The Magic of Moloney

Posted on April 1, 1983 by John Kilroy, LCT Editor

Page 1 of 2

Earle Moloney, president and founder of Moloney Coachbuilders.
Earle Moloney, president and founder of Moloney Coachbuilders.
It is a difficult task to describe the importance that the name “Moloney” holds in the limousine service industry without stating the obvious. But even those outside the industry and unfamiliar with Moloney Coachbuilders can quickly discover the significance of the firm through even the briefest amount of research...street research.

For example, a visitor to New York recently strode along Central Park South and its host of fine hotels “reading” the limousines lined up at curbside. If that line of cars was a sentence, it would read like this, “Moloney, Moloney, Moloney...”

Of course, not all of them bore the small rectangular plate with the Moloney name...just most of them. The visitor returned to Los Angeles and, exiting the airport, noticed a sleek, gray late-model Cadillac limousine waiting for an incoming passenger. The name of its builder? Moloney.

Moloney Coachbuilders is a genuine coast-to-coast phenomenon when it comes to limousines. The name goes back to the late 1960s when the idea first arose to base a business on cutting Lincolns and Cadillacs in half and stretching them into limousines that have given new meaning to the word “luxury.” The magic of the Moloney name, however, comes not from longevity alone, but from more than a decade of proven quality, consistency and innovation.

Moloney Coachbuilders' manufacturing site in Schaumburg, IL (circa 1983). It is approximately 100,000 square feet.
Moloney Coachbuilders' manufacturing site in Schaumburg, IL (circa 1983). It is approximately 100,000 square feet.

The reputation enjoyed by Moloney Coachbuilders had its origins in a two-car garage and a notion by Earle Moloney, the founder and president, that there was a small but growing market for what would become, basically, a new type of car.

“At that time, I had limousines and saw a void in the marketplace relat­ing to the comfort and the size of the limousines,” explained Moloney. “Particularly, because Cadillac Motorcar Division was becoming restrictive as to what you could procure in a car in terms of optional equipment. So, I did a little research and determined that it was about a 2000-car market and that probably 20 percent of those people were dissatisfied with the only product available to them at the time.”

The first year’s total output was a mere two cars. The second year’s total was eight. Gradually, though, the numbers grew despite a major obstacle pertaining to the price of his cars. Moloney said that in the early years, his limousine would sell for roughly $30,000 while a limousine from Cadillac would cost only $10,000.

“But as the years progressed, we were able to meet Cadillac in num­ber of limousines produced and, today, we parallel Cadillac in prices,” Moloney said.

Moloney Coachbuilders now employs 150 people at its 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Schaumburg, Illinois. Its production will near 700 cars this year. It has distributors across the nation, as well as three of its own service centers (one in New York City another in Ontario, California and one at its plant serving the Chicago area). Two company trucks are constantly on the road delivering cars.

In addition, Moloney Coach-builders is opening a West Coast manufacturing facility in late 1983. Further details in this future plant site will be provided in later issues of Limousine & Chauffeur.

Matt Baines, VP of Moloney Coachbuilders in charge of its sales and marketing programs.
Matt Baines, VP of Moloney Coachbuilders in charge of its sales and marketing programs.

Matt Baines, vice president of the firm, connects the company’s success with its standards of quality. “I think that the company’s growth was due primarily to the quality and the type of craftsmanship we carry out in building the car.

“Quality has always been Moloney’s motto since the day he started manufacturing the cars. He just wanted to build a quality automobile and give the public what they’ve always asked for in a limou­sine,” said Baines.

The devotion to quality is such that Moloney Coachbuilders has taken a newly built limousine and had it crash-tested. “We built a brand new car, took it out to California and we crashed it at a test center at 31 mph. The performance of our product through the barrier test was outstanding. The framework was upheld through the crash.

“Anyone can take a car and cut it in half and stretch it,” said Baines.

“It’s the integrity of the welds and the quality of the coachbuilder that’s so critical.”

Moloney explained his basic philosophy regarding the structural strength of the car in this manner, “We probably take on the attitude of the aircraft industry. Everything is triple-tested.”

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