Obama's limo 'The Beast' has to be towed

THE BEAST: The armoured limousine used to carry US President Barack Obama.
THE BEAST: The armoured limousine used to carry US President Barack Obama.

Car trouble has struck the most powerful man in the world during a tense trip to the Middle East.

A multi-million dollar Cadillac limousine built for US President Barack Obama took a ride on the back of a tow truck after striking technical problems in Jerusalem.

The Times of Israel reported the technical problem as petrol being put in the limo's diesel tank by Americans tasked with looking after it.

Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reports that the car stopped between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv's international airport.

President Obama was not in the car at the time. The US Consulate arranged a tow-truck for the black limo, known as Cadillac One or ''the beast''.

The President's personal ride has ''44'' number plates that recognise his place in the chronological order of US leadership. It is built like a tank, with heavily reinforced armour reported to be 20 centimetres thick. The car is also believed to have a military-style V-shaped underside capable of deflecting bomb shrapnel away from occupants.

It has a powerful turbo-diesel V8 engine, bolted to a chassis originally designed by General Motors for use by commercial trucks.

President Obama's secret service team transports the car overseas ahead of appearances by the President, plotting routes and contingency plans well ahead of each trip.

But the crew is not perfect, and were embarrassed by a mistake in Ireland that saw the car beached on a bump in the road.

-Fairfax News Australia