This past weekend, my friend Jayson Coombes flew up from Texas to visit. Main goal: attend the Cadillac LaSalle Club Grand National in Lombard and the Buick Club of America’s national meet in nearby Lisle. Continue Reading →
UPDATE: Well, the event has been cancelled to to all the germy germs and stuff. But what the heck I decided to let this run anyway. Laurie took some nice pictures!
March 20th through the 22nd would have been when the World of Wheels car show in Boston would have been held, but is now defunct-at least until next year! I’ve never been, but I’ve heard good things. Anyway, my pal Laurie Kraynick
will be would have been there, and The Ark, her gorgeous aqua 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, will be would have been there too. To say she is was excited would be would have been a massive understatement.
As she related:
“World Of Wheels, can you phucking believe it? Been going to that event since I got my driver’s license, now, I’m an exhibitor, with THE ARK. Just can’t believe it, so blessed, so happy. And I believe WOW is *SOLD OUT* for exhibitors, outstanding. This is gonna be a blast, what a bucket list check!”
I’ve always loved Cadillacs. It goes way back. As a kid, watching Magnum, P.I. and various and sundry 1970s movies like The Enforcer and Magnum Force, I was more interested in the bad guys’ Cadillacs chasing Magnum or being followed by Harry Callahan in his Custom 500. Starting with its inception in 1902 and continuing more or less through the Sixties, Cadillac produced well-built, well-finished, impressive–and expensive–cars.
Inside and out, wherever you looked you saw chromed, die-cast metal, leather, fine fabrics and extensive gadgetry. Smooth, quiet, powerful. That was Cadillac. Increasing safety regulations, increasing sales of Cadillacs (and the need to speed up production accordingly) meant that some of that very visible quality and integrity went down, just a little bit. But in 1970, Cadillacs still looked good, and provided proper motivation if one felt the need to mat the accelerator pedal.
The 1970 Cadillacs were mildly restyled versions of the 1969 models. In my opinion, the 1970 Cadillac is that uncommon event when a facelift actually winds up looking better than the original version.
On June 22nd, I once more pointed the Cartier towards Chicagoland and yet another Cadillac show. This time, it was Ettleson Cadillac in Hodgkins, within sight of the Holiday Inn in Countryside we stayed at in the ’90s when my parents used to take us to the Chicago Auto Show.
Yes, I’d just been there a month prior, at the Shirey Cadillac show in Oak Lawn (covered here). But there are only two really good ’70s luxocruiser shows in the greater Chicago area, and these two are it. And unlike last month, my cochlear implant behaved itself and made no untoward noises that I mistook for weird car sounds. So much the better.
I arrived around 11:15, and quickly spotted Ron Schweitzer and Mike Risatti. Mike brought his 1960 Sedan de Ville, affectionately named Estelle, to the show. I had heard of the car, and seen pictures online, but this day was the first time I’d seen her in person. And she was sharp!
Mike added the Fleetwood wheel covers, technically incorrect, but they are correct for the model year. And they look great! The Aleutian Gray metallic paint paired with the dove gray interior was especially classy.
Yesterday marked the fifth year I have attended the Shirey Cadillac show in Oak Lawn, Illinois. It is unique in that most of the cars there are interesting and not common show fare. Sure, on occasion there is a hot rod, Mustang or 1957 Chevrolet, but they are a small fringe element to the Broughamage that is usually on display.
And it’s always nice to see my fellow Chicagoland Cadillac club friends. I interact with them all the time online, but only see them 2-3 times in person per year.
Oh, and the dealership grills lunch for everyone, gratis. So. I get to eat, yak with my fellow Brougham aficionados, gawk at the cars, and take approximately 250-300 photos each year. What’s not to like?
I’ve always had a thing for early ’50s Cadillacs. When I was in second grade or so, my grandparents got me a hardcover “coffee table” type book called Decade of Dazzle. It was a book on Fifties cars, and one of the featured cars was the 1953 Cadillac Eldorado. Looking supreme in white over red leather, it left an impression on me. And later that same year, out on a trip to the Jewel-Osco with my Aunt Candy, I got a 1/43 scale 1952 Cadillac Series 62 sedan in pink and white. I still have it.
Of course, the 1953 Cadillac was the final iteration of the all-new postwar 1948 Cadillac. It inaugurated the classic Cadillac fishtail fin, and in 1949, the small block V8. In 1950 it was totally restyled, though it still bore a close resemblance to the 1948-49 model.
The Coupe de Ville. Is there a more famous Cadillac? Oh sure, most people who are into cars know the classic Cadillac model names. Sedan de Ville, Fleetwood Brougham, Seville, Eldorado, Sixty Special. But Coupe de Ville is such a great name. And it was attached to great cars. From 1949 to 1993, they were the sporty Cadillac, the Cadillac for flashy types. And pretty much every year they were good looking cars, perhaps some years more than others. But any 1950s Coupe de Ville was a sharp set of wheels! Today we look at the 1957 model.
It just goes to show, it’s who you know. Like the most excellent Cadillac show held September 22 at the famous Gilmore Car Museum near Kalamazoo, Michigan. I didn’t go (it’s a five hour drive) but a friend of mine from Texas, and fellow Broughamophile, Jayson Coombes, did.
The 1958 Cadillac Sixty Special. The top of the line Cadillac, from a year when even the standard Series 62 coupes and sedans were something to see. But the Sixty Special, now that was something to behold! Fins, chrome, sheer unvarnished size and comfort! It was the Cadillac of Cadillacs.
“The moment you take the wheel…you will find a wonderful new world of motor car performance! When you turn the ignition key and that great, powerful Cadillac engine comes to life-you will sense instantly that something very special awaits you in the miles ahead.”