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