Motorama Cadillac Town Car open front compartment car discovered by Joe Bortz
I have read a couple stories about this car but still want to know:
Did Cadillac make cars with electric window dividers between the driver's compartment and passenger compartment in the '50s, if so what models were they? Were they made by Fleetwood or outside firms like Hess & Eisenhart?
Did that particular car have a provision for the chauffeur to get out of the weather, such as a vinyl temporary roof that could be attached? Of coruse the Rolls Royces that had this had a slide out metal roof housed under the rear roof, which is why the rear body comparment roof was a few inches higher than the windscreen.
When RM restored it they made it a running car just enough to get up on the trailer, but how much more would it have cost to make it a running, driving roadable car you could take on a trip? Another $100K?
Was it ever in print how much Bortz bought it for or was it part of a package deal (with Biscayne, LaSalle II, etc.) so it's hard to separate it out?
Now comes the politics question: My feeling is that Earl, being from a wealthy family, was naive in thinking 1950s Americans wanted to be reminded of when the chauffeur sat up front exposed to the elements while the rich partied in the warm cozy covered portion out back. In other words, it wouldn't have flown. Or am I reading too much into that as the reason why it didn't get scheduled for production (By the way Rolls was making similar town cars from Phantom Vs and Phantom VIs well into the Sixties even though they wanted to stop making them because of climbing hand labor rates.
Re: Motorama Cadillac Town Car open front compartment car discovered by Joe Bortz
To answer you first question. Yes some factory built (almost all were Fleetwood factory limousines), if not all Cadillac limousines in the 1950's had power divider windows (the limousines with a diver were called "formal" limousines while the ones without a divider were called touring limousines. On up through the early 1980's Cadillac built its' own limousines , which were, like all Cadillacs of those years, as Fleetwood bodied. Flower cars, ambulances and hearses, etc. (designated professional cars) were built by custom makers like Hess.
The "stretch" limousines became popular in the 1980's and were constructed by independents from Cadillac chassis. Lincoln became the preferred chassis for the stretch cars due to Cadillac's going to "unit" construction on most of their models.