August '17

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12 THE SHOP AUGUST 2017 BUSINESS IS BETTER THAN EVER Other customized Cadillacs seen at the 2016 SEMA Show included Justin Carillo's '60 de Ville convertible, Tim White's '50 Cadillac coupe and the stock '68 Cadillac Coupe de Ville that J.H. Restorations and Starside Design teamed up on that was dis- played in the Original Parts Group booth. Ed Cholakian of All Cadillac Parts of the 1940s and '50s ( had an exhibitor booth at the first SEMA Show, but he didn't get into Cadillacs until 1977. That's the year he bought a 1947 Cadillac Model 61 to restore. Cholakian says he got "hopelessly hooked" on old Cadillacs after that and acquired over 150 of them, some to restore and some to break up for used parts. He began buying and selling new old stock parts and later started making reproduction Cadillac parts. He says that business now is better than it ever was. Cholakian's huge Cadillac parts inventory includes parts obtained when he bought out competitors. His compound boasts a parts warehouse, a garage where he can tinker with restoration work and an out- door area where project cars are stored. Some are parts cars; some are waiting for a restorer to restore them. Cholakian does not even try to make a catalog. He says that would be such a huge undertaking that by the time he finished it, some of the parts would be sold and he would have added others. He also sells carpeting, convertible tops and top cylinders, glovebox liners, power window cylinders and reconditioned gas tanks. He offers a number of services such as chrome-plating, electrical repairs, powder-coating of wheels and power window switch repairs. PERFECTIONISTS "Cadillac is still king, at least as far as hard- to-find engine, suspension and brake parts go," says Robert Rovegno of Kanter Auto Products ( "Although sales have slowed over the last five or six years, the old 322-ci/346-ci flathead Caddy V-8s are still popular; they are at least in our top 30." Rovegno says Kanter just reproduced the water pump for these engines, since cores were becoming impossible to find. "Due to the valvetrain setup and a few Cadillac MARKET The Here's a 1926 Cadillac Phaeton. Experts say there's still lots of interest in Cadillacs like this one. Here's a 1931 Cadillac V-12 roadster. Engine parts for these cars are easier to find than body parts and interior components. This is a 1936 Cadillac town car that was probably chauffeur-driven most of the time. Custom-bodied Cadillacs are nothing new. HOT ROD & CUSTOMIZATION

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