Exchanging executive power for horsepower

We here at TopSpeed will take any and every opportunity we can to celebrate the glorious amazing awesomeness that is the automobile. But Presidents’ Day is kinda tricky – after all, the Commander-in-chief doesn’t drive, he’s driven, right? But that got us thinking – what if a select number of U.S. presidents (both past and present) did drive? What would be their chariot of choice? What four-wheeled machine would accurately reflect their policies, their demeanor, their legacy? These are all very important questions, and we think we’ve got the answers right here in the following special holiday list.

Of course, we couldn’t give a spot to all 44 men to ever hold the highest office in the land, so instead, we went with just five. Most are relatively recent, but we couldn’t resist adding in a bit of a throwback as well.

So read on, and don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts on which car you think the president (any president) would drive.

Continue reading for the full list.

Andrew Jackson – Dodge Challenger Hellcat

Presidents' Day Special – What Would The Commander-In-Chief Drive?
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We start this list with the seventh President of the United States – Andrew Jackson, also known as the smug-looking gentleman whose face is plastered on the front of that twenty-dollar bill in your pocket. Jackson was, to put it mildly, a bit of a wild card. Jackson first rose to prominence as a successful military commander, surviving multiple war injuries and earning the nickname “Old Hickory” for his toughness. Jackson also had a legendary temper, and frequently participated in duels and brawls. For example, in 1806, Jackson challenged Charles Dickinson to “pistols at eight paces” after Dickinson attacked the honor of Jackson’s wife in a local newspaper. Jackson allowed Dickinson to shoot first, taking the bullet in his chest, then carefully leveled his aim and fired, killing his opponent.

In the parlance of our times, Jackson was a man who clearly DGAF. Pair that with his quick-to-anger attitude, and there’s really only one car that could fit – the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger Hellcat. It’s a street fighter that does what it wants on its own terms, love it or leave it.

Read our full review on the Dodge Challenger Hellcat here.

Richard Nixon – Volkswagen Golf TDI

Presidents' Day Special – What Would The Commander-In-Chief Drive?
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Next on the list, we jump ahead about 150 years or so to the 37th President of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon. While Nixon did a lot during his presidency, from ending the Vietnam War, to opening up diplomacy with the Soviet Union and China, to presiding over the Apollo 11 moon landings, the first thing most folks think about when you say his name is the Watergate scandal.

So let’s see – a relatively conservative package that got caught cheating and never really shook the association? Sounds like a Golf TDI, to me. And yes, I know Nixon created to EPA…

Read our full review on the Volkswagen Golf TDI here.

Bill Clinton – Tricked-Out Cadillac Escalade

Presidents' Day Special – What Would The Commander-In-Chief Drive?
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Now we’re getting a little more recent, with president number 42 taking the middle spot. Beating incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush in 1992, Clinton was reelected for a second term in 1996. However, it was the Monica Lewinsky scandal that broke in 1998 that most of the public seems to remember the best.

As such, Bill has a reputation for being a bit, well… let’s say randy (thanks, Austin Powers). So what’s a good pick for a guy like that? How about a tricked-out Caddy Escalade, complete with airbag suspension, big chrome wheels, and inky window tint to keep out prying eyes? Inside, I’m imagining generous mood lighting, a cigar humidor, and plenty of space to stretch out. Don’t forget some slick saxophone-laced tunes drifting through the sound system.

Read our full review on the Cadillac Escalade here.

George W. Bush – Lifted Chevrolet Silverado

Presidents' Day Special – What Would The Commander-In-Chief Drive?
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Ah yes. The Dubya. Former Governor of Texas, worked in the oil business, and one-time co-owner of the Texas Rangers. If ever there was a president that looked more comfortable in a cowboy hat and boots, I have yet to see him. Okay, maybe Teddy Roosevelt, but whatever, let’s move on.

The real question is this – what would The Decider take to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the simplicity of ranch living out near Crawford? Well, I’d wager a lifted truck would fit the bill, and the Chevy Silverado just seems right. How could you follow up an act as patriotic as that? You couldn’t. Mission accomplished.

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Silverado here.

Donald Trump – Solid Gold Hummer H1

Presidents' Day Special – What Would The Commander-In-Chief Drive?
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Last, but certainly not least, we have our current president – Mr. Donald J. Trump. Our 45th president has only been in office for a handful of weeks, but I already think I’ve got a grasp on what he’d be driving. It would have to be big, like a moving wall of freedom. It would have to be bold, like a shining promise of greatness. But most importantly, it would have to be orange – bright orange, like a golden statue, and very, very expensive. Yes, a solid gold Hummer makes sense for this one. But please – pay no mind to the Russian license plates.

Read our full review on the Hummer H1 here.

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