Saturday, April 4, 2009

About our 1970 Caddilac Miller/Meteor Hearse

"From day one, Miller-Meteor built exclusively on the Cadillac commercial chassis and the first Miller-Meteor coaches debuted in 1957. The new firm was an immediate success and had captured 50% of the professional car market by 1962."

I have always like the idea of owning a hearse... I think we all have at some point in our life. When I decided that time was now, I found her. I will just refer to it as her until I find a name that is suitable. Funeral homes made a practice of naming the coaches after the first female transport, or so the story goes...So for now it will be just "Her" -- the other woman.
November 2008, I had found a hearse in Tucson while looking at countless web sites and ads. This poor guy was trying to list her on Craig's list but kept getting flagged. I caught it just after he posted and, literally an hour later, it was flagged again. He was getting frustrated to say the least. Anyway, he responded to my e-mail, telling me a little bit at a time. It was obvious that we were both car enthusiast and shared a common ground.
He told me he had bought it from a guy who owned a Tattoo shop in town. It was sitting in the backyard of his house. Now in his possession, he took good care of it. It still had the original interior fabric and seat.
So we struck a deal and the trip was planned, as I live in Phoenix. Not too far to drive but, when you have a 39-year-old car that is about to drive 175 miles home, it needs to be planned out. My wife, Shanan, went with me to provide an unbiased opinion about it. When we pulled onto the street, her reaction was classic..."OH MY GOD!! That thing is long!" Even I was taken back by the size. After a quick drive around the block we headed off to the notary to get the title signed over. Then off we went to Phoenix. Now, this is in December, by the time we closed the deal, and the heater was blocked off. It was a cold trip home. He had told me it would take a while to drive, due to him never driving over 50 mph in it. 50 mph?!? This car was made to cruise down the highways at 80 plus! But I did take it easy for the first part, then slowly took her up to speed.

This car is called a "3-Way", which means the side doors open out opposite the front doors. This allowed the casket to be carried out either the rear or side. The 3-ways were not as popular, as they cost more money. I haven't found any production numbers yet. But, then again, who gives a shit..It's in my possession now! I do know it is getting harder to find these.

The engine is a big 472. That means that it has a different way of measuring gas say "miles per gallon", I say "gallons per mile". Weighing in at over 6000 lbs, she doesn't get there quick, but she gets there in style. I just can't stop her as don't cut me off.
Over the next couple of months I will be slowly fixing up the interior so I can carry up to 6 people. I rent this out as a limo service, from time to time, and need the space. Of course, I will put the undercar lights and loud sound system in it, as time and finances allow. Stay tuned.

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