Russ Tate of Yorkshire, England is doing his part to even out the United States trade imbalance. He recently purchased a 116-inch Lincoln from Royal Coach by Victor in Orange, CA, to add to his American limousine collection. Tate (right) takes delivery of the limousine from Vic Piña of Royal.
After numerous transatlantic phone calls, two months, and a journeyof over 9,000 miles, Russ Tate of Yorkshire, England has finally gotten his dream limousine.
Tate purchased his 116-inch Lincoln from Royal Coach in Orange, CA. The vehicle was built to Tate’s specifications. “I had Victor [Piña of Royal Coach] install turn indicators along the side of the vehicle for more visibility on the highways. My vehicles tend to get a lot of stares. People drive alongside the vehicles and can’t see the turn indicators,” says Tate. Additionally, the limousine has been wired for a TV, VCR, and stereo.
Tate finds he can save money buying limousines in America. For the price of the car plus the approximately $20,000 in tariffs and $2,400 in shipping costs, it is still cheaper than buying a stretch in England.
Why travel so many miles to buy a limousine sight unseen? “Price! Plus, the Americans really know how to build a limousine I can buy a 36-inch stretched Mercury Sable from a company in England. When a coachbuilder in England stretches a car, it just installs a longer door. The limousine is only equipped with a stereo, glass partition, and air conditioning in the front compartment only. For this, I will pay $89,000. A 16-inch stretched Rover costs $70,000,” says Tate. In addition to the price of the limousine, Tate will pay approximately $20,000 in tariffs and $2,400 to ship the vehicle to England — and he will still be ahead.
Tate estimates there are around 25 to 30 American-made limousines in and around London, so the vehicles are unique. “I do have to watch my prices though,” he says. “I tend to keep my rates around $40 per hour.” The new limousine will be added to Tate’s All-American fleet that includes a 1985 Armbruster 54-inch Lincoln and a 1988 American Custom Coach 100-inch Lincoln.
“Last year, my two limousines generated approximately $2,200 per week. I’ve been operating limousines for the past two-and-a-half years and only started advertising in the Yellow Pages last year. Since then, I have gotten three or four calls a day,” Tate admits.