel Satis to a Citroen
French President Francois Hollande changed an armoured Renault Vel Satis to a Citroen
© EPA/YOAN VOLAT
German Chancellor Angela Merkel drives an armoured Audi A8 L Security. She also has a BMW 760 Li E67 and a Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard V221 at her disposal
German Chancellor Angela Merkel drives an armoured Audi A8 L Security. She also has a BMW 760 Li E67 and a Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard V221 at her disposal
German Chancellor Angela Merkel drives an armoured Audi A8 L Security. She also has a BMW 760 Li E67 and a Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard V221 at her disposal
© EPA/JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE
Spain's new King Felipe prefers a Rolls Royce
Spain's new King Felipe prefers a Rolls Royce
Spain's new King Felipe prefers a Rolls Royce
©  EPA/SERGIO BARRENECHEA
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The car fleet of the last Emperor of Russia Nicholas II in 1913 had 29 vehicles and in 1917 there were 46. Emperror's main car was a French Delaunay-Belleville SMT. Photo: Nikolai II in Crimea
© Fotokhronika TASS/reproduction
Since Vladimir Lenin became the leader of the Soviet Russia, he had a Turcat-Mery 28, a Delaunay-Belleville-45 and a Renault-40 CV. In the 1920's Lenin used a Rolls Royce 40/50 Silver Ghost and the only Rolls Royce-based sledge-car in the world
© Fotokhronika TASS/Oleg Kuzmin
Another leader of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, preferred the American Packard Twelve. Since 1949 Stalin drove an armored vehicle produced at the Stalin Car-Making Plant - ZIS-115 (ZIS-110S)
©  AP Photo
Other Soviet leaders used mostly domestically produced cars. Nikita Khrushchev was driven in a ZIL-111 or a ZIL-111B (convertible). Photo: Nikita Khrushchev in Berlin, 1960
© AP Photo
Leonid Brezhnev (leader of the USSR 1964-1982) first used a hand-assembled ZIL-114 (photo) and from 1976 to 1982 he was driven in a ZIL-4104 (Zil-115)
© Fotokhronika TASS/Valentin Sobolev
The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev also used a ZIL-4104 (Zil-115). He had up to 20 of those on each of his foreign visits. This required seven Il-76 transport planes
© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Lizunov
Russia's first president Boris Yeltsin changed to an armoured ZIL-4105 when he became president in 1991. Later he changed it to a Mercedes S500 Pullman Guard (W140)
© ITAR-TASS/Grigory Avanyan
Russian current President Vladimir Putin is driven in a Mercedes S600 Pullman Guard (W-221)
© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel
Johan F. Kennedy (US president 1961-1963) used a Lincoln Continental. At the time of the assasination in Dallas, Texas, he was in a convertible Lincoln Continental SS-100-Х
© EPA/TANNEN MAURY
Chinese leader Mao Zedong had a ZIS-110 which he got as a present from Joseph Stalin in 1949. In 1958 he changed to a domestically produced FAW Hong
© bestcars.uol.com.br
Uruguay's acting President Jose Alberto Mujica spends up to 90% of his income on charity and his most expensive belonging is a VW Bettle made in 1987
©  AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico
US President Barack Obama is transported in the armoured Cadillac One (Cadillac Presidential Limousine) also known as The Beast. His motorcade counts up to 40 vehicles transported on three Boeing С-17 Globemaster military transport planes
© Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Brithish Queen Elizabeth sticks to the Bentley State Limousine, created in two copies specially for her in 2002
© AP Photo/Franka Bruns
British Prime Minister David Cameron uses a Jaguar XJ X351. Photo: Cameron's car damaged in a road accident
© AP Photo/Jon Super
French President Francois Hollande changed an armoured Renault Vel Satis to a Citroen
© EPA/YOAN VOLAT
German Chancellor Angela Merkel drives an armoured Audi A8 L Security. She also has a BMW 760 Li E67 and a Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard V221 at her disposal
© EPA/JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE
Spain's new King Felipe prefers a Rolls Royce
©  EPA/SERGIO BARRENECHEA

29 January marks birthday of the modern auto industry, which began when German car engineer Karl Friedrich Benz patented a gasoline-powered vehicle of his own design on this date in 1886. In modern world a car is not just a means of transport.  A car is used to confirm the status of its owner, be comfortable and extremely safe. These aspects are especially meaningful for world leaders, whose choice of a car sometimes becomes a political decision. Some world leaders use only domestically produced cars to support the national economy. Some reject expensive cars and drive a simple one to become closer to the ordinary people.

Leaders of the world often need several transport planes to take their car fleets on foreign visits.

See the cars chosen by presidents, kings, prime ministers and other leaders of the world in the past and today in this photo gallery by TASS.

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