August '17

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16 THE SHOP AUGUST 2017 you that it will be expensive." Van Bogart says the big Cadillac parts sources he knows of are USA Parts (www., McVey's (www., Cholakian's company men- tioned above and two companies that evolved out of FEN Enterprises: Cadillac Parts & Restoration (www.CPRfory- and Castle Cadillac Classics and Antiques ( According to Van Bogart, Original Parts Group Inc. ( also has a new 1954-'76 Cadillac parts catalog (which explains the '68 Caddy in its SEMA booth). Van Bogart believes that many shops doing Cadillac restorations are businesses that enthusiasts in general go to, but Cadillac Parts & Restoration in Pough- keepsie, New York and Castle Cadillac Classics and Antiques in Wappinger's Falls, New York do show-quality restora- tions in addition to selling parts. "It's the Nicodemus family from FEN. They kind of split and they both do excellent Cadillac restorations." Asked for his explanation of all the resto- mod Cadillacs turning up at hot rod shows, Van Bogart says, "I think those guys are just looking for something different. Cadillacs always had a reputation for performance, except in the '70s and '80s. The company has rekindled that. Cadillac was also kind of a production custom. GM tried to have its most cutting-edge design features on Cadillacs and a lot of early custom cars bor- rowed Cadillac parts, so why not go right to the cars that they came from and customize those? A lot of early customizers tried to make their Chevys look like Caddys. Today, the hot rod collectors have deeper pockets and the shops get bigger budgets, so they're just going to the Cadillac and tweaking it a little bit here and there and sometimes even tweaking it a lot." He says Cadillac engine parts are "pretty much available" and mentions Kanter (see above) and Egge ( as pos- sible sources. "The engine parts are out there," he believes. "They are not as hard to find as parts for some other engines. The body and interior parts are harder to locate. There are some patch panels being reproduced, too. But the engine stuff is pretty easy to get if it's not some rare, multi-carburetion hardware for Eldorados." He says the rare Eldorado parts for two- carb and three-carb setups are expensive, too. "A complete dual-quad carburetor setup for an Eldorado will sell for $2,500 and up. Sometimes a nicely restored breather will be $2,500. The expensive part of that setup is the breather; the manifold and carburetors are pretty inexpensive, but once you have to buy the breather, things get spendy." According to Van Bogart, the Cadillac- LaSalle Club, Inc. (www.cadillaclasalleclub. org) is the "umbrella" organization that Cadillac restorers turn to for help. "There are Cadillac groups on Face- book—and there's probably other online Cadillac groups—but the go-to source is still the Cadillac-LaSalle Club. The club has a very good member's forum and a lot of popular chapters, too. So, everything else is kind of superfluous. They're not nearly as well-organized as the Cadillac-LaSalle Club; it's the umbrella for all of them." Van Bogart says the increasing popularity of Cadillacs is driving collector values up a bit, which leads to more cars being taken to restoration shops. However, he points out that the market trends are also changing when it comes to certain years and models. "The 1959 Cadillac prices have come down a little bit, but what's going up in Cadillacs are the values of '70s and '80s models, as well as some '60s models. These are starting to rise, so there is activity, but it's not necessarily where it used to be. People are realizing there's more than '59s." The GM Heritage Center (www. can help Cadillac restorers—including shops—document some information about classic Cadillacs. "The information they have varies according to the year," says Van Bogart. "For instance, they don't have information on 1968 models because, if I recall correctly, the 1968 file is just gone. They have a lot of information for Cadillacs up to 1954 models, but less for 1955 and thereafter. You can send them the VIN (vehicle iden- tification number) for your car and they'll be able to supply you with quite a lot of information." JOHN GUNNELL has been writing about classic cars since 1972. He is also the owner of Gunner's Great Garage in Manawa, Wisconsin. He owns 11 cars and seven motorcycles. Cadillac MARKET The This 1949 Cadillac was trans- formed into a motorcycle hauler by a hot rod and custom shop in the early '50s. It was featured in "Hop Up!" in June 1952. The 1957 Eldorado is a low-production model that's hard to find some engine parts for. This one was photographed in unrestored condition. HOT ROD & CUSTOMIZATION

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