Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: Hotel Shuttles; Then And Now

What a great shot by staxman, of two hotel shuttles at The Lodge at St. Edward State Park on Lake Washington in Kenmore, WA. The vintage one is a 1938 Pontiac stretch sedan, in front of a Mercedes Sprinter. That’s probably the first Pontiac stretch from this vintage I’ve ever seen, but it’s not something the hotel has had around since new.And it’s not quite original either; not surprising, since it’s available for hire by the guests.

I was a bit curious as to what this park and lodge were. It was a Catholic seminary for 46 years, before the state bought it in 1977 and turned the grounds into a state park. The building, designed by architect John Graham Sr., was something of a money pit for the state to maintain, so a couple of years ago it was leased to a consortium that spent $57 million to renovate it, turning two small dorm rooms into one guest room, to end up with 84 new rooms and suites. It’s opened up only quite recently.

hotel image

The Pontiac is available for $250/hour, including the driver, and is not available for airport runs. Here’s what the Lodge had to say about the Pontiac:

One of only a few remaining examples, this 1938 limo was rebuilt in 2008 with a modern drive train and conveniences. It is powered by a 350 cubic inch V8 with a 4-barrel carburetor paired with an automatic transmission. It rolls on red steel wheels with chrome trim rings and hubcaps, and radial tires. The interior features a front upholstered bench seat, rear ‘L’ seat, and back bench seat, privacy roll-up divider window between the front and back, air conditioning, plush seating, pillows, wine glasses, video and stereo system, and a moon roof.

So a restomod, of sorts. This kind of updating is pretty common nowadays with older tourist buses and such, as modern performance, reliability and comforts are expected, especially for that hourly rate.

The Pontiac Silver Streak was a fine representative of Harley Earl design at the time. Engines were either a 221.7 cubic inch six with 85 hp, or the 248.9 inch inline eight with 100 hp. Both were flathead designs. The original wheelbase was 120″.

One wonders how the seminarians were transported to and from the train station at the time.