I often wondered whether I would get through my life without being arrested. Until this morning I was doing alright. Then I went to the 2017 Big Al’s Poker Run at Parry Lakes.
It is ostensibly the last of these events – the organiser, Mr Big Al, passed away, and this was the tribute show to remember him. A charming idea – I hope it was a success. Whether anyone else has the money and skill to stage a similar event in the future remains to be seen.
But back to the arrest.
I was walking through the lines of parked cars when I came upon the vehicle in the heading image. It is apparently a late-70’s Cadillac Eldorado Seville Coupe. It stopped me dead in my tracks.
I can look at most pieces of machinery and see where they are coming from. Whether it is a toaster or an army tank I can work out what the designer meant when they finished the drawings – and in the majority of the cases I can see where the engineers, production managers, and accountants added their specialities before the executives signed off on the project and the factory wheels started to roll. I understand that cars are made to appeal to customers who will give money to the makers for the vehicles. But I frankly confess that I cannot imagine who would have thought up, drawn up, authorised, and built this vehicle.
I initially thought it was a local thing. Perhaps someone got a chassis from somewhere and decided to build something down the back shed. Sort of the automotive equivalent of a bondwood boat. Goodness knows we’ve seen enough of those. But no, this is a factory build. It is, by and large, Cadillac’s idea. There are a few hot rodder touches – the black vinyl wrap that covers over the name badge, and the red plush pattern down the side. I suspect the stance of the vehicle and the fact that the bonnet and grill shell do not fit are also the result of enthusiast work.
But the false spare wheel half-way along the front side is really Cadillac. The tiny cabin perched 3/4 of the way along is Cadillac. The overstuffed interior with just about the same space as my old Ford ute is Cadillac. I have no idea who thought of the roof rack. Perhaps the owner needs something to haul his boogie board to the beach…
I do understand the motivation of the owner of the car. Once in every lifetime one needs to own a car like this. I know I did – I owned a 1975 Volkswagen Passat Variant. The memory of it has stayed with me and even returns occasionally – particularly if I have eaten cheese or mustard late at night. I do not think in my time that I could have brought myself to the point of contemplating fake spare wheels on the side of the Passat, but there are stronger minds and more adventurous spirits than I.
Anyone who has a cogent explanation for this Cadillac design is cordially invited to write in to this column. All correspondence will be treated in strictest confidence.
Note: I have found a picture of an ’84 car and it still has the fake spares on the side…