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Old 04-13-2010, 03:35 PM
Jeff Hammers Jeff Hammers is offline
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Question Hess and Eisenhardt Station Wagon

Is a 1956 Cadillac Hess and Eisenhardt Station Wagon considered a pro car? Were they originally marketed to the funeral industry? Were they ever used as service cars? Limousine service? Were they considered "special" back in the day? Thanks for any enlightenment. I'm relatively new to pro cars and still learning the language.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:23 PM
Mike Stevens Mike Stevens is offline
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Cool Cadillac wagons

I think the Cadillac wagons no matter the coach builder were sort of special when new. There were some that were built for the tourist industry in the western states. You will see some called Broadmoors (my spelling may be off here). They were built with skylights and roof racks for the luggage. Those may be considered procars. They were used in the livery business. But on this point you will have to get more advice from PCS. Remember some of these wagons were built for people that did not want to drive a poor mans car.
I am sure other members will post their opinions on this wagon subject.
Have you found some Cadillac wagons? They do show up in Hemmings from time to time.
Mike

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Old 04-13-2010, 08:44 PM
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they would not be a pro car. H&E built them for caddy as a experiment they were sold threw caddy dealers. titled as a caddy. h&E had a close rep with both GM and Ford. they did a lot of things for GM and built all the presidential Limos for ford. they did the 5 Broadmoor view cars for the hotel of the same name in Denver two sets if I'm not mistaken and superior beat them out for the 59 set. but to answer the question no the caddy wagons were not pro car nor were they marketed to the funeral profession but to the gen public wanting a high end wagon. they are how ever neat stuff
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:15 PM
Jim Tighe - Deceased 1942 - 2012 Jim Tighe - Deceased 1942 - 2012 is offline
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Are these the wagons that were called "Viewmasters" or similar? Circa 15 yrs ago there was a fellow in Dayton name of Turner who was the guru for these cars. Quibbling over technicalities aside, I can't imagine one of these being unwelcome at a PCS function.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:23 PM
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Like anything else, "it depends".

If it is one of the Broadmoors, as mentioned, that clearly was a custom built livery vehicle on the long-wheelbase, professional chassis (with the added bonus of being built with the ambulance/hearse body). Those are regarded as Professional Cars. There are a couple of them around and have been to PCS meets.

If it's a regular wheelbase station wagon, then no, it's not really a pro-car. Those were sold as station wagons for folks who didn't want just any old Buick station wagon. The standard station wagons, custom built by H&E, weren't marketed to the funeral or livery trade. Was there ever one that was used by a funeral home? Who knows?

But as mentioned, they are very unusual and intriguing. I'm sure that, back in the day, they would have turned heads as well. "A Cadillac station wagon?"
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:51 PM
Rocky Fluegge Rocky Fluegge is offline
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If anyone has some pictures of these, i would like to see some?
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:23 AM
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Here's a couple
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:32 AM
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Default H&E

Thanks for the enlightenment. The wagon in question is a short wheelbase model so apparently not a pro car. We have been asked to work on one and was just curious. I hadn't considered the short/long wheelbase distinction. Makes sense.
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Old 04-14-2010, 09:27 AM
Jim Tighe - Deceased 1942 - 2012 Jim Tighe - Deceased 1942 - 2012 is offline
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Correct me if this is wrong, but aren't these wagons built on the longer Fleetwood Sixty Special chassis, rather than the Series 62 platform? I believe Doris Day had one of the Woody '56's. If you want to try to find the fellow in Dayton I mentioned above, he is the brother of Mike Turner, who was Mayor of Dayton, and later a congressman. The wife of the guru has the unusual 1st name of "Kennedith," usually shortened to "Kenny," but I can not recall his name. If you know any Cadillac Club folks, ask around there. Someone will know.

As an aside, I have Willard Hess' autograph in my "Black Book" that MacP wrote ages ago. I met Willard at a Cad Club meet in Cincy in the early '90's. We were chatting next to my '72 Cad Formal Limo when a t-storm blew in, so we dove into the rear of the Fleetwood, where for the next hour he spun tale after tale about the business. Great old guy. And, he confirmed the story about the early '60s T-Bird that was alleged to have been fitted by H&E with a windshield ground to the customer's eyeglasses rx. They really did do that. Had to use flat glass, not curved, but they pulled it off.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:55 AM
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all the H&E were done in the wood trim of the day as for the chassis they used I can't say. as the Broadmoor's were used in livery service that do fit the bill as pro cars. here is one at the Denver meet. meeting any one that was in the business would be a vary interesting time. thanks for sharing
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