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Projects The Best 1955 Cadillac build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by VonBurke, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. By the way that's a sweet looking California Special beside the Caddy!!

  2. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,454


    Yep, been busy trying to get it to the point I don't have anything to do except drive it...!!!And as far as the Ford...weee-eeeellll, even tho my son has a '59 Caddy...his first GF in high school drove the Ford (Daddy bought it new for her)...and he told her if she ever wanted to get rid of it...well, you know the rest...I'm NOT a Ford Guy...

    Weeee-eeelll, Bill, you're's NOT a California Special...but it is a High Country of only 251 made. See explanation above...son had all the body and paint done on it a year or so ago...and a new interior is sitting in my living room, but he can't seem to find time to finish it gets moved around between the front garage and the back garage...but with him having a new home, a new wife and a new baby...well, one of these days, ya know...!!!

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  3. I love those caps.

    The smoothed rear corners on the bumper look so swell. It makes it look so clean and classy.
  4. Toner283
    Joined: Feb 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,327


    Getting rid of the exhaust openings and the uprights on either side of the original plate location cleans that rear end up just right. when you add the extra little chrome accents it will finish it off very well.

    Loving this whole build.
  5. Silverado85
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 211


    Just caught up with your build from page one. Lot of great ideas. Love the car and you Brother's Cad too. Nice cars.
  6. mad-cad
    Joined: Oct 31, 2004
    Posts: 723


    That rear bumper is the icing on the cake,can't wait to see it down in Moab this April.
  7. KaddyKimber
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
    Posts: 268

    from Denver, CO

    That bumper definitely does the trick for making that rear end look smoother. Its another nice touch that I'm sure many won't realize isn't stock!
  8. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 14,553


    That new bumper is just too kool! I like how you combined the multiple bumper parts
    and they all work together. Most people will not know that they are from different
    Caddys.. That is what kustoms is all about, improving the lines.

    Happy Trails, Mick
  9. Johnny C.
    Joined: Dec 17, 2008
    Posts: 755

    Johnny C.

    The finishing touches look awesome. The car looks killer, it really turned out sweet.
  10. BEAUTIFUL CADDY!!! Spent the majority of my work day reading about it... hope i dont get in trouble :D
  11. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,454


    LOL...I'm not about to tell your boss(es)...secret's safe with me...!!!

    Thanx for the compliment...

  12. VONRUBEN65
    Joined: Nov 3, 2006
    Posts: 537

    from LOMITA


    Little bit of sanding, re-seal the area and spray on some primer...


  13. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,454


    Speakers...6" x 9"...bolted in from the bottom, inside the trunk. I covered the whole package tray with another piece of metal, drilled smaller holes in them so the sound comes up thru...and painted to match the roof.

    The two in the center are original holes...for what I have no idea...

    Thot I had a pic of the finished package tray, but I don't, sorry.

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  14. Roadagent2
    Joined: Apr 15, 2010
    Posts: 243


    To quote Jed Clampett...' wheeeeee doggy, thats a real fine automobile ya got there'
  15. anthonyg
    Joined: Sep 2, 2009
    Posts: 102

    from arizona

    this has been one of the best threads yet, that i have found...great build, no corners cut
  16. Those two center holes are either for a factory rear air conditiong system or a rear defroster system with warmed forced air.

    Or maybe, they are lightening holes for racing and those Bonneville runs where eliminating two pounds of metal from a car weighing thirty thousand pounds would make the difference!

    Looking forward to seeing the car at Stray Kat!
  17. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,454


    I'd suspect they were for a defroster system...the original Cadillac A/C unit was mounted in the trunk and had two clear plexiglas tubes running up into the headliner at the sides of the back window, out of the package tray...

    And Patrick, when I removed the stock heater system -- both motors in the fenders, both small radiators, the endless array of rotten water hoses (at least 6 miles of it), all the cardboard tubes, kick panel boxes, defroster tubes, outlets and controls...I'd bet I took out (off?) at least 75 pounds... I'd think the two stock holes in the package tray metal would only amount to about 12 ounces...not enuff to make any difference at Bonneville...

    I'm almost ready for the SK500...few more small things to take care of and gotta get some miles on that engine tho...hate to have another disappointment...I think I'd have to take it out on my engine builder...!!!

    Oh BTW, thanx for the kudos Roadagent2, kustomlinez and anthonyG...

  18. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,637


    Goddamn, Roger! Changing the bumper exhaust ports would never even be on my radar screen (actually think they're kinda cool) . . . but then, I'm not a custom car builder extraordinaire!!

    Seeing it done, however . . . I mean, this is no ordinary '55 Caddy. It absolutely works! A lot of work for a (relatively) small detail. It is what separates the men from the boys (apologies to KaddyKimber) in the custom world, not thinking twice about spending many hours in the garage on a beautiful, apparently finished custom (that took many hundreds of hours of labor and a few hundred more of ciphering) in order to scratch some damned itch that you perfectionists get.

    All I can say is Wow! Impressive, most impressive. The license plate thing is a serious upgrade . . . and the 'caps! What a beautiful fucking car.
  19. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,454


    THANX's appreciated...but I'm not a perfectionist...I just like my cars nice...

    I forgot to add to the above post that Bill, of BillandLori, in Ontario, Canada, donated the pieces of chrome I needed for below the trunk soon as they get here they're going out to Ogden Chrome for re-chroming...that'll finish off that area nicely. Many thanx Bill...

    And Ogden just phoned me telling me the hood bar is done and on its way back...

    Thanx all,
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  20. resqd37Zep
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,217

    from Nor Cal

    I had to come back aorund for more inspiration. I love the color.

  21. Anytime Roger!! Just glad to have a very small hand in such a beautiful car. Enjoy a season of driving!!

  22. Wow, i just spent the last four hours reading this. I must be a slow reader. lol.
    Thanks for taking the time to do this, and best of luck in your future builds.
  23. Mo$4Ford
    Joined: Sep 7, 2009
    Posts: 116


    Great Too See It Done, Congrats, Beautiful Cad.
  24. old me
    Joined: Mar 20, 2011
    Posts: 108

    old me
    from Iowa

    I found this thread last night and was/am amazed at this build!
    Both the work done on the car, and the time to post pics and to the write up to share with everyone!
    Many thanks to you for all of your work-you've inspired me to get back out and work on my own stuff. I thought at 58, I was about done working on my own stuff, guess I need to re-think things!!

  25. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,454


    Jim, Thanx for the comments...I have a friend in western Iowa that thot age 60 was too old to start on a '60 Chevy wagon...and he's been reading this thread for a while but I don't think he's changed his mind...yet. But the best part is I just acquired a '60 Chevy two door wagon that needs building. While I won't go to the extreme of pulling the body off the frame, I'll pull the front clip off and clean it up good and take care of the minor rust in it. I do have a big blok sitting in my garage,'ll be a hot rod...!!!

    I keep saying age is just a state of mind...but not everyone thinks like I do.

  26. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,454


    The FIRST long road trip.

    Around the first of April it warmed like around here like spring should and I was finally…finally able to take the Cadillac out and put some miles on it. While the weather around here anyway, is always strange, to say the least…other parts of the country had been having a real tuff go of it. In ColoRODo, we’ve had it relatively easy, no crippling snows this year, mild winter with only a few weeks of below zero weather and the roads didn’t get beat up bad. On the first of April, I was able to take the Caddy up to the mechanic and have a new rear pinion seal put in stop it from leaking profusely, it was the stocker and old. At about the same time, I was able to take care of a bunch of small things on the car that didn’t get done in anticipation of driving to Moab, Utah, for the first rod run of the season at the end of April …and Moab is 310 miles (one way) from my house.

    Altho the weather didn’t cooperate 100% the whole month cuz we had some wild temp swings…and some rain and some snow some days, we did have nice days and I finally was able to round up about 200 confidence boosting miles on the engine and it felt good.

    But, the week of April 24th we were getting rain nearly every day and, at the same time, the mountains were getting snow…lots of it…worse part - the two tallest passes (Eisenhower Tunnel , under Loveland Pass, and Vail Pass) we had to drive thru were getting hit hard, every nite. Loveland pass had a record snowfall of over 500 inches (yes, you read that correctly -500 inches ) that’s over 42 feet of snow and it’s still coming down. I was slightly worried about that since it could snow in the mountains as late as the middle of May.

    Thursday morning, April 28th, at 9:00, it was 45 degrees and we headed for the first leg of our trip, over mountains. Neither Dan or I have heaters in our Caddys…we’d removed all of the stock stuff with the intention of putting in Vintage Air heat & cool. Needless to say, that’s one of the last things we’ll put in our cars and haven’t done it yet…!!! The day was bright and sunny so we didn’t plan on any adverse weather…the highway over Vail Pass had been pounded hard this winter and the ruts and potholes were many…but the drive to Moab was uneventful. With only 200 miles on the engine, I didn’t start feeling comfortable with the car til about 2 hours into the drive (up and over Vail Pass). Two gas stops later…I figured out the Caddy was getting 15 to 16 mpg…not great, but not real bad either, especially up over the mountains of ColoRODo.

    Our first gas stop in Glenwood Springs -- $3.99.9 a gallon. That’s my son’s new ’61 Chevy, my Caddy and Dan’s Caddy. With the amount of money we left there, we should own part of that station now.

    Once we got to Moab, we enjoyed some sunny days for the weekend and I got sunburned…but it was cool all three days with the highs only around 60 degrees…and the wind blew constantly cuz Salt Lake City was getting snow…usually it’s a lot warmer in Moab since they are in the valley, but not this year.

    When we take a new car across the state line, we always stop and shoot pix.

    Friday, they take you on a cruise to some local sites…this year it was the river canyon, up thru Castle Valley and to the base of LaSalle Mountain…a 40 mile one way trip…102 cars went this year…and then we stopped at the Moab winery, half way back, for burgers, hot dogs, salad, desserts and sodas. Oh, and to sample their wine if you desired.

    Just to give you an idea of what the river canyon looks like…the rock you see in the back ground is about 800 feet high The river is just below it and you can't see it in this photo. The river cut thru it for thousands of years and we run right along side the river most of the trip. Moab is a great place for hiking, biking and 4-wheeling.

    The show on Saturday was good although the car count was down about 100 or so to 500 cars…but cruising Main Street both Friday and Saturday nites was great and it was packed. People actually line the streets to see the cruising "parade," they'll even bring out their BBQ grilles and make a whole evening of it.

    Dan’s Caddy (and mine and son’s ’61) on the grass in city park…the promoter does not charge admission to see the cars and the park is always packed with spectators as you can see. The Moab Rod Benders, and the participants, via registration fee, give back to the community... since the first event 'April Action' event in 1992, the Moab Rod Benders have given away 54 scholarships to colleges of choice.

    My Cadillac was a big hit and earned a “Grand County Chamber of Commerce” award…it got a ton of compliments...females in particular love the color and interior. Had one gal ask me if I'd trade for her 2009 Cadillac XLR roadster, I said, "Sure, how much difference will you give me?" She didn't think that would be fair and passed on the deal. Too bad...!!!

    The show itself has a wide variety of cars…from a 1902 nine ton, 12 foot tall, 4 cylinder tractor that has a top speed of 2½ MPH to a big wheeled Marlin and a rad Henry J and everything in between.

    On Sunday morn, after a continental breakfast in the park, we are taken on another 'guided tour" scenic trip, this time to Dead Horse Point north of Moab…another 45 mile one way trip. About 80 cars made that one…the way I understand it, Dead Horse point is so named because Indians used to drive wild horses out to this point several thousand feet above the river and then block the exit with tree branches. The point has cliffs on all sides, several hundred feet drop.They’d take them out one at a time and train them…but because the horses could see the river and water down below, and most were there for several days, a lot of them jumped over the edge to get at the water…needless to say, the jump killed them.

    It was windy and cold up there, notice the wild hair. Left to right, friend of my son - Matt, Mandy, my son’s wife, me holding my granddaughter Elizabeth, and Chris, my son, and brother Dan. Needless to say, we didn’t stay long…it was cold…!!!

    We left there at 12:30, headed for our first gas stop in Grand Junction, on the hiway home. The wind was brutal on the Interstate until we got into Grand Junction. Dan was leading, I was running second and Chris was running last. He told us he could see the wind moving our big Caddys all over the highway.

    Once past Grand Junction, the trip back home proceeded to get worse…my Caddy got christened by the road. On Sunday afternoon about 4:00, we ran into rain mixed with snow in Glenwood Canyon, once past the canyon, we ran into snow at the town of Vail…at the bottom of Vail Pass. The pass itself was socked in by clouds and I had a feeling we were going to get really snowed on. We did…Vail Pass was solid snow, couldn't see much more than a block on the way up, it was wet and slushy…once down on the other side, we drove in slush on the highway with plenty of splashback…so much it instantly froze on my windshield (no heater/defroster, remember...???). Had to stop near the Copper Mountain Ski area to Windex it...that almost nearly froze as well. Well, that cleaning lasted all of five minutes when we got back on the highway and traffic was only running about 45 mph, plenty sloppy. It snowed on us all the way up to the Eisenhower tunnel altho not as hard. Once thru the tunnel we again had to stop and unfreeze the windshield so we could see where we were going and no, no one took any pictures cuz it was hard enuff to try to see where we were going and it was cold, let alone try to shoot pix. As we headed down into Denver, the clouds lifted, but it was still gray and cold…when I rolled the Caddy into the garage at 7:30 PM, it was only about 50 degrees…

    I went out on Wednesday to wash the car, expecting to find some road rash, but surprisingly I didn't...not even one rock chip on the hood or took me 5 hours to get the crud off the was dirty.

    What happened to Spring…??? In ColoRODo, ya just never know when and where it is…!!!

    FWIW, the cost of gasoline is going to keep me around home a lot this summer…the highest I paid was $4.25 a gallon in Copper, and the trip to Moab and back cost me over $300.00…and that’s a lot of money to simply show off a car…

    But, one thing to look forward to...there's plenty of rod runs and cruises around here in the summer, including GoodGuy's and NSRA and plenty of free events too...every one of them within 100 miles/one tank of gas, in any direction...plenty of places to show off our Cadillacs.

    One more thing, if you're considering going to Moab next April, the final item included in their registration fee is a CD of the whole weekend…it usually shows up in November or December so that you can relive the trip…and look forward to next April.

  27. Ghost28
    Joined: Nov 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,193


    Very cool! I wish I could have been there with you guys it looks like a great time and congrats on your award.
  28. Commer
    Joined: Aug 12, 2010
    Posts: 77


    Beautiful cars in beautiful scenery. Makes my eyes smile!
    Gets you the inspiration to continue the rust cutting...

  29. Double Caddy
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 689

    Double Caddy
    from virginia

    That looked like a fun trip with some adventure. Glad you are driving the Cadillac. I know I love driving mine just not the fuel bills:p.

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