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It is able to withstand a direct hit from an RPG, and has a built-in air supply so it can drive through a chemical weapons attack, but “The Beast” apparently can’t hold its gas.
President Obama’s heavily armored limousine was sidelined in Israel today after the diesel-powered vehicle was inadvertently filled with gasoline, according to Israeli media reports. The News 24 Israeli News agency posted images of the 16,000 pound vehicle being carried on the back of a flatbed truck.
A secret service spokesperson confirmed to a White House pool reporter that the vehicle suffered a malfunction, but would not say if misfueling was the cause. The President was not in the car at the time of the incident.
Although it is designed to look like a Cadillac sedan, The Beast is reportedly built on one of General Motors medium duty truck chassis. Several identical vehicles exist and entered service on President Obama’s first inauguration day, Jan 20th, 2009.
The secret service says it always brings a mechanic on trips with The Beast to deal with issues like this that may occur, and of course has several backup vehicles ready in case one is taken out of service.
Most of the specifications of The Beast are classified as top secret, including whether or not it has one of those stickers on the fuel filler that says “diesel fuel only.”