Living Large: 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 Limo

Back in 1958, if you had $5,170, you could be one of 802 buyers to acquire a Cadillac limousine. At the time, it was the largest and most luxurious automobile built by the car maker up to that point. A vehicle like this was mostly used by dignitaries and other persons of importance who had the equivalent of $46,553 in 2020 dollars – which doesn’t buy that much car today. This Caddy has come out of long-term storage and is now being sold as part of an estate. It’s located in Austin, Minnesota and available here on eBay for $6,400 with no reserve to worry about.

The 1957-58 Cadillac limousines were based on the Series 75 sedan. They came equipped with a new V-8 engine, a 365 cubic inch motor than put out 310 hp (all that power was needed to move this heavy machine around). The wheelbase was longer than the standard Series 75 issue in order to accommodate seating for up to nine passengers, including three in the chauffer’s compartment. 1958 Caddy’s were easily identified compared to the similar ‘57s by the use of dual headlamps for the first time. In an unusual move for the era, the tail fins were actually a little smaller instead of being bigger. As you would expect of a car like this, they could be had with cruise control, electric seats, hydraulic windows, factory air conditioning, tinted windows and other goodies.

The seller’s ’58 Series 75 limo appears to be in sound condition given the passage of time and lack of activity. It’s said to have only 49,000 miles on the odometer. Some time ago, early restoration work was started that included the engine, transmission, and brakes. The car starts and runs well now, with no noises or smoke to fret over. This suggests that the car could be driven while restoration of the limo is resurrected.

Efforts to whip the body back into shape have resulted in much of the it being primed for the next steps. The sheet metal looks clean and straight with no evidence of rust to be concerned about. The chrome and other bright work are in nice condition but are only hung on the car for photography. Most, but not all of it, is there. They’ll be removed again and packaged to go with the car while being shipped. The enormous front and rear bumpers seem to be nice, which is a good thing because sourcing replacements can be expensive.

The windows and divider between driver and passengers work, but some of the glass is cracked or cloudy, but the ones that are straight glass would not be hard to duplicate. The interior doesn’t look bad, although the driver’s leather bench seat is cracked but quite usable. The carpeting will need replacing. Furnishings in the back for all your high-rent cargo look to be pretty good.

Resale value on these late ‘50s Fleetwood’s range from $16,000 for Fair to $40,000 for Concours. Because of their limited supply, the limo versions could run higher. But if you were to buy and restore this land yacht, what would you do with it? It wouldn’t be practical for regular use, so perhaps it could be a great novelty for a car or limo service to use. It would be cool to be chauffeured around town in one of these things by a guy named James.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I learned something new today. I thought Mercedes was the only car to feature hydraulics for the windows in the Grosser. Now I realize like most large innovations we were the first. Bendix fuel injection, hydraulic windows, air conditioning, cruise control, the V8, and I’m sure many more that I can’t think of. The Cadillac is big and beautiful. Can’t think of a better color than black for this old girl.

    Like 18
    • Barbeque John

      Lincolns in the late 40s and early 50s had hydraulic windows, and power front bench seat. I know, I owned a 1950 Cosmopolitan, with these features. When I had it, they leaked enough to require rationing of window use. When you used them you could hear the hydraulic pump run. It was run by an electric motor. No power steering, and a GM built Hydromatic transmission. GM supplied them until the plant burned down around 1951

      Like 4
      • Michael McDonald

        My father told me of his owning a 49 Buick drop top with hydraulic power.

    • Mr. Ascot

      Electric powered windows in this 1958 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine, not hydraulic!

      Like 2
  2. Kenn

    My mother’s 1948 Ford Sportsman convertible had hydraulic windows.

    Like 6
    • William Fox

      What great memories. My dad was a Chrysler guy. Bought new a `52 Imperial Custom coupe. By `52, Chrysler had electric windows. An ancient B&W photo he had showed him standing next to it.

      Like 6
  3. Cool_Cadillac_Cat

    Well, I’ve driven my current DD all of 167.4 miles sice October 10th, so yeah, I’d DD it.

    This should have a 4-speed auto, so maybe not single-digit MPG, if you’re very gentle.

    Like 5
    • JimmyinTEXAS

      I agree it does need a 4-speed auto, but if daily driven it would probably still deliver single-digit mileage around town but would provide low double-digit on the highway with the cruise set.

      Like 6
    • 4501 Safari Member

      GM Hydramatics of this period were 4-speed hydros. Different from the Buick Dyna-Flow and the later 3-speed hydros. The Hydramatic 315 in My ’64 Bonneville was the last year used by Pontiac. I had a ’54 Star Chief Custom Catalina with the 4-speed hydro. These transmissions proved their mettle in tank service in WWII. An excellent, albeit terrible reason, proving ground. GM hit the road with the automatics when production restarted post WWII. Bullet proof transmission. The three speed Roto-Hydramatic (Slim-Jim),1961 was the somewhat trouble prone cheaper version as found, in Pontiac in the short wheel base full size cars, including Gran Prix until ’65 when the Turbo-Hydramatic came on line. Probably as good an oveiw as I’ve found outside my own knowledge is the Wikipedia for “Hydramatic”. The 315 in my Bonneville is a pleasure to drive. This Caddy should be as well. Enjoy!

      • Bill McCoskey

        In the early 1950s Rolls-Royce was considering if it would be better to create their own fully automatic gearbox, or outsource them. They decided that while it was possible to produce a well engineered product, the limited production quantities suggested it would be better to find an existing product.

        The choices at the time were very limited. In addition to the Hydramatic, there were 2 other basic automatic gearboxes; the Borg-Warner [available in either a 2 or 3 speed version], or the Packard Ultramatic. The Chrysler Fluid Drive was not considered because it was not fully automatic.

        Packard was willing to sell complete gearboxes, machined to install into Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars. The Borg-Warner units were already being assembled in England, and used in such cars as Jaguar. But neither had a very important requirement; The tailshaft had to have the power brake unit, or be adapted to accept the power brake assembly used since the 1920s [as developed by Hispano Suissa].

        GM was willing to sell the rights to build the Hydramatic, and assist in the design requirements to install the power brake unit. Rolls-Royce subsequently made arrangements with a French company; Hersey, to build the Hydramatic to the more exacting Rolls-Royce specifications, including the power brake unit.

        This French-built version, minus the power brake system, was also used in the Vanden Plas Princess IV saloons [1957-58], and all Vanden Plas Princess limousines with automatic gearboxes [1957-68].

        But we should also remember that a major part of the decision was the incredible reliability factor of the Hydramatic, having proved itself in over 10 years of use in not just automobiles and light trucks, but in heavy-duty 2.5 and 5 ton US military trucks, and it’s use powering US armored tanks, where 2 of these gearboxes were hooked up to 2 Cadillac flathead V8 engines, one for each track.

        Rolls-Royce & Bentley cars continued to use the original Hydramatic thru the 1968 models [1967 for USA versions], and then continued to use the USA 3-speed Hydramatic for another 40+ years. But these newer units were built to Rolls-Royce specifications by GM, with their very reliable electrical shifting system already installed.

        I have to say that in all the years I’ve owned, serviced and repaired Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Princess limo’s Hydramatic gearboxes, I’ve only had to overhaul one, and that was because the owner left the gear selector lever in 3rd gear on a 200+ mile trip at freeway speeds!

        Like 1
  4. Dragonman6

    Looks very much like the car used to spirit Cary Grant away from the Plaza Hotel in North by Northwest….are Mr VanDamme’s henchmen included?

    Like 13
  5. John

    I think Cadillac went to electric windows in 1954

    Like 6
  6. Paul Willson

    $5170 list price in 58. I don’t think so I think it was 15 k

    Like 6
  7. Ian

    ..what an amazing car-really hope it gets restored…rolling history for the future !

    Like 4
  8. JimmyinTEXAS

    I love this year model Cadillac and if I had a gillizon dollars I would buy it and send it to http://fenenterprises.com/cadillac-restoration-services.html
    for a complete restoration. If I had recently won the lottery I would buy it and send it to one of several restro shops and have it dolled up with a modern drive train and drive it.

    Like 3
  9. Joe Spinelli

    im thinking of sato in the karate kid 2

    Like 1
  10. Rick

    A customer with a 47(?) Cadillac Limo wanted me to fix the windows because when his woman pushed the button for the window some kind of fluid shot all over her.

    Like 3
    • Richard Woodside

      The power windows in that era are hydraulic, and have been known to leak the hydraulic oil or transmission fluid that is used. It can make quite a mess of the fabric door panels, seats, and carpet.

      Like 5
      • Bill McCoskey

        Richard Woodside,

        The standard fluid for all American cars with hydraulic power windows, seats, and convertible tops was brake fluid [DOT 3]. This is one of the reasons when the door window cylinders leaked, the lacquer paint on the door bottoms and the rocker panels peeled off, exposing the primer or even bare metal!

        The easiest way to tell if a car has this type of system is if there is a large electric pump on the firewall in the engine compartment. It sort of looks like a starter motor pointing downwards. The bottom part held an aluminum canister [held on with a bail clip] containing several pints of brake fluid. It’s also why many cars equipped with one of these pumps often have missing paint on the tops of the front fender, because the mechanic allowed the brake fluid to drip onto the front fender during servicing.

        About 35 years ago Apple Hydraulics began remanufacturing these cylinders with modern seals and pistons, and converted to use ATF trans fluid. If you are not sure, check the fluid in the canister to see if it’s brake fluid or pink ATF.

        Hydraulic pumps located behind the rear seat and in the trunk area [like on the Lincoln 4-door & T-bird convertibles], all use the ATF fluid.

        NEVER use hydraulic fluid in either types, it will destroy the seals. If you’re not sure, contact someone who knows these systems, because if you add the wrong fluid, and you have a convertible with power top, 4 power windows, and a power seat, it can cost you well over $5,000 in parts & labor to fix the resulting problems. [Up to 7 cylinders, 9 rubber flex lines, rebuilt pump assembly, and on some cars 4 to 6 hydraulic solenoid valves, plus a lot of labor!]

        I’ve restored/repaired many of these systems, and have owned at least 30 cars [mostly limousines and convertibles] with these older hydraulic systems.

        When completely overhauled and using modern ATF, these work wonderfully, and other than the pump on the firewall, they are silent when in use.

        An important note: If you have one of these in long term storage, these window cylinders, even the new type, can very slowly allow fluid to seep past the hydraulic solenoid at the base of the cylinder. [The fluid drains back into the pump canister, so you won’t see an external leak.]

        Because the windows use powerful springs to open [drop down] the window glass assembly, the window[s] can slowly open, allowing cats, small dogs, and rodents to access the interior of the car. I have always used small rubber wedges pushed into the slot between the window glass and the interior window frame, to keep the windows from dropping. This also takes fluid pressure off the cylinder’s shaft seals.

        Like 18
    • Steve Clinton

      “…some kind of fluid shot all over her.”

      I’m not EVEN going there!

      Like 15
      • Bill McCoskey

        Steve Clinton,

        I was trying hard not to respond when I read the original post. But now that you mention it . . .

        Have you ever noticed that a dirty mind and dirty hands are often found together?

        Like 7
      • John Oliveri

        Did she enjoy it?

        Like 2
  11. Malcolm Boyes

    My 56 Coupe de Ville had electric windows and this same 365 with a 4 speed auto..works amazingly well. This looks like a bargain to me..would love to have it if I had the room..fantastic for winery tours up here in Sonoma. I love a drivable resto-as-you-go prjoject..

    Like 5
  12. Richard Woodside

    Your statement about the wheelbase of the limousine being longer than “the standard Series 75 issue” is incorrect. The Series 75 Limousine and the Series 75 Business Sedan share the same wheelbase, chassis, and body. The only difference is that the limousine has a glass divider partition between the front seat and the rear passenger compartment. Perhaps the shorter wheelbase you were thinking of is that of the Series 60 Fleetwood or the Series 62/DeVille chassis.

    Like 4
    • chrlsful@aol. Member

      look @ Jimmy’s link. Seems longer (wrong model, optical illusion, moredor?).

      • JimmyinTEXAS

        That link was for where I would take it for a full restoration. They don’t have any pictures of this model on the site, that I found.

  13. Bill McCoskey

    This is the regular Fleetwood 75, and all the series 75 cars had only one wheelbase. I’m thinking you have this confused with the Fleetwood 60s sedan.

    As pointed out above, Cadillacs have had electric windows and front seats since 1954.

    The 1958 fins are shorter? I don’t think so. If I remember correctly, the top edge of the ’58 fins are about 10 inches LONGER than the ’57 version, as they are canted rearward instead of forward as in the ’57’s.

    Official published base MSRP for the Fleetwood 75 Imperial [limo], was $7,950.00 at the beginning of the model year, plus options. The dual A/C and dual radios [with 1 power antenna] was near $1,000 extra. The price you suggested would have been in line with the Fleetwood 60s.

    Seating was always quoted as 8 people in the division window series 75, not 9. [2 in the front seat, and 6 in the rear compartment.

    Like 4
  14. jerry hw brentnell

    I don’t know where you get the information from but this was not the only limousine you could buy in 1958, what about the 1958 Imperial crown ghia , which made this caddy look like like a poor sister, but then you had to have a ton of pull to even order this beauty for instance jackie kennedy rode around in one so did mrs. rockefeller

    Like 3
    • Steve Clinton

      You are correct. There were only 31 Imperial Crown Ghia Limos manufactured in 1958 compared to Cadillac’s 802 limos. And I’d much rather have the Imperial!

      Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey

        Steve Clinton,

        I’ve had 1955, 56, 58 & 59 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 cars, and 1948 Packard Custom 8, & 53 Packard Patrician long wheelbase cars, but my 2 favorite LWB cars were my 1955 Imperial C70 limo [ex White House car], and my 1965 Ghia limo, #9 of 10 built.

        Like 1
  15. Randy

    Back in the early ’70’s a friend of mine had an absolutely gorgeous light yellow ’53 Cad convertible. It was his only car, and he did not do much driving with it. I remember the day when he returned with a brand new Eldorado — he finally got tired of having the dealer having to fix hydraulic leaks with the seat adjustment system.

    Like 1
  16. Bill McCoskey

    Richard Woodside,

    The standard fluid for all American cars with hydraulic power windows, seats, and convertible tops was brake fluid [DOT 3]. This is one of the reasons when the door window cylinders leaked, the lacquer paint on the door bottoms and the rocker panels peeled off, exposing the primer or even bare metal!

    The easiest way to tell if a car has this type of system is if there is a large electric pump on the firewall in the engine compartment. It sort of looks like a starter motor pointing downwards. The bottom part held an aluminum canister [held on with a bail clip] containing several pints of brake fluid. It’s also why many cars equipped with one of these pumps often have missing paint on the tops of the front fender, because the mechanic allowed the brake fluid to drip onto the front fender during servicing.

    About 35 years ago Apple Hydraulics began remanufacturing these cylinders with modern seals and pistons, and converted to use ATF trans fluid. If you are not sure, check the fluid in the canister to see if it’s brake fluid or pink ATF.

    Hydraulic pumps located behind the rear seat and in the trunk area [like on the Lincoln 4-door & T-bird convertibles], all use the ATF fluid.

    NEVER use hydraulic fluid in either types, it will destroy the seals. If you’re not sure, contact someone who knows these systems, because if you add the wrong fluid, and you have a convertible with power top, 4 power windows, and a power seat, it can cost you well over $5,000 in parts & labor to fix the resulting problems. [Up to 7 cylinders, 9 rubber flex lines, rebuilt pump assembly, and on some cars 4 to 6 hydraulic solenoid valves, plus a lot of labor!]

    I’ve restored/repaired many of these systems, and have owned at least 30 cars [mostly limousines and convertibles] with these older hydraulic systems.

    When completely overhauled and using modern ATF, these work wonderfully, and other than the pump on the firewall, they are silent when in use.

    An important note: If you have one of these in long term storage, these window cylinders, even the new type, can very slowly allow fluid to seep past the hydraulic solenoid at the base of the cylinder. [The fluid drains back into the pump canister, so you won’t see an external leak.]

    Because the windows use powerful springs to open [drop down] the window glass assembly, the window[s] can slowly open, allowing cats, small dogs, and rodents to access the interior of the car. I have always used small rubber wedges pushed into the slot between the window glass and the interior window frame, to keep the windows from dropping. This also takes fluid pressure off the cylinder’s shaft seals.

    Like 4
    • Steve Clinton

      Bill, I am impressed with your automotive knowledge. You should write a book, or at the very least start a blog. I will be first in line to join!

      Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey

        Steve,

        I’ve had an incredible ride over almost 70 years, like a high speed roller coaster with lots of highs and lows. I’ve counted as genuine friends some very interesting people, from high level CIA, and actual heads of state, to the average joe who worked hard all their life. I’ve been able to visit 38 foreign countries and still have places to stay all over continental Europe and the UK. What did all these people have in common? Vintage cars!

        I’ve employed many unique guys, some with “baggage”, but all of them skilled in certain capabilities. I’ve had customers who had a hard time paying their repair bill, and a few who had unlimited wealth. One of my special overseas clients [now deceased] had over 900 vintage cars in his collection, many of which he’d had since new [1950s & 60s mostly] and often with only delivery mileage! Imagine a 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air convertible, factory equipped with BOTH air conditioning and fuel injection, and showing 1,400 miles only! [Not for sale!]

        I treated them all the same. My wealthy client mentioned above, once told me he befriended me because, in part, I never tried to sell him anything. Half way around the world, he used to call me at 3 am just to talk about old car stuff!

        I have actually written a story about this man and his car collection [without giving out his name & location], and I’m sure I was the only person allowed to document his entire collection with photos and VINs [I shot more than 100 rolls of 35mm film over 5 days!]. When approached, the various vintage car publications loved it, but only wanted to pay me a pittance for the story & selected photos [as little as $25!] This guy’s collection includes 4 1958 Cadillac 60s sedans, all with around 100 miles, and they are sequential serial numbers as well! [All the vehicles are still owned by the family and will never be sold, and sadly I doubt they will ever be available to be seen by the public.]

        Now about doing a blog; Thank you for the comment, I’m not really very well versed in computer stuff, and I wouldn’t have any idea how to go about creating a blog anyway! Both of my girlfriends have also suggested a blog, but while they are part of a younger generation, they are not tech savvy either. [We all joke that I like old cars and young wimmin!] The main downside today is my health, as I have not 1, but 2, rare genetic blood disorders, that as I age, are giving me a hard time! We’ll be happy if I live another 5 or more years.

        If at any time you [or anyone else on Barn Finds] wants to contact me directly for more info, just combine my first & last name [no space] @aol.com

        Like 2
  17. Steve Clinton

    “I was trying hard not to respond…”
    Aw, c’mon, Bill McCoskey, don’t tempt me! (wink)

    Like 1
  18. Steve Clinton

    Bill McCoskey, do you still have the ’65? I would love to see pics! (I had a ’64 2 door Crown Coupe that I still kick myself for selling.) I think the ’64 through ’66 Imperials were beautiful, propeller bumpers and all!

    Like 4
    • Bill McCoskey

      Steve,

      I used to own a 1965 Imperial Convertible, triple black, I sold it to a guy in Las Vegas [never saw the person] who had it picked up at my shop. I suspect my car was the one “The Old Man” on Pawn Stars owned, but can’t know for sure, as I lost all the paperwork in my big fire.

      My 1965 Ghia limo was kept parked & always serviced & ready to go, until the owner’s death in 1992 when I bought it from his estate. By the time it was delivered to the owner, the 1966 Imperials were already for sale, so he had it updated with the 1966 Grill. It had done only 5,700 miles in all those years [looong story].

      You can see photos of it on the internet, look for a photo of the limo from the right rear corner, taken while I stood on a ladder. It’s on grass, with a line of trees in the background. There is a website for Imperial Ghia limousines, and the guy who runs it claims [incorrectly] that my car was one of the Spanish versions. [He’s never seen the car, nor has he seen the chalk marks inside the doors, the ones written in Italian!] I sold the limo to a collector in the mid west, and I regretted selling it the moment I watched it drive down my long driveway.

      I also had a 1966 Imperial limo, it was an Armbruster-Stageway stretched LeBaron, it was stretched about 20 inches between the doors. I believe it was the only one built. I sold it back about 1980, and have never seen it for sale again. The difference in build quality and ride sound between the Ghia and the A-S was a surprise, the Ghia was very quiet, with far better fit & finish compared to the A-S version.

      Almost forgot, I had a 1965 Crown Coupe, gold with gold leather interior, & was a wonderful highway car, it came from Arizona, had one of the coldest A/C setups because it had dual A/C!

      A longtime friend of mine from Germany came to visit one year, and I let him use the Crown Coupe to spend a couple of weeks touring thru New England. He still says that was one of the best riding cars he’s ever driven, and he never had any trouble with it. Those cars have always been very reliable, the only 2 items that I know were common to fail on big Mopars, were the starter motors and the ignition ballast resistor on the firewall, so I tried to keep one of each packed away in the cavernous trunks!

      [Murphey’s law says if you have the extra part in the car, you will never need it! But take it out, and you’ll need it in about a week!]

      Like 5
      • Steve Clinton

        Wow, you’ve had some rare Imperials!
        If I ever get to New England, I’ll know who to contact for transportation. LOL

        Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Steve,

      Sadly all these cars are just a nice collection of memories, the only limousine I still own is a 1961 Vanden Plas Princess limo, ordered by the British Government and delivered to New York [with LHD, dual A/C and power everything], to be use by the Royal Family when they were in the USA. And I’m seriously considering the sale of that limo too, as my health is deteriorating to the point I cannot work on it anymore.
      Too old — me, not the car!

      Like 5
      • Steve Clinton

        Bill, I feel your pain (and mine).

        Like 1
  19. chrlsful Member

    I like an earlier model due to the fins. The body work curls over into the nice soft round line of the tail light lens. However – my fav is the 4th gen Lincoln

    the Kennedy-mobile – a ’61 Conti limo

    probably the young imprinting of my childhood. But the sm squares motif/ /Artdeco style still present ( from ’20s/’30s) is the deal maker.

    Very nice car. Is the frnt interior blk the rear white? os is that just age? the pic? lighting?

  20. Malcolm Boyes

    I’m confused by all this hydraulic talk..my very original 56 Coupe De Ville was full power , seats, windows etc..and it was all electric..no hydraulic at all..did Cadillac change that in the mid 50??”

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      The change with Cadillac & all GM cars came with the 1954 models, Packard changed to electric seat in 1954, electric windows in 1955, same as Lincoln I believe.

  21. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Guess I’d have to build a bigger garage.
    I could ride around in this beast but would require the 40 acres to turn this rig around. Pulling out of my driveway onto the street would require some back and forth movements and then finding a place to park at destination might require some undertaking. You would never try to go through a yellow light as by the time the rear of the car got there the light would be red.
    God bless America

    Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      Johnmloghry, ”might require some undertaking.”
      HAHAHA, I get ti!

  22. Bill McCoskey

    Johnmloghry,

    Bigger garage?

    When my parents were looking to move into a bigger house in the mid 1970s, they decided to have a house built, and dad told the builder to increase the depth of the garage spaces by another 4 feet. When the architect asked why, dad pulled out a photo of his 1940 Packard Super 8 series 180 long wheelbase limousine, and said “This is why”. 4 feet longer it was.

    Like 1
  23. Mountainwoodie

    I had a beautiful 1960 Cadillac 75 Series Fleetwood (I guess) limo when I graduated from law school back in ’81. I bought it from a guy in Tijuana who claimed it belonged to President Miguel Aleman who was President of Mexico in 1948. Anyway, I started a one car limo service. I had to give it up when the bottom soles of high heels kept landing on the passenger compartment side of the division window as I drove. Very distracting.Sold it to a guy who had a winery north of San Diego who had a huge collection of cars. I wonder if its still there. Last I saw it when I took a tour of the windery my poor limo looked pretty beat.

    The only problem with these is to enjoy them properly you need a driver. This one looks like a lot of fun as long as you want to invest more money than it probably will ever be worth :)

    Like 1
  24. David Miraglia

    Fix it up and use it as a classic alternate to today’s limos.

    • Steve Clinton

      I’m betting, if given a choice, more people would choose a classic limo over today’s models (an Escalade?…oh please!).

      Like 1
      • Bill McCoskey

        David, Steve, and other BF members,

        As an early member of the National Limousine association, and the owner of the largest vintage limo service on the US east coast [12 cars] until 1902, I can tell you that the best way to end your first year of operation with $1,000,000 in the bank, is to begin the year with $2,000,000 in that same account!

        95% of limo renters have no interest in a vintage limo to rent. If you do have a vintage limo for rent, 90% of the rentals will come from weddings. That means you will be working Saturdays in May thru October. The rest of the time your limo will sit mostly unused.

        Other than unexpected repairs, your biggest expense isn’t labor, it’s insurance, and that’s if you don’t have a claim. In the last 3 years I ran my company [Fantasy Limousine in the Washington DC area], my insurance liability cost DOUBLED every year. When I finally closed the company, my insurance cost exceeded $25,000 per year, for liability coverage only. And I will point out that I never had a single claim!

        Those clients who do like the idea of renting a vintage limousine, only want a car that is in EXTREMELY nice condition, and very reliable. Yet they won’t hesitate to spill food & drink inside, take small objects [like radio knobs] as mementos of the ride, and put their dirty shoes on the seats.

        Proms should be avoided unless you require a huge damage deposit upfront. Plus require an adult to rent the limo, so you have someone to hold responsible for damages. Also include a $250 cleaning deposit should a passenger “toss their cookies”, because the kids WILL likely drink on that evening.

        On the subject of Insurance and state regulations, only a few states [or counties] don’t regulate limousine companies. One thing that is required is a commercial insurance policy. And note that if you have an antique car insurance policy for your limo, it has a special section that basically says if you use the limo for ANY reason where you get paid [that includes trade for services, “gifts”, etc] YOU WON’T HAVE INSURANCE should the vehicle be involved in an accident.

        If your client area covers more than one state, you then have to be federal DOT regulated, & your drivers must have a CDL license. Plus DOT prohibits alcohol in a DOT regulated vehicle. Having no alcohol available is a deal breaker for many possible clients.

        The above items are just a part of a long list of reasons you don’t find vintage limousines available for LEGAL rental anymore. If you really want to run a vintage limo service, I suggest you talk to local limo owners about your insane idea!

        Here’s an interesting situation I had to deal with; I had 4 cars that were old enough to have custom bodies made of wood frames with aluminum outer body panels. My state required that seat belts be installed for all passengers, including the folding jump seats!

        I had a mechanical and structural engineer write a report saying it was not possible to install seat belts in the vehicles, as the body anchoring points [wood] were not sufficient, and if the seat belts were attached to the frame, in an accident where the car’s body separated from the chassis, the seat belt wearers would literally be cut in half.

        The state’s response? Don’t use the cars, they don’t conform to the safety requirements, so they cannot be used. So I had almost $100,000 in vehicles that could no longer be used!

        Like 4
  25. Bill McCoskey

    Whoops — TYPO! That date should have been 1992, not 1902! I proof read it twice, only saw it on publishing!

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      Once again, an ‘edit’ button would work wonders!

      Like 1
  26. Steve Clinton

    Bill,
    There goes my plan to start a limo service!

    Like 2
    • Bill McCoskey

      Steve,

      See — I just saved you a lot of money & heartaches!

      Like 2
  27. Steve Clinton

    Has anybody else had a problem with barnfinds opening and comments being posted. It takes FOREVER (or is it just my computer?)

    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      It does take longer for some unknown reason.

      Like 2
      • Bill McCoskey

        I suspect it’s due to the amount of advertising each time the pages have to reload [just my edjumated guess!]. Not complaining mind you, that’s what keeps this place running!

        Like 2
  28. Scott Thompson

    I have a 1958 Caddy limo. The windows are electric. Only the front leather seat was power. I don’t believe cruise control was an option. This big boy really turns heads!

    • Bill McCoskey

      Scott Thompson,

      You are correct on the lack of cruise control, the option was introduced in Cadillac automobiles for the 1959 model year, with the other car divisions offering it with the 1960 model year.

      Cruise control was invented by a very interesting guy named Ralph Teetor. He was a prolific inventor with many hundreds of patents to his name. He was past president of the Society of Automobile Engineers [SAE], and president of the Perfect Circle [piston rings] Corporation as well.

      I always wondered why a piston ring manufacturer would end up supplying cruise controls starting with Chrysler in 1957, and GM in 1958. I guess if the inventor of the device was also the president of the company, they would be the people to offer it to the auto manufacturers!

      Take a quick look at the Wiki page on Ralph Teetor:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Teetor

      Now as to the power seat in a 1958 Fleetwood 75 limousine, I’ve either worked on, or owned, several Cadillac series 75 vehicles. Like most production American limousines of that period, it was customary for the limousine to have a fixed position front seat.

      The generally accepted reasons are that the glass division window used up the limited space behind the front seat, and the seat assembly is built into the lower parts of the division. I’ve owned 1956, 57, 59 and 66 Fleetwood 75 limousines, none had an adjustable front seat. Same with the British limousines, and I’ve worked on a Mercedes-Benz 300 sedan with division, and it was a fixed position.

      I’ve done some basic investigation, here’s what I’ve found: I have the Cadillac parts books that include 1958. It appears that the 7-passenger [non-division] cars were available with a single switch assembly for forward/backward motion. I also looked thru a ton of photos of 57 & 58 Fleetwood 75 cars, and the few I found with the driver’s door open, showed no seat switch on the side of the seat in division window cars, and a single switch [not the 3 switch type] shown in the 1 photo of a 7-passenger sedan.

      But when dealing with expensive, sometimes hand built, and one-off examples, there are going to be exceptions, and your car could very well have been ordered with a Delco 2-way power seat. It certainly unlikely to be equipped with the 4 or 6 way seat, as there would be clearance problems between the seat back and the division panel if the seat was permitted to raise up past the panel.

      If any readers have more info, please let us know.

      Like 2
      • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

        Mr. McCoskey,
        Thank you for your massive knowledge of all things automotive. I for one appreciate your posts. Although I’m past the age of being able to use this education in a practical application, many of the readers on this forum are still young enough or able to apply your knowledge as they get into the old car restoration game.
        God bless America

        Like 2
  29. Bill McCoskey

    Johnmloghry,

    Thanks for the kind words. I’ve always thought about what I do, from this prospective:

    If the older generations do not teach the younger generations about history, in the future there will be NO history.

    Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      ‘Those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it.’

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