Eagle Coach Corp. -1972-1976- Phaeton Coach Corp. 1977-1982 - later American Texas International Ltd. -1983-198?- Dallas Texas


   

Phaeton specialized in Lincoln conversions although they also would stretch Cadillacs as well.

Not to be confused with the Eagle Coach Co (Accubilt) of Lima, Ohio (1981-present) or the Eagle Coach Corp. of Brownsville, TX an RV Manufacturer.

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By 1977 Eagle Coach Co. of Dallas, Inc. had become a subsidiary of Phaeton Coach Corporation. Other subsidiaries and divisions included Phaeton Sales Corporation, Phaeton Export Corporation, Phaeton Limousine Service, Eagle Coach Sales Corporation and Southland Sun Roof Corporation.

There were three series of Limousines offered by Phaeton this year. The "Presidential" Limousine on a 36 inch stretch, the "Formal Sedan" with a 14 inch stretch and the "Princess" Executive Limousine with a 8 inch roof stretch.

The 1977 Phaeton "Presidential" Limousine.

Built with a 36 inch body stretch this "Top of the Line" limousine came standard with a vinyl padded roof, color-keyed headliner and trim, heavy duty suspension, Phaeton emblems and nameplates and the full rear facing center seat.

Referred to as the "Pullman" design this seat provided full 9 passenger seating in complete comfort. "Careful attention to detail insures perfect match in upholstery and trim to standard factory interior." So, even while this was considered their top of the line product it is amusing to read that the conversion was done with as little deviation from the standard production Lincoln interior as was possible.

Retrospectively it can be seen that what Eagle was attempting to do with this was to place the "Executive" length limousine into the hands of the livery and funeral trade in a manner which would permit more passengers than in a car with a rear console.

For livery service a Eagle limousine with the pullman seat could be hired by a larger number of teenagers wanting to arrive at the Senior Prom in something "more" than a production Cadillac 75 9-passenger sedan. For the funeral trade the pullman seat provided easier entry/exit for the grieving family than that provided by the Cadillac 75 limousine.

As history progressed this trend was accomplished even further by moving the rear console from the center and off to one side, creating curved center seats and extending wheelbases even further than the 36 inch standard set by Lehmann-Peterson in the '60's, thereby increasing passenger capacity from 9 to 12, 14 and sometimes even much higher numbers.

The limousine could also be ordered with a center console in leiu of the Pullman seat, thereby 'upgrading' the car a notch or two. This console housed the color television with remote power antennae, the rear stereo or quad radio and tape system, the digital clock, air conditioning vents, controls for the air, heater and power chauffeur divider, along with the control for the power moon roof, if ordered, and a concealed beverage service center.

The top of the console provided a center padded arm rest [photo on right] which could be lifted and extended [photo on lift] providing access to the illuminated compartment for beverage decanters. [Talk about a liquid lunch in-transit.]

The arm rests to the outside of the seats contained compartments for leather covered goblets [photo on left] and a fully insulated ice service with self contained drain system. [Photo on right.] If a executive had to be stuck in traffic he might as well have liquid refreshment at the ready.

The Suggested list price for the model PL-36 Phaeton Executive Limousine was $14,000 above the standard Lincoln Continental MSRP. Ordered as a "standard" executive model the price would be $23,636.

If the customer began adding options the price could easily run to $30,000+. The list of options include: [suggest list prices included.]
Moondust or Diamond Fire Paint [$300]
    Mark V Style Deck Lid [$600]
        Custom Coach Roof [$650]
            Complete Re-paint/Change of Color [$1,500]
                Rear Opera "Gangster Style" Window [$400]
                    Power Moon Roof-Front Mounted [$1,350]
                        Power Moon Roof-Rear Mounted [$1,500]
                            Chauffeur Divider Power-Window [$1,200]
                                Rear Air Conditioning and Heat System [$820]
                                    DeLuxe Bar Console {36 and 14 inch stretch only} [$2,200]
                                        Custom Bar Console {36 and 14 inch stretch only} [$1,800]
                                               Rear Quad Radio and Tape System [$700]
                                                    Walnut Window Sills [$650]
                                                Mouton Fur Carpeting [$1,000]
                                            Mouton Fur Carpeting {passenger area} [$600]
                                        Mouton Covered Floor Mats [$150]
                                    Secondary Dome Lamp/Reading Light [$125]
                                Vinyl Deck Lid Cover w/padding [$100]
                            Fog/Running Lamps {Rolls style} [$100]
                        Burgler Alarm {Siren, not horn} [$200]
                    Flag Or Pennant Stachions {2} [$100]
                Phaeton Landau Irons {For Opera Window mounting} [$130]
            Limousine Landau Irons {For Limousines with Opera Windows} [$130]
        Phaeton Limousine Vogue Wide WSW Tyre 500 {5-Exchange} [$500]
    Two-Way Intercom {Color-keyed higher quality Bell System Type Phones} [$400]
Coach Lights [$120]

(Plus, as the final charge, a $450 New Car Preparation and Conditioning fee, which included complete make-ready, under-coat, waxing and polishing. New Car Prep could be deleted, but it would release Ford Motor Co. and Phaeton Coach from all claims.)

Its easy to see that the Presidential Limousine pictured above did not cost the base $23,000.

From some quick figuring on what I can see the car pictured above has, including the Deluxe Bar Console, it would have come in at a minimum of $33,226. Or, more than three times the cost of the standard Lincoln Continental.

Still. If you're going to be driven around in anything less than the direct decendant of Lehmann-Peterson Executive Limousines, the 1977 Phaeton Presidential Limousine could well be the car to do it in.

The 1977 Phaeton Formal Sedan Limousine.

With a suggested list price of $6,000 above that of the standard Lincoln Continental the Formal Sedan Limousine came equipped with a 14 inch wheelbase extention, New Full Padded Vinyl Roof and New Color-Keyed Headliner and Trim. Available with all the options as on the Presidential Limousine this model still offered a $8,000 savings.

I do not know if this model came equipped with any center seating, but I would probably not have ordered them if they were available. Still, the Deluxe Bar Console with the television and beverage service was available, as was the Power Divider Window, Custom Coach Roof, Gangster-style back glass and "unlimited" leg room.

The 1977 Phaeton 'Princess' Executive Limousine.
Designed for the individual who demands luxury and elegance {but at a price which is actually lower than some standard 4-door sedans.}

"8 inch roof extension with custom rear quarter opera windows and heavily padded vinyl roof creates the Phaeton 'Princess' Executive Limousine." states the sales literature copy. "Designed originally for the daughter of a King {Hence the name 'Princess'} this model is the lowest price limousine in the world."

With a suggest list price of  $12,636 it was just $723 less expensive that the $13,359 Cadillac Seville in 1977. I would be hard pressed to find any other American Made sedans [other than the 75 series Cadillacs] which retailed for less than this "lowest price limousine.'

The rear limousine style opera window was standard on the Princess, as was the beautiful sculptured Mark I style deck lid. The Mark V style deck lid was available as a no-cost option.

This limousine could be ordered with a Power chauffeur divider window, a mini-bar [$900] rear air conditioning, intercom phones and 'most' features of the Presidential model were available.

The rear air conditioner, when ordered, was ducted through the extended side pillars and the unit was built into the rear fender shell to avoid any loss of trunk space.

A rather unsual limousine, to be sure.

New for 1977!
Lincoln Versailles Limousines and Formal Sedans.

On April 15, 1977 Phaeton Coach Corporation sent out letters announcing the immediate availability of the Phaeton Presidential {36 inch stretch} and Formal Sedan {14 inch stretch} Limousine conversions on the new Lincoln Versailles chassis.

Unfortunately, that is all the information I have. I should note, however, that the base prices given above were new reduced prices for the Phaeton line-up. Phaeton Coach stated "expanded production facilities and increased volume have enabled Phaeton to realize considerable cost reduction in the production of the limousine models and thus [Phaeton] are very pleased to announce price reductions on the base conversion prices.

Perhaps someday soon I shall have the missing information on the Versailles Presidential Limousine by Phaeton Coach Corp.

 

    For more information please read:

The Professional Car (Quarterly Journal of the Professional car Society)

Gregg D. Merksamer - Professional Cars: Ambulances, Funeral Cars and Flower Cars

Thomas A. McPherson - American Funeral Cars & Ambulances Since 1900

Carriage Museum of America - Horse-Drawn Funeral Vehicles: 19th Century Funerals

Carriage Museum of America -  Horse Drawn - Military, Civilian, Veterinary - Ambulances

Gunter-Michael Koch - Bestattungswagen im Wandel der Zeit

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Ambulances 1900-1979: Photo Archive

Walt McCall & Tom McPherson - Classic American Funeral Vehicles 1900-1980 Photo Archive

Walter M. P. McCall - The American Ambulance 1900-2002

Walter M.P. McCall - American Funeral Vehicles 1883-2003

Michael L. Bromley & Tom Mazza - Stretching It: The Story of the Limousine

Richard J. Conjalka - Classic American Limousines: 1955 Through 2000 Photo Archive

Richard J. Conjalka - Stretch Limousines 1928-2001 Photo Archive

Thomas A. McPherson - Eureka: The Eureka Company : a complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Superior: The complete history

Thomas A. McPherson - Flxible: The Complete History

Thomas A. McPherson - Miller-Meteor: The Complete History

Robert R. Ebert  - Flxible: A History of the Bus and the Company

Hearses - Automobile Quarterly Vol 36 No 3

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Automobile Manufacturers Worldwide Registry

G.N. Georgano & G. Marshall Naul - The Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles

Albert Mroz - Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Trucks & Commercial Vehicles

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999

 



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