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Projects The Best 1955 Cadillac build

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

  1. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Great job, its gonna be an awsome car.
     
  2. mad-cad
    Joined: Oct 31, 2004
    Posts: 723

    mad-cad
    Member

    The 55 'Coop' just keeps getting better and better,love the different body mods ,a true custom allround.
    Hood hinge problem.....on my 56 I had the same problem,turns out it wasn't the hinge mechanism itself but where it attached to the body/firewall, the area where the bottom bolt of the hinge mount screws in was flexing because of a cracked weld ...if that makes sense:D
     
  3. jlouie
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 182

    jlouie
    Member

    WOW!!! Gotta say it's looking great and i will definetly keep checking back on this one. Keep it going, can't wait to see the final product.
     
  4. knuckelhead
    Joined: Jan 31, 2007
    Posts: 210

    knuckelhead
    Member
    from socal

  5. gr8ness13
    Joined: Aug 28, 2008
    Posts: 405

    gr8ness13
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This a awesome build.....!
     
  6. VonBurke
    Joined: Aug 24, 2008
    Posts: 98

    VonBurke
    Member

    All i can say Roger...

    if I ever see this car in person, I may poop a little
     
  7. Nickl
    Joined: Jun 2, 2008
    Posts: 35

    Nickl
    Member
    from Germany

    Hey Roger!

    Updates??
     
  8. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,187

    publicenemy1925
    Member
    from OKC, OK

  9. Roger, I've been wondering how you are coming along with the Caddy.
    It's looking more far out with each passing installment. I like it!!!

    Since the cruising season is nearly upon us once again, will we get to see the car this summer? Do you expect you will have it in Joplin?
     
  10. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,444

    40StudeDude
    Member

    Thanx Ken, yes, the car will be in Joplin in August...matter of fact, I plan on driving the Caddy to an event in Nebraska in mid June and to Salina, Kansas for the LeadSled Nats in late July.

    I just completed the body work (with the exception of the hood -I'll need "professional" help with that as I CANNOT get it to fit no matter what I do to it...!!!).

    So, since Ken is asking, and Nickl and Knucklehead asked previously, how 'bout I do an UPDATE...???

    As most of you have seen in this thread, the passenger's side got done a few weeks ago and put in primer...so we moved the car over and started on the driver's side. In the pic below, there's the last of the original green paint going away.

    [​IMG]

    When that was done, I sprayed some sealer on it (note the expensive masking paper) and proceeded to take care of some small dents...

    [​IMG]

    and of course, match the Lakes Pipe shroud to the passenger's side...doing one is easy, matching the other side is always the hard part.

    [​IMG]

    Once the body was done, I sprayed the final coat of sealer on it and then proceeded to start spraying primer...

    [​IMG]

    Note that it's still up on wheel stands, I've found that it's extremely hard to spray primer on the bottoms of the wheel wells and rockers when the car is only 4 inches above the ground...the spray gun won't even fit under it and it's hard to maneuver it back and forth while it scrapes the concrete.

    And here it is, in it's final coat for the summer (below). Note also that the Lakes Pipes and skirts are not on it in this shot and I've yet to take it down off the wheel stands...also note that I do not have the park light housings built, they'll go in that big hole above the front bumper...also note the stainless around the front windshield is off the car...

    [​IMG]

    I had plans to get the Cad done and drive it to Mick Bryant's Stray Kat 500 event in Dewey, Oklahoma next weekend...and would have made it IF the upholstery guy hadn't called and said "It's YOUR turn." I simply cannot miss that opportunity, so we pulled the front and rear seats and took them over...it's hard to drive without seats...!!! As an aside to that, he and I had previously made a date to do the interior in the Cad in February, in plenty of time to get the car "finished" for the summer. Unfortunately, right after we made the date, he slipped and fell on his snow covered driveway and broke his shoulder...he was in therapy, after they replaced his arm socket, so he was not doing any upholstery work for several months...he is just now back into it...so...

    As it is, I still have a bit of work to do to the Cad -- interior and exterior both, but that won't prevent me from driving it --as I said, the hood needs help, I have the front bumper/grille to finish yet and rechrome and I have the rear bumper to finish and rechrome. The stainless has all been polished already, with the exception of the front seat stainless and that is at the polisher right now so I've got to put that all back on, IF I can find all the clips...!!! I need to replace the front windshield BEFORE I take it on any long distance run...it's not bad for around town cruising, but it's hazy...and old...and of course, replace all the side glass...but none of that will stop me from taking it to local cruises and rod runs.

    We just got back from Moab, Utah on Sunday...went to our first event of the season. We took Dan's 'new' Caddy over and had a ball...I think it was the hit of the show, he won "Kool Kustom," out of 608 cars registered, and the car ran well, so it appears the new engine and tranny will be fine for our long distance runs this summer...

    So, having said all that, I look forward to seeing you, Ken, and all the rest of the HAMBers in Joplin for the drags...and we'll see how good the Caddy can run thru the quarter...

    R-
     
  11. cutthroat corps
    Joined: Apr 24, 2009
    Posts: 43

    cutthroat corps
    Member

    Can't wait to see next chapter
     
  12. buzz bomb
    Joined: Jun 3, 2006
    Posts: 493

    buzz bomb
    Member

    Beautifull work!!! That's going to look amazing!!

    Buzz
     
  13. VonBurke
    Joined: Aug 24, 2008
    Posts: 98

    VonBurke
    Member

  14. gr8ness13
    Joined: Aug 28, 2008
    Posts: 405

    gr8ness13
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Look like it gonna be a sweet ride ... I realy like how the quater panels are looking ..
     
  15. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    Lucky you haven't blown your budget on all that 'expensive masking paper'.:rolleyes: Are you planning on doing the original style two tone? I know your not gonna use the original colors, just curious....
     
  16. LeadSledMerc
    Joined: Nov 29, 2003
    Posts: 4,106

    LeadSledMerc
    Member

    This project is soooo awesome, I can't wait to see it on the ground with the skirts and sidepipes on!!!

    Make sure you post some pictures before you get too busy having fun with it this summer!:D
     
  17. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,444

    40StudeDude
    Member

    That's about the only way I can keep within a budget of any kind...LOL...

    And since you asked about the two-tone, I'm going to share a little secret with you...as I said previously, I study a car, a lot. I like to sit and simply look at it, I like to think I can improve on literally anything on the car (not bragging -- when building any car, you must think outside the box in order to be different), so..with that in mind, let me answer your question with a yes, it will be two-toned...and I've some pix to show you how I plan to do it.

    Here's a pic of my brother's '54 Caddy and another Cad at the Kansas GoodGuy's show, note how each Caddy is two-toned and note where the trim is to separate the colors, how close it is to the rear window.

    [​IMG]

    In order to be "different" (and to confuse Cadillac purists) allow me to show you how to do just that. The first thing you must do is remove the old trim, remove the old paint and throw down some sealer...

    [​IMG]

    Then you get out the MIG and weld up most of the holes, grind them down and skim them with a little Rage Gold...note there is only one hole left.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    NOW we're ready to attach the NEW stainless...let me just say here that very little is impossible when building a car...I didn't like the way the stainless trim was so close to the rear window...it didn't allow much color separation...I took two sets of rear stainless trim, measured one set very carefully in all the correct places and cut all of the pieces, keeping each cut square to the other. I then built four sheet metal connecters to fit inside the trim and assembled them for a trial fit. In the meantime, I asked around to see who was the best stainless welder in Denver...and phoned him. He was extremely busy as he does a lot of stainless polishing, I explained what I wanted, took the stuff to him, he said no problem. It took 7 months to get welded up and polished...I just got it back on April 10th. In essence, I ended up lengthening the trim pieces on each side by about 12 inches, so it goes all the way to the front edge of the trunk. As you can see in the photo below...it will give a lot more room for the top color to come down into the trunk area.


    [​IMG]

    Now all I have to do is decide on the colors...and that'll come soon enuff...

    R-
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  18. Double Caddy
    Joined: Feb 2, 2009
    Posts: 689

    Double Caddy
    Member
    from virginia

    That car is going to look so badass when your done. Great vision and stay out of the box if you go inside someone might tape you in.

    Todd
     
  19. bryan6902
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,137

    bryan6902
    Member

    I knew there was a simple answer to my question! Thanks man, it looks good!
     
  20. LeadSledMerc
    Joined: Nov 29, 2003
    Posts: 4,106

    LeadSledMerc
    Member

    That's a nice touch with the trim!:cool:
     
  21. straykatkustoms
    Joined: Oct 30, 2001
    Posts: 14,039

    straykatkustoms
    Member

    Very Kool idea. Your build is reminding me Of Mercury Charlie's Merc So many mild body
    changes that look like it should be that way, it is going to be hard to find all of them.
    You mentioned about color, I hate that topic when you're trying to decide with one
    color. You have two to fight with, good luck picking the right color it will really set it
    off.

    Next time at the SK500 we will have a game to see if they can find all of the body
    mods. Kinda like where Waldo. ha,ha,ha,..

    Love the updates and looking forward to checking it out in person.

    Very Klassy Kustom.

    Happy Trails,

    Mick
     
  22. Strange Agent
    Joined: Sep 29, 2008
    Posts: 2,879

    Strange Agent
    Member
    from Ponder, TX

    This car is just too cool, and it keeps getting cooler.
     
  23. cretin
    Joined: Oct 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,911

    cretin
    Member

    Cool idea with the trim. Little details like that are gonna have people scratchin their heads.
     
  24. DavidL
    Joined: Oct 6, 2006
    Posts: 82

    DavidL
    Member

    Those scoops look like they rae off a Corvair.
     
  25. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,444

    40StudeDude
    Member

    Hey, hey, hey DavidL...we HAVE a WINNER...1960 Corvair...!!!! YOU win a ride in the Caddy, but you have to get to ColoRODo to collect...

    Thanx Cretin...appreciate it...and the all rest of you that keep reading my build...

    R-
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  26. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,275

    general gow
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    i dont knwo how this escaped me until today, but i am glad i finally found it. nice work so far. makes me wish i was able to go to joplin this year.
     
  27. CadillacCorey
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 111

    CadillacCorey
    Member

    This is an awesome build guys. Love the skirts and the peaks, and the Corvair scoops are definitely different, but somehow they work.
     
  28. Dangler
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 207

    Dangler
    Member

    I just read this entire post from page one. And I must say that the attention to detail and subtle changes that you have added define the word custom. It is hard to make such a popular car stand out in a crowd but, you have done it.
     
  29. Nickl
    Joined: Jun 2, 2008
    Posts: 35

    Nickl
    Member
    from Germany

    Hey Roger!

    It´s been a wile since you last update...

    What happened since the last time?

    greets from Germany
     
  30. 40StudeDude
    Joined: Sep 19, 2002
    Posts: 9,444

    40StudeDude
    Member

    WHAM, BAM, THANKYOU MA’AM…!!!

    UPDATE…

    Well, since Nickl asked for an update...and it's been a few weeks since we last left this saga and I was showing you how to subtly modify the rear window stainless trim to get a totally different look to the top…and yes, the car will be two-toned…although I don’t believe that’s going to happen this year…mainly cuz it’s finally spring time around my neck of the woods…and the Caddy has already been driven to two events…it went to a local show called ThorntonFest on Saturday, May 16th and then to another cruise that nite in another part of Denver…ended up driving the car about 90 miles around Denver from the east side to the west side…but that's not what this update is about.

    Here we are getting ready to head out on its maiden voyage 2009:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see in this photo, the grille got built and placed in…and that’s my brother’s ’54 Caddy waiting to go rod running with me. But, I’m getting a bit ahead of the pictures here…so let me back up.

    Back in January, ‘09, CadillacCoffin here on the HAMB, advertised, well, OK, he started a thread saying he could do one-off custom work…so I PM'ed him and asked if he could do some laser cutting of aluminum. I could see a grille made out of 1/8” aluminum in my mind, and asked how big (wide) he could cut…he replied that lasering aluminum was tooo-oooo easy for him, so the grille idea I had rolling around in my mind just got one step closer to being done. Once we determined how wide I’d need the grille bars, I sent him a pattern from the stock grille of the Caddy and asked for a sample…CadillacCoffin is in Lincoln, Nebraska and he sent the sample back in just a few days….Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, not perfect, but close…but not close enuff to fit like I wanted it to (my mistake, the grille pattern I sent just wasn’t going to work). So I cut it up, added some to it, modified it a bit and sent it back and asked for another sample. He sent a new one back and this time it was perfect. He and I then discussed how I was going to attach it and how I was going to “space” it…he offered to cut “washers” out of the same material for literally no additional charge…such a deal…! I gave him the go ahead on lasering the required number of “bars” I needed -- 55 to be exact, plus the required number of spacers. Little over a week later, a package, weighing 70 pounds showed up at my door…my grille bars and waaaaaaaaaaay more aluminum washers than I’ll ever need. The grille was now into its second phase of completion.

    [​IMG]

    BUT, first I had to modify my stock Dagmars…the original stock egg-crate grille extends behind the Dagmars and the Dagmar is about 2-3 inches away from the stainless grille surround…I didn’t want mine that way…I wanted the grille full width…so a little plasma cutting and a little Mig glueing got me the look I wanted…

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, I closed up the area between the Dagmar and the stainless...gives the grille more of a full width look...and as you see here, I haven’t gotten the Dagmars finish welded yet and rechromed…that’ll prolly come this winter when I tear it apart again.

    So, the week before the event I talked about above, my bro and I worked like crazy to get the grille assembled and in – ya can’t run around with a huge “hole” in the front of the car, that’s just not right…!!!

    The first thing I had to do was to paint all the washers black so they’d “go away” inside the grille, I also had to drill some out so the nuts that held it all together would fit inside the washers.

    [​IMG]

    Once they were painted/drilled, I began assembling the grille…in this pic you can see the seven “rods” I used to hold the grille together and how the spacers worked in between each bar.

    [​IMG]

    In order to make the grille look “satiny”, I had to sand all 55 of the bars -- tops, bottoms and the front sides, (yeah, I chose to make them satin instead of polished. I did each bar individually and then slipped it over the seven rods with a set of spacers in between each bar.When I had about 35 bars assembled, I dropped the whole grille and the 7 “rods” holding the grille together into the holes I drilled in the bumper and added nuts to the bottoms to secure it and make it part of the bumper…I didn’t know exactly how many bars I’d need to be to the hood to complete the look, but 48 bars later it was done. With a little pre-planning, it worked out exactly like I had envisioned it…and the best part of the whole deal: the grille bars fit behind the Dagmars…I had planned on trimming each bar to fit around the Dagmars, but it wasn’t necessary in the long run…unplanned surprises are always the best kind...and the least work some times...!!!

    Here's the look I was after...

    [​IMG]

    The temporary park lites you see hanging out in the open, on each end will be turned into small, round, bullet shaped ’47 Cadillac park lights once I get the filler metal welded in…then again, I just may extend the grille bars to the sides and put the park lights directly below the headlights…guess that depends on my mood when I start fitting metal…!!!

    Now, to the opening wording at the top of this update: “Wham, Bam, Thank you Ma’am”…that means when things go right, they go right and most times they go in a hurry…I’d sanded and epoxy primered all my garnish moldings, dash and package tray in the week before I started on the grille in anticipation of getting them painted…

    [​IMG]

    And, in the weeks before that, I was laying the ground work for the very same thing (gotta think waaa-aaaay ahead some times)…by that I mean deciding what color(s) I was going to use in the interior and on the body…turns out when we went to Moab, for the April Action car show (last weekend of April), I spied a perfectly good looking 1955 Ford over there done in a nice purple and white…I asked the lady that owned it and she told me it was a stock 1955 Ford color…I liked it and since I’d decided on not doing the car yellow, that color would complement the other color I’d decided on. Well, surprise, surprise (another unplanned surprise that went well and just sorta fell into place), when I got back home I asked my local PPG paint supply guy to look it up, “Sure, got it. 1955 Ford Regency Purple, we can mix that in BC/CC. How much you need?”

    About the same time I was deciding on paint, I was designing a logo for a well-known body shop here in Aurora…Thunder Customs & Restorations decided they needed a new ”look” and asked me to do one up for them. They produce some of the best show winners around here, not only rods but restored Corvettes, Mustangs, early T-Birds and Tri-five Chevys and Fords as well… I visited with the owner, Rob, to find out what he was looking for in his new logo…and once we got a good handle on that, I did up a couple of ruffs for his approval and then we discussed my fee.

    Well, needless to say, my mind is always working…I asked if he was up for a trade. I needed my garnish moldings sprayed my newfound color and instead of paying me, a trade would be beneficial to both of us. If a trade works for both people, then no money needs to change hands and when each party thinks they got the better deal…then the trade worked out better than expected. I got the logo done for him right before we headed out for the Stray Kat 500 in Dewey, Oklahoma the first of May. He loved it and wanted me to design a T-shirt utilizing it…he then asked when I was going to bring my moldings in. I told him mid-May and he thot that would be an ideal time. When we got back from the SK 500 (and Mick, I got the worst cold I’ve ever had because of all the rain that weekend), I loaded everything into the pickup and delivered it to him on Monday, May 11th, hoping he could get it done before the event on the 16th I wanted to take the car to. I told him I was in no hurry as I didn’t want to rush his end of the bargain. He called me on Wednesday and said it was all done…I was shocked it was done so soon but he said he “didn’t like debt hanging over his head.” Well, I picked it up and it’s all gorgeous…way beyond my best expectations. Even on my best days, I cannot lay paint and clear like a pro does…it makes the Caddy just that much more “finished”…

    [​IMG]

    In the meantime, while I’m hustling trying to get all the above taken care of, I’d taken the seats over to my upholsterer…I’d asked if he could at least have the front seat done in time to put it in on the 15th so I could drive the Cad to the event. And WOW…!!!...did the seat ever look gorgeous and looks good with the color on the dash and garnish moldings…I picked it up at 8:30 PM Thursday nite…and hurried home to bolt it in…you'll just have to wait for pictures of that until the whole interior gets done...as I said above: “Wham, Bam, Thankyou Ma’am”...!!!!

    So, now that I’m back from Santa Maria and the West Coast Kustoms event, it’s back to work on the Cad…trying to get the door panels/kick panels and door moldings done and in…get all the newly polished stainless put back on, mount the new Diamondback whitewalls and figure out how to lower the rear end another 2 inches (already have 3 inch blox in the rear), work on the rear bumper and generally trying to get it spiffed up for the next show around here…

    So, I'll be busy for the next few weeks...so that’s it for this update…

    R-
     

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