The bumpers were referred to as Dagmars. Referring back to a comic strip Blondie & her voluptuous build. Most mid-fifties cars sported them & yes, they could do a job on other cars in a front end collision unlike todays plastic bumpers.
Dagmar was an actress in the '50s (stage name Jennie Lewis) who was renowned for her chest capacity (as it were). It is said that she was flattered when she heard about the bumpers and the reason for the nickname.
Hmm.. Collector's estate? Cadillac limousines, hearses & at least one 'flower car'? I'm thinking more likely they are old, worn-out, or retired vehicles from at least one funeral home, possibly that of the 'collector', who couldn't bear to part with them..
I have to agree with you. A Cadillac lover would inevitably had non-limos in his collection. Where these models run the gamut across years and generations, one can see how they were garaged as they were replaced in the fleet. Perhaps it started out as being difficult to resell, perhaps the owner feeling they were worth more than what he could sell them for.
I think it would be cool to get that black '56 back in running order and operate it as a limo-for-hire for those looking to arrive in a unique way.
If I could have 2 of these cars, I would like to have one of the 59 limos (#7) I wouldn't restore it, I would super detail it and get it running in tip top shape... I would take the flower car (#10) and make a cool Cadillac Elco out of it... I would pass on the hearses, they probably would have some bad mojo associated with them.
"don't come with any paperwork"? Tragically (at least in Massachusetts) they are for off road use only, display or parts. I had a hell of a time getting my first-gen Camaro registered and I've owned it over forty years WITH paperwork.
Interesting vehicles. Great historical value regardless of how much money they're worth. They may be examples of human excess at it's worst, but they sure are beautiful looking excesses, dust and all! Let's see, I wonder what kind of gas mileage they get...ah...3 or maybe 4 gallons to a mile! They'd make perfect urban commuter cars!:)
Brendan, thank you. As much as I love Dagmars (wretched excess) I want Numbers 10 and 11. 10 because I think it is a flower car, to be used as a pickup when shopping, and 11 because I suspect a Seville. This is wonderful British eccentricity.
Sure this is a "weird" auction. But, I'd like to point out that these are absolutely bespoke bodies. Superior Coach, in Lima Ohio, was often called "#4 of the Big Three," back in the day. I missed out on a Cadillac "flower car" (El Camino) at a mortuary in Clodd Ahia in the mid-70's, and to this day it's near the top of my "one that got away" list. Compute the price by the pound, like billionaires do. They are a bargain!
My all-time Cadillac favorites, in the Model 75 class, are the 1956 (as shown) and the 1938 in the V-8 version. I once had a 1937 Fleetwood that made quite a hit at my high school graduation, many decades ago. I wish I still had that beast: 4 Miles Per Gallon, going downhill. It was equipped with the famous, '37 Caddy 3-speed on the floor, and shifted like a dream...sigh...
In the late ‘80s I helped a neighbor renovate a ‘64 Cadillac Limo. I was in my late teens and mostly helped clean up the chrome, which was abundant. He started a limo company with the car and I was his first rider. There were so many things to love about the car but my favorite feature was the plethora of courtesy lights that illuminated when the doors were opened.
Those are air intakes for the factory A/C system. They mounted the evaporator and blower in the trunk in those days. Easy way to tell if those old Caddys ( and Lincolns) had A/C. The air was blown up thru the rear shelf (or ducts in the headliner), and wafted its way up to the front of the interior. Not sure, but i think 57 was the last year for non-integrated A/C.
I went to see these cars yesterday. Contrary to what has been said, they ALL have VIN numbers. The paperwork has just been mislaid, following the death of the owner. I checked the VIN numbers and found many of the cars are correctly registered, in the UK. Many have very desirable (in the UK) number plates. Lot 6, for example, is 6CAD. Lot 15 (which is really nice, IMHO) is 9CAD. I hope this helps those from afar, who aren't as local to this auction as I am.