“President behind the Wheel” 4 Philippine Commanders-in-Chief and Their Hot Rides

by / Wednesday, 29 July 2015 / Published in Mufller

The Philippines is country to thousands of car enthusiasts. Heck, even some of its presidents sports a few sets of hot wheels, figuratively (and literally) driving the point home! We guess there’s something about the strong purr of the engine, the muffler’s silence, and the car’s overall look and performance that drives these men crazy. Let’s check out four Filipino presidents who have proven that along with the respectable and strong image they maintain as head of state comes a car suitable and appropriate for their needs.

Manuel Quezon

Manuel Luis Quezon & the 1937 Chrysler Airflow

If you think being presented a car created by Ford, one of the best and most well-respected car makers in the world, is cool, then imagine being handed with the keys by the great Henry Ford himself! This is exactly what happened to President Manuel L. Quezon when he was given the Lincoln V12 by the legendary Ford founder. That’s something only a few men can brag about! Aside from this set of wheels, Quezon also owned a 1937 Chrysler Airflow which was quite a remarkable car in its time as it was the first vehicle to ever use a streamline design. This meant that it was less prone to air resistance than other cars during that era. It was a huge vehicle with a height of 1.5 meters and width of three meters, capable of comfortably sitting six people.

Sergio Osmena

Sergio Osmeña and the 1941 Cadillac Series 61

Imagine a time where there was hardly any traffic at all. No student could probably use the pathetic excuse of a traffic jam to talk their way out of being tardy in class! It’s almost non-existent back in those days, since only a few own rides. One of these lucky blokes is Sergio Osmena, who will serve as president after Quezon. He owned a Cadillac Series 61, which was considered to be a very luxurious vehicle during its time. It housed a front engine underneath its long hood. It was a lengthy 5.46 meters with a rear wheel drive. This beauty was in production from 1938 up to 1951.

Elpidio Quirino

Elpidio Quirino and the 1953 Chrysler Imperial Limousine

The word “imperial” usually bring to mind images of majesty, power and royalty, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Chrysler Imperial Limousine was the grandest car of its time. One of its fans was the President Elpidio Quirino, who chose it to be his presidential car during his time. It was one of the first cars to have an automotive air conditioning, something that was quite rare during those days. In addition to this, it was able to outshine other, newer cars in 1953, proving that it does, indeed, have imperial standards.

Ferdinand Marcos

Ferdinand Marcos and the Mercedes-Benz 600 limousine

He may be known a lot of things in the Philippines, but one thing’s for sure: he certainly had great taste when it comes to cars. He had numerous cars during his 21 years as president but one of his top choices during that time was the Mercedes-Benz 600 limousine. He owned four of these rides, with each one being bullet proof, a first for the head of state of the country. One of its variants, the long wheel, measured an impressive 21 feet.

These former heads of states may have played a significant role in shaping Philippine history (for better or for worse), but that doesn’t mean they don’t have hobbies, one of which happens to be cars. Who can blame them? Anyone who doesn’t know how to appreciate a hot set of wheels must be a very dull person indeed!

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