The Broadmoor Skyview was built by Superior Coach of Lima, Ohio on a Cadillac commercial chassis. Production of six 1959 Skyviews have been verified. All were delivered to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they replaced a fleet of 1955 and 1956 S&S Cadillac observation coaches as VIP transportation.
To amortize development costs, the Skyview shared a body shell and chassis with higher-volume Superior ambulance and Royale hearse models. Dimensions were generous; a 156-inch wheelbase and a 251-inch overall length provided stretch-out comfort and a limousine-style ride. With all the eye-catching beauty of the 1959 Cadillac, plus wide-opening doors and plenty of interior room height, the Skyview offered executive transportation for eight Broadmoor guests plus luggage. Plexiglas observation roof panels provided for an extraordinary view. Leather seating was standard, along with power steering, power brakes, a 390 cubic-inch V8 engine and gold-plated 'Broadmoor' emblems on those iconic 1959 fins.
This Broadmoor Skyview example made its debut at the St. Johns Concours in 2012. Although restoration was completed in 2005, it had not been previously shown.
The Broadmoor Hotel of Colorado Springs, Colorado was founded in 1918 by Philadelphia businessman and land speculator, Spencer Penrose. Mr. Penrose set out to build a resort that that would rival Europe's most prestigious destinations. The Broadmoor was soon a favorite destination for the world's elite, regularly hosting the upper echelon of society, including top government officials and celebrities.
Mr. Penrose wanted his quests to be escorted from the airport to the hotel in style. He wanted the guests to be given tours of the surrounding area and enjoy its beauty in the finest of luxury. To accomplish this, a fleet of Cadillacs was put into service as part of what was known as the 'Gray line Touring Cars.' The fleet consisted of ten 1937 Series 75 Cadillac Limousines with special roll-back canvas tops, four special built 1938 Cadillacs capable of carrying fifteen passengers, and two1942 Cadillac Series 75 Sedans. The cars ran from dusk till dawn, transporting passengers up and down Pikes Peak, Cheyenne Mountain, and throughout the Garden of the Gods.
In 1955, the Broadmoor was seeking more modern vehicles, so they enlisted the funeral coach manufacturer S&S to create six new Cadillac limousines, named the Broadmoor Skyview. They featured four large longitudinal plexiglas roof panels. In 1956, two more S&S Broadmoor Skyview models joined the fleet.
These specially built Cadillac's served the Broadmoor for several years. In 1959, it was decided that it was time to replace the 1955/1956 cars. This time, the Broadmoor commissioned Superior Coach company of Lima, Ohio, to build a new model. Superior decided to use a modified version of the chassis and body shell from their production professional cars, the Superior ambulance and the Royale hearse.
Six 1959 Cadillac Broadmoor Skyviews were built, all wearing the model number 666 on the body tag. Power was from a 390 cubic-inch V8 engine, the wheelbase measured 156-inches, and they had an overall length of 251 inches. All of the cars were equipped with power steering and power brakes. They were given GM's tallest windshields, which allowed for more interior room and more headroom. The roof consisted of 3 large rectangular plexiglas panels that spanned the entire length of the car. They differed from the 1955/56 models, which had large sections of steel in-between the smaller plexi panels. The 1959 Skyview roof panels were separated by thin chrome support, which were not as obtrusive as on the prior models.
The 1959 Broadmoor Skyviews had seating for up to eleven passengers one four leather stitched rows of seating. The cars were given emblems bearing the Broodmoor Skyview name, the most notable emblems include the gold plated Broadmoor Skyview logo on each of the cars fins, in addition to an emblem on each of the interior door panels.
Just six examples of the 1959 Cadillac Broadmoor Skyviews were built, however Superior made two additional model number 666 bodies that were to be used for an unknown purpose. Those two non-Broadmoor Skyview models no longer exist.
This particular example is body number 8 of the 8 produced, making it the very last Broadmoor Skyview to be built. It is believed to have remained in service at the Broadmoor Hotel until the early 1970s. On service records, this car is referred to as number 197 - the number 197 is marked on the back of the car's rear view mirror and on its gas cap.
After its shuttling duties were over at the Broadmoor, it appears to have been purchased directly from the Hotel by George Reichert, of Mansfield, Ohio. Mr. Reichert would keep the car in his collection until 1978, when he sold the car to a collector in Branford, Connecticut. It remained tucked away in the collection until its recent discovery.
The car was well cared for by the Broadmoor, and this treatment was continued while in the care of its two long term owners. It is a well-preserved vehicle in exception condition. All of the original Broadmoor Skyview specific pieces appear to be in place. The current owner began a mechanical refurbishment, as it had been sitting for a long period of time. The engine was removed from the car and anything in need of attention was either rebuilt or replaced with factory correct parts. New 4-inch wide white wall tires were installed.
It appears the car may have been repainted in its original red/white combination, of which all of the 1959 Cadillac Broadmoor Skyviews were dressed.
This car, body number 8, is thought to be one of the most original and complete examples left. The other five cars are all said to still exist and occupy some of the greatest museums and collections.By Daniel Vaughan | May 2017