Landaulet (car)

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1966 Rolls-Royce Phantom V landaulet

A landaulet, also known as landaulette, is a car body style where the rear passengers are covered by a convertible top.[1][2][3] Often the driver is separated from the rear passengers with a partition,[4] as per a limousine.

In the second half of the 20th century, landaulets were used by public figures (such as heads of state) in formal processions. They are now rarely used, for fear of terrorist attack.


Landaulet carriage

The car body style is derived from the horse-drawn carriage of similar style that was a cut-down (coupé) version of a landau.

In British English, the term landaulet is used specifically for horse-drawn carriages, and landaulette is used when referring to motor vehicles.[5]


19th century[edit]

Like many other coachbuilding styles, the term landaulet was transferred from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles.[6][3][7] The condition of the driver's section may range from having no weather protection at all, as was often the case with early landaulets,[6][8][dubious ] to being fully enclosed.[9]

20th century[edit]

Since WWII, use has been largely restricted to formal processions to assure the dignitary's security. Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, and Pope Benedict XVI used landaulets based on Mercedes-Benz automobiles.

21st century[edit]

The Maybach division of Daimler AG showed a landaulet concept car at the Middle East International Auto Show in November 2007.[10] They added the landaulet to their 2009 model line.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Georgano 1971, p. 216
  2. ^ Clough 1913, p. 185
  3. ^ a b Merriam-Webster 1991, pp. 358–359.
  4. ^ Clough 1913, p. 185.
  5. ^ landaulet, n. Oxford English Dictionary online accessed 4 February 2018
  6. ^ a b Haajanen 2003, p. 92.
  7. ^ References:
  8. ^ Society of Automobile Engineers 1916.
  9. ^ References:
  10. ^ Car Body Design 2007.
  11. ^ Left Lane News 2008.