Flower Power: 1953 Cadillac Series 62

This old Caddy must have been an elegant sight in its day, festooned with flowers in a funeral procession. Everyone (well except the guest of honor) must have enjoyed it. There have been a number of flower cars featured here on Barn Finds, but I think this one is unique with its extended wheelbase and it’s flowing roofline. It was built by Meteor Motor Cars. Meteor pioneered building and selling funeral cars directly to funeral homes and was the most popular funeral car in America for many years. This flower car is listed on eBay in Williams Bay, Wisconsin with a BIN of $7,500. Also included are a partially restored parts car and lots of parts.


It will take a lot of work and money to restore this old Caddy beginning with the interior. It looks like most of the interior is still there for at least patterns.

The bed needs rust repair as well as woodwork. It’s interesting how the bed extends under the back window. I don’t imagine you will be able to find repair panels or replacement wood at the parts store.

The engine runs. It’s got a three-speed manual which shifts smoothly. There appears to be a lot of work to still be done under the hood though.

Here’s the parts car. There has been a lot of restoration done. Also included are several grills, fenders, and other parts.

This project would be a big undertaking but the results would be a really unique Cadillac. It is likely there is major rust repair necessary and chroming the grill is going to be expensive. It’s going to be a bit easier to store than a fire engine, but what would you do with this stately pickup truck? Perhaps one could leave the patina and restore it to driver condition. It could make a great pickup with a company logo painted on the side. Is there any hope for the parts car? It may be in better shape underneath than this flower car. What do you think? Is there potential here or do you think one would be a “blooming idiot” to take on this project?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. RayT Member

    A “big undertaking,” David? Well played!

    Have to admit my first reaction to this flower car was that it might make a really neat two-door coupe if one were to lop off the bed and shorten the frame! I have minimal use for a pickup truck, and even less for one meant to be filled with floral displays….

    If anyone takes it on, I suspect it will end up as some kind of resto-mod. I’d prefer a full restoration, but don’t see the value (except for someone who collects funeral cars, maybe?).

    The “parts car” isn’t very tempting, certainly not as part of a $7500 package deal. But maybe someone who, unlike me, is not put off by taking on a job someone else started but didn’t finish, might be interested.

    So, a neat find, but probably not one that will generate much excitement.

    Like 2
    • BronzeGiant

      “but don’t see the value (except for someone who collects funeral cars.)”

      Tell that to the members of the Professional Car Society. This is a great rare piece that would make a beautiful restoration. All the important parts seem to be there. The hardest part to find would probably be the rear glass and it seems to be present, uncracked and not delaminatiing.

    • bill d

      no excitement, but s o l d

    • Winford Tice

      I have seen one of these and a 52 model the back half or the bed is missing its top half which is chromed doors like a ice chest but curved like the back of the cab that fallows the back glass. Cool. More chrome than a 58 Buick

  2. Rodney

    All I see when I look at this is the best looking vehicle to haul around your motorcycles. You would be “rolling large and in charge”. No dead weight here.

    Like 3
  3. Lee

    I dont think there are enough parts on that rusty old creation to restore that 4door

    Like 1
  4. Loco Mikado

    Like all the turkeys and the deer, the car not so much.

    Like 1
  5. ronebee

    past cool, that thing is shaggy too dope. worth the restoration effort

  6. AMCFAN

    Professional cars are not for everyone. Very limited number of custom bodies built when new. A service life is cushy until the car falls out of favor then is replaced. From there historically down hill. The many found like this are from decay and neglect.

    Now in today’s society every thing is collectible. The money for this is a little high but not out of line. Very few made and even few survivors.

    This is a gem. 53-56 are the best looking of the Cadillacs. A funeral company had it going on to be able to afford a solo car for just flowers. Most small towns had a combination ambulance and hearse.

    I see a very useful El Camino like vehicle when done. I believe unlike the ‘Camino you don’t need higher truck license tags when registering it even though it is the size of a truck. Great find and nice change of pace from all the ratty 70’s Corvettes!

  7. Kevin

    It would be the coolest motorcycle hauler ever…and the most expensive (after restoration).

  8. fish56

    Restore and hot tub it

  9. Sam

    Ok, no one mentioned it “may” have been a flower car in Godfather Vito Corleone funeral procession.

    It is, as mentioned, will be a big undertaking as the car has a “foot in the grave”. Don’t buy any green banana’s.

    • Neil G.

      Flower Parade

      Like 2
  10. Mike

    Oh hell yeah restore this thing, costs be damned. I can’t stop looking at it and it doesn’t look awkward like some professional cars.

  11. Howard A Member

    When photoshop was done with torches and welders. Sorry, you’d have to be nuts to take this on. I’m very curious how people price these things. Do they actually think someone is going to pay $7,500 bucks for this? Asking $7,500, sold for $499.

    • Howard A Member

      Hmm, I guess someone did. Showed me, huh. And for $7,500 too. Some people sure have a lot of money to piss away, hey?

      Like 1
      • OhU8one2

        If it can carry 2 bales of hay, then I’d restore it and use it as a ranch truck. People at the feed store would be blown away.

        Like 1
  12. Mountainwoodie

    I think this would be well worth the restoration costs if unlike Howard and I, you had boatloads of money to dedicate. If done to as original it would be breathtaking,to me at least. On a style note the side profile is very odd and the proportions bizarre . The rear window and under roof flower section probably account for that. As I remember these may have had a fancy chrome interior box with big rails.anyone else remember this?

    Like 1
  13. erikj

    Howard A , I Always enjoy you input. I also think the same of this as you mention.
    I sure love this barnfind app. I have some much to add with almost every post since I got into this stuff from ,starting in the mid 70,s. And bought and sold so much of what is now vintage, and expensive cars.
    I should write a book since nobody ever believes me when I mention what I used to have and what I paid for it. No lie ,I really had it!!!

    • Howard A Member

      Hi erik, thanks, I enjoy your comments, as well. Seems like we have a pretty good group here. Usually, someone knows something about everything. I’m sure younger folks raise their eyebrows everytime one of us old farts complains how expensive everything is. We’ve become our parents. I remember my mom getting upset when bread hit a buck a loaf, so it’s all relative. Truth be known, I was a bit hasty earlier ( what else is new) but this car (truck?) is only worth this, because, there are so few of these left. It certainly didn’t stick around long. And it is a fairly good example of a vintage Caddy flower car. ( that obviously, there’s a market for) Clearly, that $1.00 loaf of bread, is long gone, for sure.

      Like 1
      • Ross W. Lovell

        Bread last week, $1.38.

        Like 1
  14. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    Absolutely worth a restomod. (for the deep pocketed of course) Two inch air bag suspension drop…chunky muted chrome wheels…targa top that comes off at the b-pillar…extended cab storage space behind that b-pillar…teak bed…navy paint & re-chromed in gold.

  15. Ben T. Spanner

    I drove a 1953 hearse back in 1965 and 1966. It was a combo; with lights and siren so that it could be used as an ambulance. It was black, and had no life support equipment. It had been used by a large tobacco pipe store to haul packages to the post office.

    The Hydramatic factory burnt and the one I drove had Dynaflow. This one may have manual transmission because of the lack of Hydromatics.

  16. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Speaking of hearses, yesterday I took my Jeep to the shop for some repair. As I pulled in I noticed a mid 80’s Buick hearse of all things. I parked next to it and gave it the walk around before going into the shop. Really nice condition. The owners son was going to give me a ride home and on the way out of the office I jokingly asked if we could take the hearse. Guess what? The kid said yes! That 12 mile ride home was a gas! Sorry Gang, I hope you understand, I just had to share.

    Like 2
  17. ACZ

    An El Camino from before there were El Caminos.

  18. mike D

    Hi, not to burst anyone’s bubble, BUT, flower cars were built just for that,, hauling flowers.. pretty much useless for ” hauling” anything else . Sincerely would doubt this would make a good restomod . if you want to ” upgrade” it with modern engines, suspension etc.. it will be an excellent looking car . I don’t know what it is with the ” good ol’ days” and the wide whites , the more narrow whites look so much better!! it would be a looker at a car show fer sure!!

  19. Nick

    Might be a good idea to offer it to Neil Young?

  20. Dogfather

    I’d love to restore this to original.53 was the last year you could get a manual shift in a Cadillac, and it would be a blast to drive. Not into funeral stuff but this would be a great pickup to tool around in

  21. Anthony

    I have a few friends that have Funeral Homes and one of them could definitely afford to bring this back to almost original new. But not too many families rent flower cars in their area – just the limo and hearse.
    Beautiful car for that someone special back then…

  22. Mlaw

    ” I see dead people”

  23. ben

    must be out of his mind that kind of money more like 2 or 3 grand I don’t know where these guys come up with these prices they don’t think how much it would cost to make it nice again ben in fl

  24. Pat A

    In “The Blues Brothers” Cab Calloway is hauling a bunch of kids around in the back of one , announcing the big show.

  25. Ward William

    Here is one here in Brazil that was converted into a hearse.

    Like 2
  26. Melvin Burwell

    That looks like it could be an interesting project. Parade material. Whoever has an unlimited bank account. It would make an interesting conversation piece.

  27. RicK

    Isn’t it a Miller Meteor? Sometimes the casket rode in a flower car often with a big photo of the decedent on top (and of course lots of flowers)

  28. Wayne

    I somehow missed this post last year. In about 1969 or ’70 I was looking at a Caddy flower car in the River Forest (Illinois) area that was about this vintage. But it was not an extended wheelbase that I can remember. The body proportions were much better in my opinion. It also had a stainless steel bed liner. Even at that young age, I was into Utes. (I have no idea where the attraction came from, other than I liked really different vehicles then too.) My girl friend said that she would not ride in it. (The body was really straight with no rust) So, I did not buy it. Well, she only lasted about 3 years after that, so I should have bought the Caddy. Interesting side note. I spent many days and nights at her family cabin in Williams Bay Wisconsin where this was located. What are the odds?

    Like 1
  29. Bobby Longshot

    This car would make me the cock of the walk at the manure pick-up and delivery yard.

  30. KarlS

    In the movie, “Alice’s Restaurant,” there was a car similar to this (not sure the year of it though) that the owner of the local hostel hauled all the hippies around in.

    Like 1

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