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Old 08-06-2010, 12:51 AM
Darren Bedford Darren Bedford is offline
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Default You gotta read this ! Trip home from Albany

To all my friends...

After a fantastic week with all my PCS friends in Albany NY it was time to
drive back to Toronto. I left Toronto on Monday July 26th and was returning
on Sunday Aug 1st.

Scott and Roxana from Acton ON followed in their 1968 Cadillac hearse behind
Digger and myself in my 1962 Cadillac Hearse.

The day was perfect, sunny and dry, as it was everyday of our 7 day road
trip. We stopped for gas and cold drinks a few times along I-90 heading West
through New York State.

At one stop Scott said he was going to check his oil before heading out
again. I thought I should too as I never checked it on the whole trip.
All was well and we drove off. Digger was driving my car this portion of the

About 10 minutes into the drive... THE HOOD FLEW OPEN AND COMPLETELY BACK
We were going about 70 mph at this point with absolutely no visibility !
It happened in a split second. The sound of the crumpling sheet metal was
really loud and scary !

Scott saw it all happen and quickly put on his 4 way flashers to slow down
the cars behind us to prevent anyone from rear-ending us.
Roxana saw the hood hinge springs go flying out and over the car landing on
the highway.

I quickly stuck my head out of the passenger side window to guide Digger
onto the shoulder so we could stop the car. It took at least 600 feet or
more to get the car stopped on the shoulder.

I got out and went around to the front of the car to try to pry the hood off
the windshield of the car. It was wrapped like tin foil around a sandwich !
With lots of force I was able to get it down covering the engine like it
should be. The problem was it was bent up at the front about a foot too high
to close as that part kinked after landing on the roof of the car just at
the top of the windshield. Luckily the windshield never shattered !

At this point Scott was up with me and suggested we unbolt the hood and get
the cars off the interstate as the cars were passing us super fast on the
left and we only had a foot on the right beside the guard rail.
I ended up pushing down hard on the hood and it eventually snapped back and

We got back into the cars and drove to the next service area which was quite
a ways away. We were wondering if it was going to fly up again or not as we
drove down the road.

Both Digger and I were amazed at how calm we both remained through all that
unexpected fast paced action. My heart never raced or pumped faster.
I guess we could have been in some kind of shock. Not really sure.

Digger knew not to slam on the brakes as she is a heavy truck driver.
Her daily job as a grave digger requires her to drive a International flat
bed truck loaded with up to 10,000 lbs of concrete burial vaults, pulling a
big trailer with a John Deere backhoe on it. Her experience with driving
surely paid off in this freak situation.

Scott was sure the windshield was going to be smashed and that we would need
to take the hood off. I wish I had a picture to show everyone what it looked
like having the hood wrapped around the windshield and roof of the car. It
would have been great to see but that's not what I was thinking, to take a
picture, after what had just happened.

We are soooo lucky to not have either hit the guard rail or crossed the line
into the cars beside us. That would have been a disaster. Ruining the car
and possibly causing a huge pile up on the highway. Not to mention the
possibility of dieing in all that.

We are so thankful we didn't get hurt or killed as it could have easily gone
bad and fast !

I have not actually opened the hood since arriving home. I dropped off
Digger and put the car back in storage as I had to get back into my daily
routine after being away for the week.

I think that I would only need a replacement hood and both hood hinges
to repair the damage. I will know better when I open it up again.
When we stopped after we found the first rest stop, I checked out the car
pretty good and didn't notice any damage at all to the fenders or
surrounding areas.

Roxana and Digger walked back and found the two hood springs on the side of
the highway while I was bending the hood back down with Scott.
I would have never let them walk down the highway if I had of known they
were doing that for safely reasons but it was all good anyway.

I would like to say THANK YOU to Digger, Scott and Roxana for the quick
thinking and fast actions they all performed during this unreal situation.

I guess I didn't slam the hood closed hard enough and although it isn't good
I need to replace some parts, I so glad I'm here to write this story out !

I have lots of hearse driving to do and don't want to be in the back of one
anytime soon.

Looking for an uneventful trip to Akron in 2011 to see all my PCS friends
and their classic hearses and ambulances !!!

On a side note, if you know anyone with a real nice 1962 Cadillac hood and
both hood hinges, please let me know. Black preferred but not required.


P.S. Give your hood a little harder slam and double check it next time you
open it. I never thought it would ever happen to me, but it did.
Be gentle with your pride and joy but for safety sake, hard enough to be
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:10 AM
Darlene Daniels Darlene Daniels is offline
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wow! that is unfortunate but i am glad to hear that you are safe. it could have been alot worse.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:20 AM
Kevin M. Parkinson Kevin M. Parkinson is offline
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I am very sorry this happened to you. I have noticed the front corners of my hood shuddering a little bit on the highway and wondered what would happen if it came open. I am thankful that you are all unharmed and made it home. Maybe Ed should mail you that hard luck award.
Kevin M. Parkinson

1972 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Sedan
1972 S&S Cadillac Victoria Landau
1980 Cadillac Fleetwood Limousine
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:36 AM
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John ED Renstrom John ED Renstrom is offline
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will we made it back today with out any incidents. I'll copy the trophy and sent it. we ought to start a hard luck home award. with loading all the parts up from Dana and the yard in Ohio I looked like a Okie heading for calf on the way home.
drop in for coffee anytime
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:17 AM
William Ross William Ross is offline
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Default wow


back in 1966 we had a 66 catalina that was about 2 months old when we drove it to NC to visit relatives. My father told me to check the oil, I did and sure enough about 10 miles down the road at 60 mph the hood flew up and wrapped itself around the roof. 1 hour, 1 hammer and 1 coat hanger later we were back on the road. My father said nothing but after that whenever I worked on the car he double checked my "work". My dad was a truck driver and the sudden loss of the hood really didn't seem to phase him, no slamming on the brakes.

Glad you made it home safely!!
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:57 AM
Rick Duffy Rick Duffy is offline
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Default Ouch!

Wow! Someone's guardian angel was alert that day!

So sorry for the misforturne , but grateful no one was injured or the car was not damaged further!

I'll keep my eyes open for a '62 hood and hardware Darren... better stick to the unicyle for now!

Onward and Upward!

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Old 08-06-2010, 10:23 AM
Richard Vyse Richard Vyse is offline
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Dern, that is crazy. We're all glad no one was hurt. Take this from Richard, always have a camera ready.
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:25 AM
Jeremy D. Ledford Jeremy D. Ledford is offline
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Yeah I heard of this I think on Sunday on our way home. Glad you guys are OK and hopefully the 62 can be fixed back like new in no time.
Jeremy D. Ledford.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:16 PM
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Ron Devies Ron Devies is offline
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I too heard of this on Sunday and wondered when we would get the story here. Digger did well it sounds.
President, Ohio Chapter
2021 International Meet Committee
2011 International Meet Committee
2006 John Keel Award Recipient
1975 Cadillac Superior 54" Ambulance
1973 Chevrolet Superior 61" Ambulance
1970 Chevrolet Stoner Suburban Ambulance
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1964 Cadillac Superior Combination
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:46 PM
Mike Stevens Mike Stevens is offline
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Default looking for parts


I have sent a list of Cadillac parts dealers to you. Hope one of them can help with your search for parts.
The angels were certainly busy for us on the way home from Albany.
Glad all are OK. Keep us up to date on the repair progess.

Scott did a 'Duffy' and ended up needing a tow home after we found he had a bad wheel on his 69 coach. One lug stud in the hubcap when we took it off. The other four were barely holding anything.

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