Cemetery Cruiser: 1949 Pontiac National Limo

1949 Pontiac National Limo

It’s been a personal rule of mine to never buy cars from the Salt Lake City area. It could be my imagination, but it seems that rust plagues many of the cars from that area. Maybe they use salt on the roads or perhaps the corrosion inducing stuff is just in the air? Either way, this Pontiac Limo has me half tempted to break my rule. Of course it was a funeral vehicle at one time, but I don’t think anyone would suspect if the interior was done right. Some fancy photography techniques probably make the car appear nicer than it really is, but hopefully the body really is solid enough to leave the paint alone. Redo the interior and drop a new drivetrain in and you would have one heck of a cruiser! Find it here on eBay where bidding ends later tonight.


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  1. MountainMan

    This sure is a cool find. Like your idea Jesse!

  2. Howard A Member

    You can always tell a dealer, with 42 pictures of the body, and not much else. Still, what a cool find. A shame someone hooked the hood ornament. I believe it had the “Chief’s” face illuminated. I don’t know about the limo part, clearly a hearse ( what’s with the hearses lately?) although, maybe an ambulance ( didn’t hearses have taller roofs?) and are those ’49 Chevy tail lights? And was that a radio speaker in the center of the dash and no radio, that I see. Sheesh. Got resto-mod all over it, and I doubt it will remain like this for long.

    • Bill McCoskey

      Pontiac wagons & sedan deliveries were built on the basic Chevrolet body, and the tail lights for the Pontiac sedans won’t fit, so they fitted units that were slightly different from the Chevy lights.

      This was likely built by National, they built quite a few Pontiac & Chevy hearses, ambulances & service cars, using a sedan delivery chassis & body that was lengthened.

      Roof height depended on what the customer wanted. Most of the “high top” roofs were ambulances.

      • Bill McCoskey

        I need to clarify a point I made earlier; The ’49 to ’52 Pontiac wagon, like the Chevy wagon, was a “tin woodie”, with truck style taillights attached to the tail gate. The 1953 Pontiac & Chevy wagons began using the oval style lights I spoke of. Back in the late 1970’s I worked on a 1953 National Pontiac hearse and discovered that while the taillights looked like Chevy wagon lights, they were not. Pontiac started with the regular Chevy wagon lamp housing and added a chrome vertical rib. The taillights used by National up thru 1952 were in fact Chevy lights, as the rear fenders were from a 2-door Chevy sedan. To see a history of National, click this link:

  3. Kevin Gardner

    actually that is a hearse

  4. DrinkinGasoline

    If I owned a Limo Service I would turn it into a formal limo.
    Imagine being chauffeured to prom in that with a mirror black finish paint job, tinted windows, gleaming chrome wheels with wide whites and rope lighting in the interior !

  5. Fred

    Back then the vast majority were combination vehicles, ambulance and hearse, as the funeral home companies ran the only ambulance services. Go to a wreck, if he lives take him to the hospital, if he doesn’t take him to the funeral home. Virtually no real medical treatment in the car, compared to now. This is probably a combo.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Wow….how you speak the truth. During the early ’60’s and prior, all of Cleveland’s Medical Services were serviced by local funeral homes. The Cleveland,Oh. Police Dept. had station wagons staffed by CPD Officers trained in First Aid. The wagons had quick load Ferno cots that loaded into the wagons….off they went to the ER. Hold pressure on the bleeding wound until you get there ! I was a kid when that happened….Now, I’m an adult as a Paramedic in the very same neighborhood that I watched those CPD/EMT’s pave the way !

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Fred, in Milwaukee, in the 60’s and ’70’s, the police dept. had IH Travelall’s( and later Chevy Suburban’s) and were a “transport service” only, and paramedic’s would show up in a fire dept. van.( if you were lucky)

  6. Chebby

    Wagon wheels have their place, but not on something like this. Better than sitting on flats, but looks like a flipper doing the absolute minimum to add any value.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Seriously?….The Wagon Wheels ? That would be the least of any and all concerns. No offense….but the Wagons ? IMO, Wagons have no place in classic vehicle restoration. They were a cheap option at the time. Just MHO.

      • Chebby

        So you are simultaneously agreeing and disagreeing.


  7. Rando

    Wagon wheels used to be the absolute CHEAPEST aftermarket wheel – probably still are. Had to move it somehow right? It will at least roll now.

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