THE GREATEST VEHICLE EVER MADE
I recently spent a couple of lazy summer days out in Riverhead on the North Fork of Long Island, when I noticed a cool Cadillac with no wheels up on a trailer. But wait a minute! It can't be, can it? Is somebody actually this bold and brilliant?
YES! What we actually have here is a 1965 Cadillac DeVille convertible raised up on a monster truck chassis! Holy good god my inner 13-year-old self is freaking out with excitement!
This is kind of a quick and dirty job with seriously questionable decisions, but doesn't that sum up this entire project? For instance, the rare and original fender skirts are not only on the vehicle, but have been permanently bolted on. In addition, do you see that black circle on the lower edge of the skirt just above the knotted rope? The owner decided to route the exhaust right through the skirt! Why would you bother when your ride is so damn high anyway? Well you can't question genius.
Often when a regular car gets the super-lift treatment the chassis they use is recognizable as a Blazer or Scout or something, but this looks either homemade or so heavily modified as to be unique. If the dimensions of the truck chassis are original then it would have to have come from something at least as long as a mid-'60s Caddy, which rounds it down to an International Travelall or something like it.
She's been around that's for sure. How do you break a taillight that high up? Backing into a tree?
The scariest part of owning this beast would be filling up the tank with the original fuel filler location in that empty space where the license plate used to be. Imagine holding the nozzle neck-height to filler-up! I guess whoever was in command of this thing probably smelled like gas & oil already.
Those rear wheels are wicked tilted in at the top. Like I said; quick and dirty redneck dream build.
I know who I am and I am comfortable liking what I like. To me, from this angle, this thing is totally awesome! Make no mistake I've drawn this car several times as a kid. My father had a Cadillac convertible and my stepfather had a Chevy Vega jacked up on a lifted Bronco chassis with a Corvette 327 in it, so this was all I wanted in life. I was actually flooded with nostalgia when I encountered this thing even though I'd never seen one before.
All gawking aside there are some correct Cadillac details worth pointing out. I love the side marker light in that rectangular chrome housing reaching from the lower headlight to the front of the wheel well. This was the arrangement on every DeVille from 1950 though this model year. Starting in 1966 the side light remained, but was free-floating on the body without touching either the headlight housing or the wheel well.
There's a lot of grill on these '65s! In previous years this expanse would be broken up with some horizontal chrome bars, and following this year the turn signals would be relocated to the grill squares immediately in from the headlights. For 1965 though they just made the entire front of the car a big clenched-teeth threat; perfect for this particular application!
You can see from the gap between the upper and lower headlight that this thing is coming apart at the seams. Off-roading in a 5,000 lb Caddy sounds great until the body starts to flex and bend under its own enormous weight. These cars were meant to glide down the boulevard, floating over potholes and speed bumps like an ocean liner, but not over jumps and through deep ditches. I still want to mash this thing through the woods though don't get me wrong!
The license plates are a sign that this is actually registered and ready for use! I'm guessing due to the tarp placement that either the windshield or side windows needs replacing or work. As a Caddy this had power windows which are always unreliable after 50 years. When combined with the fact that this is probably driven on the beach I figure corroded wiring is the culprit. Whatever, who cares? All my automotive dreams have come true and I think I need to go have a cigarette.