Wonder on Wheels- Midnight Rider
Weighing a whooping 25-ton, measuring 70 feet in length, an elegant and stainless exterior and a slew of luxuries, this is Midnight Rider, the wonder on as many as 22 wheels- the world’s largest and grandest limousine for hire. It is one of a kind limousine unlike any other. It is a tractor-trailer limo that is run under the supervision of Irontree Management. It is based mainly in South California, though it is licensed to travel anywhere in the United States.
The idea of this kind of a limo was first conceived in 1986. The limousine that is today dubbed as a ‘celebrity’ in the world of car travel was designed with the aim of recreating the possibility of luxurious long-distance travel that was earlier facilitated via railroad. After thorough revisions to the original design, it was approved in 1997. The humungous vehicle took almost years to be completed, with just the materials costing a whooping $1 million. The credit goes to Mike Machado and his team, who wanted to restore trucking to its former glory. This 460 feet of ‘pure luxury’ finally started functioning in 2005.
Tastefully and elegantly designed and crafted, this splendid limo provides a never seen before travel experience to its customers. It has ushered in a new era of luxury travel, which is difficult to match. The limousine has about 220 lights, 2.4 miles of electric wiring and runs entirely on electro-magnetic switching. It represents modern technology and at the same, incorporates elements of the classic décor of the 19th century Presidential Pullman cars.
Accommodating up to 40 passengers and leaving enough room for their luggage in a back trailer, it seeks to take luxury travel to an entirely new level by providing an experience of a lifetime. The tasteful interior includes velvet curtains, polished brass from seven different countries, specially selected jewel-tone fabrics and wood veneer trim. It does not use any stamped accessories, fasteners, powder coatings, veneers and staples; which do not replicate Ulysses Grant’s Presidential railroad car from the mid 19th century.
A well-trained crew of five including a hostess and two bartenders attends the passengers. Its exquisite features include a commercial bar, playpen lounge-style seating, unlimited internet access, intercom facilities, climate moderated heating and air-conditioning and in-built restrooms. One of the lounges has a raised are for sightseeing that overlooks the other areas, thus making the Midnight Rider the only passenger coach with a second-storey lounge. For security reasons, it has cameras, that blend in well with the rich interiors.
Each journey in the Midnight Rider is customized according to the needs and preferences of the customer. The passengers can choose their beverages, drinks, music, movies and dining from among an array of choices. The ride is so smooth due to air ride suspension that one can stand up and move from one place to another, thereby switching time between the three different lounges. It gives the passenger the choice of dancing, having drinks at a well-stocked bar and partying hard!!! In fact, most cocktails ever served on the limo in one hour were 126, thereby, earning it the title of a ‘moving nightclub’.
The Midnight Rider is a ‘celebrity’ among the vehicles and holds the Guinness World Record for the being the world’s largest limousine. It has been portrayed on channels like Discovery and Fox, and has also received coverage from Japanese TV. It has also been featured in the coffee table book Extreme Bars. The limousine is a class apart and serves its customers with unparalleled facilities and luxuries.
It requires shelling out a hefty sum from one’s pocket- the hourly rate for the limo is $1000. The cost is high considering the maintenance required- refueling costs about $1500 on an average, oil change around $1000 and changing the tires requires a whooping ten grand. The maintenance is so systematic that two people polish the wood and brass for about five hours before every event. But as one can judge from the experience it seeks to provide, the Midnight Rider makes it worth every penny that is spent.