DREAMCARS Mount Dora, Fla. (352) 385-1945
AT WINTER PARK CONCOURS
TOUCH MOUSE ON PIX TO ENLARGE)
SOLD TO COLLINSVILLE,
ILLINOIS . SORRY, FOLKS YOU MISSED 'ONE-OF-EIGHT ' LEFT !!!
CADILLAC-LASALLE SAYER & SCOVILL
CARVED SIDED GOTHIC HEARSE
This Hearse was
used by a Large Funeral Home on the Southern Border of Kentucky
and Tennessee and later moved to Washington, Indiana where it's
Funeral Director Owner decided it deserved a comprehensive restoration..
We think it is One of a 101* Cadillac-Lasalle Sayers and
Scovill (S & S) vehicles built and one of 8 Damascus
"Carved Sided" Hearses built" in 1938.
As far as we can ascertain by our latest research,
One of Only 3
Restored '38's Still Left in Existence Worldwide. It underwent
a complete $206,000+ Frame-Off Restoration (with photo
L & N Old Car Company
in Newbury, Ohio several years ago. Upon it's arrival
here, we spent two weeks 'sorting it out". It is
Unusual because it carries All The Options including
the larger Factory In-line 90 degree 'L Head' 346 cubic inch Motor
/ 140 h.p. @ 3,600 rpm ( First time offered '38), with
Hydraulic Valves / Carter Carburetor (instead of Stromberg) and
the Special Order 3:42 rear. It was built on the 161" Commercial
38-75 Cadillac Chassis and carries the Standard 3-Spd Synchromesh
Transmission, Hotchkiss Floating Rear-end, the Optional
'Cathedral' or 'Gothic' fully Carved Side "Damascus"
Flagship-of-The-Line. Then look for further options to
include Dual Sidemount Tires, 'Flexible' Steering Wheel, Heater
/ Defroster, Clock, 'Cats-eye' Cigar Lighter, S & S
Wheel Discs, Badging and Beauty Rings, Rear Arrow
>>>Signal Lights (we added for safety !),
Wide Whitewall Tires, the Super Rare (and valuable)
Purple Service Light, Manually
Operated Chrome / Rosewood Appointed 'End-Loader' Casket
Table, Deluxe "Bridge-of-Weir Leather Seating, Lockdown Art
Deco Hood Ornament, Remote-Column-Mounted Zenith AM Radio Tuner, Solex Safety Glass, Bakelite Suicide Steering Knob, Twin Exterior
Mirrors, Chrome "Stone
and stainless steel 'wind wings'. Our
car is finished in Sable Black with Dark Red "Bridge of Weir"
Leather and Burgundy Mohair. We added, out of necessity, (or
for Character) : Chrome
Signal Lights ( not offered until 1940 as standard equipment)
Chrome Funeral Wreaths (incl. Tag Frame), Chrome Door Crests,
Trippe Funeral Light Bracket w/ 3-Way Art Deco Under dash Switch,
Emergency Beacon Light , Hand Carved
Wood Angels, and Engraved Nickel Dash Cross. The Seat Fabric in Leather, Walnut / Rosewood Interior,
Cut or Beveled Glass Partition, as well as, the (4) Chrome Interior
Columns were installed at the factory when delivered new in 1938.
Two Scale Model Companies have made models of this Hearse which
are on display and included with it.
- TO COLLINSVILLE, ILLINOIS
In our never-ending quest to collect something 'unique'...a
Super rare "Carved Sided" Hearse is added to our Museum
Collection. There are those of you that think the stigma of driving
a hearse is way too heavy of a load to bear. But,
for others - these 'Professional Cars' are respected and sometimes
coveted for their Inherit Low-Mileage, Custom Made Body and Limited
Edition Nature. There is a certain 'mystique' associated with
these rare vehicles as it is considered a 'Special Niche"
collectible. Those that
love them usually reason: "What's the
fuss? People don't die in Hearses, they die in Ambulances".
For whatever reason, the hobby of revering & collecting Hearses
has really taken-off over the last 5 years or so. Like any Collectible,
the Older, Vintage Coaches are the Most Valuable. The Most
Sought after 'Professional Cars' by Collector's are the Eureka
or Miller-Meteor 1959 Cadillac's, the Art Deco Panel Sided Hearses
by Henney and the 30's "Carved Sided" Cadillac &
Lasalle's of the 30's. Those that collect Ambulances, can't be
denied, covet the "Ectos 1" Ghostbuster 1959
Once you're out
in the Used Hearse Market you'll find quite a few Big-Box
Cadillac's from 1965-1991 priced very reasonably but,
these later Coaches are known for rust, electrical problems, difficulty
in parking, poor gas mileage and high repairs. No one can explain
whether it was the Rise in Popularity of Old Station Wagons ('vintage
SUV's ?!) or, the fact that wealthy Funeral Director's, Hobbyists
and even "Goth People" have emerged as frequent buyers....but,
seeking out & finding a really nice used Hearse
On the other side
of the coin, there are those that are repulsed by the idea
of owning a Funeral Coach and 'wouldn't take one if you gave it
to them'. We can't help but, find those people laughable. Many
of these same folks are the same people that are glued to their
Television Sets three nights a week watching the blood
& gore of "C.S.I." in three different versions
( " Las Vegas", New York and, the "Miami Vice"-Copy,
Colorized Version, "C.S.I. - Miami"). No matter what, "Professional
Cars" now have a devout following. It's a new car hobby
gaining popularity...so, for those
of you that 'shutter' at the thought...you might as well
stiffen up and get used to seeing them appear at Car Shows
across the Country.
Most Hearses are
built on a Limited Build, Commercial Chassis, which is
ordered direct from the Manufacturer... with the Front Clip sometimes
reffered to as the 'Kit'. Most, are quite expensive new... typically
Triple the Price of a New, Loaded Luxury Car. This particular
car cost $3,291 new ( remember the average cost of a new
car was $860, and a new home was $3900). It was the Flagship of
the Line known as the "Damascus Model", built in the
Traditional 'Cathedral' or 'Gothic' Style. It' is termed as a
'End-Loader' version. It has a Cut Glass Center Partition with
a Manually Operated Casket Table that pulls out 2-3 feet for easy
loading-unloading. Some Models even had Side Door Capability with
an Automatic Table with up to 3-4 doors for ease of access. The
majority of Hearses were built as Combination Hearse / Ambulance
for those small towns that, for economic reasons, could not afford
two individual cars. When
you read any Vehicle Production Book, "the number
built" stats, by each manufacturer, will list: : Convertible/
Coupe /Sedan / Wagon...and.... "Other". Hearses normally
fall under "other". In fact, many are built on a One-off
, Special Factory Built Commercial Chassis.
Once the Astute
Funeral Coach Buyer decides THIS is the Classic Car I want,
you start your search ( based on personal taste) by choosing
from 51 or so of the Top Professional Car Builders.
It shouldn't take long to narrow it down to 10 or less. Those,
in our opinion, are Sayers and Scovill ( known as "S &S"),
Henney (O.O.B. 1954), Eureka (went OOB 1964), A.J.Miller,
then Miller- Meteor (merged), Flxible (OOB 1965), Cotner-Bevington,
Knightstown, and Superior...just to name a few. One
name continues to surface as One of the Top Leaders in Hearse
and Scovill. In business in, or near, Cincinnati,
Ohio since 1876, they began in business by building Handmade Carriages.
They lived up to their promise of "Custom Hand built"
and were always known for their Quality and diversity
of Model Selection. William Sayer and, young bookkeeper, A.R.
Scovill created a partnership that built the First Gas Powered Ambulance (1907) and the First Production Funeral Car (1912). Their company later merged with
Superior and Miller-Meteor and they still continue production
today under the banner "Accubilt". Our
private study of vintage Top Hearse Values show S & S, neck-in-neck
with Henney, Eureka and Miller-Meteor for long-term high resale
Most Funeral Coaches
aren't driven very far. In fact, when you stop and think about
it...they are driven from the Funeral Home to the Cemetery and....
for Maintenance ( you normally don't drive to the market in
one). Our car carries documented, proven mileage of 33,204 miles
(that's only 482 miles per year!). We even have an original Invoice
for Funeral Service in 1938 that shows your typical Funeral Home
only charged "$10" for the use of the "Funeral
Coach". Finally, we should mention 1938 wasn't exactly a
banner year for Cadillac-LaSalle production, as it was
built during the Great Depression leading up to the War II and
Production Figures are vague. What we do know is:
Only 15,501 Cadillac-LaSalle's were actually built ( in ALL Models
including V16**). The Cadillac-LaSalle Club claims 222 Commercial
Chassis' were made. Yet, another source states: only 8*
LaSalle's were built on the large "38-75" Commercial
Chassis (20' long). Cadillac Data Base states "900"
made by all of the Body Builders on the 4 different Commercial
Chassis. This would include Cadillac and LaSalle on the 38-50,
38-60, 38-65, and the 38-75 chassis. Another states "101"
S &S cars built. So, the exact number may never be
known. Our VIN Number does reflect this car would be One
of The Very Last S & S Built and One of the Very Last,
if not THE very last Lasalle's Built in 1938. We are very proud
to say we have taken Best of Show, People's Choice and/or Mayor's
Choice every time we have shown her.
EVENTS OF 1938
This turns out to
be an important year for both the Automobile and in History. This
was the First Year for Foglamps for Cadillac, the First Year for
the 346 c.i. L Head V8 in this chassis, and the First Year Adolph
Hitler would start his efforts to occupy Europe by creating
The High Command of Armed Forces. Accomplishing this gave
him direct control of all Armed Forces ( within a year he invaded
Austria, Poland, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia ). It was also the
year Douglas Corrigan pulled off the prank of a non-stop flight
to Ireland from New York after being denied a flight plan ( "plane
not air worthy"). He was sanctioned to fly to California
but, turned his plane in the opposite direction after take-off.
This earned him the name "Wrong Way Corrigan".
Filming was suppose to begin, and end this year on
"The Wizard of Oz"
but, it took an agonizing 18 months
to complete. Production would be plagued by a
Fire, and an alleged
by a Munchkin on the
Movie Set plus; the Aluminum Powder Poisoning
of one of the Stars. Margaret Hamilton (The Wicked
Witch of The West) is set on fire when the elevator malfunctions
as she makes a fiery exit from Munchkinland and
she spends 6 weeks recuperating from 2-3rd degree burns in the
hospital. It is rumored for Centuries that a lovelorn Munchkin
commits suicide, after being rebuffed by a fellow Munchkinette,
hanging himself in the backdrop of a set ('Tinman Sequence').
"The Story" circulates for 60 years- but, it is completely
untrue. And, the TRUE story that Buddy Ebsen, originally cast as "The
Tinman" get's an allergic reaction, from the Aluminum Oxide
Powder used for his makeup, and he nearly dies. 'Down for the
count' the Studio, in a mad rush to get the film done, permanently
replaces him with Jack Haley. Ebsen recovers to later star in
many Movies and TV series including "Beverly Hillbillies"
and "Barnaby Jones". On a positive note: Beautiful Natalie
Wood is born in 1938...but, drowns in 1981 after falling
off her yacht, during a night of drinking, with Robert Wagner
and Christopher Walken.
prayed or fled for their lives as Orson Welles broadcast
his Halloween Hoax Radio Program on "The Mercury Theater" called "War of The World's". Over 100,000 Inattentive American's
actually bought into it . Believing the World was being
invaded by Martians with Poison Gas...they literally paniced and
'ran for their lives'. The First Superman Comic was released by
this year, Instant Coffee was a developed :
was created by Owens-Corning, and the First Copy Machine was created
by Chester Carlson in Queens, New York. 'Singing Kate' Smith was
considered "The First Lady of Radio", Mickey Rooney
and Judy Garland would steal hearts as America's Too
Wholesome Romantic Couple in the film "Love Finds Andy
Hardy", and Film Director, Enterpenaur / Multi-Millionaire
Howard Hughes would circle his Lockheed Plane over New York's
Floyd Bennett Field for 3 days, 19 hours and 17 minutes breaking
all current records for Long Term Flight. 71% of all American
Household's would have a Radio by the end of the 30's (no Television
yet) but, starting in 1932 America would continue to slide
into the Big Depression with 30% of all American's
the end of the 30's, Hearse's were in plentiful use. In affect, it was really America's
Resources and Ability to muster Manpower, Industry and
Agriculture that pulled this Country out of the Depression and
created ' The Machine' that defeated Hitler.
BROCH. FOR 'COMMERCIAL CARS' - ORSON WELLES: HOST - CAST PHOTO
'WIZARD OF OZ' - MARGARET HAMILTON: WITCH - BORN '38: NATALIE
WOOD: ACTRESS & HOWARD HUGHES
MOTORS FACTORY BROCHURE FEATURING THIS CAR
So, in closing you
might ask : Why buy a Hearse?? When you are sick and tired
of all the usual Muscle Cars Banter and " just want
to Drive off into the Sunset"....what better car to do it
in than a Hearse !? We guarantee you one thing-
it is unique!
It causes quite a stir wherever we go
it is always
the only one at local car Shows. We are still searching
for any mint, original 1961-1962 Cadillac Superior Crown
Sovereign Hearses for our collection so, call us if you spot one in
mint condition. You can visit this Old Girl by stopping by the
Museum of Speed in Mount Dora-
At The Car
Shows, In the Ad's.......
ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE)
PRINT ADS ON THE INTRODUCTION OF THE NEW 1938 'DAMASCUS' HEARSE
PLUS, A ORIGINAL INVOICE FOR FUNERAL SERVICES ; CIRCA 1938, OUR
"ex-PRINCESS" LOREN W/ THE HEARSE, JUST AFTER OUR ARRIVAL,
AT A NORTH FLA. CAR SHOW AND 'ON DISPLAY' AT THE '07 WINTER PARK CONCOURS WHERE
THEY COULD NOT FIND A CLASS TO JUDGE IT.
At the Movies.........
on Photos to Enlarge)
SCENES FROM THE FILM "BLACK BOOK" BY PAUL VARHOEVEN
( DIRECTOR OF "SUPER COPS", "TOTAL RECALL"
AND "BASIC INSTINCT") STARRING CARICE VAN HOUTEN, SEBASTIAN
*Thanks to the Professional
Car Society, "Standard Catalog of Cadillac", General
Motors: Original Brochure: "Cadillac LaSalle Commercial Cars"
23 pg. catalog: circa 1938, Auto Gallery.com, Snopes.com, Car-Nection.Com
, coachbuilt.com and 100megsfree4.com for their help..
'101 BUILT" ALSO INCLUDES AMBULANCES, LIMOUSINE STYLE HEARSES
AND ONE-OFF CUSTOM SEDANS. ONE OF OUR SOURCES ABOVE SHOWS ONLY
8 MADE : (LISTED AS "8 COMMERCIAL CHASSIS UNITS UNIDENTIFIED")
** ANOTHER SOURCE ALSO STATES 15,577 TOTAL 1938
LASALLES BUILT. NOTE; THIS HAS BEEN AN INCREDIBLY HARD CAR TO
RESEARCH BUILD NUMBERS AS THE COMMERCIAL CHASSIS WAS ALSO USED
FOR THE CUSTOM MADE 75 SERIES, V-12 CADILLACS, AND SPECIAL
BUILT GM CONCEPT CARS FOR DIGNITARIES LIKE HARLEY EARL.