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Hot Rods who started the Caddy trend

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by freebird101, May 24, 2010.

  1. freebird101
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,203

    freebird101
    Member

    when and who started putting a Caddy in a hot rod got popular(just wondering) also Im not saying i don't like it im just wondering who started it.
     
  2. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,599

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Not sure who started it but Grabowski's Lightnin' Bug definitely helped keep up it's pace. I am sure someone on the dry lakes or Bonneville for that matter was the first to use it in a Hot Rod. I just cannot name anyone in the in '49 or '50 that ran one off the top of my head.

    We definitely should have a Early Cad V8 history thread where we list the greats that used the potent power plant.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. billbrown
    Joined: Dec 24, 2007
    Posts: 595

    billbrown
    BANNED

    Cadillacs were torque monsters and hauled ass. Little hot rods were lighter so in essence would haul more ass. With all this ass hauling one would be inclined to believe that The first guy who gave his kid a wrecked Cadillac started the trend, but hey what do I know.
     
  4. I don't know the first one to use a Caddy engine, but I do know that as early as 1953 a good friend of the family had a '50 Ford with a Caddy mill in it. This was already popular by then. Olds engines were also popular, but the Caddy was super popular even back then.

    The fuel dragster I ever saw was a fuel enjected Caddy. Man was it cool.
     
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  5. ZomBrian
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,143

    ZomBrian
    Member
    from in IN

    Car Craft in I believe '53 or '54 had started a contest of most beautiful Cad engine and claimed they had thousands of entries to sift through! I'd scan the article but the computer is fritzing again.:mad:
     
  6. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    Probably the day after the first Caddy went to the wrecking yard a hot rodder glommed onto it. Of course he won't get the credit, somebody else will get that.:D
     
  7. freebird101
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,203

    freebird101
    Member

    now lately I have seen many many new one who started the addition
     
  8. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,940

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    Hey,

    My vote says the U.S. Military! Cadillac Division of General Motors built tanks and engines during WWII. They were test driven in the California desert in places like Mojave & Muroc lakes.

    " Spending a nation into generational debt is not an act of compassion "
     
  9. 1 wrecked luxo-barge -1 torquemonster motor + light weight body= FAST
     
  10. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,511

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    war era Caddys were flatheads. I figure this post is about OHV 49 and later.

    I figure the first one who made a OHV Caddy powered HOT ROD was associated with a junk yard, a dealership or a car thief. I bet a new Caddy motor from the dealer cost more than the whole car when done.

    wonder when the first Cad V8 to early Ford trans adapter was sold
     
  11. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    The good looking black man (the late Art Gray) standing next to the ugly white guy me in the picture below surely was one of the first. He bought a new crate '50 Cad. engine and put it in his 32 Ford and ran it at Bonneville after building many record breaking flatheads. I bought an Edelbrock 3X2 and Horne 4X2 manifolds from him on this day about ten years ago. He said it ran best with the 3X2.

    His story needs to be told.
     

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  12. pimpin paint
    Joined: May 31, 2005
    Posts: 4,940

    pimpin paint
    Member
    from so cal

    And where do you think the OHV techonology in V8's sprang from? Flathead V8's and their notorious bad breathing and thus horsepower robbing valve trains.
     
  13. How do you figure that?

    There were a number of cadillac/lasalle engines placed into hotrods well before the OHV Cads appeared. Take a look thru the Don Montgomery books. There's a number of examples, from V16s down to V8s.

    Not sure this thread is going to be particularly fruitful though....at a guess the answer would have to lie in the dry lakes results with any "trend" being a result of the trickle down effect to the man on the street.
     
  14. my2nd40
    Joined: Dec 11, 2003
    Posts: 189

    my2nd40
    Member
    from Tennessee

    My vote would be for the Tennessee and North Carolina moonshiners. Junior Johnson ran a 50 Cadillac ambulance engine in his 1940 Ford coupe before he became a terror on the Stock car circuits. Their cars were real hot rods.....out of necessity!
     
  15. Zerk
    Joined: May 26, 2005
    Posts: 1,419

    Zerk
    Member

    If we're talking Caddy flatheads, Ak Miller had one in his '32, maybe in the late 1940s...but he got the idea from someone else who was already using the Cad V8.

    If we're talking overheads, Bill Frick was building Fordillacs in the early '50s, but I don't know exactly when he started. He was already known for this by '52-'53, and I think he may have built a couple of those shine-runners mentioned by my2nd40.
     
  16. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,599

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    All this talk is making me want to run my 365 Cad V8 in my '35 Coupe instead of the 265 that I have been building.
     
  17. Big Nick
    Joined: Sep 7, 2005
    Posts: 847

    Big Nick
    Member

    My grandfather has stories of putting Caddy motors in Fords and racing them here in Freeport Long Island back in the late 40s early 50s.
     
  18. Wildcatter
    Joined: Oct 8, 2007
    Posts: 36

    Wildcatter
    Member

    This was my first thought also. Necessity is the mother of invention.....

    WC
     
  19. Evel
    Joined: Jun 25, 2002
    Posts: 9,025

    Evel
    Member
    1. 60s Show Rods

    MAybe not the first but Tommy Foster Roadster was one of the popular ones with the OHV8 in it.. he's actually known as the Godfather of the create motor..

    Right up:
    Tommy was a career man for Pontiac, and so he felt an obligation to use GM parts, which accounts for the Cadillac engine that he dropped inside the framerails in '52. The 331 cubic-inch OHV V-8 was given an early Detroit Racing dual-quad manifold, and Tommy used his GM contacts to acquire the new Carter four-barrel carburetors. Plus he gave the exhaust manifolds a special treatment of porcelain coating, again showing his attention to detail. But Tommy had to rely on his shop savvy to fabricate the transmission adapter. To join the Caddy crate motor (yes, they had them in '52) to the '39 Ford box, he whittled a piece of 1/2-inch boiler plate to fit, engineered the pilot shaft and such, and then hit the road.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,680

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    I am going to assume you are talking about the Kettering 1949 engine which came out in
    the winter of 1948.
    In January of 1949 a bunch of us were sitting in the Olive Way Triple X in Seattle and a 1949 Ford drove in that was owned by a guy we knew. We all went out to look at it. Under the hood was a nice new stock Cad engine. Maybe not the first but the first in our area.
     
  21. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,599

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    Damn Evel, that's awesome. Love the white flat firewall and the white motor.
     
  22. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,599

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    So were the 331's the most common since the starter was on correct side to install on early fords? Did many people screw around with 365's??? I feel like ever time I see a Cad V8 powered Hot Rod it's a 331.
     
  23. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,401

    porknbeaner
    Member

    I dunno who was the first its jus like asking who built the first hot rod.

    But for a time frame I would suggest that it was about the time that someone figured out that a V-12 was better than a banger.
     
  24. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,103

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My thoughts exactly as far as just about as soon as the 49's started hitting the wrecking yards. There was at least one shoebox Ford here locally with one in the early 50's. It belonged to some guy my dad knew. All I can remember about it is that my dad and his buddies said it was pretty fast.
     
  25. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,466

    Paul
    Editor

    Mr Charles F. Kettering
     
  26. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,820

    53sled
    Member
    from KCMO

    I did it, except mine was a blue four door, and it had a 350 with 700 horsepower. but it was faster than yours, awhyuck.
     
  27. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    The Granatelli Brothers back east were turning out Fordallacs as fast as they could in the early '50s. They might have done a few as early as '49.
     
  28. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,599

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    I would love to find a lengthy article on their history and the Fordillacs they churned out. Anybody have one?
     
  29. BWFitz
    Joined: May 25, 2010
    Posts: 10

    BWFitz
    Member


    Yup! And your Grandfather was right, too! Thanks to the historian at the Studillac website I have the following bit of hotrod history:
    Bill Frick was associated with Bill Frick Motors, located at 1000 Sunrise Highway, Rockville Center, Long Island, NY. Frick was born in Berlin, Germany at the end of WW1 but moved to the USA before he was 18. His first engine-swap was to put a 1924 Dodge 4-cylinder engine in a Model A Ford. His job consisted in performance-tuning automobile engines. He built a V8-60 midget racer in the winter of 1946 and won races with it. In 1949 Phil Walters [aka "Ted Tappett"] was his driver. American rally driver, Tom Cole, introduced Briggs Cunningham(of Indy and LeMans fame) to Frick and Walters; they built for him a 140 mph Fordillac, with a Cadillac engine, brakes and a Borg-Warner Lincoln transmission. Cunningham bought over Frick-Tappett Motors after the 1950 Le Mans race in which two stock Cadillacs and a Cadillac-engined barquette nicknamed "Le Monstre" [the "Monster"]. They did rather well finishing 10th and 11th overall. In the Fifties Frick built some sports cars that used Cadillac motors (he had used also Ford, Allard and Studebaker engines earlier). He built about 100 "Fordillacs" and, in 1953 and 1954, the "Studillac" from the 1953 Studebaker Starlight coupe. What Frick wanted most was to build an "exotic", Ferrari-like sports car; one of his three Vignale-bodied "Bill Frick Special" coupes is photographed in "Alpha Auto", a French-language magazine collection of the Seventies; these cars were powered by a 331.1 ci Cadillac V8, developing 250HP at 4600 rpm. The cars used the Hydra-Matic transmission ; wheel base was 110". The estimated value of a Frick special in 1989 was $10,000-15,000. A Cad-J2 Allard just sold at the Mecum Indy Auction don't know the gavel price but these cars had a real racing history.
     
  30. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,511

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California


    uh.... OK.
     

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