mystery switch??

Started by Chad Oolman, October 27, 2010, 12:14:24 AM

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Chad Oolman

I have a 1959 Formal Limousine that is nearing the end of it's restoration.  My brother-in-law is taking care of a few wiring issues for me including trying to figure out what one of the switches in the rear compartment controls.  On the passenger side, rear seat, there is a small double switch just above the divider window and power window controls.  One of these switches turns on the reading lamps.  The second switch does not apear to do anything.  Can anyone tell me what it is suppose to control?


Chad, do you have a pic of the switches?  Are they possiblly left and right reading light switches?
Jim Jordan CLC# 5374
Oklahoma City, OK

55 Series 62 Sedan
56 Series 62 Coupe
56 Fleetwood 75 Derham Limo
59 Fleetwood Sixty Special
66 Fleetwood Brougham
66 Superior Hearse/Ambulance
67 Fleetwood Sixty Special
68 Fleetwood Eldorado
76 Coupe de Ville d'Elegance
90 Brougham
92 Fleetwood Coupe
93 Allante
94 Fleetwood Brougham
02 Eldorado Commemorative Edition

Tim Pawl CLC#4383

Is it the rear seat activated power door lock switch?  I believe the door locks were vacuum controlled. Someone may have disconnected vaccum line to rear door locks (often the source of rough engine idle if leaking) and therefore you would have no door lock action when switch is activated.   I have seen on some formal limosines a single "front door style" key lock on the rear passenger side door, it was keyed different than the front doors......hence allowing the owner to keep even a chauffer out of the rear compartment.  I believe the power door lock was also separate from the front power door lock controls.  It is worth a look. 

Chad Oolman

I wondered about the left and right reading lamps as well.  But the other switch controls both reading lamps.  The mystery switch is conected to a wire that runs to the front of the car, underneath the dash, below the headlight switch.  The headlight switch also turns on the dome light in the rear, so we are assuming that this mystery switch is suppose to turn on the dome light, but it doesn't.  We know the wire is good, we used a meter to test it.  We also know that the switch is good because we hooked up the reading light wire to it and they worked as well.

Basically, we can not figure out for sure what this switch is suppose to do.  If it is for the dome light, why does the headlight switch work to turn it on and the mystery switch does not?

I have attached a photo of the switch I am talking about.  All the limousines I have seen from the mid fifties through the mid sixties have this switch.  Any limo owners out there that has one still working?

Thanks for your help!


Nobody has the owners manual?

TMoore - NTCLC

I don't own a limo of this period, but I wonder if it could be an override switch to DISABLE the rear compartment courtesy lights so that the rear occupants could maintain privacy when the courtesy lights come on?

Just a thought -

I am sure some owners will chime in with the correct answer.

T. Moore

The Tassie Devil(le)

If nobody knows, then I would be doing some tracing of the wiring to see where it goes to.

Only got to remove the switch and trace the wires

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe


no mystery it's the on-off switch for the two round rear reading lights.  The two switch panel operates the overhead dome (left slider switch) and the other controls the on-off of the two reading lights.  If your car doesn't have reading lights I would suggest someone may have replaced the headliner and removed them.   The wiring is probalby still there.  - Tom