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In case you didn’t know, it costs a great deal of money to protect the president. In fact, the $1.4 billion spent each year protecting President Obama is more than the entire Haitian government spends to fund its entire nation. Within that budget comes one of the craziest and scariest cars you’ve ever seen: the one that President Obama rode down Pennsylvania Avenue on the day he was elected. The car is called “The beast.”

The car was built by General motors. It looks like a Cadillac, but is really a souped-up armored vehicle that might as well be used as a tank. It’s code-name is “stagecoach”, but the name “beast” came from the fact that it is incredibly heavy and has an powerful wheelbase.

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“Although many of the vehicle’s security enhancements cannot be discussed, it is safe to say that this car’s security and coded communications systems make it the most technologically advanced protection vehicle in the world,” Nicholas Trotta, assistant director for the Secret Service Office of Protective Operations, said in a statement.

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GM can’t really talk about the specs on “the beast”: “One of the specifications is we don’t talk about the specifications,” stated a GM spokesperson.

Although details can’t be confirmed, the Detroit News reports that 25 presidential limos were were built for the Obama Administration. They all are expected to last about 10 years, and the Commander-in-Chief gets a new one every four years. The older vehicles are used to carry the Vice President and visiting heads of state.

The car is heavy, between seven and eight tons, riding similar to a medium-duty truck. The body is covered in military-grade armor that is 8 inches thick on the doors. Each door reportedly weighs as much as the cabin door on a 747, according to Motor Authority. The windows are made of ballistic glass, believed to be 5 inches thick, and even the floor mat is woven with a substance to protect the president and his family from a potential bomb blast. There is also a seal to keep out the air to protect passengers from chemical attacks.

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“I think he will be surprised about how when he’s in the limo, it’s a cocoon,” Joe Funk, a retired Secret Service agent who served as President Clinton’s driver, told CNN. “The everyday noises will be gone, and he will be totally isolated in this protective envelope.

The car sounds nice, and I wish I owned one. Even the rapper 50 Cent would be jealous.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.

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