: 79 cadillac Miller Meteor Fleetwood hearse

Joseph Lavender
06-21-11, 10:36 AM
I'm new here, and on the suggestion of someone else I'm posting this here.

I bought an old caddy hearse, to fix up and drive around for fun.. me and my son (he's 3) like scary and weird stuff..
I picked it up for 600.00, it runs.. but needs some TLC.

I'm not looking to get this into "show quality" per say. Just want to turn some heads with it and have some fun.

I decided to paint it white, so that in the event on halloween I decide I want to drive around town pretending to be the ghostbusters, I could slap some logos on and go to town.

My father in law, however made a suggestion for the "top" which at one time was covered in vinyl. It had been removed and repainted. I already fixed the rusted spots, and was doing the bondo work. He suggested I wouldn't have to get it baby butt smooth if I coated it with this stuff they use on RV roofs. Its called elastomeric roof coating. He said it would go on thick, and cover most of my crappy work, and save me a crap ton of sanding. Trusting his judgement.. I painted some on... 3 coats later, you can still see every buldge, bump, etc.

So now, I'm trying to figure out if I should just bite the bullet and strip all of that crap off (which is gonna take a ton of work) or just strip off the spots that need fixing, and then reapply it.

My gut is telling me to just strip it all off and since I have to do the body work right anyway, just paint it when i paint the rest of the body.

06-21-11, 10:40 AM
I've never heard of the stuff but I would strip it all off. As you said, you have to get the body work right so why not paint it after you've got it right.

As you just learned, taking shortcuts on this kind of thing usually leads to more work in the end :) Post some pictures of that beast!

Joseph Lavender
06-21-11, 10:46 AM
Yeah I was gonna post some, but I need to make 5 forum posts first. Its "ghetto" lookin right now lol.

06-21-11, 11:20 AM
every project starts rough! For $600 it's hard not to get something "Ghetto" looking. The important thing is that you're going to fix it up...so as ghetto looking as it is now, that will only make you more proud when you look back after the project is finished.

Joseph Lavender
06-21-11, 11:28 AM
Here we go with some pics!








With the coating on top.... don't mind the rattle can artwork lol. Me and My son went a little ape crazy.


06-21-11, 12:53 PM
Nice. can already see progress being made!

Seeing these pictures just gave me a funny idea...Imagine cutting the top off of one of these (only the back part), cutting it down to 2 doors, and making an el camino type car? haha...dunno why but I just thought that would be funny to see.

06-21-11, 01:17 PM
Nice. can already see progress being made!

Seeing these pictures just gave me a funny idea...Imagine cutting the top off of one of these (only the back part), cutting it down to 2 doors, and making an el camino type car? haha...dunno why but I just thought that would be funny to see.

They already thought of that. It's called a flower car (or "casket car")....

06-21-11, 01:59 PM
Yeah I've seen those...but they've never really looked good. lol.

For example...that one still has back doors? Why? lol

06-21-11, 02:11 PM
Couldnt really tell how bad the top is from the pic. Nice progress. Why do they put that coating on RVs? If you plan on getting a nice paint job, might as well strip it all off.

06-21-11, 02:14 PM
Not a huge fan of any of the skulls, inside or out.

Hope it turns into a good project for you, though.

06-21-11, 03:01 PM
Truck Bed Lining works pretty well painted where the vinyl was. Seen it done on a '67 Hearse and actually didn't know that is what it was until I was told. it is also a trick used by Model Car enthusiasts apparently.

I agree with Sting about the skulls, but to each his own.

Outsider: Yeah, they still have doors, because most of them actually still take a coffin INSIDE beneath the flowers and the rear doors still act as they do on other Hearses to hold spare tyres and church trucks. I have seen a '67 Eldorado done up like an El Camino (Looked like a Funeral Vehcile) and there is a man in my local Clermont who totally has an white 80's Cadillac turned into "El Caddy" which sounds like what you were saying someone shouold make. I was supposed to get photos of that once and still kind of have not..

06-21-11, 03:13 PM
Nice! I'd like to see that. My redneck-ness is showing through I'm sure but I love el caminos :D

Joseph Lavender
06-21-11, 06:16 PM
Lol, yeah the skulls and stuff are all coming off. Hearse enthusiasts will kill me, but.. I'm planning on painting it white, and putting ghostbusters logos on the doors. I've got a pair of MX7000 police light bars to go on the top, and I'm gonna put some other sciency looking stuff on the top in the roof rack that was up there already. I'm a hearse lover, but me and my son are both big fans of ghostbusters, and unfortunately the coveted 59 caddy ambulance is out of reach for me. This is just something fun for me and him to get some kicks out of as a father/son. He already loves it, and he has even helped me do some sanding.. and he's only 3... lol.

Hearse enthusiasts will also shudder at the thought of cutting the top off a classic hearse of any type. Thats what flower cars are for. If someone else winds up with this one, they can just repaint it and fill the screw holes in the top.. of course those were already there when i bought it.. so...

06-21-11, 06:57 PM
Hearse enthusiasts will kill you over that stuff more then all the skulls.

Joseph Lavender
06-21-11, 07:20 PM
I know, I'm a hearse enthusiast too though. I just happen to also like ghostbusters.

06-21-11, 10:00 PM
Flower cars are rare, and VERY valuable. In any given year, the coachbuilders produce only a few (sometimes none) of these specialty vehicles. As I said in the classic forum, its yours to do with as you wish, but its true value lies in it being original. It looks like it might have originally been Kensington Green.

Joseph Lavender
06-22-11, 12:23 AM
Flower cars are rare, and VERY valuable. In any given year, the coachbuilders produce only a few (sometimes none) of these specialty vehicles. As I said in the classic forum, its yours to do with as you wish, but its true value lies in it being original. It looks like it might have originally been Kensington Green.

I agree with you totally.

I don't really ever intend to sell it, not as is. and not as it would be if I was ever done with it.

The guy who sold it to me said it had sat in his yard for 2 years, a few kids wanted to buy it to use as transportation for their band.. but their parents wouldn't go for it. I'm fairly sure it would have sat there and rusted until it was no longer salvageable. I'm not planning to do anything to it that can't be undone or that wasn't already there.

Not cutting tables and rollers out or any of that nonsense. There's already 8 screw holes in the top, from that luggage rack the previous owner put up there. I've seen some people do some "crazy" stuff to coaches in ridiculously awesome condition. That really irks me. I don't mind people taking old junkers and doing what they want with them, especially when the car's future wasn't a bright one anyway. I'd rather see it on the road painted bright pink, than on its way to the crusher or sitting in a field somewhere rotting away.

06-22-11, 01:28 AM
ugh it does not even look close to the ghostbusters one. There are already 50k ghostbuster wanna be hearses and wagons out there and very few are even close to the right year. A few people have yelled out to me while driving around if I am planning to ghostbuster it out and I shake my head and sometimes correct them on the year and sometimes ignore them. please don't mess up a hearse by that. they are cool by themselves.

Joseph Lavender
06-22-11, 06:25 AM
I mentioned earlier that I realize that its not the same year/model. I usually don't even mention it, because I know I will get flack for it... (why? I don't know.. its my car, that I paid my money for, to do what I want to with it.. ) I think alot of the paint jobs, and weird stuff people do to their cars looks outright "dumb" sometimes. But I just move along. If they are enjoying their ride, I honestly don't care what they do to it. You are not telling me anything I have not already heard 10x over. I understand where you are coming from, and I get it.. I'm sure I've seen nearly all the "non 59 replicas" that exist.. there's a thread on forums I go to that keeps track of them. There's not nearly as many of them as you think, and MOST of them are shriners.. which makes perfect sense.

I guess I could just go ahead and send it to the crusher.

06-22-11, 07:15 AM

Post on forum of enthusiasts, receive opinions, take personally, make radical statements to troll others.

The cycle is complete.

Joseph Lavender
06-22-11, 07:53 AM
Indeed it is.

06-22-11, 08:51 AM
Meh. To each his own. An old hearse in the hands of a private owner is destined to be a spectacle regardless of what you do with it. Might as well make the most of it. The Ghostbusters movies are so old now that most people wouldn't recall what that car was based on. Actually, the average joe (read: non Cadillac enthusiast) wouldn't know what it was beyond the fact that it was big and white.

06-22-11, 09:07 AM
I take the same view as Joseph Lavender. It's his car and if making a ghostbuster car is what he wants to do with it, especially as a way to enjoy time with his son, then that's great. I can see the beauty in keeping something original but I can also see more beauty in someone being able to enjoy their car the way they want to enjoy it.

Joseph Lavender
06-22-11, 09:32 AM
Yeah, like I said I already "knew that" going into it. I love hearses as vehicles just like any other hearse enthusiast. If this thing was in better shape, I know I would have kept it stock. I actually spent some time trying to convince someone to not do this very thing to a NICE pontiac Bonneville ambulance. It was in near immaculate condition.

But at the end of the day, it was his car to do with it as he pleased.

This a project for myself and my son. Thats it. If others get a kick out of it, then cool. If not, I will enjoy riding around in it with him. How many dad's do stuff like this with their kids these days?

06-22-11, 08:12 PM

You are most correct. And if you and you son enjoy your time together with it, all the better.

06-22-11, 09:07 PM
Doing a Ghostbusters replica wouldn't be as destructive as most of the other modifications people do to hearses (you've all seen the one with the Volkswagen welded to the roof). It's a paint job and some useless crap on the roof that a father and son can enjoy together. Everything is reversible, and when the kid grows up and doesn't think the Ectomobile is cool, they can spend time, together, making a proper funeral coach out of it.

cadillac kevin
06-22-11, 10:02 PM
you guys need to lighten up. its not like hes destroying a mint hearse. its seen better days and if fixing it up and making it into an ectomobile makes him and his son happy and become closer because they get to spend time together working on an old car , then by all means go for it. its not like hes destroying the car, just customizing it. besides its another cadillac being kept on the road (considering if he hadnt bought it, the prev owner would have either let it rot away or crushed it)

06-23-11, 12:20 AM
Never knew it was called the ectomobile.

cadillac kevin
06-23-11, 12:31 AM
ecto-1 is what the original car is called. ectomobile... well its late and I misspoke (although I do kinda like that name)

06-23-11, 01:32 AM
Never knew. Just called it the ghostbuster's car.

Joseph Lavender
06-23-11, 08:25 AM
lol Both terms are correct.

I COULD be one of the ones tracking down 1959 cadillac's to turn into an ECTO clone. You know, the holy grail of hearses/ambulances.. that are super rare to even find now..

This is just an old junker that would have rotted otherwise. This is going to be my take on what it would look like had it actually been a 70's hearse instead of the 59 caddy. In the original script, the ECTO 1 WAS a late 70s/early 80s hearse, not an ambulance.

The only modifications I am making to it, is a paint job.. some vinyl logos that will easily come off, and putting some useless scientific junk on the top. The guy before me had already screwed a steel luggage rack to the top.. so part of the work was already done for me.. and easily undoable.