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Cadillac of Dreams

1993 Boston Cadillac 3


Decades before MTV’s Pimp My Ride became a hit TV show, my college roommate and I built the ultimate Cadillac. It was 1993 and we were in our senior year at Boston College. It all began with a daring idea: we wanted to build a car that would turn heads. To say we were ahead of our time is an understatement. We put hours of thought and consideration into building an outrageous Caddy. Our guiding philosophy for the project: Don’t trick it out….chrome it out.

We had originally planned to base our project car on a Chevy El Camino. But in 1993, El Camino’s started to catch a bid and were in high demand. We were basically priced out of the burgeoning car-come-pick-up truck Market. Charlie found a 1983 Seville on a used car lot in Framingham. I remember the call: “Richter! I’ve found it!! This car is perfect! its just what we need!”

And so we began our project with a pristine low-mile example of a 1983 Cadillac Seville. Designed by Bill Mitchell and assembled in Linden New Jersey, the K-Body Seville is one of the ugliest creations to ever come out of a GM design studio. This particular Seville model was known as a “slant back” because it attempted to emulate the beautiful Cadillac model 70 of 1935. The K-Body design, however, was more akin to an upside down Norelco razor. Our 1983 Seville was only rivaled by the more recent and more homely Pontiac Aztec.  The Seville’s 4.1 liter eight-cylinder engine was severally underpowered. This anemic power plant was known for its porous engine block that allowed coolant to mix with the oil. The final result was catastrophic engine failure at under 10,000 miles. To top it all off, the heavy Seville had front-wheel-drive!

Both on and off the road, the Caddy brought us hours of enjoyment. We drove it to school. We drove it around Boston. It was great for airport runs. We drove it to Bruins games. We took our girlfriends out on dates. Sometimes we just stared at it in our driveway. Mission accomplished: It really turned heads.

One day while driving it to class I was pulled over by a cop. The officer got out of his cruiser and carefully approached the Caddy. I wasn’t speeding. I didn’t run a stop sign. There was no moving violation. I had done nothing wrong. The officer explained, “I just wanted to see your sled!” Graduation approached and we had to dispose of the Caddy. Both of our parents would not have approved at such a waste of time and capital. Ultimately it was sold through the DuPont Registry as a “promotional show car.”

The following is a comprehensive list of our “enhancements”:

  • BMW Wheels
  • Side Pipes
  • Full engine chrome
  • Faux convertible top
  • Curb Feelers
  • Side Pipes
  • Curb Feelers
  • Limo tint
  • Full fur interior (powder blue and cow hide)
  • 1200 watt audio system with CD and trunk subwoofer
  • A-pillar mounted cop light
  • Dual alternator systems (for added power, including interior AC power outlets)
  • Hadley air horns
  • Special interior LED limo lighting
  • Black light undercarriage lighting systems
  • Rear deck mounted electronic scrolling sign system
  • Hood scoop with exterior gauges
  • Hood mounted steer skull with smoke system and lights (skull stolen from an equestrian “Denim and Diamonds” benefit)
  • Knight Rider-style grill mounted center red light
  • Satin black metallic paint/yellow racing stripes
  • Liberal use of BMW M decals and logos
  • Abnormally small steering wheel (enabled driving with hand-cuffs on)
Don't trick it out, chrome it out!

Don’t trick it out, chrome it out!

The faux convertible top put it over the top....

The faux convertible top put it over the top….

The steer skull on the hood had the added effect of red lights in the eyes and smoke coming out of the horns.

The steer skull on the hood had the added effect of red lights in the eyes and faux smoke coming out of the horns.

Fully fur-ed out interior!

Fully fur-ed out interior with very small Momo-type steering wheel!

We had "LUXURY" inscribed on the glove compartment door.....and why not!

Charlie had the brilliant idea to have “LUXURY” inscribed on the glove compartment door…..and why not! It’s all about the details.

The cow-hide fur combined with the accent of powder blue synthetic fur made the Caddy interior sing!

The cow-hide fur combined with the accent of powder blue synthetic fur against the burgundy leather made the Caddy’s interior sing!

Side pipes can burn the ankles but its worth the effect!

Side pipes burned ankles but was worth the effect!

BMW M insignia indicate something sinister under the hood....but truthfully it was "big hat, no cattle."

BMW M logo indicate something sinister under the hood….but truthfully it was “big hat, no cattle” given the anemic GM 4.1 liter V8. The motor was dripping in chrome.

1993 Boston Cadillac f029

Rear mounted sign allowed the driver to have messages scroll across the rear deck.

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6 Responses to Cadillac of Dreams

  1. Lilly May 4, 2016 at 11:52 am #

    Oh my! I had no idea.

  2. Ron Willeman May 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    The faux convertible top is over the top but did I notice a “moon roof” too? When those two features come together I always had a chuckle. There is nothing like a moon roof up through a convertible top!

    • Philip Richter May 4, 2016 at 7:41 am #

      The Caddy was about unnecessary excess. We felt that both a faux convertible top and a sunroof were necessary.

  3. Wendy May 3, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    It was a very cool car!

  4. jdrive May 1, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

    Miss that ride…

  5. Dean Laumbach May 1, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

    Love it !!! The interior is so Tony Montana. Surprisingly the Seville does still have a very small niche following. I love the chrome spoke wheel mounted on the trunk. Sad part is that was probably a “dealer option”.