What Are You Selling? | Miscellany | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » Miscellany

What Are You Selling?

A Hearse by Any Other Name


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


Retired mechanic Paul Szymanowski, who owns the gold 1974 Cadillac with purple tinted windows parked catercorner from the Target at Elston and Logan, says the car has a new engine with only seven miles on it. (The car itself has only 6,700.) He also recently put in a new windshield, alarm, stereo system, and air shocks. Yet it's been wearing those for sale signs for two years now. The problem may be that it appears to be a hearse. The manager of General Motors' Heritage Center identifies it from a photo as a "Superior Sovereign Landaulet funeral car," but Szymanowski insists it's an old ambulance. "If it was a hearse it would have bars on the side to show it was a casket carrier," he says. He drove the car (which he bought from a guy he saw driving it down Western) for about ten years, around the city and on skiing trips. Sometimes he used it as a motel: the back of the Caddy has curtains, a small fan, and light sconces. Sleeping in the vehicle has never creeped him out: "Why would it? I'm not superstitious. It's a car." He's fielded only two offers so far, one for $100 and one for $2,000, both of which he turned down--he's hoping to get around $4,500. Plus, he says, "you gotta find the right person. A normal person, like me."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jon Randolph.

Add a comment