In 1939, the white house staff of President Roosevelt commissioned the Ford/Lincoln Motor Company to build a automobile for presidential use. It was outfitted with several modifications that could accommodate the secret service, upgrades to the vehicles mechanical components, and bullet resistant material. The coachwork was handled by Brunn.
In 1950, the fleet of presidential cars were looking outdated. With War time over, and the automobile community back in full force, a total of 10 presidential limousines were ordered by the white house. 9 examples were closed limousines, and the final example was fitted with a removable Plexiglas top which allowed the president to see and be seen even in bad weather. The 'bubbletop' soon became the name for the whole car. The car was built by the Ford Motor Company of Dearborn, Michigan with the coachwork handled by Dietrich.
The Bubbletop Limousine has a folding 'bug shield' to protect the president's face when standing during parades. In the back was a platform for the Secret Service agents. Power was from a V-8 L-head engine that displaced 336.7 cubic-inches and produced 152 horsepower. The weight was 6,500 pounds. In total, there were 10 Lincoln limousines produced for a total cost of $500,000.
The car was used by Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lynden B. Johnson (as a spare).
In 1949, Lincoln awarded Raymond H. Dietrich a contract for a stretched four-door convertible for the use of President Harry S. Truman, and it catapulted Dietrich once again to national prominence. In all, nineteen of these cars were built - ten for White House service and nine for other government and VIP use. This Lincoln Cosmopolitan served three presidents - Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy - from 1950 to 1961. It is most remembered as President Eisenhower's only parade car, and at his own suggestion, it was equipped with a special removable Plexiglas 'bubble top' so that the President could be seen in rainy weather. The car remained in White House service until the early days of President Kennedy's administration in 1961, when it was retired and returned to Ford Motor Company. Its last official government use was on October 31, 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson borrowed the car for a visit to New York City.