Today my wife and I bought a new daily driver car for the spring, summer and fall months. As we have very strict laws here in Austria and could no longer import the desired car from the USA we had to find one locally - something that is almost impossible as not many of these cars exist in Austria… Here it is: It's a 1996 Buick Roadmaster Wagon and we will mainly use it to haul our film and photo equipment to various shootings. We finally bought it from a dealer in Vienna and brought it home today. The car is in nice condition and drives like a dream. So far we are very satisfied with it. Attached are the first pictures.
At the dealer lot when we picked up the Roadmaster. first tank of gas...
I have added a brand new image gallery to this site featuring the very best images my wife and I shot over the years. It's a selection of my favorite images. Whenever a new favorite image is shot it will be added here. Enjoy! You can go directly to this gallery by clicking on the image below. I will constantly add pictures in the future.
Today I put my buddies Tayfun 1981Pimperado into winter storage into my garage. It started immediately although it was put into storage in my old garage 3 months ago and did not run since then. It fits in pretty well into my new garage and now has a good and dry home over the winter months. The garage is dehumidified so I´m sure the Pimperado will like it ;-) The cars put on their pajamas and are now waiting for spring to arrive. Below you can find some images of the now crowded garage. You can click on the image for a larger view.
They fit in pretty well. The image is a little distorted because its made of 4 images stitched together disconnecting the batteries Covered - good night!
Today I picked up my 1967 Cadillac DeVille from the shop where all my repairs and restoration work is done when I can´t do them for myself. The car got a complete new front suspension including all bushings, ball joints and paint. Some of the old bushings already fell apart. As everything was apart we also did the complete front brakes. Also the radiator was fixed and the car got a new ignition lock which I removed from a 67 limousine at a junkyard in California last year. Also the turn signal switch was finally fixed after it broke 3 years ago... The car is in spectacular condition, now and with the new suspension it drives like a brand new car - I could not have imagined that the difference would be that big.
Below you can see a picture of the rebuilt front suspension. Its still a little dirty as I had to drive the car home through rain - it will be cleaned soon though.
Today another 1967 Cadillac turn signal switch arrived for my 67 Deville which is in the shop at the moment with a broken switch. I found a nice NOS switch on ebay and finally it's the correct one. All the ones I bought in the past were the wrong ones as 3 different ones were available in the 1967 models! Non of them is still in production or reproduced and they are very hard to come by. Originally they were built by AC-Delco and Boyne and they are very different as I learned later... I already spent quite a sum for wrong NOS switches. Used ones are usually sold for $250.- to $300.- at the big Cadillac parts specialists... Here is a picture of the NOS one I found - it was manufactured by Boyne.
UPDATE 2010: In the meantime (since 2009) the Boyne switches they are getting reproduced and show up on ebay all the time. Also OPGI shows them in their Cadillac catalog. Its harder to find one for a T&T column as they are not getting reproduced so far. I do not know where one could find a switch for T&T though. If you know of any resource for T&T switches please let me know, I would love to have a spare one for my Eldorado!
When I was looking for a switch for my 1967 Deville, I only investigated resources for cars without T&T columns and this is what I found out:
According to the 1971 parts manual there are two different ones for standard column carsand one for T & T
1967 - 1968 (Exc. T & T) Part # 7800483 - Switch, w/wiring harness (Delco-Remy)
1967 - 1968 (Exc. T & T) Part # 7805675 - Switch, w/wiring harness (Boyne Products)
1967 - 1968 (T &T) Part # 7805676 - Switch, w/wiring harness (Hazard warning switch an integral part)
The two different standard column switches can be identified without removal as the parts manual describes: „Hazard warning switch is an integral part. Switches can be identified before disassembly as follows: The Delco Remy switch has a square hole for the hazard warning switch in the cover, the Boyne Products switch has a round hole for the hazard warning switch in the cover.“
The problem with the switch on my standard column DeVille was that the return cancel cam broke, and that non of the repair kits were available for the Boyne switch.
Replacing this switch in the steering column is quite a pain - below you can find the instructions from the shop manual on how to do it. There is also a revised procedure for a much easier installation below in the “Cadillac Serviceman" from August 1967!
Click on each picture for a larger view!
The connections going to the directional signal switch - the turn signal switch connector
The Cadillac Serviceman from August 1967 shows a revised procedure for a much easier installation of the switch.
The US-CAR-MEETING in Dornbirn/Vorarlberg/Austria is probably the best show held in Austria. Its taking place every second year in may and hundreds of cars are attending. This is the "homevideo" our friends and we shot there. It also shows the preparation of our cars as we almost could not finish them for the show. My buddy Tayfun had serious electronic problems with his 81 Pimperado and my 58 Eldo developed a driveshaft vibration only 3 days before we wanted to leave for the show. Everything was finished at the very last second and we finally had a safe trip to the show.
TS1 - a local TV station filmed a report about the cruising tour of the Cadillac BIG Meet which lead us to the shores of the "Traunsee" a scenic lake in Upper Austria. As I am part of the organization team I had to do a short interview for this report. The report was done by Lorenz Zwicklhuber and Konrad Forstinger who did a great job. The video is now online in the video section of my website. You can click on the image below to go there.
The restoration of my 67s front-suspension is in full progress. Today I visited the shop to pick up all the suspension and front brake parts they disassembled. I will clean them and have them sandblasted before they will get a new coat of paint. Most bushings and ball joints will have to be replaced with new stuff and I already ordered all the necessary parts from the USA. This will result in a hefty bill... :-( After this the suspension will be in new condition - one of the last things that have to be done on the 67 before it is really in like new condition.
The only other thing which will need attention in the future will be the top which is still the original 40 year old one, but is still a little to good to be replaced…
The completely stripped front suspension The 67 at the shop
Today I picked up a Craftsman Tool storage cart for my garage. It's a used cart I bought from one of Austria´s fastest Drag Racers Mr "Coolchevy" Heinz Schenk. Now I need some more tools to completely fill it...
I´ve updated my website with a brand-new video of my 1958 Eldorado Seville today. My wife Afra (a professional cinematographer) shot it as she had to test a new camera for work. As it turned out we wont buy the camera - but she edited the test shots into a nice short 2 minutes clip. Enjoy!
You can find hundreds of pictures from this years Cadillac BIG Meet on the website of the Cadillac BIG Meet directly. My wife Afra shot 2 rolls of slide film with her medium format camera. She has now scanned the slides and I´ve put them on my website. You can check them out if you click on the image below.
Today was the last evening before I´ll put the 58 into winter storage and return the license plates until next May. As it was a picture perfect evening with a great sunset I wanted to shoot some nice pictures. Unfortunately my wives Hasselblad camera quit working during the shooting and so I could mainly only shoot digital images. More of them can be found here.
Today I visited the restoration shop with the 58 for the obligatory annual technical inspection. Of course it passed with flying colors without a problem. Later I also dropped off the 67 there as some smaller things have to be repaired as I do not have the necessary tools nor skills to do them myself.
The front-suspension needs a rebuild and I do not have the presses to push some of the bushings in and out.
The switch for the directional switch in the steering column has to be replaced
Need a new ignition lock
The transmission has some leaks I could not find
The guys from who helped me with the restoration of my cars will take over. In a couple of weeks I should have the car back. It will go directly into winter storage then. Today also was the last day to drive the 58. I will return the plates over winter.
Last sunday the Cadillac BIG Meet was held in Kremsmünster/Austria for the 4th time. Cadillacs from 7 nations attended. I´m a member of the organization team. Over the last years it became a still growing meeting. This year really was the best of them all.
Weather was perfect and the show had the theme "The Cadillac Eldorado" and more than 35 Eldorados showed up - among them Eldorados from 1954 to 2002. We had one 54, 3 56 Biarritz, one 56 Seville, a 57 Biarritz, a 57 Eldorado Brougham (another one unfortunately broke down on the way to the show), 2 1958 Eldorado Sevilles (one coming all the way from Sweden!! - the other being mine), 2 59 Biarritz, 1 59 Seville, (a 59 Brougham was also planned, but restoration was not finished on time), a 63 and 64 Eldo, 2 67s (one of them with only 30k miles), 1 68 (with 20k miles), a 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76 + a low mileage 76 Bicentenial, 79, 80, 81, 86, and lots of other Eldorados I forgot, but which you can see on the pictures.
Altogether 113 Cadillacs showed up in the park of the Kremsegg castle during the show - and about 10 more after the show was already finished... The oldest one was from 1921. The mood was excellent and everybody loved it very much.
The last weekend probably was the best Cadillac related weekend I ever had, and you should not miss next years edition of the Cadillac BIG Meet.
I´m on vacation this week and I´m using my time to prepare my Cadillac for the Cadillac BIG Meet which is coming up this weekend. I´ve repaired the AC on my 67 and cleaned and detailed both cars for the show. My friend Tayfun is also in town and we´ll do the same with his 81 Pimperado as well. We´ve spent around 14 hours in the garage each day so far.
working on the AC installing the new backup lenses - which had to be custom fitted...
The blower motor on my 67 did not come one when I switched on any heating or cooling position. It sometimes comes on in the "ICE" position but not always. After lots of searching I found out that the vacuum master switch does not get enough vacuum to be switched on. When I push the backside of it - everything works as it should. Of course that´s no real solution. Looks like my system will need a good overhaul. Three parts could cause this problem:
The dash switch with its rotary valve from where I can hear a slight hissing noise,
the power servo on the firewall
or the master switch itself - what I doubt.
As I hate when something does not work on my cars I ordered all the parts. I found a good source which sells all these parts rebuilt. Hopefully they will arrive soon as I would like to have this issue resolved before the Cadillac Big Meet. It should not be too much of a hassle to install them when they are here.
The power servo The power servo and master switch
The electrical circuit of the Air Conditioning system of the 1967 Cadillac DeVille in a digram
Here is a video about the Master Switch that a gentleman posted on youtube
It's only 4 more weeks until the Cadillac Big Meet - Europes biggest Cadillac meeting. You can watch a video of last years event below. More info, pictures and videos on http://www.cadillac-bigmeet.com This year will feature an "Eldorado Special" and we are looking for everybody with an Eldorado to participate. Of course all other Cadillacs are welcome as well.
Today I had to shoot a car meet for a local TV station I´m working for as a cameraman. I took the 58 there. My friends Tayfun and Alex also drove to the show. It was a very nice and fun meeting with 30 cars attending. Here is a picture gallery of some images we shot there.
Sepp with his hotrod the 58 at the show At work behind the camera with my colleague Hubert Huemer from BTV doing the interviews.
Today it was time to do some interior cleaning on both of my cars. My friend Tayfun was in town once again and brought one of these wet cleaners with him to do all of our cars. It really worked wonders and the cars turned out great. I could not believe how much dirt I could extract from the carpets and floor mats.
cleaning the trunk of the 58
After cleaning we had a nice cruising trip around the lake with friends and our ladies.
Tayfun on a hill the ladies Alex Tayfun Richard I took the 67
Today the 58 got a brand new fuel pump. It was a really quick and easy exchange and it now works flawlessly. It was the first time I had to do a repair like this. Luckily the pump is very easy accessible on the 58. Later we also did some more repairs on my friend Tayfuns 81 Eldorado. After that we had a nice cruising evening with some friends where we did some professional filming for our next video.
Tonight 3 friends and I had a nice cruising night as it was a really warm and perfect night. It also was the first cruise for my friend Tayfun who's 1981 Eldorado was finally finished and now is fully drive-able. The other cars were Alex with his 63 Buick Riviera and Richard with his 65 Impala. I took the 67 for a spin.
I have to admit that the 67 was a little neglected in the last time, as I spent most of my spare time working on the 58 and on my friend Tayfuns Eldorado. So it was time to do some necessary maintenance work. Today I replaced the fuel filter in the glass bowl. It turned out to be a really big job because the fuel bowl would not want to come off. I had a big problem opening the screw which holds the glass in position, as access is very limited. Eventually I made it and when everything was back together, the bowl leaked. So I had to re-open everything. I readjusted the gasket and now everything is tight. The old filter was very dirty, because at the last big service I forgot to replace it...
Looks like the problem my 58 has is fuel pump related. Yesterday I thought it might only be a clogged fuel line (see entry below) - but today I had the same problem as yesterday again. The fuel bowl did only fill up to about half. (see pic below). I blew all the lines through, but it did not change anything... The car runs, but on slow idle it tends to hesitate. I ordered a new fuel pump today - they are relatively cheap - I hope to have it here in about 2 weeks...
Today suddenly my 58 Eldo stalled and would not want to start again. After checking everything, eventually I found out that no fuel was coming to the fuel glas bowl. My friend Richard towed me to his garage where he has an air compressor and all the tools and we blew air through the fuel line to check if it would be clogged. We were not clever enough to open the gas tank cap before we did that though. When we removed the compressor from the line of course lot of now pressurized gas sprayed out of the line and into my face... Well, at least it works again - looks like it really was only a clogged line. I already suspected that the fuel pump was on its way out, but luckily it wasn´t. Will check everything again tomorrow and install a new fuel filter as well. I hope that I wont need a new fuel pump.
Today I received a 50% refund for the non working Power Vent Window Switch I won on Ebay. (see entry below) The Canadian gentlemen I bought it from was so kind to refund some money as he did not feel good about the deal as well. He did not do anything wrong at the initial deal as his description was accurate and correct - so this came as a nice surprise. There are still honorable people out there! Thank you Michael!!
Today the power vent window switch I won on Ebay arrived from Canada. It came from a 58 Sixty Special that was equipped with power vent windows as well. When I opened the box I immediately had the feeling that it would not work. The buttons felt sluggish and two prongs were missing on the backing plate. So somebody must have had it open at some point in its history.
So down I went into the garage to check it.
As suspected it did not work... Only one button worked in one direction. I cant even blame the seller, as he stated in his ad description that he does not know if it works or not. As I spent quite an amount of money for it and could not find another switch anywhere, I did not want to give up yet and so I disassembled it. Of course the 2 rusty prongs broke apart when I bent them open... A really good start! Eventually I made a good working switch from most of my old switches parts and the help of the plastic backing plate of the new switch. So I could also reuse the perfect chrome bezel of my old switch. :-) Now everything works again - it´s not a concourse winning repair, but a solid one I can be proud of, and nobody can notice until he takes the car apart... ;-) Now the clock is the only non working gadget on my 58 - my next project.
The new Battery
I also had to install a new battery today as my old one died after only 3 years in service. I bought an Exide Maxxima 900 - hope it will do a better job - I´ve heard lots of good things about it.
The new Exide battery - the green knob is a battery shut off switch
My friend Tayfun was on visit once again for a couple of days which we spent in the garage. We finally managed to fix the problem with the ECM and sorted out most other issues. Another big point was the total rebuild of his rear brakes which worked out fine as well. Over the last 6 month we could fix 35 points on the repair checklist. Now there are only 11 points left which need some attention - but no more severe repairs - only a couple of details. Tayfun is happy that after owning the car for over 11 years he finally fixed the electronic issues. His Eldorado will be like new soon!
I´m looking for the Power Vent Window Switch with the two buttons on the driver side. It controls the small power operated ventilation windows on the front doors. If you have one for sale - please let me know. Thats how it looks like:
When I opened the newspaper this morning there was a full page report of the US-CAR-SHOW in Dornbirn. Guess what - they only had 4 images and my 58 was featured with a half page image!! You can click on the image below for a larger version!
The US-CAR-SHOW in Dornbirn/Austria is the very best and biggest car show in Austria. It´s held every second year and my wife and I visited it for the 3rd time. Together with my friend Tayfun and Betty we made the 6 hour drive there. Our cars were finished at the very last minute before we could leave - but we made it there safely and without any issues. Our cars were exhibited indoors at the showroom together with some spectacular Customs, Lowriders and Hotrods. My car was the only original one - but the spectators loved it very much. The show was held on 3 days and we loved everything very much. A big thank you to Robert Willinger, who is the organizer of this event. A massive image gallery can be found here.
The 58 developed some vibrations that could be felt through the steering wheel during the last weeks. As I could not find anything suspicious I drove the car to American Special Parts and they found out that the U-Joint at the drive shaft was pretty worn. So they sent it in to have it replaced and the driveshaft also was balanced. Most of the vibration was gone afterwards, but at 50mph there was still a slight vibration. I will have the tires balanced soon as well.
My friend Tayfun visited me once again to try to have his 1981 Eldorado back in working order. He was trying to fix an electronic problem that plagued him for years and nobody could find a solution so far. All ECM´s he installed went up in smoke. (See picture on the left) Finally with the help of Martin - a guy who is the owner of a custom autosound store - we could find a defective solenoid which was causing all the trouble. Finally his car is back in working order!
My buddy Tayfun was on visit for a couple of days and we were trying to repair his 1981 Pimperado. The car has a problem with its ECM which is constantly burning through. As the new garage was not finished yet we had to work in the old garage. Unfortunately we did not find the cause for this issue yet, but the search will go on.
My wife and I took the 58 to the first car show this season. The Lions Club in Traun organized a Classic Car Meeting on a small lake in Traun/Austria. About 300 cars showed up - most of them were european brands. The 58 drew a lot of attention and we spent a nice afternoon there. We did not take many pictures which you can find here - the ones taken from the organizers can be found on their website.
Today I got a call from the restoration shop that the 58 was finished. The 3 dual carburetors were rebuilt completely. The carbs were blasted, cleaned and rebuilt and work perfectly now. I did not think that it would make a difference that big. It´s a real pleasure to drive the car now. And the best surprise was, that the rebuild cost much less than the initial cost estimate I got.
during the rebuilding - click on any picture for larger view! all carbs were blasted and cleaned the rebuilt front carb
Today the floor company started to mask off the areas which got a coat of black epoxy applied afterwards. They will still have to paint the black areas a second time before they can take of the masking tape. A red stripe which will surround the checker board area will also be added and the walls will be repainted in the same red as well. Looking forward that it will be finished soon.
The floor with the masking tape in place
the first coat of black epoxy
seen from the outside with the masking tape still in place
Yesterday work on the new garage floor begun. It will be a professionally done epoxy coating with a black and white chessboard pattern surrounded by a red stripe.
First the company which does the work removed the old epoxy coating to make sure that the new one can bond to the concrete really well. Then they started to repair all the creases in the floor by cutting them open - then they inserted some metal support - and then filled them out with a special epoxy raisin. It will take them at least one week to finish everything, as they are doing a very thorough job.
The 58 was delivered to the restoration shop to have its 3 dual carbs rebuilt. It made the drive there without catching fire again ;-) The restoration shop will take care of the carbs now.
One of the carbs caught fire last year at my own wedding and since then I could not drive the car. Also the air cleaner will have to be repainted due to the burnt cover. Hope everything will be fixed soon and I can finally drive my 58 Seville.
As weather was really fine today - I woke up both of my cars and took them for a spin after the long winter hibernation. Both cars started right up after 8 months of being in storage and ran beautifully. It was great to drive such land-yachts once again.
The Cadillac Big Meet is Europes largest and best Cadillac Meeting. You should not miss it! Cadillacs of all years get together at the Kremsegg Castle in the heart of Austria on August 26th. 2007 is the 4th edition of this meeting, and you should not miss it. I´m in the organization team and we are already working very hard to make this years edition the very best one we had so far. We will especially feature the 5 decades of the Eldorado and are trying to have at least on Eldorado of each year on the show field! For more info go to the website of the Cadillac Big Meet!
Today I started to clean up the 67 for the new summer season. The car is in storage since the end of August 2006 and is eagerly waiting to see some daylight soon. I started to clean the car and gave it a new coat of wax. In about 2 weeks I will bring it back to live and hopefully drive it a little bit more than last year when I only did about 300 miles.
I´ve started to decorate my garage a little more. I´ve hung 30 nice images all around the garage. A lot more will follow soon. The garage floor will be done in 2 weeks. Here you can see the new framed pictures I hung on the walls along with the old hubcaps. The walls look a little distorted on this pictures as it was not stitched very well.
The floor in the Cadillac garage was finished by the construction company last week. The final epoxy coating will be done starting on April 23rd after the concrete floor had 28 days of drying. I`m really looking forward to it.
picture with the old epoxy coating - the new one will be a black and white checkered coating