DREAMCARS Mount Dora, Fla. (352) 385-1945
CLICK MOUSE OF
PIX TO ENLARGE
PHOTOS TAKEN THE DAY THE CAR ARRIVED
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR INTEREST- THIS
FOR 'FURTHER RESTORATION' TO A CALIFORNIA CEMETERY
1959 CADILLAC S&S VICTORIA 3-WAY
We have come to call this Coach our "Captured
Angel" due to the fact we have looked for close to 6 years for a
super nice original 'Landau'
Version of the 1959 Cadillac by either Superior, S&S, or Eureka, and
found her. This fabulous Funeral coach was discovered by word of mouth in
Oct. 2016 and finally purchased in early November. It is one of a handful of
"3-Way" Sideloader Funeral Coaches that allowed the Funeral Director to unload the
Casket from either side of the Hearse, or from the rear of the Coach. This was
necessitated by close quarters at the Church, Home or Cemetery
since, once parked curbside (especially on a busy street), the Pallbearers
had very little room to safely load/unload the Casket. This design was
celebrated by nearly every FD that could afford one....the only
problem being, the '3-Ways' were historically the Flagship Model of each
Coachbuilder and very expensive, out of
reach for most Mortuaries & Funeral Homes. hence very few were sold.
What makes the '59 Model
unique is it is considered the "Most Memorable" in the entire history of
Professional Car Evolution. In 1959, it was only the 3rd time a Pro car had to be
'extensively re-designed' to make it 'worthy' for Funeral use. Due to the
fact, Automobile Styling had grown to such ludicrous proportions, that by
1959, this would be considered a radical design challenge (due to the
bodacious fins). We have found, having owned over 28 Pro Cars and about 10
'Standard (stock) Issue' factory Cadillac's, that most Coachbuilders actually
'reconfigure' the height of the fins to make the body style(s) flow better.
Such is the case here, as well. Attempting to curb the Baroque, 'Glitzy'
Style of the '59 would turn-out to be quite an achievement as the Grille
itself contained a Cascading Cliff of 'Jewel-Encrusted' Chrome. So, though
the Hearses, Flower Cars and Ambulances 'resemble' the factory "Buck Rogers"
styled versions, they were indeed "toned down" to match their conservative
use. Tossed up against the over-the-top 'Di-Noc' (Faux Wood covered)
versions by Miller-Meteor, the S&S's were indeed
is finished in Sable Back with (new) Black Vinyl Top and Black Vinyl /White Interior
accented by Grey Interior Side Panels, Oak Table & Off-White Headliner . It carries Power Steering, Power
Brakes, 390/325 h.p.V8, Hydramatic Automatic, Front Heater, 'Chromed' Wheel
Discs, Outside Rearview Mirror," T354 & E-10 Naugahyde Ceiling", 'Full
Covered' Vinyl Top, S&S Chrome 'Ice Cream Cone' Tail Light Bezels and Oil Filter.
What makes this Coach particularly unique
is its History:
It was purchased new in 1959, by
The Delbert Glenn Funeral
Home in Western Kentucky from the S&S dealer, Robert E Rucker, in Nashville
TN. This was a
funeral home that started service, first as a Livery Coach Business, then
full-time Funeral Home as of 1903. It has seen 5 Generations of the Glenn
in-house. They had the very 1st Funeral Home in Daviess County, KY. and
boasted the 1st licensed Female 'FD' in Owensboro, KY. The Glenn's also own "
Owensboro Gardens" locally, which housed the 1st Mausoleum in that area and, as of 1982, the 1st
Crematorium. As the first owners of this coach, the Glenn's ordered it new and
it for over 46 years. We bought it from the 2nd FD owner, who put 1,446
miles on it in 11 years 4 months of ownership, having purchased it
'pre-owned' July 7,
New, it was amazingly expensive and, many Funeral Director's came to believe it
was the 'Best Quality' Coach,
and considered it the Benchmark Luxury Liner of all 4 of the major Coachbuilders,
if not on
sale point alone. Letters and documents that came with the Coach lead one to
clearly believe it was ordered built March 11, 1959 with the proviso it was to be
shown first for display at the Kentucky Funeral Directors Convention in Louisville on or
about, June 9th 1959, (with a promise to deliver at the conventions end).
Actual delivery, with further custom changes, occurred 2 weeks later on June 23,
1959. Due to the optional factory embellishments Custom Built for Mr.
Glenn...it was initially priced at $13,284 but, then re-priced at 14,337.35
on delivery. That was $2,474.00 MORE then a similar 3-Way Superior.
Today, using the CPI Cost of Living Index, would compute
It was also accompanied by it's original KY License, Confirmation of Build/Sale Letter by
Robert Rucker (S&S Dealer), Deposit and original Invoice noting "Job
#45145" & "SY-1-888 Cin.", the original Factory M.S.O., New Car Warranty
Booklet from S&S / Hess & Eisenhardt, and New Car Order... Plus, the
original handwritten Bill of Sale showing it was confidently purchased with a trusted
"$500 deposit" (only accomplished with a established Funeral Home :). Any Classic Evaluation
will tell you with these documents one can "add 40% to value for complete documentation''. We have
all-of-the-above In-House, plus, the original 1959 S&S factory 11"x17" brochures.
Letters dated May 25,1959 indicate Mr. Glenn
the following equipment or changes:
Simulated Gold Wheel Discs
Special Rear Window Glass, Gold Laminated with "G"
Standard Glass (not installed)
Full Front Leather
S. Gold Medallions on the Front Doors
Playback Tape Recorder
(mentioned again later)
S.Gold Victoria "Bows" (we wonder, Landau Bars?)
-Credit (2) Window Draperies
Stnd. on this model was the 3-Way Power Table System
from S&S w/ Factory Manual
addition the following changes from production were ordered:
Paint Garnish Moldings, Instrument Panel,
Steering Column Special Color with Blending Crash Pad and Steering Wheel
Filler Board for 3-Way Table
Straddle Type Cot Fastener Mounted on Filler
E-Z Eye Glass for Front Windshield
Rear Table Edge Protection
Tape Play Back Recorder Monitor, Amplifier, Speaker, Cable & Plugs,
Inverter & Installation
Simulated Gold Medallion on Front Doors
Outside #3 Pillar Trim in Gold
Inside Pillar #3 in Gold
Victoria Inner Panel Trim Panels E20- Omit Moldings
The documents noted should give
confirmation to the fact, Funeral Coaches could indeed be
made, 'unique', for each different FD. Our restoration will attempt to return the Coach to it's original 'golden' glory (when parts
available). Restoration so far has been done on the following:, Dash Chrome Resto., Steering Wheel Horn Rim Replacement, Transmission Rebuild,
Complete Tune-up, transport from KY, then to Trannir Shop, then to Jupiter
FL. for the balance of work: Gas Tank Refurb., Complete Radiator Resto. Brake Work,
4-new Door Handles, new Tail Light assemblies, Dash Chrome, and more. All
the afore mentioned parts have been purchased or installed. With the restoration completed, the Coach
was planned to be on displayed in our Car Museum
in Mount Dora, FL.
This Coach has great Bones as you can see in the posted photo's.
Quite possibly one of the Most Pestigious, Sought after, Rarest, most Optioned and Desirable '59
Cadillac Funeral Coaches still left in existence.
Both photo /drawings of the Glenn
Funeral Home properties as seen today and, as it stood YESTERYEAR in Kentucky