Would You Drive This 1963 Cadillac Pickup Conversion?

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Now, this is a fascinating one-off! Not only is the paint job wild but this 1963 Cadillac four-door sedan was cut down into a pickup truck/parade car. It’s for sale at a modest $3,995 here on eBay in Jackson, Mississippi.

There’s an emergency light on the roof, but it’s not clear this Cadillac was ever used as an ambulance. The seller says it was “modified as a partially open parade car,” and was in the Jackson, Mississippi St. Patrick’s Day Parade for several years (hence the flamboyant blue-green paint job?) before being parked under a carport. It, you know, “ran and drove well when parked.” But how long ago was that?

As the seller notes, the Cadillac is mostly solid. The Mississippi location and the carport undoubtedly helped with that. There are some perforations visible in the floorboards, but it’s not terrible. I think I see a crack in the windshield, but the interior (while dirty) is surprisingly good, even what may be the original upholstery. The back doors are there, but they open onto the pickup bed–a fairly convenient feature, actually.

The V8 engine shows every sign of not having been started in decades, but these old warhorses can usually shake off the cobwebs fairly well. The body is very straight, and it looks like the conversion was carried out professionally. The tailgate (opened with a door handle) appears to swing open.

I’m guessing this was a seventh-generation Series 62 four- or six-window sedan. About 30,000 of both types were produced, and both sold at $5,214—a lot then. The standard five-main-bearing V8 produced 325 horsepower.

It was a luxurious car in its day, with 143 options, including wood veneer and leather upholstery. Power brakes and steering were standard, as were windshield washers and remote rear-view mirrors. This one still has its air-conditioner—a must in Mississippi. Perhaps the system needs a little work? The hubcaps and skirts are off the car, but they’re included.

I’m sure you can imagine some interesting uses for this Cadillac, even as a high-class parts hauler. The price seems very reasonable. If you clean it up and get it started, it’s even possible to imagine using it pretty much as it is, holes in the floor and all. I’ll bet the full history is fascinating.

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Comments

  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Well, at first, I thought drive it to a junkyard, but upon closer inspection, it is pretty cool. Biggest problem, is cars like this are incredibly expensive to restore, with miles of wiring and it’s a big car, takes a lot of paint. Price paint lately? No wonder nobody paints cars anymore. Neat find, has a snowballs chance in Hades of being restored.

    Like 3
    • Gary Rhodes

      Yeah, do a Lincoln Four door convertible. Those things are a nightmare. If you are offered one, run fast

      Like 1
    • Terrry

      hence, the reason for “patina”..translated, “I can’t afford to paint this heap”

      Like 2
  2. Dave

    That was a hearse, not a sedan.

    Like 24
  3. Bob S

    These are not standard sedan back doors, and with the swinging tailgate door, looks like it was converted from an old hearse?

    Like 11
  4. John p

    This was a hearse at one point or ambulance that someone just lopped off.. too bad.

    Like 11
  5. Shaun Buckley

    Needs a hot tub.

    Like 5
  6. johnMember

    For grins and giggles, who has knowledge on commercial chassis such as this hearse, knows what the vents are behind the front seat on the divider? This vehicle does not have set ups for factory air, only under dash, and the vents appear to be from the initial conversion to a hearse/ambulance?

    Like 3
    • Dan J Scully

      Those are the vents for the rear a/c. The a/c unit fans etc. are behind the front seat. Windshields for these are hard to locate , at the moment I believe only used are available. Same windshield in the 59-65 Limos . Hearse etc. used the same windshield from 59-64.

      Like 3
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

      John,

      The round vents are for a rear compartment A/C unit that helped keep this ambulance cool. There are probably another set behind the tires as well. If you look closely at the engine compartment photo, you can see there are 2 sets of A/C hoses, one set goes to the firewall for the underdash A/C, the other set heads down under the floors, back to the unit mounted in the division area behind the front seat.

      If the owner was to advertise this vehicle in the Professional Car Society’s website, they might get a buyer simply for the A/C stuff, as it would mount to most Cadillac ambulances of that age range.

      If the roof had not been removed, it has value as a complete vehicle. But he’s crazy to expect almost $4k for this parts car. Especially if it needs to be shipped a long way, as it’s quite big and heavy as well. To me [I’ve had many vintage Ambulances,
      Hearses, and limousines] it’s a $1k vehicle at best.

      Like 3
      • johnMember

        Bill- thank you the informative answer on the A/C vents. I suspected a seasoned owner like yourself would have the answers. As for the chop- no telling how much alcohol was involved that tragic decision.

        Like 0
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

        John,

        While I suppose alcohol may have contributed to this hack job, I submit it was a case of this running ambulance being available when a group of St. Patty’s day parade people, needing a cheap parade car that could handle a couple of dozen people standing up during the parade, it became the parade vehicle of choice.

        Once the parade was over, they said “Now what do we do with it?”

        Like 1
  7. chrlsful

    put the top back on…
    I’d like that…a big station wagon !

    Like 2
  8. RNR

    I guess I am the first to say it:

    I wouldn’t be caught dead in that thing.

    Like 6
    • Richard Isenberg

      I can only say this WHY ? Wouldn’t take it if u paid me. Would look great in row 17 unit 6 in local junkyard.

      Like 2
    • Steve Clinton

      Damn! You beat me to it!

      Like 0
  9. Wildfire

    My first thought looking under hood ….Flood damage ~ I seen a lot of that in south Texas ,
    not saying it is but it sure looks like it to me

    Like 2
    • martinsane

      Thatast picture of the open door echos your logic as the bottom of the floor frame is crusty.

      Like 2
  10. Dan B

    the door frames show that it s a Miller/Meteor Cadillac combination hearse/ambulance. The siren is still under the hood, and the partition between front and rear compartments is still intact

    Like 2
  11. John

    This was an ambulance rather than a hearse. Note the siren mounted between the grill and the radiator in the eBay photos. The upholstery is white rather than black, and the casework at the divider window is covered in a light-colored plastic laminate — all of which appears to be original. The 1963 Fleetwood Series 75 Cadillacs and professional Cadillacs based on the 75’s utilize the greenhouse glass and roof structure leftover from the 1959-1960 model years.

    Like 4
    • local_sheriff

      …or it was a so-called combination car owned by a privately owned funeral home – far from unusual back in the day that they would serve ambulance duties in smaller communities. With the leather interior it seems too posh to be a fleet vehicle.

      The sad thing is that after the process of cutting off its roof and the ‘custom’ paint job this coachbuilt vehicle is worth LESS today than if the owner would’ve left it alone … 😣 Any others observed the ’56 Ford longroof in the background?

      Like 3
      • nlpnt

        I’d expect that would be the reason why the wood veneer and real leather were ordered, especially if it did triple duty as the small-town funeral home owner’s daily driver.

        Anyone else spec’ing an ambulance would find the standard vinyl seat and brushed-aluminum trim sufficient for what was already a very expensive piece of equipment. Besides, that would endure regular wipings with old-school brown bottle Lysol much better than real leather and wood.

        Like 0
      • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

        Local_sheriff,

        Concerning the leather interior, I’ve done a quick search of early ’60s Cadillac interior photos as well as various hearse/ambulance coachbuilder brochures.

        It’s a front seat for a 2-door car, as the seat backs fold forward. The ’63 Cadillac DeVille convertible and coupe interiors show that the front bench seat had a folding center armrest. So it isn’t a production front seat for a ’63 Cadillac 2-door. That said, the few photos I have showing Caddy ambulance interiors are all different in material designs, so it’s very possible this is original to the car. It may even be intended for a different full size car from another division.

        And one more comment; This was sold new in a very hot and humid state, where vinyl seat surfaces can be very uncomfortable. So it would be logical to order leather for the seating surfaces, and considering the cost of the entire ambulance, the additional cost of leather for one seat was probably insignificant.

        Like 3
    • Daniel J Scully

      The front sheet metal is unique also to the 61-64 commercial chassis and 61-65 limos. It will only interchange between the those specific models . Lots of good parts here but to much for a parts car .

      Like 0
  12. Rodney - GSM

    An ambulance that escaped its own death by becoming a pickup truck. Dodged a bullet apparently, but not the welding torch. Better to live an altered life than no life at all…

    Like 0
  13. Terrry

    The inspiration for today’s Escalade!

    Like 1
  14. wooky

    Close in what would have been the back seat area, install a 5th wheel hitch and have a one of a kind luxury RV hauler

    Like 0

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