Tuesday, March 5, 2013

From the Archive: Mystery Car (Mystery Solved!)

This is from late 2007, I saw this car in a fenced business yard near my storage unit. It's clearly a 1940's design, with bold and beautiful curves all around, great bullet bumper features, and wrap-around windshields. It's also a custom (I believe) with a truck bed on the back. This could have been inspired by the car/truck hybrids of later years, or could be a VERY early factory version of the El Camino (production began in '59) or Ranchero (in '57) but I've never seen anything like it, before or since. I would speculate that the rear windshield is the stock one, with the entire window frame moved forward and welded to the B pillar. As I said, this was in 2007, the car has long since disappeared and I've always been too shy to ask about it.
Does anyone else have any clues or insights on this mystery machine?

Post Script: This is the first of what I'm going to call an 'Archive Series.' Until now all the cars featured on the blog have been spotted recently, within six weeks of posting, but I'm sitting on a huge cache from the last seven years or so, which will be making their way up. Many of these will be poor photos, and some I won't remember any details about, but hopefully some of our helpful readers can add their own history or opinions to augment my own. You can all look forward to even more cool stuff in the near future!

Thanks to a helpful Pinterest follower this mystery car has been identified! A 1954 Cadillac-Superior Flower Car. A quick Google search turned up this image:

It's definitely the right car. It is not a custom after all, but nor is it a production Cadillac. Superior is a coach-building company, they began as a professional car building company, making school buses, ambulances and hearses. Superior would buy Cadillac's and turn them into whatever vehicle was on order,building the body n trim to suit. Apparently, in the early and middle half of the 20th century, on the East Coast it was popular and traditional to have a 'flower car' carrying all the flower arrangements for a funeral to be part of the funeral procession. These flower cars would have to have been as classy and dignified as the hearse they were following. So, its not quite a production or custom vehicle, it's in the same category as ambulances and hearses, but clearly with a style all its own.
Thanks to Andre Simpson for the tip!

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