|The 1960 Buick|
|1960 Buick Professional Cars|
|Flxible Professional Cars|
The primary company making 1960 Buick professional cars was Flxible of Loudonville Ohio. Their traditional long wheelbase model was called the Premier. If you look closely, you can see the Buick's sculptured body lines had a tough time flowing smoothly on the extended length.
As a more economical alternative, Flxible also offered the smaller Flxette built on a standard Buick Electra (126") wheelbase. Both the Flxette and Premier were offered as ambulances, funeral cars, or combination units. Surviving examples of any are extremely rare.
|Two new Flxibles at the Ohio factory|
|1960 Buick Flxible Premier||1960 Buick Flxible Flxette|
In 1960 the Comet Coach Co. of Memphis relocated to Blytheville Arkansas, and changed their name to Cotner-Bevington.
This conversion appears to use the production Buick wheelbase (like the Flxette). Notice it uses three portholes, whereas Flxible dressed their units with 4. I believe the raised roof may have been fiberglass, rather than steel, but cannot confirm that.
One authority reports that only 4 1960 C-B Buicks were built, and only 2 survive. That would make this one a rare cookie!
This particular car was offered for sale on a popular online auction site in Nov. 2005.
|Cotner-Bevington (Comet Coach Co.)|
|Ridin' in Style|
|Holy Smokes, Batman! What more appropriate "final ride" for a 1960 Buick enthusiast?|
This rare example of the Flxible Premier funeral coach is owned by Richard Thomas of Atlanta GA. Richard was recently profiled in Hemmings CLASSIC CAR magazine and has a large collection of 1960 Buicks, including several professional cars.
The Premier see here was originally purchased by the Albee Mortuary of Condon Oregon, which used it regularly until the business was sold in 1978. The new owner was the Sweeney Mortuary in nearby Heppner. They utilized the Buick at both funeral home locations for another year before it was permanently retired. Mr. Sweeney admits to having been ticketed once, for driving it at 110mph while traveling between the towns of Condon and Heppner!
Today, this vehicle is incredibly solid and unmolested and still wears its original dark blue paint and maroon/white interior. According to authorities on the subject, only 86 Premiers (long wheelbase) and 110 Flxettes (std. Buick wheelbase) were built. That total is for both ambulances, funeral coaches, and combination units. Those built with full side glass are referred to as limousine style, while units with enclosed rear side windows (typical of hearses) are known as landau style. Richard's vehicle is believed to be the only remaining example of a non-combo hearse in the limousine style.
Note the awkward transition of the upper body style line on these long wheelbase coaches. This is a result of using production front doors and quarter panels, and having to join the body lines by using a fabricated rear door.
This 1960 Buick is believed to be an owner-modified Flxible Flxette. (No, it doesn't have a Chevrolet engine, but I can't explain the bow tie.)
It was offered on a popular online auction site several years ago. Current location is unknown. If you know where this car is, drop me a line.
|COPYRIGHT 2005 by Gregory L. Cockerill. All text contained herein, including interviews/recollections of other parties, is my original work and is owned by me. This also applies to all images of my white 1960 LeSabre convertible. As such, the aforementioned material may not be used without express written permission. Other images presented herein are either from the public domain or used with permission of the owner(s).|