.. Completed Projects: 1958 Cadillac El Dorado Custom

 

Our most recently completed project is a 1958 Cadillac Custom. The customer requested this to be a one-of-a-kind vehicle.- - a melding of oldlooks and style with new technology.

Its only requirement - it had to be wheelchair accessible with a smooth ride, bea speedster, and it definately had to be eye-catching.

In order to do this - it had to be stretched like a limo; no roof; custom air ride suspension for six wheels, converted to front wheel drive, and a new Cadillac (Northstar) engine & trans - all requiring a complete new frame tied in like a uni-body frame. Custom bumpers and speedster bumps behind rear seat needed to be fabricated, and it was to be coated with generous amounts of House of Kolor kandy blue paint.

The interior wascustom-designed, mixing the old dash with today's new digital electronics; a custom high powered stereo system was added.

The owner wanted this vehicle. It was shipped to a part of France were the weather is hot and dry --it only rains one day a year at most.This is the exact opposite to the 39 Cadillac we built just previous to this one which went to Russia.

 

Click on images to enlarge
russia
auto museum
The Cadillac as it came to us - The original Cadillac that the dream started from
The donor car for the drive line and suspension is a 2005 Cadillac De Ville. This car has a Northstar engine, automatic transmission, and is front wheel drive. The rear suspension is aluminum and independent.
2005 De ville with body removed, retaining chassis section and drive line. The first stage was to fit the front clip of the '58 body to the '05 chassis.
We tied the front and rear frame sections together using 2" X 3" tubing. This tubing runs inside the front and rear unibody frames.
The previous eight pictures show grafting the '58 body to the '05 chassis, the crossmember had to be extended to blend the two firewalls together.
Modifications to the front bumper were because the 2005 cross member would have shown below the '58 bumper. The bottom bumper was lowered and a spacer was fabricated, filling the gap. The front wheel openings were removed and moved rear-ward in the vehicle to center the opening to the wheel. This was required because the front wheel drive axle centerline sits behind the engine -the original '58 front axle was in front of the engine.
 
The frame for the 2005 chassis was tied to the rocker panels of the '58 body. New frame was fabricated to tie the front and rear together of the 2005 chassis. The body was also cut in half and stretched 3 feet using the new frame ties to keep it all straight.
Cross braces were made tying from rocker to rocker along with diagonal frame work to help keep the flexing strength in the chassis. This car will have no roof and has suicide doors; thus we need to keep it from flexing as much as possible.
The floor section was fabricated from hot rolled 16 gauge sheet metal on the top and underneath, creating its own torque box.
First, we fit the second rear axle in the chassis, then modified the suspension so it would all work correctly. The frame structure was then braced and reinfrced.
The owner wanted this vehicle with no roof and to be wheelchair accessible with a smooth ride - so it had to be stretched like a limo. With all these factors we decided a 6 wheel vehicle would be more feasible. We chose to use factory 2005 independent rear suspension for all four rear wheels. The chassis had to be made stronger to remove flexing above the axles, so tubular supports were used.
Next, sheet metal was ut in place for the rear floor, put the rear section of the '58 body on, and fabricated bracing to tie it all together. This bracing also included the rough shape for the rear seat.
   
   
Templates and jigs were made to shape the sheet metal for the rear of the car.
   
humps
The "speedster humps" were made piece by piece ensuring both sides were symetrical before anything was welded in solid.
   
   
The above photos show the rear doors before and after the lengthening process to make room for the wheelchair ramp
The original front end was made of three pieces which were bolted together and smoothed over with lead. We removed the lead and welded the front end solid together. The original dash was two pieces with the top covered in vinyl. We removed the vinyl and welded the dash together. The top of the dash will now be smooth and painted.
With the motor removed for detailing, it was time to prep the engine bay for paint
The rear suspension components were fully disassembled, cleaned, smoothed, and painted, then reassembled and reinstalled.
Beginning to fabricate new door trim for the now lengthened rear doors.
All of the bodywork was completed and epoxyed. Then we reassembled the entire car to ensure proper fit of everything prior to final block sanding and paint. The customer requested an exact sample of the final colour and finish. We experimented with various amounts and combinations of bases, kandys, and flakes. We had to send the colour samples out of the country for approval.
   
   

THE FINAL PRODUCT

   
custom cadillac
   
cadillac air ride 1958 cadillac custom
ride height air out
radillac 1958 el dorado
   

INTERIOR

dash rearseat
   
4 door cadillac back seat
   

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLITY

   
ramp out suicide doors
   
bromance back door caddy
 

ENGINE

cadillac front fender caddy northstar
northstar air tank
1958 Cadillac Brougham custom 6 wheeled speedster
Cadillac caddilac
tail fin
THE END