Semi Stretch Recreates Railroad Luxury

Posted on April 1, 2011 by - Also by this author

Page 1 of 3

Pamela and Michael Machado of Anza, Calif. took about seven years to design, build, and perfect The Midnight Rider, the heaviest limousine in the world. The rebuilt semi tractor-trailer has proven ideal for corporate parties and social events on wheels.
Pamela and Michael Machado of Anza, Calif. took about seven years to   design, build, and perfect The Midnight Rider, the heaviest limousine  in  the world. The rebuilt semi tractor-trailer has proven ideal for   corporate parties and social events on wheels.

ANZA, Calif. — If The Midnight Rider could be attached to a train, it would have to be the VIP nightclub car. At cruising speed, passengers enclosed in its plush 19th Century railroad interior cannot tell if they are on the tracks or a freeway.

For operators Michael and Pamela Machado, THE MIDNIGHT RIDER has taken the concept of chauffeured transportation to its zenith. The custom-built, luxury outfitted 18-wheeler tractor-trailer is the largest and heaviest — but technically not the longest — limousine in the world.

The Machados keep it parked in a warehouse garage in the rural town of Anza, elevation 4,000 feet, which lies in a mountainous region of Southern California about two hours southeast of Los Angeles. The location gives the Midnight Rider room to be restored and refitted for its runs, and puts it within reach of major Southern California and Las Vegas attractions.

“It’s like a night club on wheels,” says Pamela Machado, executive vice president. “They party on board. Once we are at the destination, they often don’t want to get off when they get there. Since there’s a full bar on board, they don’t need to go to clubs.”

Wheels to history

The four congregating areas aboard, or lounges, separated by split levels and stairs are called: the Pullman Lounge, the Observation Lounge (highest level), the Fifth Wheel Lounge, and Jake Brake Bar (lowest level).

Midnight Rider is modeled after the look of a Pullman Presidential railroad car that was used by President Ulysses S. Grant, who served from 1869-1877, says Michael Machado, president and manufacturer. The interior design features abundant genuine, raw, polished brass railings and fixtures, solid birch wood, and authentic fabric materials. There are no plastics, composites, imitations, powder coatings, veneers, staples, or fasteners, which are not authentic to the construction of the period.

The results can be seen in the details; solid brass welding jobs betray no seams or lines; interior fabrics were hand-selected by Pamela via multiple trips to the Los Angeles garment district, to name a few. The luxury “railroad car” also reflects the mechanical balance of mitigated sound, weight distribution, air-ride suspension, six tons of hidden, efficient HVAC equipment, and an array of structural precision the average client never sees but benefits from. Even the bathroom is decked out in all brass and birch wood.

Diverse dimensions

The Midnight Rider is the largest and heaviest limousine in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, but the longest limousine is still a 100-foot white Cadillac stretch in Burbank, Calif. that is not street legal.

Midnight Rider reaches close to the largest allowable dimensions for a semi by the U.S. Department of Transportation: 13-feet 8-inches high, just four inches underneath the 14-foot federal limit; 8.5 feet wide; and 70-feet long with a 310-inch wheelbase. The interior is 416 square feet across four levels, with the lowest ceiling at 6-feet 6-inches, and higher ceilings in all other lounges.

The luxury behemoth weighs 25 tons and its NTC 400, 435-horsepower, Cummins-powered engine in a Peterbilt truck can pull the tractor up to 90 mph on a flat surface and up to 40 mph on a 6% grade, although Michael emphasizes he never exceeds speed limits with clients on board. Midnight Rider holds 300 gallons of diesel at an estimated $700 cost to fill up, he says. Gas mileage is about 4-5 mpg. It takes two men 18 hours to clean it between each run.

“We built it to have fun with it,” Pamela says, but word-of-mouth soon got it to be a profitable venture. “We had no intention of getting the world record.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Ford Van Shuttle Takes Care Of Business

Pick Of The Week: This Turtle Top executive chauffeured vehicle is ready to transport your clients safely and comfortably.

BMW’s 7 Series Features Plush, High-Tech Cabin

The vehicle provides a highly desirable environment for sophisticated drivers and passengers.

Cadillac CT6: Impressive Technology, Smooth Ride

The premium luxury AWD version of the vehicle brings some tech and driving experience to the table.

Palace of Versailles Inspired Rolls-Royce Going To Auction

The creator modeled the rear seats after a sedan chair that once belonged to Marie Antoinette.

Lincoln Continental Is Hypnotically Gorgeous

Vehicle Review: The new brand philosophy is built around "quiet luxury" — the idea is to express a premium attitude without shouting.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - October 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Leverage Tech To Levitate Your Operations * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close