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

                            

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I'M SORRY, YOU MISSED A GREAT VALUE ~ SOLD TO A FUNERAL HOME IN WISCONSIN

1962 CADILLAC MILLER - METEOR 'LANDAU TRADITIONAL' 3-WAY SIDE-LOADER HEARSE

We discovered this Miller - Meteor Funeral Coach in Arizona. It was delivered originally to San Francisco, CA. where it spent most of it's life. It was then retired to Eureka, Nevada in 1995 where it was used locally for a "Flower Delivery Car" by a small Flower Shop.  At 46 years young, it then moved to Phoenix AZ in Dec. 2008. Consequently, the body has never seen more than minor rust and it carries the extra bonus of never having been in an accident. Like most Funeral Coaches it had several color changes in it's life to match the owners "current fleet" but, the last owner subjected it to a complete disassemble, strip and re-paint Back to Black Poly finish in Base Coat/Clear Coat. This is an extremely rare M&M "Trimatic Casket Table" version, a " 3-Way Side Loader" which allows the Casket 'Box' to be loaded/unloaded manually from either side of the curb, or from the rear. The Casket Table extends approx. 24" out the sides of the Coach when activated. This model also featured the Triangular Landau 'shields' on the sides with Crests (now Cadillac) which heightened the 'formal appearance'. Almost all of the original interior is now been restored to brand new. The only materials available are from Oregon at $85 a yd. The Front Seat was recovered in the original Divco-Wayne pattern, with new 'Soft-Touch' Leatherette. The exterior chrome Bright Work was professionally polished at great expense and the car retains it's original and excellent Chrome Bumpers. Options were seldom ordered from most Coach Builders yet, this car has Power Brakes, Power Steering and Power Seats. It is also equipped with a frequently ignored option, an original AM/FM Radio (not workig). Factory Air Conditioning was ADDED by the prev. owner (upgrading to R134). The Roof could be left polished "as is" or it can be painted in the original "Krinkle Finish" at extra cost. However, please note: Miller & Meteor was 1 of just a handful of Coach Builders that normally left the roof completely painted in Gloss Paint without  "Krinkle" or Vinyl covering & that is most likely WHY the coach still exists... as the Vinyl 'captured' water and caused the Coach to rot-out from the top down. We are happy to paint the top at extra expense if you choose.

 The Engine Bay and undercarriage were already restored (extremely unusual for ANY Hearse) as the motor was tested/ approved, pulled, updated with all new Gaskets, Hoses, Belts, Painted and re-installed. This Coach shows title proven mileage of 50,986. (1,062 miles per year) and it came with an Arizona "A" Actual Mileage Title but, could be sold per FL. Law as 'exempt'. Nothing makes a restoration 'sparkle' more than New Glass. Since it was a desert coach, nearly every window in this car was replaced.... even the Windshield re-replaced @ a 'deal' at $2200+ shipping. This great Coach has benefited from everything you can think of including: complete new paint, complete door & hinge removal and restoration balanced and re-hung w/ new pins installed, complete upholstery from the seats back to the rear door, door panels (5), rear casket compartment (@$85 per yd.), even the driver's floor carpet, plus; casket deck re-skinned in new mica with the casket table completely refurbished in newer chrome and hardware, new G.M. exterior mirrors, further stainless polish, w.w. tires, carburetor rebuild, undercarriage re-resto., entire front seat replaced with correct style, stainless trim for seat, many new exterior chrome pieces; including grille parts, badging, script and trim, starter rebuild, install new headlights/ add purple funeral lights, dash cap, new wipers, exhaust system, complete tune-up and rebuild of carburetor 2nd time by Certified expert. The exterior paint & body were completely re-done professionally by our craftsman and the car stands ready for service. F.D.'s from all over the Country are booking "preemies" and charging $300-1000 for the use of a Classic Coach. Clients love the idea of that "Last Ride" in a Classic Hearse.

 

By 1962, Miller - Meteor was still considered One of the Top Four Players in the Coach Building Community. Though Cadillac shipped 2,280 Commercial 6890 Chassis' to all 4 of the different Coach Houses, it is said that, M & M built 50% of the Funeral Coaches that year. Only a small percentage of those were the expensive "Tri-Matic" (Automatic or Manual)Three-way Side Loaders so, once again- a very rare bird!  To boot, having the side-door capability makes this a Z09 chassis- ultra-ultra rare. Once again, our research located only 1 other 1962 Miller-Meteor Landau Traditional 3-way Hearses in existence, 1 owned by a gentleman in Ontario, Canada, and another Endloader here in FL. ('none' are listed w/ Miller & Meteor Archive History) . We find most F.D.'s are brand conscious, allegiant to only one Coach Builder. This Traditional Landau model; is for the Ultimate Devotee of Miller & Meteor Hearses. Though born in the snow at 125 Clark Ave in Piqua, Ohio this Coach was garage kept it's entire life in a Salt-free Climate, so it's never been rusted!   A true classic hearse , next-to-the- Last Model "Finned" Hearse. Price:  SOLD

THE STORY

The Sixties in comparison to the Outrageous Fifties were not quite as Dynamic for the Funeral Car Industry.  Detroit backed off the Outrageous Fin Designs and introduced for the First Time in the Early Sixties Styling Restraint  and a more Austere Look not seen for some time... probably a good thing for the conservative Funeral people.  Despite the fact the Big Finned 1959 Eureka or Superior Hearses are still considered "The Holy Grail" of all Classic Hearse body-styles...somehow, they "didn't quite fit" the low-key image of the Funeral Director parked in the driveway or port-coche' of the Funeral Home.

In In 1954, Wayne Works of Richmond Indiana, who produced School Buses, also purchased the Meteor Motor Car Co. of Piqua, Ohio. By March 1956 Wayne  announced the acquisition of another Ohio Professional Car Builder, the A.J. Miller Company of Bellefontaine, Ohio. Under this new conglomerate, the company would now be called Miller-Meteor.  A.J. Miller's Bellefontaine plant was sold and all manufacturing was consolidated at Meteor's Piqua, Ohio plant which was located at 125 Clark Avenue.  It's President was Newton Glekel. From day one, Miller-Meteor built exclusively on the Cadillac Commercial Chassis .....so, the first Miller-Meteor coaches debuted in 1957. The new firm was an immediate success, especially in the Southern States, and, by 1962, they had captured 50% of the Professional Car market. They debuted the model featured here at the 18th Annual N.F.D.A. Convention in Oct. 1961. It was an immediate smash hit. 

In 1962, the company parlayed Superior and S & S as the largest manufacturer of Funeral cars and Ambulances on the Cadillac Chassis; breaking all sales records. M - M produced 2,764 Professional Cars in 1962 (315 more than in 1961).
One of the reasons for their success was that M - M prided themselves in
more Models, more Appearance Choices, more Service Configurations and they specialized in Customer Oriented Service. M&M even offered the First Lease Package and Financing. They even taught their dealers how to 'pre-sell' the Used and Pre-Conditioned Models.
In 1963, Miller-Meteor announced a completely new line of models.  One could choose from 6 different body-styles including the 'Futura', 2 Landaulets: the 'Classic' Model, and 'Olympian'. They were all available in Endloader, 3-way or Combination styles. Miller-Meteor carried over the new 'Trimatic Casket Table' from late 1962, which consisted of a 3-way table for hearse models, allowing loading from the rear as well as from the LH and RH side doors. It was available as either Automatic or Manually operated versions. M&M was the FIRST to introduce the "extEND" Service table which pulled-out 24-26" beyond the back-door. It became The Standard for Decades to come.

In 1966, the line comprised 13 basic models. M & M added Extending Tables for all rear-loaders in 1968 as an option. 
By 1970, the model range was up to 34; but, this would be the last year for the Miller-Meteor Flower Car.
1971 was named the 100th Anniversary Year for Miller-Meteor Funeral Cars and Ambulances as their predecessor A.J. Miller had built it's first horse-drawn hearse in 1871. Cadillac introduced a totally new line of cars and Miller-Meteor introduced a totally new line of coaches.
Miller-Meteor's most famous ambulance, the Criterion, was unveiled in 1973 and placed into regular production early in 1974.
Miller-Meteor produced only a very limited number of Cadillac 'Lifeliner' Ambulances in 1977 and 78. No Cadillac ambulances came from Miller-Meteor in 1979Öthe year the company closed itís doors.
In 1977 M-M built 18 'Lifeliner's' on the new down-sized Cadillac chassis, and in 1978, it's final year, 17 were built.
1977 Miller-Meteor Hearses were available in 4 lines; "Crestwood", "Landau Traditional", "Citation" and "Classic" models.
As a footnote: Elvis Presley was taken to his final resting place (twice) in a white 1977 Miller-Meteor Hearse. First time to the cemetery and then to Graceland.
Cadillac's last full-sized Commercial Chassis was built in 1976 and, in 1977, Miller-Meteor continued its production on van-type chassis.  Neither Miller-Meteor, nor its main competitors in the funeral coach business, Superior of Lima and S&S of Cincinnati, survived the costly 1977 transition to a dramatically downsized Cadillac Commercial Chassis. The 1973 EMS Systems Act* had virtually eliminated all passenger car-based ambulance production by 1977 and Miller-Meteor only built  21 ambulances during the year. Only four were built  in 1978 and by 1979 Miller-Meteor was reduced to a single line of professional vehicles - hearses. With sales down and prospects dim...
The company announced the end of operations on November 1, 1979. MILLER - METEOR laid-off 252 employees, terminated the contracts of their 34 North American distributors and closed their doors. There would be no 1980 Miller-Meteor products of any kind...............








DELIVERING ONE VERY NICE HEARSE TO THE NEW OWNERS