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Sayers & Scovill; S & S
S & S; Sayers and Scovill Company, 1870-1876; Greenfield, Ohio; 1876-1942; Cincinnati, Ohio; Hess & Eisenhardt, 1942-1945; Blue Ash, Ohio; 1945-1982; Rossmoyne, Ohio
Associated Builders
Accubilt,  1982-1999; Fairfield, Ohio; 1999-present; Lima, Ohio

William A. Sayers grew up during the Civil War in Greenfield, Ohio. His skill and interest in woodworking and carriage design led him to an apprenticeship with Cincinnati carriage builder G.W. Gosling Co. When he returned to Greenfield in the early 1870s, Sayers entered into a partnership with a young bookkeeper named A.R. Scovill.

During 1876 the newly formed Sayers and Scovill Co. moved 85 miles southwest to Cincinnati, Ohio and set up their carriage-building business at the corner of 8th St and Sycamore St. Production soon exceeded 500 buggies per year and the fledgling firm moved to a larger 100,000 sq. ft. plant on Cincinnati's Colerain Ave. in 1887. Here they built their popular "Young Men's Buggies" and commercial wagons which included a number of attractive hearses and invalid wagons.

Sayers & Scovill introduced the nationís first gasoline-powered automobile ambulance at the 1907 Chicago Automobile Show to show off their new 1-1/2-ton COE truck chassis. The popular truck featured a 27 hp 4-cylinder Carrico air-cooled engine, Timken chain drive, and semi-elliptic springs front and rear. Capacity was eventually raised to 2 tons and water-cooled 6-cylinder engines replaced the original air-cooled four.

Production of the truck continued through 1912 when they introduced their first production motorized funeral car.  Initially both horse-drawn and motorized vehicles appeared in their catalogs. The S&S motorized chassis was designed from the ground up as a professional service vehicle just as the S&S  trucks, and with its sturdy Continental or Lycoming six-cylinder engine it was far superior to most of their competition. 

Two years later the company introduced the Sayers passenger car. H.K. Reinoehl, formerly of the Allen Motor Company, was the engineer of the new vehicle, and John A. Campbell was its designer.

Starting in 1915 Continental engines were used exclusively for Sayers & Scovill professional cars as well as their Sayers passenger cars, which both shared the same 55 hp (33.75 hp) six-cylinder Continental engine. The Sayers passenger cars' 118-inch wheelbase chassis was extended to 132 inches (and later to 136, 140 and 143 inches) for the S&S professional cars.

From the beginning, Sayers and Scovill were advocates of the very conservative 12-column carved-panel hearse which was produced through the 1920s. In 1916 they also offered more modern-looking limousine-style combination coaches, ambulances and pall-bearer cars. For 1917 they introduced a more subdued carved-panel hearse with only eight columns as well as a very attractive pall-bearer's coach.  Their traditional 12-column carved-panel hearses continued through 1918 but not for long as S&S's new limousine-style coaches were becoming more popular with fashion-conscious big city funeral directors. 1917 also saw the emergence of light gray as a popular color for the traditionally black carved-draped funeral coach.   

S&S also built an assembled passenger car named the Sayers starting in 1917 using the same Continental engine that powered their professional cars. H.K. Reinoehl, formerly of the Allen Motor Company, was the engineer of the new vehicle which featured a 118" wheelbase and looked similar to limousines offered by other automakers at that time.  Funeral directors used the new vehicle for personal transportation as well as to transport mourner's to the cemetery. The quality of its John A. Campbell-designed coachwork was equal to that of their hearse and ambulances and soon came to the attention of the press and public alike.

S&S professional and passenger cars shared the same 55 hp (33.75 hp) six-cylinder Continental engine, but the passenger cars' 118-inch wheelbase was extended to 132 inches (and later to 136. 140 and 143 inches) for ambulances and hearses. 1917 production is listed at 100 cars and annual output of the little-changed vehicle never exceeded 200 units. Later limousines reverted to the Sayers & Scovill trade name and were given proper names such as the 1919 S&S Clifton 8-passenger sedan limousine.

Sayers & Scovill large Colerain Ave. plant was destroyed by fire in 1919 and they moved to temporary quarters in Cincinnati's Haberer building until a manufacturing facility at the corner of Gest and Summer Streets could be readied.

S&S's top of the line Masterpiece funeral coach first appeared in the early Twenties and would remain in their catalog for the next 50 years. The 1921 version was a 12-column coach featuring the then-popular two-tone light gray paint scheme and gothic carved-panels backed by glass windows. The 7-passenger Sayer's funeral limousine continued to be a favorite with larger funeral homes and metropolitan livery services alike. They also introduced the Samaritan combination sedan-ambulance in 1921. This seven-passenger sedan featured a pillar-less pair of doors that allowed easy entry for the patient's gurney which rode next to the driver's seat when the regular seating was removed. Another S&S name that survived into the 1960s was the Kensington ambulance. For 1921 this stylish emergency limousine offered Westinghouse shock-absorbers, emergency parking lights, a two-tone paint scheme and beautiful leaded-glass windows on each side of the coach.

A Sayers roadster that doubled as a first-call car was offered in 1921. In lieu of a rumble seat, the smart-looking rear compartment housed a portable cooling board, embalming pump and room for any tools and fluid needed at the home. Directors were also excited about the Sayers 5-passenger Brighton sedan-limousine, a vehicle designed for work and pleasure. In 1922 S&S offered a new 8-column coach in addition to their popular 12-column models.

The 1923 Olympian hearse was a new carved-panel 8-columned coach fitted with a slew of nickel-plated accessories. The Kensington, little changed from 1921, adopted the same nickel-plated look as well. Another long-lived S&S model, the Arlington first appeared in 1923. This limousine-style coach included a wide French-plate beveled glass window similar in size to the leaded glass windows of the Kensington. S&S continued to use an assembled chassis fitted with the dependable Continental Red Seal engine. Optional equipment included comfortable Westinghouse shock absorbers and the hard to keep clean nickel-plated disc wheels.

In May of 1924 the Sayers & Scovill Company announced that it had disposed of all of the Sayers sixes remaining in stock, and henceforth would confine production to hearses, ambulances and funeral limousines. This was obviously a hasty decision, because a few months later the firm was back with another car called the S & S. Unlike the Sayers, however, the S & S was designed almost exclusively as a bearers' car or limousine, with passenger car use being predominantly for Sunday and holiday excursions of funeral directors.

The landau or leather-back funeral coach became quite popular with metropolitan funeral directors and Sayers & Scovill offered a number of these limousine-style coaches in 1925. The typical leather-back coach had a top covered in a synthetic material such as Chase leather, Fabrikoid or Zapon upon which a chrome or nickel-plated faux landau bar was attached. The idea was to give the appearance of a landaulette. A landaulette was generally a formal body with a leather or cloth roof portion over the rear seating area that could be folded back to afford the occupants the pleasure of an open air ride. When equipped with Chrome or nickel-plated disc wheels these coaches looked right at home on the streets of any large city. Another popular landau-styled coach featured a small vertical opera window that was fitted under the front of a smaller landau bar.

At the 1926 National Funeral Director's Convention, Sayers and Scovill exhibited a "Golden Anniversary Golden Car". This exclusive coach featured gold-plated hardware, and an interior trimmed in gold, ivory, and East Indian Rosewood inlaid with Mahogany. Priced at a very steep $10,000, (three times the coast of a normal S&S coach) it celebrated the Golden Anniversary of the firm and only one was made available in each geographic region of the country. It is unknown if any orders were taken, as the only one photographed was the one shown at the convention. 

Leather-back landau styling continued to be popular throughout 1926-1927 and S&S offered various coaches in a number of wheelbases, some built for funeral service and others built as straight 7-passenger limousines. During the 1920s and 1930s synthetic materials such as Chase leather, Fabrikoid or Zapon were utilized in place of real leather. The synthetics were cheaper, easier to work with and held up better to the elements.

More expensive S&S coaches featured landau-bars, spot-lights and stylish Gordon spare tire covers and were now available in hundreds of color combinations thanks to Dupont's new DUCO lacquer. The very popular Kensington ambulances and Washington coaches were fitted with a very wide (48") rear compartment window made of either solid or leaded glass surrounded by a frosted glass border.  Four-wheel hydraulic brakes began to be fitted in 1927 and were standardized by 1928, when S&S vehicles were fitted with a new 85hp eight-cylinder Continental engine and Lovejoy shock absorbers.

For 1929, the company unveiled its extraordinary Signed Sculpture hearse, which had a price tag of $8,500. It featured much publicized cast bronze side panels created by Cincinnati sculptor Clement Barnhorn that depicted the "Angel of Memory". Mounted on a 114hp Continental-powered S&S assembled chassis, the Signed Sculpture coach was a leather-backed town car that featured a removable top, stylish Gordon spare tire covers, and intricate cane-work panels on each door. Every bronze panel featured the signature of Barnhorn and ownership was limited to one funeral director in each major geographic region of the country.

The 1929 line-up included the upscale Washington funeral coach which included a wide beveled glass rear quarter window, walnut trim, luxurious upholstery and heavy damask draperies. The Evanston and Fairview ambulances shared the same bodies but were fitted with leaded glass panes with a tasteful red cross located in the middle.

Trendy Town Car styled coaches were prominently featured in the 1930 S&S catalog and were available as an option throughout their lineup. Ambulances could be order with the latest equipment which included two-way radios, hot & cold running water, rear compartment heat and ventilation, folding gurneys, and built-in medicine and linen cabinets.  Stanchion-mounted lights and sirens combined with cross centered in a frosted, leaded or combination frosted/leaded windows instantly identified them as emergency vehicles. Hearses usually included fine walnut cabinets and moldings with beveled-glass compartment windows backed by heavy purple damask draperies. 

Gently sweeping front fenders graced by spotlights mounted on Gordon-covered sidemounts appeared on all of S&S's assembled chassis. S&S bodies featured a distinctive 5" belt-line molding which was finished in contrasting colors or intricate faux cane-work if desired. Roofs were finished in contrasting DUCO colors or could be covered in padded synthetic leather.

Engine output was again increased to 118 hp in 1931, when syncromesh transmissions and ride control dampers appeared. The S&S chassis featured a new front end treatment which included larger headlights and an updated radiator. Their Signed Sculpture hearse re-appeared as the Masterpiece, and a new sculpture-paneled hearse appeared called the Majestic. It featured a scaled-down version of Barnhorn's Angel of Memory fitted into the space normally occupied by the rear quarter window.   All S&S coaches featured slightly arched window frames and were available in two series.  The Kenwood ambulance and Riverside and Majestic funeral coaches were built on the larger, pricier chassis, while the Fairview ambulance and Clifton and Knickerbocker funeral cars shared the smaller, less-expensive one.

In 1932, a 118hp Buick overhead valve straight-8 engine was adopted as was their new patented extension casket table that gently guided the casket through rear door.  A new coach called the Wellington was introduced for a low $2995 that featured Buick power, a sloping windshield and a choice of side or end-loading configurations. Although Buick power was used, the purpose-built chassis had a wheelbase of 154" and was still assembled by S&S and included a 4-speed synchromesh transmission, ride control dampers, 4-wheel hydraulic brakes and a choice of wire or disc wheels. The sculpted Majestic hearse carried over from last year, but the older Masterpiece was no longer available.

By 1933, the new S&S radiator that had only been introduced two years earlier was already looking outdated. Their circa 1928 bodies were clearly out of date especially when compared to the new streamliners offered by A.J. Miller and Eureka. The sculpted Majestic hearse was still available and the new Mannington funeral limousine was offered for the first time. 

For 1934 S&S took a step backwards and introduced an 8-column carved-panel hearse that featured tiny windows set inside elaborately-carved draperies. Available in regular or town car styles, these hearses included Buick engines on S&S's assembled chassis that included skirted front fenders with integral side-mounts that looked out-of-place on this old-fashioned vehicle.  They continued to produce their popular limousine-style funeral coaches and ambulances that looked little different from their 1930 models.

The Corinthian was Sayers & Scovill's response to Eureka's and A.J. Miller's Art-Carved funeral coaches. Mounted on a Buick chassis, it was a rear-loader with sculptured columns and draperies made from stamped sheet-metal, attached to the brand-new S&S streamlined beaver-tailed coach. Other 1935 models were built using the same body mated to either an Oldsmobile or Buick chassis. A few older S&S assembled chassis remained and were fitted with the circa 1928 S&S bodies in either limousine or carved-panel styles.

The Bizarre and very ugly chrome-plated bars and triangular moldings placed on the grills and hoods of Sayers & Scovill vehicles from 1935 until 1965 are commonly known as "date marks". Used to disguise the exact year & make of a chassis, period S&S advertising proclaimed "No 'Year Marks' To Date It!" The new for 1935 mid-priced Oldsmobile-based Sayers Arcadian was the first vehicle to feature the stealthy chrome S&S trim. Although it used Olds sheet-metal, all GM badging was deleted. It used S&S-branded wheel-covers and included a "Sayers" badge on top of the radiator shell. Although I don't fully understand why the practice continued for as long as it did, the company's directors probably though that the marks were a simple way to distinguish S&S coaches from their competition.  

Starting in 1935 S&S started using a new General Motors 160" extended-wheelbase professional car chassis that they bought from Buick. By 1936, most S&S chassis and front-end sheet metal was entirely Buick except for their distinctive Sayers mascot and S&S grill, which was a de-badged Buick unit camouflaged by a series of hideous vertical chrome bars - aka "date marks", a term that was derived from period S&S advertisements that proudly proclaimed "No 'Year Marks' To Date It!" 

Aerodynamic art-carved coaches remained popular, and S&S offered three distinct rear-loading art-carved models on the new 1936 Buick chassis. The nearly identical Alexandria and Corinthian were carryover designs from the previous year, but the Romanesque featured a new lower roof-line and more elaborate carvings on its sides.

In 1937 S&S built coaches exclusively on the straight-8 Buick commercial chassis. The Byzantine was S & Sís new top-of-the-line coach and featured larger and more ornately carved drapery panels than the Romanesque which was carried over from the previous year.  The Byzantine as well as its new companion, the Athenian continued to be sold as dedicated rear-loading coaches. As with many other mid-Thirties carved-panel coaches, S&S's carved panels were also set into the rear doors and were made of large aluminum castings, not carved wood as the name implies. 1937 date marks were all-new. Last year's vertical bars were replaced by a pair of diagonal chrome bars affixed to each side of the otherwise attractive Buick grill. A huge and hideous chrome-plated Sayers insignia was mounted at the front of the hood. As before the Buick hubcaps were discarded in favor of S&S-badged discs and all tell-tale Buick badging was deleted

Inside, the 1937 Byzantine funeral coach was fitted with luxurious burgundy mohair and cathedral-styled walnut trim covering the floor, walls and ceiling. The front seat was also covered in burgundy mohair while the dash and door panels were finished with wood-grained Dinoc. Regular limousine-style coaches were still popular and the budget-priced Manchester hearse and Springdale ambulance were introduced in this year's catalog.

In 1938, S&S switched from Buick to V8-powered Cadillac and LaSalle commercial chassis, an arrangement that would exist through the next century. Their new top-of-the-line Victoria hearse revived the landau or leather-backed style which first appeared in the late Teens and early Twenties. Based on their standard limousine body, the Victoria's rear quarter windows were filled-in and covered by a thick padded leatherette roof that extended across the entire top of the coach. Large chrome-plated landau bars were placed over the filled in rear quarter windows simultaneously giving the Victoria both a modern and a classic look.

The art-carved Damascus was new this year and was available as a town car or a regular enclosed-drive hearse.  It looked exactly like the previous year's Byzantine hearse except that the driver's window featured a new forward-sloping rear-edge with integral mini-coach lamp. As with their other carved coaches, the Damascus was only available as a dedicated rear-servicing coach.  New names graced the rest of S&S's model lineup although they were physically the same as last year's offerings albeit on a different GM chassis. S&S continued the use of ugly date marks, which looked much the same as last years, although the cast metal piece at the front of the hood now flowed into the upper part of the new LaSalle and Cadillac grills. All GM badging was deleted and the wheels were once-again covered with S&S wheel-covers.

In 1939 S&S resurrected the Masterpiece name for an art-carved coach that looked exactly like the preceding years Byzantine and Damascus coaches. The Victoria landau model remained as did GM's commercial V8 LaSalle and Cadillac chassis. A smart-looking flower car appeared in the S&S catalog whose business coupe top flowed gracefully into the rear of the flower box.  S&S also introduced one of the era's first high-roofed ambulances, which was made by raising the existing roof by 6 inches. The additional space could be used to carry additional cots and rescue equipment and was very popular with municipal hospitals and fire departments. 1939-1940 S&S coaches featured the by-now customary "date marks" which were identical to the camouflaging seen in previous years.  

Quite unfairly, LaSalle had acquired the reputation of being a "cheap" Cadillac and was eliminated by GM just as Cadillac released their new Bill Mitchell-designed models in 1941. The new Cadillac was decidedly forward-looking, side-mounted spares had been eliminated and the new Hydra-Matic automatic transmission was available for the first time having been pioneered by Oldsmobile in the previous year. The prow-nosed look seen in the Thirties was gone, replaced by massive front-end highlighted by the now-famous eggcrate grille.  Headlamps were now mounted in, rather than on top of, the front fenders. Equipped with a Cord-like coffin-nose hood the new Cadillacs were noticeably different from their predecessors and set the standard for American luxury during the 1940s.

S&S redesigned their bodies in celebration of the new Cadillac commercial chassis and these new bodies would remain in production until replacements were introduced in 1953. The C-pillars of all S&S funeral coaches sloped gently forward as did the front of the rear quarter windows, however the slope was not as dramatic as that seen on contemporary A.J. Miller bodies. The A-framed front doors of the previous year's art-carved hearses was gone, replaced by the standard vertical B-pillar seen on the rest of their limousine-style coaches. The attractive S&S Victoria was the firm's most luxurious coach. The padded roof and rear quarter panels were covered in "Dreadnaught" synthetic leather and finished off with a large chrome-plated landau bar. The Macedonian was this year's art-carved funeral car and  featured brand-new cast-aluminum carved panels that matched the new body's streamlined contours. The Deluxe service car featured steel stampings in place of the normal Statesman limousine's rear windows. All 1941 S&S funeral coaches were available in two series. The more expensive Superline coaches included fender-skirts (or spats), super luxurious interiors and convenience options not found on the less-expensive Deluxe models. The C-pillars and rear quarter windows of 1941 S&S ambulances did not slope forward like their funeral car cousins and would remain vertical through the 1952 model year. In 1941 S&S left the handsome new Cadillac grill alone, but substituted a new S&S emblem in place of the Cadillac crest at the front of the hood. That subtle change would have been acceptable, but the powers that be decided that a pair of triangular chrome moldings (now an S&S "trademark") be affixed to both sides of the hood. This version of S&S's date marking would remain on S&S coaches through 1947.

Willard C. Hess's grandfather, Emil E. Hess, and Charles A. Eisenhardt Sr. began working for Sayers and Scovill in 1891. Willard C. Hess (1906-2000) began working for Sayers and Scovill in 1930 after graduating from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan. Along with Charles A. Eisenhardt Jr.(1908-1988), another S&S employee, the pair bought an interest in S&S during 1938. The firm's principle owners, all Sayers & Scovill heirs, decided to close its doors at the start of WWII. Willard, his father, and the Eisenhardts, Charles Jr., & Sr. bought the trademarks and assets of the liquidated firm in 1942 and moved it to Rossmoyne, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb, renaming it after their two families - Hess & Eisenhardt.

They kept the S&S trademark and  continued to build Cadillac-based ambulances and hearses marketed as Sayers & Scovill coaches. 1942 S&S coach bodies were identical to their 1941 counterparts, although a new limousine-style model, called the Washington, was introduced in both Deluxe and Superline versions.  Starting in 1942 stylish rear wheel spats with the S&S badge positioned over the axle centerline became available on all S&S funeral coaches as well as ambulances and combination cars.

During the war S&S devoted it's plant to war work and won a number of contracts to build  specialized trailers for the US Army. Most were built in small series and designed for specific war-time duties such as tank recovery and track-laying. With profits earned from their lucrative wartime contracts, Sayers & Scovill moved from Blue Ash to a brand-new factory in Rossmoyne, Ohio, another northeast Cincinnati suburb located a couple of miles away, in 1945.

The only major change to S&S coaches produced after the war was their price. Due to shortages of materials and a pent-up demand for new vehicles it was a sellers market. The 1946 S&S-Cadillac Victoria hearse was advertised at $5,720, a full $2,000 more than the identical coach cost in 1941 and actual prices could go even higher as most post-war vehicles were sold subject to price at the time of delivery. 

1947 S&S Coaches were priced about $1,000 more than their 1946 models and now cost twice as much as a pre-war S&S. Their cast aluminum-sided Macedonian hearse was offered for the last time and proved to be the last carved-paneled hearse built in North America. All S&S Bodies remained identical to pre-war styles and hearses were available with manual or electric casket tables in either side, rear or 3-Way loading varieties. Ambulances could be ordered with automatic transmission and air-conditioning, as well as a variety of different warning lights and sirens.

A 1947 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Seven-Passenger Sedan was spotted in the Hershey car corral a few years ago that was sporting S&S date marks and a Derham-style landau roof. It's likely that its was a standard Series 75 that had been cosmetically altered by an S&S dealer to match a customer's 1941-48 S&S hearse. 

Although Cadillac introduced totally new styling in its passenger cars for 1948, all 1948 S&S coaches were built on Cadillac's Series 76 commercial cowl and chassis that originally debuted in 1941 as the series 75. The new Cadillac swept-side look and P-38 influenced rear fenders would appear the following year on a new Cadillac Series 86 commercial cowl-chassis. While other makers fitted their flower cars with folded faux-cabriolet tops, S&S offered theirs with a practical tonneau that covered the entire stainless steel flower bed. Unfortunately it made the car look just like a hearse with the top chopped off (which it was). Flower Cars look much better with full-sized albeit fake folded cabriolet tops. S&S's landau model, the Victoria continued unchanged from the previous years and featured rearward curving rear side-door windows not found on their regular limousine-style coaches and ambulances.  The whole top including the blanked-in rear quarter windows was covered with a pebble-grain synthetic leather to which tasteful chrome landau bars were affixed that centered directly above the rear wheel spats. For reasons unknown, Cadillac's hood crest and distinctive fender script appeared on all 1948 S&S coaches although the triangular date marks and S&S hubcaps remained.

Cadillac's new Series 86 commercial chassis now equipped with the famous P-38 Lightning-influenced rear fenders became available at the end of 1948 just in time for their debut at the October 1948 National Funeral Directors Association convention in Detroit, Michigan.

For the first time, the all-new 1949 S&S coaches were available without date marks, but they obviously remained a popular option as most surviving S&S coaches have them. The chrome-plated triangles were re-designed to match the curves of Cadillac's new hood and remained unchanged through 1956.

All S&S date marks disappeared during 1957 and 1958, but mysteriously re-appeared as an option on S&S's 1959 coaches. Visually similar to the earlier S&S triangular badging, the new versions were flat and could be found on either side of the Cadillac crest at the front of the hood.

Sayers & Scovill's "Date marks" remained available from 1959 through 1992. Mercifully, cooler heads prevailed and S&S's gorgeous all-new 1993 coaches would not feature them.

The Earnhart - Accubuilt Era

In 1950, Cincinnati, Ohio's Ed Robben bought Armbruster, a Fort Smith, Arkansas-based airport limousine maker. Stageway Coaches, a large Cincinnati-based distributor of Armbruster's products was purchased by Robben from Queen City Chevrolet in 1962.  Stageway relocated to Fort Smith and was now given exclusive rights to distribute Armbruster's coaches. Upon Dobben's death in 1966, Milt Earnhart, his son-in-law, assumed ownership, and combined the two operations renaming the firm Armbruster-Stageway Inc.

In 1973, Tom Earnhart - Milt's son and an a marketing genius - joined the firm after graduation from college and eventually assumed  control of the firm. Earnhart sold Armbruster-Stageway to Carmatex Inc. in January 1981 and a few months later purchased the assets and trade name of the now-defunct Superior Coach Co. from its parent company, Sheller-Globe. 

Earnhart then purchased the Sayers & Scovill business and trade name from Hess & Eisenhardt towards the end of the year and transferred all S&S production to Superior's Lima, Ohio facility which was run by Darrel Metzger, Superior's long-time funeral car and ambulance sales manager, and later on - its president. 

To further complicated matters, Earnhart merged with Northeast Ohio Axle in 1985 and the new firm NEOAX Inc, purchased Carmatex Inc., the same firm which had purchased Armbruster-Stageway from Earnhart just 4 years earlier. NEOAX Inc. (aka Earnhart) now owned Superior, Sayers & Scovill, Armbruster-Stageway (Carmatex), and Northeast Ohio Axle.

NEOAX sold off Armbruster-Stageway to Executive Coach Builders in 1989 but kept S&S and Superior, first renaming it S&S/Superior of Ohio, Inc., then NEOAX Inc. Superior Coaches Div. and finally Accubuilt Inc. in 1989.

During 1995, Accubuilt Inc. moved into a new purpose-built, 175,000-square-foot facility in Lima, Ohio. Accubuilt purchased the Eureka and Miller-Meteor trade names from CCE Inc. in 1999 and moved all Eureka and Miller Meteor manufacturing to the Lima plant. 

In August 2001, Accubuilt purchased the assets of Vartanian Industries, a small shuttle and wheelchair van converter and moved their operations to the Lima, plant.

Although the Miller-Meteor and Eureka names were recently retired, Accubuilt continues to manufacture limousines and professional vehicles for 3 distinct brand names: DeBryan, S&S (Sayers & Scovill) and Superior.

*(The 1973 EMS Systems Act - passed in 1974, implemented four years later in 1978 - required that communities receiving federal funds for their programs had ambulances that met new federal specifications. Three chassis styles meet the criteria and are still in use today: Type I uses a small truck body with a modular compartment, Type II has a van body with a raised roof and Type III has van chassis with a modular compartment. Passenger-based vehicles were purposely excluded from legislation and the last American-made automobile-based ambulance was built in 1978. However a handful of automobile-based ambulances are still made in Europe using Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S-60/S-80 chassis.)

© 2004 Mark Theobald -






The Professional Car, Issue #74, Fourth Quarter 1994

Ron Van Gelderen & Matt Larson - LaSalle: Cadillac's Companion Car

Walter M.P. McCall - 80 Years of Cadillac LaSalle

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

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

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