Stylish Conversion: 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood Eureka

If you are the kind of car enthusiast that wants a car that’s different, stylish, rare, and offers loads of space, then this 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood Eureka may be your next ride. Offering a tremendous amount of space and some very unique styling and windows, these Eureka made hearses and ambulances are considered to be the rarest and best looking Cadillac conversions built. This particular car is a runner and can move under its own power but needs some attention before returning to the open roads. This exceptionally rare Caddy is currently bid up to $5,000. Check out this stylish machine here on eBay out of Centerville, Utah. A big shout out to Matt Willaims for this fabulous submission!

The 390 V8 is a runner, and has been updated with an electric fuel pump and an aluminum radiator. The seller used to drive this car extensively, but over the years drove it less and less which is why he suggests towing the car. One issue that is curious is that the reverse gear in the automatic transmission does not work. Otherwise the transmission seems to be in fine health when it comes to the forward gears. Also the brakes are described as spongy, but that seems more like a general maintenance issue on any old car.

The interior appears complete, and the cabin area of the interior appears to be original minus some vinyl that was glued on to the dash that is now pealing near the vents. The rubber floor mat shows wear from the many years of service, and the bench is worn as well.

Now the seller has described this car as a hearse, but I am not quite sold on that idea. It seems typical that the Eureka hearses do not have the wrap around rear windows or side glass where a casket would go. Also there is a square piece of metal that has been welded into the roof, where I speculate there was a siren, making this Caddy an ambulance. The rear facing seat would offer an emergency responder somewhere to sit, and would also give them access to their patient. The “cargo” area has been reupholstered in a lilac purple and cream combination which is an interesting choice to say the least. The rear facing seat merely has a piece of fabric draped over it.

This is the money view as the style and looks are like no other, and the parts for these windows are incredibly scarce to the limited few that have one of these Eurekas. The fins are blended in very nicely, and the tremendous amount of glass in this car certainly offers a view that cannot be compared to even the likes of a Vista Cruiser. Although it’s hearse days are over, who could turn down this much mobile real estate? Perfect for a classic camper, a swap meet hauler, or anything else you can think of. No matter your intentions, you would certainly get a lot of attention driving this Eureka. With that being said, there is some rust to be found in this old girl. The rockers and quarters have their fair share of rust and some rot, and the rear door also has some rot at the bottom. The good thing is that the glass is in good shape and all of the exterior glass trim is complete. The not so great news is that you will be putting in some work to fix the rot, which if you are a metal fabricator, then this is right up your alley. These converted vehicles often go unappreciated, but I can easily see how special this car is, and appreciate its unique beauty. Would you take on this massive Caddy project?

WANT ADS

WANTED 1973-1975 Pontiac GRAND AM HI, LOOKING FOR A PONTIAC GRAND AM TWO DOOR IN FAIR, GOOD OR EXCELLENT CONDITION Contact

WANTED 1973-77 Pontiac Gran Prix wheel well trim pieces for rear Contact

WANTED 1975 – 77 Ford Granada 2 door Would like a V8 in decent shape Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    If I parked my ’84 Ford Sierra wagon and ’05 Suzuki Not-So-Swift Sport outside, I could fit the Caddy into my garage…

    I always thought it would be fun to restore (I have patina ‘issues’, especially faux patina) and convert one of these into a 12 passenger station wagon. Am not sure if my old age pension would cover the fuel costs, however…

    Like 2
    • Metoo

      To paraphrase a great movie line, “We’re gonna need a bigger garage.”

      Like 2
      • Steve

        Boat?

      • Doug

        The movie line that comes to my mind is ” Who ya gonna call ? ” Ghostbusters !

    • SRT8

      I think you could park the Suzuki Swift in the back half of the Caddy.

      • Richard Ochoa

        I have a 4 car garage. Where would I put my Yugo???

    • Hector Chaparro

      You cannot sell me on the hearst! Ambulance definitely a resounding Si!

      • Kevin

        There’s no “t” in hearse.

        Like 6
      • Miguel

        That is kind of backwards. If it is spirits you are worried about, the ambulance would be full of them.

        Nobody ever died in a hearse.

        Like 9
  2. Metoo

    Definatly the queen of all land yatchs. Restored, people would bow and say “You win! We’re not worthy!” LOL. You could use a whole can of chrome polish every Saturday on all that chrome. I have rarely seen a vehicle I wanted more. And I can’t really say why.

    Like 2
  3. Fred H

    As a youth I had several different Hearses . Ranging from 1939 to 1965.. all Caddys They were fun cars. I went through a drive through once and the guy refused to my stuff in the car. And hitch hikers. were another story. They were cheap nobody wanted them, and well maintained vehicles. I had a 1948 that was in primer I painted “Drop Dead Call Fred” on the back door ))

    Like 2
  4. Rodney

    The original SUV (Super Undertaker Vehicle).

    Like 2
  5. Nick Member

    If it had rrar seats like a nomad i would want.

  6. Metoo

    Maybe it was a hearse, seems more likely than a ambulance. Perhaps the square on the roof was for a taxi style light that said “Funeral” as sort of a clear the road message. Someone mentioned the rate facing seat being indicative of it being a former ambulance. In the sellers ad he stated having installed it himself.

    • Bill McCoskey

      What’s left of the original interior suggest this was a “combination coach” used by small town funeral homes that often provided ambulance service too. That square plate in the roof was probably for the combination siren/red light.

      The Combination coach was typically kept in ambulance mode because when a call came in for an ambulance, there was little time to make the changeover from a hearse. Changing an ambulance into a hearse meant removing the light/siren, and flipping sections of the floor over to hide the casket rollers. Sometimes they had ambulance signs that clipped into the rear side windows, typically with a red cross & the name of the ambulance service. The attendant’s seat usually folded up from a well in the right side floor.

      Like 4
      • Steven D Visek

        I can just imagine the reaction of the person needing an ambulance if it pulls up in hearse mode! “Oh hell no! I’m feeling much better now, I promise.” :-)

        Like 3
  7. Miguel

    Please Brian, if you are going to write up a particular car, please ask somebody that knows them before stating things that are not true.

    The Eureka could just as well have been the limousine style, as we see here, as the landau style which has the landau bow.

    It is a crime this beautiful Eureka was not kept in nice condition and even worse to do what they did to the back of the car.

    Like 1
  8. Fred w.

    Had a hard time finding anything online with the same rear window treatment. I think this may have been a combination vehicle- used as both a hearse and ambulance. If you croaked in route they took you straight to the mortuary. The appearance would then need to fall somewhere in between- no landau bars over steel. This is another variation, more on the hearse side.

    Like 2
    • Miguel

      It didn’t have to be a combination to be a limousine style. The funeral director could order the car any way he wanted it.

      Eureka was one of the best put together coaches of the companies making the hearses at the time.

      I really miss my 1963 Landau.

      Like 2
    • Rodney

      Sorta makes you wanna die just so you can go for a ride in this stunning example…
      (Sorta…)

      Like 2
      • Miguel

        I would rather be the driver. These do great on the highway at 100MPH or more.

        Like 1
  9. Kevin

    This was a limousine-style end loading hearse. If it was an ambulance or even a combination car the rear compartment would be upholstered in vinyl, not velour. As Miguel stated, its a shame that the car was irreparably altered.

    • jdjonesdr

      Am I missing something? What has been irreparably altered?

      • Kevin

        As a member of two clubs dedicated to the preservation of these vehicles, I’ve seen this many times. Someone who doesn’t fully realize what he has will attempt to repurpose the car by removing the casket table. The casket table then becomes an obstacle in the garage and is discarded. Historically, precious few of these casket tables are saved. They’re nearly impossible to replicate, so the car will likely wind up a parts car or a very poor copy of Ecto-1. The damage may not be completely irreparable but it’s highly unlikely that anyone would be able to find the parts to bring it back.

        Like 1
      • Miguel

        Kevin, since this was an end loader it never had a table, but I know what you are talking about.

  10. Gasser Man

    I bought a 1970 S&S Cadillac Hearse with 38K for the 472 engine and turbo 400 to be donated for a street rod project.
    It was a rare side loader so the rear doors opened suicide style including the B pillar to unload a coffin.

    It was so nice and original I could not justify robbing the power train and junking the body.
    Originally painted silver that was chalked out to a grey, I sanded it and had to go black in color to match the vinyl top. What a pain in the butt to paint with a single stage enamel. It barely fit in the paint booth I owned.

    I added new black curtains sewn by my mom, and a stereo to replace the radio delete. The car was DEAD quite and about unbearable to drive at night on long desolate roads pre stereo installation. What bothered me the most was the adjustable casket slide that had a movable stop for different sized caskets, down to a baby or child’s size.

    I later added a set of Crager SS rims and dual exhaust. Almost 50 feet of exhaust tubing from the manifolds to the rear bumper. At 375 rated HP, it cruised comfortably at 115 MPH.
    The stretch of the chassis required 2 drive shaft support bearings. The rear axle was fitted with heavy duty leaf springs instead of coils traditional on a Fleet-wood platform it was built on.
    The rear deck was 4.5 feet wide and 9 feet long from the back of the front seat, perfect for hauling 4×8 sheets of plywood or Sheetrock.

    My father, a retired Marine that saw heavy combat action and was seriously wounded in Korea was infatuated with the car. He would sit in the drivers seat for hours drinking beer and listening to Hank Williams cassettes in the middle of the night until daylight.

    When my father passed away later, I took him to his final resting place 150 miles away in the hearse. It might sound morbid, but It was a pleasure to take dad to the graveyard in my hearse, a hearse he loved.

    Like 8
    • Tom Justice

      Sounds like a great story to me, not morbid at all. I think we should all be so lucky to have a Dad like that and a son like you.

      Like 4
    • Ken

      I’m sure the author of this list would really prefer me to stick with car chatter, but thank you for sharing such a close up and personal story

      Like 4
  11. george

    cool car but i never understood the appeal to owning or driving one of these.its creepy…

    • Miguel

      Drive one before you judge. There is nothing better.

      Like 3
    • Howard

      I’m with you 100%, George. I will ride to my grave in a slab cab, but not before then :)

  12. Steven Member

    I have been one of the sick minded guys that loves hearse. I have personally owned over 20 of them. I also used to work @ a hearse dealership (you can’t just walk into a Cadillac dealership and buy one). Miguel, hats off to you. You constantly intrigue me with the cars you have owned & your knowledge.
    Anyhow, I have a story similar to Gassed Man’s story. I bought from my employer a beautiful 1976 Hess & Eisenhardt Cadillac end loader. It was originally silver with a black top & interior. The funeral director that owned it got in a casket that had a cool but unique bronze hammertone finish. He loved the color so much he removed the vinyl top off the hearse & painted the roof that color & the body beige. He installed the big chrome “ghetto grill”, so popular in the “superfly” days. It was stunning!
    My grandfather hated that car. I was so proud of it that I drove it all the time, weather permitting, even to his house (the rule was that I was to never drive a hearse over because the neighbors might think he died lol). I took it over by him anyhow.
    I used to drive Gramps to doctor appointments, grocery store runs, and so on. I always offered to take my car but he would insist that we take his. Then the day came that he passed. I knew the funeral director, he was a customer & long time friend of my boss. I was allowed to use my hearse to drive Gramps to the cemetery. I had my 2 cousins ride with me in the front seat, and we took Gramps past his house, and a couple other of his cherished spots on the way to the cemetery (none of these places were on the way). I think Gramps enjoyed the last ride. That car smelled like him until I sold it.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      I always have said I didn’t want my own car used for my funeral, however that has changed. Since I am in Mexico and the crap in the picture above is common, I will have to use my own car. These little compact cars made into hearses have no class and no elegance. I can’t have that.

      The car, by the way, is a SEAT which is a company owned by Volkswagen out of Spain.

      Like 3
    • Miguel

      Steven, did you mean the car was an S&S? Hess and Eisenhardt was the owner of the company S&S, but they never had their name on a car like that.

  13. Ben T. Spanner

    When I was in the insurance business in the 1970’s and 1980’s we insured a lot of local and volunteer fire departments. Many of them had Cadillac emergency vehicles. Some looked strange with large, updated emergency lights. Many had fender mounted chrome sirens. Almost all were red and white.

    My college roomate left a 1953 Cadillac combo hearse with 16000 miles in my care. The hydromatic plant had burnt and it had dynaflow. One dark and rainy night I pulled out behind a cop car. I noticed the brights were on and hit what I thought was the dimmer switch. It was not. It activated the siren and lights in the grill. The cop pulled over and then began to escort me.

    I got on a freeway and went to the next exit. I pulled over and and he pulled up beside me. I said that I just got a radio message cancelling the call. He believed it and saluted me before driving off.

    • Steven Ligac

      What a great story! Thanks.

  14. Whippeteer

    I would go with it most likely being a combination unit. That was the most common setup when you have full windows. Given the paint, I would say that it was used as a hearse. Rip up the carpet and you’ll find out. The seat installed in the back is simply a bench seat from another vehicle, and not original to the hearse at all. If it’s a combination unit, there would be a folding attendant seat in the floor by the back passenger side door. As for the siren, many hearses in the 50s and 60s had a siren mounted on them. Possibly to clear the roads for a funeral, but also because sometimes they were also a response vehicle to pick up a deceased victim at an accident or other incident.

    Like 2
    • Kevin

      This was a limousine style, straight end-loading hearse. If it was a combination the rear compartment would be upholstered in vinyl, not cloth. You can clean blood from vinyl, not so much with velour. Also, nothing about this car is Fleetwood. It was built on a Cadillac commercial chassis.

      Like 1
  15. PeterK

    sounds almost like it came out of the Movie Harold and Maude….

    • Miguel

      Not even close. That was a 1959 Superior and that car is still around, albiet in bad condition.

  16. Steven D Visek

    I saw pics of a Pontiac like this years ago, with the raised roof as you might find in a hearse, but with the stock three rows of seats. It was designed for a traveling salesman who might need a lot of cargo capacity but still wanted a car/wagon chassis vehicle.

    This car was apparently a hearse or ambulance with the converted floor for such purpose, thus far less interesting than the true raised roof wagon versions.

  17. Roadmaster

    Here’s the 58 variant

    Like 1
    • Miguel

      Just under S&S, Eureka was the best.

  18. Howie Berkowitz

    This was a hearse and it is a shame they modified it to not be one again! I miss my hearse!

    Like 2
    • Miguel

      I bought a 1969 Superior just like this one, although mine was used by a biker for a tattoo parlor for a while.

      It was a dark blue when I got it and it had wide centerlines or something like that.

      I knew I had to give it back it’s dignity.

      I found the original wheels and hub caps.

      I then painted it white. I told them I wanted the brightest white they had.

      It was at one of those production shops. They told me it was hard to get the workers to work on it. Mexicans are generally religious people. They didn’t want to touch it.

      I got the car back and had the windows tinted dark.

      It looked like it was still in service at that point.

      What a transformation. I really enjoyed driving that car.

      I didn’t realize the car had a yellowish tint to it until I bought a 1970 9 passenger sedan and that car was really white. It made mine look like it was the color of yellowing teeth.

  19. Howie Berkowitz

    Here is what it should look like!

    Like 4
    • Kevin

      That’s a Superior, not a Eureka.

  20. Howie Berkowitz

    And the interior is fantastic!

    Like 2
  21. Steven D Visek

    Original Sales Literature Library: http://www.phantomcoaches.org/saleslit.html

    From the site: “Phantom Coaches™ is proud to offer the first on-line library of original sales literature of professional cars. If the literature for your car is listed here then please feel free to peruse it and see what all the wonderful features your coach came with as well as the other models offered by that builder for that year. Or if you just want to read through all of them, enjoy. Note: Feel free to copy as much of this material as you want but PLEASE do NOT link directly to any of the images, thank you. We need YOUR help to expand this library. As you all know, this kind of literature is extremely rare and hard to find. If YOU have literature we don’t, please scan it (or have a friend scan it for you) and send us the images. We’ll put them up and give you the credit or you can choose to remain anonymous.”

    Attached is the front of the Superior Cargo Cruiser version of the 1959 Pontiac I referenced in another post above.

    Like 1
    • Steven D Visek

      And here’s the back of the brochure. Apparently it came as a pure cargo version standard with one row or two rows of rear seats optional. I’d love to see one with all the seats in…Super Wagon!

      Like 1
  22. Mister319

    I always wanted a Cadillac hearse but this is as close as I got.

    Like 3
    • Miguel

      That is close but you are never at the front of the procession.

      A friend and I drove a 1962 formal from LA, to Las vegas then over to Arizona.

      What a smooth ride. I wizzed past a border patrol car and he stopped me just to threaten me. He didn’t have ticket writing powers.

      Fun times.

  23. Derek

    That rear end has so much style and class, I’d want to drive it backwards.

    • Miguel

      Not many people know, but the tail fins on the 1961 and 1962 commercial chassis cars were carried over from the 1960 model.

      They were straighter on the passenger cars, but they had that great curve on the commercials.

      You could put a 1960 hearse next to a 1962 limo and have the same tail fins on them.

      Also the wrap around windshields carried over until the 1964 model year on the commercials when they went to a flatter windshield on the 1961 passenger car.

  24. Ed

    Reminds me of a kind of relevant story:
    Our local undertaker with whom I grew up, had available a horse drawn hearse. My sister in law ordered it up for my late fathers last ride. During the depression he had to farm with horses, hated them. Years later I still don’t know if she was innocent or did it to get the last laugh. Rest in peace dad.

  25. hhaleblian

    “Who ya gonna call?”

    • Miguel

      You didn’t just…

  26. Steven D Visek

    Check out this amazing GM custom built 1959 Cadillac 12-15 pass. wagon built on their ambulance chassis: 1959 Cadillac Cadillac Broadmoor Skyview.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR55iXoU84o

    Like 2
  27. Bruce Jackson

    You guys are scaring me…I think this article struck a vein*, what with all of the feedback and stories…I will have to pass* on this”

    *yes, pun intended

    *yes, again…and, this reinforces my desire to be cremated…perhaps my ashes will end up in a barn…and become an urn-est Barn Find?

    Like 1
  28. Tim W

    The comments on this and a bunch of other cars is why I like Barn Finds! There is always somebody that knows the cars that are highlighted. Thanks guys……

    Like 2
  29. Dustin

    Reminds me of a 1959 Cadillac Broadmoor Skyview except these have sunroofs all along the roof.

    Like 1
  30. DVSCapri

    Interesting… I had to go to the Phantom Coaches page to look up what I had owned at one point… ’68 Caddy Commercial chassis originally “Chicago Grey” was all I could remember to begin with. Going through the different pages for ’68 – I’m quite sure it was a Superior Royale – with the “suicide” rear doors – which then means it was a 3 way?? Unfortunately, when I bought it back in ’83?? for $50.00 it had already had a lot removed/converted. The table was long gone, the front seat had been replaced with Orange velour/Brown vinyl swivel “captains chairs” (may even have been dinning room chairs for all I know), Red/Orange shag carpeting covered the rear floor (the side panels were left alone thankfully). I owned that car for quite a few years (until the townhouse association pulled a fast one on me while I was out of town – they had 8 vehicles of mine towed to impound & by the time I found out the fees were just too much (I lost a few really good cars!)). At 17/18 years old (when I bought it) it was quite the novelty around town! My Auto Shop teacher even allowed me to bring it in to work on it & used it as a teaching tool as well! As for the kids at school that gave me crap about it – my usual reply was “nobody died in it… I’m 17 & own a Caddy, how’s Mommy’s Toyota doing?” Ironically, by the time I was almost 20 I had added a 2nd Caddy – a “78 Fleetwood Brougham – fully loaded except for the fuel injected motor & two-tone paint – every other bell & whistle was on it! Which was also it’s downfall!

    Back to the ’68… 472 CID 425hp!! would smoke the snow tires for blocks!!! As big as they are – mine was fiberglass?? (non-magnetic) inboard of the fins!! It seriously wasn’t that heavy at all!!

    As somebody else on here said earlier – Thanks BF for all the diversity of cars as well as some of the knowledge on here!! I really enjoy reading some of these!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.