Origins of the Houston limousine service, much like limousine services all over the world, lie way back in the 17 hundreds when luxurious chauffeured vehicles for rent where developed with intent to serve as a means of special event transport for the wealthy.
The first Houston limousines were, of course, horse drawn carriages which were decorated in gold and pulled by the finest, meticulously groomed, steeds.
The notable feature of the limo, evident from these very early days and up to the present era, is that the driver is situated in an entirely separate compartment from the passengers.
How Limos got their Name
We all use the word limo or limousine to describe the same type of vehicle designed to chauffeur passengers in an especially comfortable way, complete with amenities such as a drinks bar, high quality sound systems etc. But who among us has ever stopped to think just how limos got their name?
The word limousine derives from the name of the French province of Limoges. Although limo services developed independently in many cultures around the world it seems that the honor of providing the name for this service has, for some reason, been awarded to this particular region. Much in the same way the driver of the limo has become known as the "chauffeur", which is the French word for a personal coachman/driver.
The Engine Powered Limousine
The first engine powered Houston limousines appeared in the early 19 hundreds. It was then that gasoline engines began to be used to propel carriages which were still designed very much like their horse drawn ancestors.
The driver of these somewhat peculiar early Houston limos sat in a compartment outside the main body of the vehicle. Since the drivers compartment was covered is resembled the hoods that the French coachmen wore when chauffeuring their passengers in the first luxury coaches for rent.
Big Band Busses and the Airporter Stretch Coach
In the 1930's strech limos appeared. The first of these were used to transport famous big bands along with their instruments, thus the name "Big Band Buss". Guests of luxury hotels were driven from the airport in what was periodically referred to as an "Airporter Stretch coach". The Houston limousine services began to evolve rapidly.
Today limos in Houston come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, vehicles designed to chauffeur the rich and famous, extremely spacious stretch limos designed for shuttling a large number of passengers, limousines with various special features, town cars and much much more.