JULY 28, 2012 (AUGUST 2012): 1958 CADILLAC SEDAN DE VILLE – PROJECTS DON’T HAVE PREDICTABLE ENDINGS

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Years ago Rick Johannson’s Grandfather in law bought this 1958 Cadillac Sedan De Ville as a restoration project.

 

These are not easy cars to rebuild so the process took over ten years and things changed radically for Grandpa over that decade.

 

 

These giant Caddys were the epitome of a freeway cruiser back in 1958. They weighed in at over 4600 pounds and the 310 horsepower 365 cubic inch V-8 powered the car up to turnpike speeds with ease.

 

They had an almost unlimited range of 1950s style options like automatic headlight dimmers, 6-way seats, E-Z Eye Glass and air suspension. The Cadillac was on the upper rung on any automotive stage around the world.

 

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This particular Cadillac Sedan De Ville changed hands back in the late 1980s when Grandpa decided that he wanted to take the old luxury barge to a new level in restoration. This was definitely a “hurry up and wait” project but the old guy was realistic about the timeline for a restoration on a 1958 Cadillac.

 

Ten years later the car resurfaced after its extensive stay in the hospital and the end result was clearly worth the wait. Unfortunately, the ten year time period had played a few nasty games with the Cadillac’s elderly owner.

 

He had very few moments behind the wheel before his health dictated that he would have no more solos on the ’58 Caddy.

 

That’s where Rick Johannson came into the story line so he and his wife are now the caretakers of Grandpa’s beloved old Caddy.

 

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The sedate old Cadillac is a philosophical stretch for Rick because he’s a high performance classic Camaro guy. This is like comparing an Olympic sprinter to a 325-pound left tackle on a football team.

 

Rick has adapted well to the Cadillac for many reasons. The most important one is that Rick and his wife get to take Grandpa out for road trips in this classic old Sedan De Ville. Clearly the passenger seat is second best to being the pilot on this 1950s luxury machine but the old guy still gets the very real experience of life on the road in his favorite car.

 

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There’s another byproduct to the Cadillac that Rick explained, ” It’s wild because every time I stop for gas or park in anywhere people stop to ask me about it. They give me the thumbs up all the time on the highway and drive beside it on the four-lane to stare at it”.

 

The family connection to the Sedan De Ville is ultimately the biggest attraction with the 58 Caddy because Rick knows that this car is a four-wheeled legacy from a fellow car guy and Grandfather.

 

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Rick is heavily involved in the car hobby and he’s a very proud organizer of the Markerville Alberta Show and Shine every August. This is a car show that’s more like a small town Sunday picnic and one of the biggest attractions is an impeccably restored, giant sized pink and white Cadillac Sedan De Ville.

 

Grandpa’s car.

 

Jerry Sutherland

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