The Car Wizard started his YouTube channel as a mechanic for Tyler Hoover of Hoovies’ Garage. As a result, the Wizard worked on a dizzying array of cars and has a wealth of experience. Now that he’s stepped into the spotlight, the Wizard takes a closer look at vehicles that the YouTube algorithm doesn’t favor. This time, the YouTuber turned his attention to another classic car. This time it’s a hearse.
A 1974 Cadillac Miller-Meteor is a potential money pit. This custom hearse uses General engines Cadillac Fleetwood as a base. A coachbuilder, Miller-Meteor, then took the rolling chassis and extensively modified the vehicle. According to the Volo Museum of Automobiles, most know this model as the Ecto-1 from the Ghostbusters franchisee.
This hearse has plenty of hidden features that give it more character than the average Cadillac.
What is the ’74 Cadillac Miller Meteor?
In simple terms, the Cadillac Miller-Meteor is a hearse. This particular example on the Car Wizard’s YouTube channel is owned by a friend of his whom he describes as a “funeral professional.” The owner has a collection of hearses, including two Cadillac Sovereigns. For those outside the funeral industry, it wouldn’t make much sense to own a hearse. However, all of these vehicles are long wheelbase luxury sedans with a sedan body. They suddenly became a lot more interesting.
The owner breaks down the levels of the hearse. Their example, a Landow Traditional, was at the bottom of the list below the Olympian, which has a nicer interior and improved lighting. Essentially, Cadillac sold the Miller-Meteor just like any other Cadillac model. Miller-Meteor is not the name of the model, it is the name of the coachbuilder who took a Cadillac Fleetwood body and lengthened the frame by about 26 inches. This particular hearse started life in Colorado.
This one has a Cadillac 472 engine. According to Hemmings, this engine saw a power of 375 horsepower and a torque of 525 pound feet from the displacement of 7.7 liters. This engine replaced the 429. The engine in this car is nowhere near a show car. But as proof of the bike’s reliability, the owner says “it gets us where we need to be” and they didn’t have to do much work on it. The Car Wizard claims that the cast iron engine block has a high nickel content, which means that it hardly wears and ensures a higher degree of reliability.
What mods does the car have?
The front has two interesting changes. Two of the four headlights are now purple and now there are LED strobe lights to hide behind the grille. Matching the purple lights, a rich purple damask fabric lines the rear of the car.
No major adjustments were needed. The car has seen more of a restorative effort from its time in Denver. Painted black at one point when it left the factory, a silver tint was applied. In this era of his life, he went to the Burning Man festival and acted as a taxi. Around this time, the previous owner removed the floor from the car. This had to be welded back in so that the hearse had a flat bed behind it. The owner has since returned the car in satin black, the traditional shade for such a car.
However, construction requires work and like all project cars, additional costs will remain. What is not traditional is the bumper sticker, it says ‘Get in loser’ on it. The owner talks about taking their hearses to auto shows to make people more comfortable in the funeral business.
How is the Miller-Meteor different from other Cadillacs?
The interior is the same as a classic Cadillac. A wooden veneer covers the dashboard and a horizontal speedometer hides behind the wheel. The only thing that differs from a regular Cadillac of that time is the owner’s Bluetooth receiver. The seats and upholstery match those in the back. The seats have no reinforcement, almost like a sofa. After all, the hearse is no different for the driver but for the passengers. What is not standard are the controls for the lights and sirens which are mounted in the middle.
Where the Miller-Meteor differs from a regular classic Cadillac is the maintenance costs. With extra quirky features, the Cadillac has more to maintain. An example of this are the rollers in the flat bath. Built to order so spare cars and parts are rare to come by with these cars. Finding new windows or stainless steel trim is nearly impossible to find. However, some parts, such as door handles and mechanical parts, are all regular Cadillac parts. This hearse is a little easier to maintain. Used only as a hearse and not also as an ambulance and has no heating and cooling in the back. Maintaining this system can quickly become expensive.
Once in the air, the Car Wizard determines that the car needs to rebuild a radiator while the coolant is leaking. There are a few differences between a regular Cadillac visible here. The hearses came with what Cadillac calls commercial wheels that won’t fit on a smaller vehicle. Underneath the vehicle you can clearly see that the vehicle is incredibly long with one long exhaust and drive shaft.