Old cars will never be safe from 17 year olds. I have a Cadillac in my garage that is proof. It was 1997 and near the end of my Junior year, a friend of mine hit me up for a ride home. I was driving a '59 Chrysler that I'd bought months after getting my license at age 16. My buddy lived in the foothills of San Jose on a street I'd only been on once or twice. We made a right onto Fleming Ave. and into his driveway. He hopped out and gave me directions to a road I'd recognize in the direction I was headed. In San Jose, you can always tell where you are if you find the foothills in the east. I made a left back on to Fleming and towards my destination. It was there that I first saw what would become my 1956 Cadillac 62 Series Coupe. It was perfect. Midnight Blue metallic, all the stainless trim, a perfect grill, no rust and the widest whites I had ever seen. I stopped and knocked on the door. You can imagine the rest. I snapped this photo of the car and the second owner on the day I bought it. At age 17, priority number one was to make it a custom. An older friend down in Monterey knew a guy who owned a fab shop and said that we could shave the handles and the badges in an afternoon. I had never welded before, but one of the guys at the shop said he'd teach me. He suggested electroplated washers and what was probably NR-211 (flux-cored welding wire). He had me grind it down with a hard abrasive wheel affixed to a 4.5" angle grinder. I had never used a grinder before. Eventually it was lowered and I had sanded down the beautiful original paint because I wanted it in primer. I thought primer was cool. We all thought primer was cool. I tried to shave the hood ornament and completely warped and sunk the hood beyond repair. I got a replacement but it was rusty. I was learning, but not fast enough for the beautiful old Caddy. The motor went out at some point and I decided on a GM small block. I actually didn't 'decide', it was merely a reaction to needing a cheap running motor. I paid a friend with welding experience to do the swap and it turned out well - especially given my limited budget. I did a bunch more to the car, all while keeping it on the road. At age 18 I left my folks' house and discovered that working on a car in a car port in an apartment is not easy nor is it fun. For 2-3 years the Cadillac was a daily driver/ commuter. I drove it just over 100 miles round trip 5 days a week during that time. At some point I got a modern Toyota truck and the old Cadillac was parked semi permanently in front of a house I was renting 6 blocks from the ocean in Monterey. It killed me to watch it's decline. Eventually I left that house for one with a garage and the Cadillac went into hibernation. Fast forward to this moment. I've had enough. This Cadillac needs life again and I need to undo the haste and sins of my youth.