Back in 1950s, it was easy to observe the transition behind the innovative impressions made by the Big Three. The Big Three were automotive designers in their time. Whether it’s for base models or top-of-the-line luxury cruisers, they made their brush strokes much longer and more flowing. The Cadillac brand was that one brand which stood out from this design evolution. Even the majority says that the 1955 Coupe De Ville made it in the list of cars which has the finest, most flowing designs ever created in Detroit. It portrays elegance, curvaceous lines, and style.

*Check out this stunning “Cadillac Chrome Logo and Name on Chrome License Plate*

There were a number of owners who also brought their Cadillacs to custom shops so that they can make an addition of their personal taste in their cars. For the 1955 Coupe de Ville, only minor touches were brought up to finish this look.


A duo’s story

An avid car collector and his son tell their story of the challenge they conquered to come up with a mild-customized Cadillac. They started their planning phase which took a number of years. Thus, they went through detailed discussions all throughout these years. Finally, they ended up with a concept of inspiring the Cadillac with much modern technological advancement in suspension, brakes, comfort, and performance. They thought that doing this will step up the car to a complete new level. Probably, this car will turn out to be a ride with classic stunning looks, gorgeous-looking stance, and state-of-the-art performance which every car enthusiast will ever dream of.

Since the duos were fans of the 1955 Cadillac Coupe De Ville, they started their pursuit in searching for the appropriate car. Later on, their car hunt paved their way to an auction in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They ended up acquiring a decent original car during the auction.

gorgeous ’55 CADILLAC

The duo also took their time going to various local and national events. This aroused their curiosity for cars built at The Hot Rod Garage in Denton, Maryland. The reason was the detailed design, stance, and attitude they found in these cars.

The next phase of the project started right after their conversation with shop owner Ray Bartlett, in which they had a discussion regarding the suitable build style for the Caddy. The staff started disassembling the caddy just after it was first unloaded onto the shop. From that point, they found out a number of things about the Caddy.

Just like the rest of the cars of the era, this caddy was being well-driven and could be used during any weather. That’s why both the caddy’s body sheet metal and mechanical components could not prevent itself to decline in time. Definitely, the Caddy will require a lot of work. But whatever it takes, nothing could stop the project from reaching its finish line.

stunning ’55 CADILLAC

The building phase

The duo wanted a totally new level of handling to the build that’s why they called the Art Morrison Enterprises (AME). Thus, they were able to give the Caddy a new chassis and a new balance. They made use of their signature CAD-engineering spines especially for long wheelbase cars to prevent a possible chassis flex and they assembled it using a 4×4-inch steel main ‘rails.

They also planted a 3.73:1 gear in the back of a 9-inch rear for the Caddy’s power. It is fixed in place by an AME triangulated four-bar suspension combined with matching antiroll bar and QAI coil over shocks. On the other hand, C6 Corvette IFS components were situated in the front of the chassis, along with upper and lower control arms and spindles. It is also included with antiroll bar and QAI coil over shocks.

Definite steering functions through a power rack-and-pinion unit. When it comes to the brakes, a Master Power Brakes power master cylinder pushes fluid through stainless lines to Wilwood front discs which have four-piston calipers. The Wilwood front discs were drilled and vented and is 12-inch rear and 13-inch front disc in size. For further classical look and style to the Caddy, a set of custom 18-inch front and 20-inch rear Schott wheels wear BFGoodrich rubber.

’55 CADILLAC engine

Only the best for this Caddy, the big-block V8 was laid as its engine so that it could run with SEAMLESS POWER. Also included in the mix was the chosen Chevrolet Performance 502ci Ram Jet crate engine. The base was comprised of state-of-the-art components. The list consists of a forged steel crank and rods, forged aluminum pistons, and a hydraulic roller cam.

There is also the designed Ram Jet EFI system which brings a good set of oval port aluminum heads and a tunnel-ram. Sparked to life by MSD, the used gases dump through Sanderson headers to a 2-1/4-inch custom stainless exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers. A warmed-over GM 700-R4 trans by Performance Automatic of Frederick, Maryland, is connected to a steel driveshaft.

During the disassembly of the old Caddy, it exposed the history of misuse and deterioration which is really needed to work on. To begin with, Dean Alexander and his team produced new lower rear quarters and rocker panels. They also added a fresh trunk pan and inner wheel wells before they performed fresh body mounts.

’55 CADILLAC radiator

Later on, custom fabrication process was begun with new front inner fender aprons, radiator support and filler panels, and a mild shave and fill of the body. Jason Lester was next in line. He set the gaps, tended to miles of sheet metal finessing, bodywork, and placed down the primer.

There was a short break from this point but later on, the project was resumed but in One-Off Rod&Custom in Middletown, Delaware. From there, Larry Stewart and his brilliant group first worked on the exquisite details on the car to set it up for paint. Sir Larry manually created a distinct one-off engine cover and later on, he made additional accents under the hood.

55 CADILLAC interior

It was now time for Dave Strong to perform his participation for the project. With his spray gun full of PPG Dark Intensity Red metallic, he provided a decadent coating of vibe which gave life to the sheet metal. He further accentuated the Caddy by adding a PPG Cashmere metallic to its roof which gave it the look of even more elegance.

Finishing touches of the Caddy project      

The Caddy still went on through a final assembly phase, having it wired and having endless chrome bolted on, all of which were from the N.E.L. Metal Restorations in Philadelphia.

Paul Atkins Interiors of Hanceville, Alabama was responsible for finishing the details in the design of this Caddy. He integrated a design wherein he adds an innovative (stylish) design to the yards of butter soft camel-toned leather. This covers the factory seating while adding a complementing wool carpet. As a ’55 Chevy steering wheel was used while cruising the road, a Vintage Air System lets the flow of breezes come throughout the passenger seats.

1955 CADILLAC dashboard

Our closing remarks? Indeed, this Caddy has been perfect model of portraying classic stunning looks without sacrificing a state-of-the-art performance in its drive. This is something that surely every car collector will sought after…

*Check out this stunning “Cadillac Chrome Logo and Name on Chrome License Plate*

An award-winning Custom Caddy

In the ‘Magnificent Modifieds’ show, Mr. John Dennison brought home the most prestigious award, the BEST OF SHOW AWARD for his custom 1955 Cadillac Coupe De Ville.

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