What Would George Washington Drive?

So if you were a presidential candidate, which vehicle would you drive? (Limousines don’t count, and your political party doesn’t matter.) If you’re running for the country’s highest office in 2008, the consensus seems to be the Ford Escape Hybrid. According to a graphic posted recently on the ABC News website, five current presidential candiates, including Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), John Edwards (D-N.C.), Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), and Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), all say they drive the Escape Hybrid. Another (former) candidate, Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), says he drives a Honda Civic Hybrid, while Barak Obama likes to get behind the wheel of an unnamed flex-fuel E85 vehicle.

Obviously, hybrid or flex-fuel vehicles are politically correct this election season. But the automotive preferences for some of the other candidates are a little more revealing. John McCain (R-Ariz.), for instance, notes that he’s partial to the Cadillac CTS. Joe Biden (D-Del.) drives a ’67 Corvette that was given to him as a wedding present by his father. Rudy Guiliani (R-N.Y.) has been seen behind the wheel of the Cadillac Escalade, while Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) drives a 2005 Ford Mustang convertible. And Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) tools around town in a Ford Focus. Who says the car doesn’t fit the driver’s image?

Which got us to thinking — what would some of our former presidents have driven if they had had a choice? What would George Washington have driven, for instance, or Abraham Lincoln, if they had had cars in their days? We did a little brainstorming and came up with the following guesses.

For George Washington, we wanted something that was classic and continental. Earlier in his career, before he became the father of our country, Washington sought a commission in the British army. Believing that he would prefer the refinement of a British set of wheels, we selected for him the Bentley Continental GT Speed (above), which Bentley calls “a revolution of power.” (And no, we did not make that up). The Continental GT Speed combines performance and styling in a refined, truly unforgettable car — perfect for an unforgettable gentleman president.

For Abraham Lincoln, we chose — what else? — a Lincoln. The 2008 Lincoln MKZ (below), with the optional all-wheel-drive package, 263-horsepower V6 engine, and THX audio system, seems like a good fit for the 16th president. In black, of course.
From there, our recommendations become fairly diverse. JFK? Has to be a Porsche. Teddy Roosevelt? Something with plenty of ponies and off-road capabilities, like a Hummer. LBJ? A vintage Cadillac, something with fins, like a ’59 Fleetwood Sixty Special (below). But it has to be in canary yellow, not black (for Lady Bird). And finally, what about Richard Nixon? This one required some thought, but we finally settled on the Dodge Stealth. Somehow, it seems fitting.

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