Seems that our Pontiac Versus Plymouth Ambulance Project Car Hell Poster Child poll (in which DCulberson edged out Plymsole in the voting) has inspired reader Dave to send in the tale of his Miller-Meteor Classic Duplex ambulance/hearse combo, based on a 1962 Cadillac. Take a look at the photos of this fine machine, then make the jump to hear Dave's story.
Submitted for your approval, just in time for Halloween: One 1962 Cadillac hearse/ambulance combination. Body by Miller-Meteor of Piqua, OH, model name "Classic Duplex". Color was originally "Dresden Blue", sprayed over in black by a previous owner.
In terms of rarity, there were approximately 2000 commercial chassis platforms built by Cadillac in1962. Miller-Meteor was the second-largest of the coachbuilding firms at the time. This particular model appears to have been released part-way through the year, as it is missing from most of the promotional literature I've encountered. Educated guess would be that this car is one of approximately a hundred.
Coach-built autos are one of the few competitors the British have in the field of accelerated rusting. Despite the massive sheetmetal, the car is holed in dozens of places, and bad sealing has rotted the wood underneath the casket deck. At 246" in length, it is too long for most modern garages.
Being something of a novelty, it has traded hands several times, including "the guy who wanted to use it as a camper", who needed a roof rack AND a trailer hitch to haul all his junk, and of course, "the band guy". Needless to say, the mechanical condition was grim, requiring a transmission, carb, and ground-up brake restoration to get back on the road. The engine is from a '59 hearse, with some accessories, like the power steering pump, that appear to be even older. A '62 Cadillac Fleetwood engine sits in the garage awaiting a rebuild and Eldorado Tri-Power setup.
We've owned this car since 1999, through three homes, and finally have a place to work on it and store it indoors, so there is still hope. Now all I need is a master metal fabricator who works for free.
So, what do you think, dear readers? Has Dave earned the right to stand tall next to our previous Project Car Hell Poster Children? Or is this project too easy/not cool enough?