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

                                                                                             

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

ACTUAL COACH ON LEFT WHEN PURCHASED AT THE ORIGINAL OWNERS MORTUARY AND ,THEN AGAIN , AS ONE PICTURED IN THE MCPHERSON BOOK ON SUPERIOR HEARSES, THEN PHOTO'S ARE AS IT JUST ARRIVED FRESH FROM THE RESTO. SHOP.  NOTE; ORIGINAL INTERIOR LEATHER AND SUPREME DOOR PANELS.

SORRY, SOLD THIS BEAUTY TO NEW ZEALAND

1964 CADILLAC SUPERIOR 'CROWN ROYALE' 3-WAY SIDE-LOADER HEARSE

This is one very Rare Funeral Coach.  It is One of 129 3-Way Side-loaders built by Superior Motor Coach in 1964. Based on the Body Number we think this may be the very Last 3-Way Side-loader Built in 1964. It was originally custom built for a Funeral Home in Northeast Colorado and used full-time at first, then sporadically up till 1996 when the owner updated his fleet.  He had promised the car to a close friend who then purchased the Coach from the Mortuary and kept it in his 32 car collection until his untimely death in 1996 at 52.  Like our 1962 Crown Sovereign Brougham, it took us nearly two years to buy this Coach from the estate, as the reluctant heirs did not want to part with 'the memory'. We bought the car from his collection, brought it back to FL. and then placed it into restoration. Most would term this car an "unbelievable Survivor" as it is amazing condition for 48 years old. It is finished in most of it's original Sable 9248 Black with Midnight Blue Leather Interior with Embroidered "Crown" Headliner and Brocade Side Panels.  The original Silver-Colored Mylar Fabric Drapes are in excellent condition still in place.  This is the very rare, seldom seen, "3-Way Side-Loader" which, of course, allows one to load / unload the casket from either side of the Coach or,  from the rear. The Pull-Out Casket Table which can be run Manually extends out the side or back of the Coach an extra 33 inches. As with any Coach Builder, this style was the most seldom ordered due to it's excessive cost when new.   It is equipped with Factory Air Conditioning, Power Steering and Brakes, Roll-up Windows, Power Seats, Leather Upholstery, E-Z Eye Glass, Stipple-Painted Landau Roof (in lieu of Vinyl- which is what saved this Coach from 'Rust-worms'), new Wide-White-Wall Tires, as well as a seldom seen AM/FM Signal Seeking Radio (most Coaches have 'radio delete' plates. It also has the Federally approved Purple Funeral Lights (easily removable), the Chrome Wreath Door Lock Package (3) and custom Embroidered "Superior" Floor Mats (not shown). This model featured the Chrome 'Crown' Band surrounding the perimeter of the Casket Chamber on the exterior (usually seen 'crusty'- this one mint), as well as, extra Crown Badging on the Interior. The original headliner is 'mint' with embroidered Gold Crown.  The "Crown" versions are the hardest to access as they are, not only the Most Expensive "Deluxe" Models but, are generally coveted by the few owners that are lucky enough to still have them. Our two-year research has only located ONE other Crown Royal Landau Hearse from 1964 in any Club, on any Website or private use, and that car has smashed glass and rust. This, and the Crown Sovereign Brougham, were Superior Coach Companies Most Prestigious and Beautiful Model's of the Mid-Sixties .  It features the 3 -piece rear window and was designed with the same basic body shell as the cars introduced in 1961 except that it featured a new one-piece rear bumper and re-styled rear door skin.  It also had a Special Accent Molding on the upper rear fenders, eliminating the flat lower stainless moldings on the rear quarter panels from 1963. Incidentally, only the Crown Models carried the beautiful, large 2-Point-Star / Cross Emblem on the backdoor.

Prices for the Side-Loader started at an amazing $12,745 which was almost double the base price of the Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible that same year (Inflation Conversion 1964-2012 = $94,191.31!).  This coach has proven mileage of 57,162 (averaging 1,242 miles per year) and features most of it's original Lacquer Paint. Born in Ohio but, having spent it's life in dry Colorado, where it was garaged all it's life- the body has never been rusted!  A true classic and...... the Last "Finned" Hearse designed & built in the Sixties. F.D.'s from all over the Country are booking "preemies" and charging $300-1000 for the use of a Classic Coach. Clients have responded with open arms to the idea of the last ride in a Classic Hearse. Since this listing was first posted we have added: ALL new Air Conditioning (134), new Radial American Classic T6 Whitewalls, restored the Crowns on the door panels and added a new Commercial Battery. Note: Museum 'prop's not included in sale. Price:  SOLD

  THE STORY:

The Sixties in comparison to the Bodacious Fifties were not quite as Dynamic and Eventful for the Funeral Car Industry.  Detroit backed off the Outrageous Fin Designs and introduced "Compact Cars" for the First Time in the Early Sixties. This paved the way for 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 Huge Finned 1959 Eureka or Superior Hearse's 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 porte-cochere' of the Funeral Home. One thing that must have affected a F.D.'s mindset was that 1964 was one of those years when Styling was as different as Day and Night between the Top Three Manufacturers in the Mainstream Sales Arena. Not only was Cadillac pretty much a choice of one in Funeral Coaches but the decision was made easier (against the 2nd Tier Coach Builders: Flxible, Cotner-Bevington, Siebert, National & Auto. Conversion)  by the fact Cadillac outsold in the public sales arena: Lincoln 4 to 1 and Imperial 7 to 1 in . Cadillac was by far the Most Prestigious Car on the road. The Fin's, though smaller than all previous years, did not distract from the appearance but, actually accented it's crisp new lines. Incredibly, Cadillac's advertising theme that year was "More Tempting Than Ever" is still true today as it's exceptional ride, great styling and availability of service parts are just a few of it's characteristic's that make the '64 Cadillac Coach a great buy, as well.

By 1964, gone were some of the oldest Funeral Coach Builders and left were just four Major players building Hearses and Ambulances: Superior Coach Corp., Miller-Meteor Division, Hess & Eisenhardt Co. and Eureka Co. (in fact, 1964 would be Eureka's last year in production ..... then there were only three).  All of these players mounted their Custom Built Bodies on the 156" wheelbase Cadillac 6890 Extended Chassis.  By mid-1961, Superior added to the mix by announcing the first "compact" Professional Funeral Cars built on Pontiac and Buick wheelbases.  Sadly, they were not received well (enough) and did not endure the test of time.  The Cadillac chassis carried the new 429 C.I. / 345 hp (10.5:1 compression) V8 / most likely with a 3:36:1 Rear Diff. with a G.M. Turbo- Hydramatic Transmission so, the JetaWay Tranny was a thing of the past.  The new engine /transmission / improved power steering package gave the 6,000lb. beomoth much needed 'enhanced performance'- especially in the 20-50mph 'traffic driving' range. Not having the financial where-with-all to "tool up" for the new body styles, The Eureka Co. folded their tent.  At that time they sold their assets, parts and rights to their coveted "Side Servicing Casket Table" to Superior and Superior Coach Co. became Top Dog.  Risking the ire of the S & S collector's, the evidence is in the numbers.  Superior purchased more than 60% of all the Commercial Chassis' that year from Cadillac. 

1964 would be the 17th running Season for Cadillac's Tailfins and the last for the "fine-blade" fin design.  That sets this Model in Collectability above every other 60's (not '50's) Cadillac Classic Hearse.  Beginning in 1965, the "Boxy Look" would become the norm in Funeral Cars, and be retained, till the hi-top "Bubble-Design" took over in '92 to '93.  So not to be accused of 'over-puffing', we will put things into perspective, Cadillac built 128,241 cars in 1964 The Cadillac Motor Division built 2,527 commercial chassis' total for Hearses and Ambulances. Superior built 1,671 of the 2,527  (that does not include their new "Compact" hearses).  A Proven Leader re-established themselves that year.  Source: McPherson's Book on Superior Pro-cars.   One of  129  3-way 'Crowns' *!

*NOTE: THE CROWN MODELS QUOTED BUILT WERE DIVIDED BETWEEN THE CROWN SOVEREIGN AND THE CROWN ROYALE. NO PUBLISHED STATS ARE AVAILABLE DIVIDING THE TWO MODELS.  IT IS SUBSTANTIATED BY A PREVIOUS SUPERIOR COACH EMPLOYEE TOLD THE PREVIOUS OWNER: "ONE OF 10 ROYALE MODELS IN 1964" BUT, WE ARE USING THE LARGER FIGURE TO BE FAIR.