In 1848, an enormous gold discovery in the Sierra Nevada mountains initiated the California Gold Rush of 1849. By 1852, San Francisco, with its natural harbour, had been transformed from a sleepy outpost into a world class metropolis, the "Gateway To The Gold Fields". Over the next two decades, grand houses and hotels were built, but the finest opened its doors in 1875. Towering seven stories above what was then a dusty frontier town, the Palace Hotel was billed as the world's largest and most luxurious hotel. With beautiful vaulted ceilings, ornate gilding and Austrian crystal chandeliers, the Palace reflected the elegance and glamour of nineteenth-century high society. Sustaining significant damage from the earthquake of 1906 and the subsequent fires, this grand hotel was quickly rebuilt and remodelled and was back in business by 1908. The stunning Garden Court, with its stained glass ceiling and marble columns, is San Francisco's only interior landmark. The history of the Palace mirrors that of the City itself, rising phoenix-like from the ashes. Now part of the Sheraton hotel chain, the Palace's most recent restoration was completed in 1991 at a cost of $160 million.



The S.F.B.B.C. chose to honour the Palace Hotel as a symbol of the wonderful hospitality provided by the City to millions of visitors over the years. The 1938 Cadillac 60 Special was selected as 2001 Club model, as a hotel courtesy car to pick up VIP's at the train station or to take them to important meetings across town. This classic four-door beauty is done in a pale yellow gloss with leather brown interior. The Palace Hotel gold crest and name appear on the doors and the model is accompanied by a chauffeur figure by Arttista Models, dressed in brown, standing next to a set of luggage and a golf bag. Other details include yellow California license plates reading "CALIFORNIA SFBBC" and "S.F.B.B.C. 1 of 200" cast into the baseplate. 200 S.F.B.B.C. specials were produced.


You can find many other Brooklin stories on the fourth edition of the Brooklin Models Collectors Guide. Click here