Classic DREAMCARS Mount Dora, Fla. (352) 385-1945 www.classicdreamcars.com

                                                    
  

                                      


                 


                    


           

ALL PHOTO'S TAKEN THE DAY THE COACH LEFT FOR CALIFORNIA- ENGINE BAY, DOOR JAMBS REDONE, TAG FRAMES, WREATHS INSTALLED, NEW STEERING WHEEL, DRAPES RE-FIT, CABINETS REFINISHED, NEW WIPER MOTOR, DECAL PACKAGE INSTALLED, AND FINAL POLISH
   
                                                            
                                     (  CLICK MOUSE OF PIX TO ENLARGE )
                   
                                                                         

 1950 CADILLAC METEOR LANDAU 'STATESMAN' FUNERAL COACH

SOLD-SOLD-SOLD TO A CALIFORNIA MORTUARY

AS THE FIFTIES GOT UNDERWAY,  CADILLAC'S WERE STILL CONSIDERED "THE RICH MAN'S CAR".
CHANGES IN 1950, FOR PRODUCTION Cadillac MOTOR CARS INCLUDED A NEW MASSIVE EGG-CRATE GRILLE, AND SLEEK CONTOURED BODY WITH EXTENSIVE STYLING CHANGES FROM PREVIOUS YEARS. THE HOOD ACTUALLY PROTRUDED IN THE FRONT, GIVING THE CAR A SLEEKER, TAUNT, YET HEAVIER AND LOWER LOOK. IT ALSO CARRIED A HEAVIER BUMPER AND BUMPER GUARDS, THE PARKING / FOG LIGHTS SERVED DOUBLE-DUTY AS 'SIGNAL' LIGHTS. THIS WOULD BE THE VERY FIRST YEAR FOR A ONE PIECE WINDSHIELD AND WHEEL DISCS ON THIS SERIES THAT WERE FASHIONED LIKE  ''SOMBREROS" WITH CREST BADGES. THEY'RE STILL POPULAR TODAY AS COLLECTIBLE CAPS FOR CLASSIC HOT RODS AND LOWRIDERS.  THE HOOD CARRIED A LARGE "V" EMBLEM WITH A COLORED CADILLAC CREST. THIS BODY-STYLE BECAME SO POPULAR MOST FOLKS LATER CONSIDERED THE PREVIOUS YEARS UNGAINLY AND BULBOUS LOOKING BY THE TIME THE 1950 CADILLAC WAS INTRODUCED. IT IS A Harley Earl Design. THE REAR FINS WERE CONTINUED ON THIS MODEL AND SAID TO RESSEMBLE THE P-38 WAR PLANE FROM WWII.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT ON STREET PRODUCTION MODELS INCLUDED SELF-WINDING CLOCKS, DUAL RANGE HYDRAMATIC AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS, IMPROVED DIRECTIONAL SIGNALS, GLARE-PROOF MIRRORS, STANNATE  TREATED PISTONS, CARTER CARBURETORS, A 331 CUBIC INCH V8 WITH HORSEPOWER RATED AT 160 @3,800 R.P.M. IT CARRIED HYDRAULIC LIFTERS. THIS 1950 MODEL CADILLAC WOULD BREAK ALL PREVIOUS SALES RECORDS WITH TOTAL PRODUCTION OF 90,103 UNITS.  
CADILLAC WOULD PROUDLY SELL IT'S ONE-MILLIONTH CAR THIS YEAR! AND FOR THE NEXT 3 YEARS RUNNING, THIS MODEL WOULD BECOME KNOWN ON THE STREETS AS ONE OF  "THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC'S" DUE TO THE POPULAR RECURRING BODY-STYLE, NEW FRAME DESIGN AND POWERFUL ENGINES THAT MATCHED THE REVOLUTIONARY CHANGES.

THEY ALSO HAD A REPUTATION AS "
THE BEST CADILLAC WITH THE PERFORMANCE TO MATCH THE LOOKS". IN FACT, A 1950 CADILLAC WITH THE 3-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION, AND 3:77 REAR DIFFERENTIAL WAS RATED "THE FASTEST STOCK CAR IN THE U.S.A." AND "THE FASTEST ACCELERATING PRODUCTION CAR IN THE WORLD" (1950)!
FACT IS, MANY OF THE CADILLAC HEARSES CARRIED THE SAME DEPENDABLE 3-SPD COLUMN SHIFT TRANSMISSION AS THE 'STOCK CAR' CAME WITH (SEE BELOW). IT WAS PERFECT DUE TO THE EASE OF OPERATION WITH A HEAVY 'LOAD'.

TOTAL PRODUCTION OF THE CADILLAC COMMERCIAL '86' CHASSIS WOULD BE 2,052, WHICH WAS SHARED WITH 4 DIFFERENT COACH BUILDERS:

METEOR MOTOR CO., S&S (HESS AND EISENHARDT), MILLER, AND EUREKA.

ROLL-UP WINDOWS WOULD BE STANDARD EQUIPMENT, AS WELL AS, A CHROME 'RADIO DELETE' PLATE.
METEOR LANDAU'S WOULD EVENTUALLY CARRY A CHROME "S " SHAPED MOLDING JUST BEHIND THE REAR WINDOW, WHICH WOULD BECOME A TRADEMARK IN THE COMING YEARS.

 
ALL THE METEOR COACHES WERE BUILT IN THE METEOR MOTOR CO. PLANT IN PIQUA, OHIO AT 163 CLARK STREET.

METEOR MOTOR CO. ACTUALLY DATES BACK TO 1915 WHEN THEY BUILT A LINE OF PASSENGER CARS USING CONTINENTAL SIX-CYLINDER MOTORS. THEY WERE THE FIRST TO USE A PURPOSE-BUILT PROFESSIONAL CAR CHASSIS AND, BY 1949, METEOR HAD SWITCHED TO THE CADILLAC COMMERCIAL CHASSIS. ALL METEOR COACHES WOULD INCLUDE FENDER SKIRTS AND A FEW EVEN HAD AIR CONDITIONING. METEOR PIONEERED THE DIRECT SALES OF FUNERAL VEHICLES TO CUSTOMERS VIA MONTHLY MAIL-OUTS TO ALL OF THE NATIONS FUNERAL HOMES AND AD'S IN MOST POPULAR FUNERAL MAGAZINES LIKE 'CASKET', 'SUNNYSIDE' 'MORTUARY MANAGEMENT' AND 'AMERICAN FUNERAL DIRECTOR '.

BY 1950, PRICES INCREASED ON THE
METEOR COACHES BY $104 AND THIS MODEL (THE '86-530L' ENDLOADER) WOULD HAVE COST $6,737 NEW (NOTE: AS OPTIONED AND SEEN HERE WITH THE EXTRA COST 'CASKET ROLLER PACKAGE' /NOT STANDARD). THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN OVER TWICE THE COST OF A 2-DR SERIES 62 CLUB COUPE.   USING THE U.S. INFLATION CALCULATOR - THAT WOULD BE AN AMAZING $67,271.32 IN TODAYS MONEY (66 YRS. LATER AT 898.5% INFLATION RATE!**), NOT EASY FOR A SMALL FUNERAL HOME TO AFFORD. THE METEOR COACHES WOULD HAVE THE WIDEST WIDTH AT THE WHEEL HOUSE (52") AND BELTLINE (62") WITH THE WIDEST/HIGHEST BACKDOOR (42") OF ANY COACH OFFERED. IT WAS ALSO ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE HEARSES AT THE TIME, SECOND ONLY TO S&S, WHO WAS ACTUALLY PRICED ABOUT $295 MORE. METEOR WAS PROUD OF THEIR CRAFT, AS DISPLAYED BY THEIR HALLMARK (BELOW) AND THEY WERE THE INNOVATOR FOR MANY UNIQUE OPTIONS THAT OTHER COACH BUILDERS COPIED IN THE YEARS TO COME.  MOST NOTABLY, METEOR WAS ONE OF THE FIRST TO ADD LARGE, SPECIALLY SHAPED, FUNCTIONAL COACH LAMPS ON EACH SIDE WHICH LIT UP FOR USE AT DUSK OR AT NIGHT. THEY ALSO FEATURED, WHAT THEY CALLED, A 'FLOATING REAR DOOR WINDOW' THAT ALLOWED 'A PEEK' OF THE CASKET. THAT BECAME A POPULAR FEATURE, AS WELL. IT'S IMPORTANT TO NOTE METEOR MOTOR CO. WAS THE FIRST TO OFFER 'DIRECT' SALES THROUGH THE PARENT COMPANY SAVING THE CUSTOMER MONEY AND ELIMINATING A SALES POINT COMMISSION. THEY ALSO WERE ONE OF THE VERY FIRST TO OFFER
IN-HOUSE FINANCING FOR ''ESTABLISHED'' FUNERAL DIRECTOR'S. ALTHOUGH, GENERAL MOTORS IS OFTEN CREDITED AS THE FIRST TO OFFER IN-HOUSE FINANCING, IT WAS ACTUALLY METEOR WHO PRE-DATED THEM BY A NUMBER OF YEARS.

THIS BODYSTYLE WOULD BECOME KNOWN AS THE FIRST OF THE
'GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY DESIGNED' CADILLACS BUILT 1950-1953.

SEEN HERE, IS AN ORIGINAL 56,800 MILE, TWO-OWNER
METEOR 'STATESMAN' ENDLOADER COACH, IN MASONS BLACK WITH TWO-TONE GREY CLOTH INTERIOR AND SCARLET DRAPERY. IT ORIGINALLY HAILED FROM CALIFORNIA AND WAS THEN PURCHASED BY A LARGE FUNERAL HOME IN THE SOUTHERN, NEW MEXICO REGION. IT PROUDLY SERVED THIS GROUP OF FUNERAL HOMES FOR 18 YEARS UNTIL THEY REPLACED THEIR ENTIRE HUGE FLEET. WE DISCOVERED IT THROUGH A 'TIP', AND PURCHASED IT OUTRIGHT.  IT WAS THEN SHIPPED ENCLOSED TO FLA. WHERE IT WILL UNDERGO A COMPLETE RESTORATION FOR 'FRONTLINE USE'. OPTIONS WERE FEW IN THOSE DAYS BUT, IT DOES FEATURE WIDE WHITEWALL BIAS-PLY TIRES, CHROME COACHLAMPS, GOLD PLATED HOOD ORNAMENT & HUBCAP BADGES, THE SMALLER DAGMAR BUMPER GUARDS, HEATER, THE PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED ORIGINAL $320 CASKET ROLLER & BIER PIN 'OPTION', STORAGE CABINET AND COFFIN CHAMBER LIGHTS. THE PLANNED RESTORATION WILL INCLUDE COMPLETE PAINT AND BODYWORK ON IT'S RUST-FREE BODY, MOTOR CAVITY DETAIL, NEW GRAY DRAPERY AND CARPET IN THE CASKET CHAMBER OVER THE ORIGINAL LINOLEUM, PLUS, RESTORING OF THE UNIQUE WHAT WAS A 'SPECIAL ORDER' STEERING WHEEL, DASH RESTO., FULL DOOR JAMB RESTO. SOME NEW CHROME (TOP GRILLE & NEW FRONT BUMPER), RE-CHROME OF  SIDE SPEARS, COMPLETE STAINLESS TRIM RESTO., EXPENSIVE NEW HOOD BADGE, NEW (HARD-TO-FIND) ORIG. WHEEL BEARINGS ($268 + LABOR), FENDER PIPING, TUNE-UP OF THE RECENTLY REBUILT MOTOR/TRANSMISSION & CLUTCH, AS WELL AS SOME ELECTRICAL WORK + NEW WIPER MOTOR, COSMETIC RESTORATION OF THE CASKET ROLLERS / NEW BADGING, ADDING CHROME WREATHS, AND MORE.
A GREAT RESTORATION IS ALL ABOUT 'GOOD BONES' AND AS YOU CAN SEE, THIS COACH WAS A REMARKABLE ORIGINAL BEAUTY.  YOU WILL BE ABLE TO VIEW
THIS GRAND OLD LADY  ON DISPLAY AT THE MOUNT DORA MUSEUM OF SPEED IN MOUNT DORA, FL. FOR A SHORT TIME.  SORRY- THIS BEAUTY SOLD IMMEDIATELY ON COMPLETTION TO A CALIF. MORTUARY

PICTURES BELOW ARE THIS COACH ON ARRIVAL FROM NEW MEXICO

                      



                          



     

THIS IS THE COACH AS IT ARRIVED FROM NEW MEXICO. AS YOU CAN SEE A VERY GOOD SOLID COACH TO BEGIN WITH. WE IMMED. PULLED THE DRAPES AND RE-DID THE ENTIRE FLOOR ELIMINATING THE LINOLEUM + NEW DRAPERY



        


ABOVE A FEW PIX RE-PAINTED AS SHE LEFT FOR FINAL 'GET READY'

THE METEOR MOTOR CO. 1950 SHOWROOM BROCHURE BRAGGED:

"Meteor Coach Co. offers products that were built Up to a Standard not down to a Price"



LATER IN THE FIFTIES METEOR SOUGHT TO LEAD THE COACHBUILDERS BY HIRING ONE OF THE VERY TOP STYLISTS TO DESIGN THEIR NEW COACHES

OUR EXTREME APPRECIATION AND THANKS TO THOMAS A. MCPHERSON FOR HIS VALUABLE GUIDANCE IN SOME OF OUR INFORMATION, AS WELL AS COACHBUILT.COM AND THE STANDARD GUIDE TO CADILLAC 1903-1993

 

1955 Meteor Body in Assembly Jig     1956 Cadillac Meteor Crestwood Landau Panoramic Hearse 

SEEN HERE: THE ORIGINAL BODY JIG AT THE METEOR PLANT IN PIQUA,OHIO ~ ONE OF METEORS UNIQUE FUNERAL DIRECTOR CONVENTION DISPLAY COACHES IN 1956  - NOTE: A UNIQUE FAUX WOODGRAIN-SIDED HEARSE !

 

 

THE TWO-SEATER SISTER CADILLAC TO THIS UGLY DUCKLING COUPE WAS NICKNAMED "LE MONSTRE' BY THE FOREIGN PRESS AFTER IT  ENTERED THE LEMANS 24 HOUR RACE IN FRANCE.  THIS COUPE WON 'TENTH PLACE' AHEAD OF 'LE MONSTRE' WHICH HAD LOST IT'S TWO LOWER GEARS.  IT MUST HAVE BEEN A SIGHT RACING AGAINST FERRAQRI'S , MASERATI'S, JABGUARS AND THE LIKE!  DRIVEN BY BRGGS CUNNINGHAM,  IT WAS VIRTUALLY STOCK, OTHER THEN BEING UPGRADED WITH 'TWIN' 2- BARREL CARBS AND BETTER BRAKES. THIS IS THE CAR THAT STARTED THE BENCHMARK WINNING-PERFORMANCE REPUTATION FOR THE CADILLAC MOTOR CARS.

** 1950 COST OF LIVING PRICES:

AVERAGE APARTMENT RENT: $75 MO.          MILK WAS 84 CENTS A GALLON

AVERAGE INCOME $3,216 YEAR           COFFEE WAS 20 CENTS A LB.

MOVIE THEATRE .65 CENTS ADM.               EGGS WERE 24 CENTS A DOZ

    BREAD WAS 17 CENTS A LOAF

POSTAGE STAMP: 3 CENTS                    TELEPHONE SERVICE WAS $4 MO.

       A DOCTOR VISIT COST: $5.50