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Presidential rides: Taft went green a century ago

   With the national election just days away, what better time than to probe deeply into the real issues: What are the candidates' stances on cars? That is, what are they driving these days?

   Hagerty Insurance, the nation's largest collector-car insurance company, came up with the finds:

   -- John McCain: Drives a 2006 Cadillac CTS, a great entry-luxury sport sedan that gets up to 27 mpg. His first car: 1958 Corvette.

   -- Barack Obama: He traded in his Chrysler 300C for a more politically-friendly, fuel-efficient Ford Escape Hybrid. His first car: a Ford Granada, in which he learned to drive.

   -- William Taft (1909-1913): Baker Electric -- Taft was the first president to own and drive cars during his presidency. This electric vehicle was especially popular with women in the era, as it did not require any cranking and was virtually maintenance-free.
   -- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945): 1939 Packard 12 -- In the 1920s and 30s, Packard produced some of the most beautiful and innovative cars of the era.

   -- Harry S Truman (1945-1953): 1945 Ford Super DeLuxe Tudor Sudan -- All automakers shut down their production during World War II and did not return to making passenger cars until 1946. The very first car assembled after World War II was a white Super DeLuxe Tudor Sedan assembled on July 3, 1945, and it went to President Harry Truman. 

   -- Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961): 1956 Chrysler Imperial, which became known as "The Detroit Car."

   -- John F. Kennedy (1960-1963): 1961 T-Bird Convertible -- This was the first year for the much sleeker "Bullet Bird'' styling. The Thunderbird was 1961’s Indianapolis 500 pace car and was featured prominently in U.S. President John F. Kennedy's inaugural parade.

   -- Richard Nixon (1969-1974): 1950 Oldsmobile -- This particular car owned by Nixon is of historic impact because it was referred to during his infamous "Checkers'' speech that was said to save his candidacy for vice-president, when his honesty and loyalty were in question. 

   -- Ronald Reagan (1981-1989): 1952 Army Jeep, Model M-38A1 -- This was a gift to President Ronald Reagan from his wife Nancy and was considered highly collectible by the time he received it in the late 1970s.

   -- Bill Clinton (1993-2001): 1967 Mustang Convertible -- Clinton owned this Mustang as a collector car prior to and during his presidency. He has been quoted as saying that this car was the hardest thing for him to leave behind when he moved to the White House.


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