DECEMBER 18, 2014 (JANUARY 2015): 1956 CADILLAC CONVERTIBLE—THE WEDDING CAR THAT NEVER LEFT THE PARTY

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Myron and Laurie Fenin never thought one of their wedding guests would still be around nearly 50 years later.

That’s likely because few people invite a 1956 Cadillac convertible to their wedding party.

Even fewer still have their classic wedding car in the garage.

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The longevity of this Caddy wasn’t a conscious decision—in fact, it was based on a practical decision to find an affordable car as Laurie explained: “We got it for 900 dollars back in ’66 and we were dumb enough to hang onto it. It was our courting car and our wedding car and it’s been to a couple of graduations. It came off the assembly line in October 1955, it’s one of only seven ’56 Caddy convertibles registered in 2007″.

Normally that would be the end of the story about a car that long in the past and the memories would be reduced to some grainy old photographs but Laurie explained how this Cadillac had a different fate ahead: “It was totally dismantled, I apprenticed on it, it was challenging and I loved it piece by piece as we took it all the way back to original”.

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There are many challenges with a rare car like this ’56 Cadillac and Laurie explained the process and the cost: “The bumpers were re-chromed and they cost the equivalent of a small mortgage. We were lucky and we found original Cadillac leather so we bought five hides. The carpet is still original though”.

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This car is the anti-trailer queen in every sense of the word because it was built for driving in ’56 and it retains that title in 2014: “It’s got a 4-speed and it floats like a boat on the highway no trouble at all. We drive it down the highway and things happen like a guy blowing his train horn and the engineer was hanging out taking pictures plus an old German guy sat in it and gave me his Olympic medal after that because he was so excited. We both drive it, we drove it across Canada pulling a ’76 Ventura done like a Coke cooler. So far we’ve been to 14 car shows and we have 18 trophies”.

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Old cars like a roulette wheel when you take them on the road there will be problems and Myron explained the process: “We had engine trouble in one town and a guy let me use his shop and the church ladies brought baking for us. It runs a little hot so it’s got an electric fan and a modified radiator”.

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Laurie admits to a few unusual uses for the old Caddy: “I drive it when Myron isn’t around so it goes to garage sales a lot and other running around too”.

This exposure to the real world has a downside at things like car shows: “A guy let his dog jump up on the door and it left scratches but they buffed out”.

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Clearly this car is destined to remain in the family after nearly half a century and Laurie was quick to point out the details: “We have a grandson who’s 11 right now so when he’s 29, if he’s responsible we’re going to discuss ownership”.

That won’t happen even then because Laurie had one more condition:

“We’re going to drive the wheels off it”.

Jerry Sutherland

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