Archive for Limousines

Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner

Posted in Bentley, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Notorious with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

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The iconic Bentley motorcar needs no dramatic rhetorical preface. It’s the ultra-luxury saloon for the enthusiast or connoisseur who desires to maintain a low profile. Each is a highly bespoke automotive masterpiece. The elite Bentley Mulsanne is the company flagship designed for discerning clientele that demands high-performance without sacrificing luxury. So…what about the aristocrat that wants even more? Enter stage right…Mulsanne Grand Limousine. This contemporary coachbuilt saloon is Bentley’s magnum opus –

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Bespoke…is Bentley, the two are synonymous. This is why one will never see two exactly alike. Natural materials and the skill of the coachbuilder yields a superlative among superlatives. Mulliner, Bentley’s in-house personal commissioning division works with the client to create a motorcar of distinction that is as unique as one’s own fingerprints.

The Mulsanne Grand Limousine is handbuilt by Mulliner in the grand tradition of this eminent coachbuilder. Unlike traditional “stretch” conversions, Mulliner designed the Grand Limousine to preserve the Mulsanne’s aesthetic purity. This is the longest manufacturer-built limousine in the world. Here’s another one-up for “Big Ben” against you-know-who…

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This resplendent custom crafted limousine retains its beauty as a Mulsanne saloon. Its added dimensions are cleverly built into the architecture. The 39.4” extension to the Mulsanne’s length is discretely added into the bodyshell using a custom crafted panel at the “B” pillars. The rear doors are enlarged to accommodate easier entry and exit to the passenger cabin.

Headroom has been increased by a 3.1” addition into the roof structure. The long, low, sweeping silhouette of the Mulsanne adapted beautifully to the transformation. Nothing appears added-on or out-of-place. The achievement of Mulliner’s coachcrafting makes the Mulsanne Grand Limousine look balanced and well-proportioned with poised dignity from any angle.

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Technology unobtrusively makes itself available to the posh rear passenger suite. The elegant inner world of the Mulsanne Grand Limousine spans beyond polished metal, supple hides, and hand finished veneers. There are many bespoke digital features to bring all the amenities of home to this very special saloon. There’s an intercom system to communicate with the driver. A unique electrochromic “Smart Glass” partition separating the rear suite from the driver’s compartment converts from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button.

The HVAC heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system designed and built by Mulliner enables each rear seat occupant to control their own temperature setting. With the highly bespoke nature of this distinguished saloon, there are myriad on-board computer and communication configurations available to fashion a rolling boardroom for the executive who must work while traveling.

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As far as comfort and convenience…the rear passenger suite houses four of the most desirable seats in the entire industry. The Mulsanne Grand Limousine rivals the luxury of a guest suite at the Burj Al Arab – the rear suite evokes serenity from the outside world with the richness of materials, contrast of color, and harmony of surfaces to provide tactile and visual stimulation. Ultra-exclusive aviation-inspired seating allows passengers to converse face to face. Each lounge seat is electrically controlled to adjust to each occupant’s desired setting; they are also heated and cooled.

There are crystal flutes and a wine bottle cooler located between the front facing seats. Between the rear facing seats is a soft drink cabinet with bespoke crystal tumblers. Mulliner Coachbuilders offers the exercise of choice. This decadently luxurious new offering is available to suit its owner. In order to create a new benchmark for the brand, Mulliner widened choices to infinity making the process of commissioning a most rewarding experience…just as Henry Jervis Mulliner (1870-1967), founder of the esteemed coachbuilding firm, intended it to be –

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The Mulsanne Grand Limousine is powered as no other limousine on the road today. Mulliner re-engineered the powertrain, transmission, chassis, and suspension to accommodate the longest ultra-luxury manufacturer-built saloon in the world. The formidable 6.8 litre aluminium twin-turbocharged V8 engine produces 530 hp with an astounding 1,100 Nm of peak torque to move this magnificent motorcar with aplomb. The chassis and suspension components are refined to withstand the added weight and high torque output of the high performance powerplant.

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The Mulliner coachbuilt Mulsanne Grand Limousine is a splendid highly bespoke motorcar. The pleasure of owning such a magnificent example of Mulliner automotive art is reveling in the fact that no other ultra-luxury saloon on the planet will ever be exactly the same…not even another Mulsanne Grand Limousine. For decades, Bentley is renowned for engineering and design excellence, exemplary craftsmanship, and quality led by a visionary approach.

These are the qualities one is entitled to expect of a Bentley motorcar. From the iconic flying “B” mascot engraved with the words “Coachbuilt by Mulliner” through the extraordinary coachcrafted bodywork…the Mulsanne Grand Limousine is the epitome of grandeur and elegance escalating the Bentley brand to new heights in exclusivity and supremacy in ultra-luxury motoring…a new era has begun –

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Photos courtesy Bentley Media

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2002 Bentley State Limousine for Queen Elizabeth II

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Welcome to Greg’s World of NotoriousLuxury…

2016 Mercedes-Maybach Is Elite Sophistication

Posted in Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans, Maybach, Mercedes Benz, Mercedes-Maybach with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 12, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

“Nil fato relinquemus”

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The Mercedes-Maybach is an intriguing new Flagship with the core values of a German precision automotive legend. It characterizes a modern expression of dynamism, intelligence, and progressivism. The new Mercedes-Maybach has a specific character yet it draws unmistakably from the Mercedes-Benz genetic pool. It will also encompass the engineering prowess and paramount concern for safety, which made the Mercedes-Benz brand famous.

The Mercedes-Maybach debuted at the Geneva Motor Show February 17, 2015. These magnificent luxury saloons will be available as the S500, S550 exclusively for the US market, the S600, and the ultimate achievement in motoring…the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman limousine.

Comparison

The Mercedes-Maybach S600 top…Mercedes-Benz S600 bottom…to differentiate the two, the Maybach S600 rear doors are modified placing the rear door quarter windows into the “C” pillars, and placing the rear seats further back which affords more privacy for rear seat passengers. The Mercedes-Maybach S600 uses chrome to frame the windows and “B” pillars. It has a longer length than the Mercedes-Benz S600 which provides more room in the rear passenger compartment as well. They both have lovely, luxurious silhouettes.

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The Mercedes-Maybach is not a mere trim level, to clear up any misconceptions. It is an ultra-luxurious sub-brand of Daimler AG that blends the integrity and engineering achievement of the S-Class with the heritage and prestige of the Maybach name. These are even more exclusive than the S-Class which places the Mercedes-Maybach in a luxury class all by itself. It has been created for customers who demand the best in automotive design and manufacture.

Maybach DS 7 Two Maybach DS 7s, 1930 - four-door convertibles in front of the Zeppelin factory in Friedrichshafen

Wilhelm Maybach

The Maybach legend dates back to 1909 when it was founded by Wilhelm Maybach. The company built diesel and gas engines for zeppelins which are a type of rigid airship. The company built their first experimental car in 1919, and built the production version in 1921. They built a variety of luxury cars between 1921 and 1940 which are now highly sought classics. Daimler-Benz bought the company in 1960. After which, the Maybach Company was used to hand-build special luxury Mercedes-Benz editions in the W108 and W116 model range.

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Maybach 57 and 62 front

The Maybach name was revamped in 1997 with a luxury car concept shown at the Tokyo Motor Show. They showcased two models as the Maybach 57 and the long wheelbase variant Maybach 62 which are the model’s lengths in metric decimeters. These automobiles were advertised as chauffeur-driven and never owner-driven with exclusivity being the intent. The Maybach 57 and Maybach 62 were built from 2002 until production ceased in 2012. Only 3,000 were built during its tenure. Prices ranged from $344,000 USD for the Maybach 57 and $1 Million USD for the Landaulette.

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 A special edition Maybach Zeppelin is limited to 100 built

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The Mercedes-Maybach S600 will augment this impressive new line-up in US markets. Prices will start at $189,350 USD. With a wheelbase exceeding 133” and a total length of 214.7”, the Mercedes-Maybach S600 saloon is a substantial automobile guaranteeing a smooth journey. The interior will offer two versions. The rear passenger compartment may be ordered as a 3-seat configuration or a 2-seat reclining style for added comfort. Amenities will include heated/air-conditioned and massaging seats, heated arm rests, and a 1540 watt Burmester 3-D surround sound audio system with 24 speakers.

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Reclining rear seats have extra cushions for the headrests

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Beautiful hand-crafted veneers available

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Gracious appointments abound in this luxury barouche

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Additional luxury amenities for the Mercedes-Maybach S600 includes a Driver Assistance Package (Intelligent Drive), Magic Body Control, Night View Assist Plus, a Warmth and Comfort Package that includes a heated windscreen, Head-Up display, LED Intelligent Lighting System, an Executive Rear Suite Package, Rear Seat Entertainment System, and the Air Balance Package. Due to the exclusivity of these magnificent saloons, they can be as unique as the owner’s request.

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The LED ambient lighting is mood enhancing

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As with all Mercedes-Benz motorcars there are no light bulbs

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Rear Seat Executive Suite

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Mercedes-Maybach S600 is unique among luxury motorcars

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Power for the Mercedes-Maybach S600 is derived from a 6.0 litre V12 bi-turbo engine that will produce 523 hp with 612 lb-ft of peak torque @ 1,900 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 5 seconds. The Mercedes-Maybach S600 inherits all contemporary design and engineering from Mercedes-Benz.

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Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

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The ultimate achievement in motoring is the Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman limousine. This luxurious saloon has been the choice for government officials, heads of state, royalty, and other assorted high-profile individuals for decades. For its 50th Anniversary, a new top of the range position has been launched as the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman limousine. It is chauffeur-driven high-end automotive luxury that is traditionally associated with the brand.

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The Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman limousine is a bold new statement of exclusivity and supremacy. It proudly showcases the attributes of the next generation of the formal limousine. Its all-new design is a “High-end luxury-class motor vehicle with a proud pedigree.” This magnificent motorcar has the size and tasteful appointments that are important to luxury limousine clientele.

It follows the tradition of elegance, grace and dignity set forth by its predecessor. Its luxury length of 255.6″ allows passengers to stretch out and relax. The Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman limousine will continue to be the choice for dignitaries and high-profile personas based upon its stateliness and regal stature.

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An automobile of such eminence requires a passenger compartment to cosset its occupants in a manner to reflect extraordinary comfort and convenience. It’s the rear passenger compartment that makes a difference. Mercedes-Maybach calls it “the club lounge.” Two standard specification VIP or executive seats, face forward in the direction of travel. These seats luxuriously cradle the occupants with electrically adjustable recliners that are ergonomically correct. The head restraints have an extra cushion for comfort. Two additional seats face the executives’ seat for face-to-face contact.

The generously sized and tastefully appointed club lounge reflects the high-end luxury associated with the Maybach legend. The entire interior of the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman limousine is upholstered richly with hand-stitched leather augmented by diamond quilting. An electrically operated glass partition separates the passenger compartment from the chauffeur’s compartment for the ultimate in privacy. Being a highly bespoke automobile, the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman limousine is available with unique opportunities to make each as distinctive as its owner’s requests.

The Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman limousine is the new status symbol. Prices for unarmored versions start at 500,000 EUROS or $566,922 USD. They are exclusivity at the highest level. These exquisite automobiles epitomize the brand. Their passengers are chauffeured in the lap of luxury.

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Contrasting Classic and Contemporary

1964 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman and Mercedes-Maybach S600 saloon

From a blank sheet, creating a dynamic forward-looking design is best fulfilled by reinterpreting the essence of the past, at the same time introducing 21st century engineering. The culture of innovation and integrity are impetus to Mercedes-Maybach. Being true to its heritage yet contemporary, it is a distinctive new expression of an automotive legend. Technology and tradition are brought together with exceptional results. This is a dramatic beginning of a new era for the motorcar. The Mercedes-Maybach is a dynamic step forward in the ultra-luxury automobile arena…where only the strong survive –

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Mercedes-Benz 600 (1963-1978) (Internal Type Mercedes W100)

Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman Landaulet 1

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Photos courtesy Mercedes-Benz Media Club

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The 2016 Mercedes-Maybach is NotoriousLuxury

1968 Continental Executive Limousine by Lehmann-Peterson

Posted in Classic American Marques, Editorials, Lincoln, Luxury Sedans, The Bold and the Beautiful Lincolns, The Continental Life with tags , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

At the summit of the automaker’s craft…

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The Continental Life is most rewarding driving America’s most distinguished motorcar. The 1968 Lincoln Continental was refined to further enhance the luxury experience. Its tasteful understatement makes it a classic among American automobiles. The Lincoln Continental is engineered to be one of the finest automobiles in America.

In this world…there will always be room for something beyond conventional standards of prestige and luxury – this is why there is the Continental Executive Limousine hand-crafted by Lehmann-Peterson. Ford Motor Company commissioned this eminent coachbuilder to craft these elegant limousines of distinction. What better way to savor the Continental Life than being chauffeured in a custom-crafted Continental Executive Limousine –

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From the tires up, each Continental Executive Limousine is a carefully integrated machine in which every conceivable driving circumstance has been anticipated and planned for. Lincoln Continentals converted by Lehmann-Peterson have been fully tested by Ford Motor Company and carried the same warranty as all Lincoln Continentals.

Lehmann-Peterson is recognized as the ultimate in prestige and luxury motoring world-wide. They earned “The Park Avenue Seal of Approval.” The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Continental Executive Limousine was $15,000 USD. A typically more exclusive limo sold for $17,000, and for $20,000 it could be highly bespoke to reflect the requisites of its owner. Come live the Continental Life – it’s a room at the top on wheels…

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This beauty was sold by Left Coast Classics

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Lehmann-Peterson was established in 1963 by Robert “Pete” Lehmann and George “Skip” Peterson. They started out modestly in a garage on Harlem Street in Chicago, Illinois. They dissected a 1963 Lincoln Continental and added a 34” stretch. It was named the “Continental Executive Limousine” by Lehmann-Peterson Coachbuilders. Ford Motor Company became intrigued. They were concerned about safety and kept the vehicle for further testing.

They were concerned with structural integrity and the overall strength of the frame with all of the added weight. On Friday February 25, 1964, after 40,000 miles of testing, Ford Motor Company and Lehmann-Peterson Coachbuilders went into partnership, signing  an exclusive contract with the Lincoln-Mercury Division to create all coachwork for Lincoln Continental conversions. This turned into a $2 Million USD a year business re-working expensive automobiles. Lehmann-Peterson also converted other makes upon request.

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Lehmann-Peterson was new to the business with no track record. Ford Motor Company reviewed the 1963 prototype from end to end. Sixty inspectors at Ford studied its construction. The inspectors crammed as many people as possible into the car then proceeded to drive it through torturous road situations. They even raced the limo into an airborne launch where all four wheels were off the ground. The car stood up to the grueling tests unscathed…the inspectors studied every nut, bolt, and weld…they were pleased!

What really shocked Ford executives was the fact that warranty costs were lower for the Lehmann-Peterson stretch limo than they were for the standard factory Continental sedan. The artisans at Lehmann-Peterson scrutinized each car in detail before delivery to the customer. They had a distinctive reputation for quality…and they maintained it. The limousines were more reliable and stringently tested than the factory sedans. Even though the car had been dissected and lengthened, it was stronger than the sedan it was built from…

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Lehmann-Peterson built two limousines the first year. One was built for the White House for official Presidential use and the other was given away on the TV game show “The Price Is Right.” The woman, who won it unfortunately, sold it to a used car dealer! Lehmann-Peterson was appalled! A car of this stature sitting on a used car lot! She had no idea what prestige this is.

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The conversion begins when a standard Unibody production Lincoln Continental was drop shipped to the coachbuilder along with a limousine conversion kit which included heavy-duty tires, springs, shock absorbers, an extra air conditioning system, and an over-sized cooling system. The conversion took around 27 days to complete. The interior is stripped, the roof removed and the Continental is cut in half at the door posts.

Once the car is dissected, it is fitted with important modifications. The limousine is actually stronger than the base Continental sedan from which it was constructed due to its structural reinforcement. An additional “Lipper” roof pillar is fitted to both sides of the car. Four additional “cross-roof supports” are built across the roof of the car. These extend horizontally across the inner roof surface. A 0.125” steel plate is added along each side of the car from the driver’s compartment to the front of the rear seat cushion. Two 0.125” structural supports are built into the driver’s compartment. The box-like structure gives the limousine the necessary rigidity.

Another 0.125” plate is installed cross-one side of the new center of the limousine to the other. Finally, a new 34” section is welded into place on both sides of the car. The new roof is riveted in place with the rivets covered with body lead. New floor panels are welded into place to compensate for the additional length. Here’s an interesting fact: the Continental Executive Limousine weighs 5,939 lbs. which is only 227 lbs. heavier than the four-door Continental convertible that weighs 5,712 lbs.

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The drive shaft had to be altered. With the added length, a longer exhaust system was fitted; longer fuel lines and parking brake cables as well. There were requests as the car moved through its production. Some wanted a 2” higher roof which ran around $900 more. All amenities the customer required were installed or built into the Continental Executive Limousine. Lehmann-Peterson was the only independent shop in the country that made limousines on a production basis.

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Lehmann-Peterson and Lincoln-Mercury dissolved the partnership in 1970 for unknown reasons. There is an undetermined number of Lehmann-Peterson limousines built in 1969 and only one 1970 prototype. After the partnership ended, Lehmann-Peterson assets were taken over by Maloney Coachbuilders.

A Lincoln Continental has a graceful culmination of classic and contemporary styling cues. The 1968 Continental sedan has one of the widest tracks in the world. With its design and sheer weight, it gives exceptional stability and ‘flatness’ to the ride. The Lincoln Continental was an excellent choice for limousine conversions. Lehmann-Peterson retained the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Lincoln Continental.

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The 1968 Continental Executive Limousine is powered by the Ford MEL-Series 7.6 litre 16-valve 462 CID OHV V8 engine. It is equipped with a Carter C8 VF-9510E 4-bbl carburetor. The engine is mated to Ford’s C-6 Select-Shift Turbo-Drive automatic transmission, the torque converter has a 3-speed planetary gear set and 6-position selector dial.

The engine produces a potent 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 658 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11 seconds, 0-100 mph in 32.7 seconds, and 0-110 mph in 47.9 seconds. Its top speed is 123 mph ungoverned. It can do the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 18 seconds. These times are awesome for an automobile of this magnitude. The Continental Executive Limousine is 255” in length, rides upon a long 160” wheelbase and is 79.7” in width.

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In the hierarchy of the automotive world no other motorcar has the esteem, distinction, and prestige as a chauffeur-driven limousine. The Continental Executive Limousine is the pinnacle of the art of automobile conversion. This luxury behemoth is 34” longer than the standard Lincoln Continental sedan. Lehmann-Peterson added an eloquence and stature which immediately set these fabulous limousines apart from other fine automobiles. The Continental Executive Limousine is the ultimate expression of Continental elegance.

Only 286 were built from 1964 until 1968. The Continental Executive Limousine was the choice for oil sheikhs and maharajas, as well as movie stars, TV personalities, and state dignitaries. Many of these luxurious land yachts are still in service. These are some of the largest Unibody constructed automobiles ever built. Pete & Skip started the stretch limo business turning it into a $2 Million USD a year business. Today’s techniques are spin-offs of the Lehmann-Peterson style…however; the limousines of today do not have the distinguished aura of the classic Lincoln Continentals. The Continental Life includes “A room at the top on wheels.”

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1968 Lehmann-Peterson Continental Executive Limousine

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1967 Lehmann-Peterson Continental short wheelbase limousine

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1968 Lehmann-Peterson Continental Executive Limousine