1998 CADILLAC 16-INCH MINI-STRETCH LIMOUSINE
With an international recession looming large, the very rich may soon be in the market for a subtler mode of luxury transport. Custom automaker DaBryan Coach Builders makes this mini-stretch limo — a “Limo Incognito.” Just 16 inches longer than an ordinary Cadillac sedan, it boasts many of the comforts found in those monsters of the prom-and-party circuit. Jerry White, who handles DaBryan’s marketing, says the car is for the consumer who “doesn’t want to be targeted, whether by paparazzi, or someone out to get him…you name it.” The mini-limo starts at around $72,000; armor, naturally, runs a little extra.
Standard Equipment: horizontal divider window, CD player, intercom, writing desk, coffee and water service, footrests, magazine rack, high-intensity reading lights
1997 TOYOTA TOWN ACE MINIVAN
In mid-August, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, general secretary of Burma’s National League for Democracy (and a Nobel Peace Prize winner), was detained by the military while on her way to meet with fellow dissidents. In the standoff, she remained in her Town Ace minivan for 13 days. The Town Ace had “bedding, food, water and filters, insect repellent, and travel Scrabble,” according to a dispatch from Australia’s Free Burma Coalition. On the downside: A dead battery meant no air conditioning, and soldiers tormented the gathered protesters by blasting Madonna and Michael Jackson songs — as well as reportedly beating one well-wisher who tried to deliver food.
Standard Equipment: tinted windows and windshield, power door locks, molded door trim, fabric seats, digital clock, AM/FM radio, soft-feel steering wheel, instrument light dimmer