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Trinity Coach Co.
Trinity Coach Company, 1965-1968; Duncanville, Texas
 
Associated Builders
 
     

When Flxible exited the professional car manufacturing business in 1964, Joe W. Summers, of the Summers Funeral Car Co. - a major Flexible distributor - formed a new firm with Dallas businessman G.M. Fulgham to manufacture Buick-chassised coaches called the Trinity Coach Co. The new firm was located in Duncanville, Texas at 606 Big Stone Gap Rd., just 15 miles southwest of downtown Dallas.

Built with the approval of General Motors, Trinity's coaches featured a full Buick new-car warranty, and although similar in appearance to the National-Buick coaches made from Flxible's old tooling, they were built using all-new tooling exclusive to Trinity.

An easy way to tell a Trinity from a National/Flxible is to compare the window frames. Trinity used stamped, painted window frames while National/Flxible used extruded bright metal (chrome) frames. The angles of Trinity's door and window pillars varied from those found on National/Flxible coaches as well.

Measuring 243 inches end-to-end, extended-wheelbase Buick Electras from Trinity Coach were called Royals, while the standard-wheelbase Wildcats and Electras were known as Triunes. Both models featured all-steel construction with roof bow reinforcements, but Plexiglas quarter windows were a questionable cost-saving feature. 

A small number of high-top long-wheelbase ambulances were also built on Buick chassis. One exists today and at least one other is known to have existed, with estimates as high as 6 built between 1967-68.

Summers had been one of the southwest's largest Flxible dealers and also distributed S & S and Superior coaches from his Duncanville, Texas dealership. Unfortunately he never had the deep pockets needed to successfully advertise his coaches nationally and they were only produced from 1965 to 1968.

Visible from the southbound lanes of I-35, Summers Professional Vehicles is still in business in DeSoto, Texas. Run by Joe's son, Jim, it's located at 615 S. Beckley Ave., just ten miles from its original Big Stone Gap Rd. plant in Duncanville.

2004 Mark Theobald - Coachbuilt.com, with special thanks to Bernie DeWinter IV

 

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Pictures
   
 
   
 
References

The Professional Car, Issue #77, Third Quarter 1995

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Buick

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

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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