GERALD´S CADILLACS


WWW.ELDORADO-SEVILLE.COM

CADILLAC BIG MEET 2016

I´m one of the members of the organization team of the Cadillac BIG Meet - Europe´s biggest Cadillac Meeting.
For me, this meeting is the highlight of my favorite hobby. It's not only about seeing some great Cadillacs from all over Europe, but its also about meeting such great people and working in the best organization team you could imagine. All of the members of the team have become great friends over the years, and this is what I´m enjoying most about this hobby.

This years Cadillac BIG Meet had a special exhibition about the rear wheel drive Eldorados, and this is why I brought the 58 Seville and also publicly showed the 74 Coupe deVille after the restoration for the first time.

We had a fantastic time at this weekend, and my family and I enjoyed it very much. I´m looking forward to the next BIG Meet in 2018. We have already began planing.

You can find hundreds of pictures we took at this event on the official website of the Cadillac BIG Meet - here are only a few appetizers. Make sure to check out the full galleries!

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My wife drove the 74 and I drove the 58 to the show - here is a picture at the hotel parking lot
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One of the highlights for me was to
see my former 66 CDV once again - this car is so fantastic. It really is a pity I had to sell it… :-(
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On the hotel parking lot we had the opportunity to photograph my friend Lucky´s breathtaking 1958 Eldorado Biarritz
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My 74 during sunset at the hotel parking lot
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My son Elliot and me enjoying the evening after the Driving Tour on Saturday.
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Some of the Eldorados we had on display - The 60 in the background is Carry Grants former car - the 59 Seville once belonged to Marilyn Monroe
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Eldorado Hill
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Eldorado Hill
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Eldorado Hill
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Eldorado Hill
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Two 74s side by side
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The best organization team and our volunteers
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The Cadillac BIG Meet donates its income to charity - this year we could raise 1.840 Euros which we donated to the Red Cross

CHECK OUT ALL THE PICTURES HERE

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GETTING READY FOR THE CADILLAC BIG MEET

The best and biggest Cadillac Meeting in Europe is just around the corner, and I took a whole week off from work, just to get my cars ready for the show. The theme for the 2016 event is the " Rear Wheel Drive Eldorados from 1953 to 1966" - so I will have to show my 58 Seville there. But I will also display my 74, which just returned from the repair shop where I had the wheel housings done. As the car spent many weeks there, it is extremely dirty. It looked like it was covered with overspray almost everywhere, which is extremely hard to remove.

I had to clay the paint numerous times and also had to compound it 2 times and polish it 2 times before I finally could apply a coat of wax. Also all the exterior glass was extremely contaminated, and I had to use glass polish to get it smooth again.
I spent 12-16 hours a day, for 4 days in a row with almost no breaks, trying to get the car as clean as possible. I do really work fast, and I could not get it to the level of cleanliness I would have liked, but not many people will notice the areas I could not finish ;-) Looks like I will have to spend next winter to get it as clean as I want it to be.

I am looking forward to the Cadillac BIG Meet now! I will drive the 58 Seville and my wife will take the 74 together with my son to the show, as the 58 has no seat belts.

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Manuel was one of the first to drive his Eldorado to the Cadillac BIG Meet this year all the way from Düsseldorf. On his way he stopped by my garage and I gave him tour and showed him my humble collection.
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Getting the paint clean took forever
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I already fully cleaned the 58 Seville for the Cadillac BIG Meet weeks ago - so I just had to dust it off :-)

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PHOTOSHOOTING WITH THE 58 ELDORADO SEVILLE

When we did the test of the Driving Tour for the Cadillac BIG Meet just recently, I did not have a Cadillac with me, as the weather forecast was not too good. Today after work I wanted to test the steep mountain we are planning to drive up on the upcoming tour with an older Cadillac. So I hoped into the 58 and drove up the mountain just before sunset. Luckily I had a camera with me and I could snap a couple of nice pictures up on the mountain - right after the sun had set.
The 58 made the hill climb without any problem. Here are 3 pictures I shot - you can find the rest of the pictures here:
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PHOTOSHOOTING WITH THE FLEET

In 2002 we shot a “selfie“ on black and white film with my first two Cadillacs. Today - 13 years later - we recreated the picture on exactly the same location. Some things have changed over the years…
It took me quite a while to drive all the cars to the location and park them, as only 3 of them live in
the big garage in the picture…

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A lot of things have changed during the last 13 years.

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Our 1976 AMC Pacer is missing in this picture as it does not run at the moment.

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REPAIRING THE 6 WAY POWER SEAT OF THE 1958 ELDORADO SEVILLE

I woke up the 58 Eldorado Seville from its winter hibernation and when I went through all the switches and options I noticed that the front of the seat would neither move up nor down. The motor was running but it did not move. I could see that the front adjuster with the solenoid would not engage.

First I suspected that the switch has a problem - so I took it apart. With a test light you can easily test its function. With a three way jumper wire you can simulate the switch as well at the switch connector. You can see the picture below from the shop manual and its described which terminals you have to connect together to get the desired movement. The shop manual is extremely helpful in diagnosing any seat related problem. Check it out below!

Everything was fine at the switch. So I checked the wires going to the solenoids. There is a plug underneath the switch and I checked the wires from there. Everything was ok there as well.
For some reason the mechanism still did not engage. The front actuator was repaired by the previous owner once, as there were some screws in there which originally were not used. I tightened them and suddenly it worked again when I almost wanted to give up and wanted to try to find a good used one from one of the Cadillac parts places.
I hope it will work now for a long time. The seat is fully adjustable again.

Below are some pictures from the shop manual which should be very helpful if you have power seat problems as well.

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Six-way power seat diagram.
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Thats the front actuator and solenoid which had a problem on my car. The mechanism did not engage for some unknown reason. Probably a bad internal contact or the mechanism was stuck somehow.
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This 3 way jumper wire is very helpful to test the various functions and to rule out any problem with the switch.
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The procedure to test all the functions of the seat.
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The 6 way power seat wiring diagram.
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How to test the circuits.
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Front Seat Adjuster Actuator Assembly (1957 and 1958)

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REPAIRING THE WONDERBAR RADIO OF THE 1958 CADILLAC SEVILLE

The radio on my 58 Eldorado Seville was the only thing that never worked since I got the car back in 1999.

Another Cadillac fan I know who likes to try to repair old things and especially older tube radios wanted to give it a try. So the radio came out of the dash.
After his first investigation it soon turned out that the vibrator inside the radio was inoperative.
We could not find a new one - so he decided to cut the aluminum tube with the vibrator inside open.
He ordered a couple of other parts and somehow managed to repair the original vibrator.
I have no clue how he managed to do that and what he did exactly - but I now have a working AM - “Wonderbar" radio inside my 58 Eldorado Seville and for the first time I can proudly say that EVERYTHING works on my 58!

He also managed to repair the speakers on the 1966 and I have a perfectly working radio on this car as well now.

1958 Cadillac Radio
The 58 radio out of the car on the work bench…
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…and back in.

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REPAIRING THE CLOCKS OF THE 1958, 1966 AND 1967 CADILLAC

I like it when everything works on all cars.
So it was time to service some of the clocks which stopped working over the years.
The clock in the 66 did not work at all.
It's extremely simple to remove on the 66 as you can get it out of the instrument panel by just unscrewing one bolt.
The clock was very dirty in the clock work and needed a good cleaning and some good lubrication. Also the contact of the coil was a little worn and this was fixed. It then happily ticked back to life and now works perfectly.

The clock on my 58 stopped working a couple of years ago. So it came out as well. It's a little more complicated to get it out though...
When it was finally out - it could be seen that the coil was burnt and that it needed some very good cleaning as well. Some of the melted insulation material was all over the clock mechanism and of course I had no spare coil for it - so the original one had to be rewound with some good wire from a left over light solenoid...
Wow - this really took a while - but now the clock works perfectly again!

I was not so lucky with the clock on the 67 Eldorado which only worked when the car was warm. To take it out you have to remove the upper dash and then get out some light bulbs and disconnect it from the printed circuit.
It was also cleaned and lubricated and the clock worked, but it made a very loud noise when the coil rewound the spring of the clock.
The sound got better over night, but then the clock stopped working completely... It's a Westcox clock which uses a double coil and is much more complicated to rebuild than the Borg clocks. Its also almost impossible to find parts for it, as Borg clocks are much more widely used.
Looks like I will need a new 1967 clock and replace it with a Borg unit :-(

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The clock in the 66 is now working perfectly again.

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The disassembled clock of the 58 Eldorado.
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The coil was burnt on the 58 clock.
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Fully cleaned clock.
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Back together with a rewound coil.
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Back in the car - working perfectly again.

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Cleaning the Vicodec roof of the 58 and the convertible top of the 67.

During winter hibernation I´m using the time to fully clean and detail all of my cars for the next season. Some things I have to do regularly, like waxing, cleaning the interior, treating the rubber weatherstripping and many other things. Now it was time for a thorough cleaning of the fabric roofs of the 58 Eldorado Seville and the 67s convertible top.
I have tried a variety of cleaning methods and cleaners over the years.

This time I used Meguiars professional vinyl cleaner #M39 ( I think this product is no longer available and they only offer #M40 now) along with their stiff nylon brush followed by a special nano foam sponge which is called "dirt eraser". It really removes dirt very thoroughly even from textured materials.
Both tops came out very clean - I then used Meguiars Convertible top impregnation to protect them from getting dirty again soon. It also weatherproofs the tops. (not that I would ever drive in rain with my cars... ;-) )
I have heard really good things about Meguiars Convertible Top Cleaner as well - will try it out next time...

Disclaimer: I´m not getting paid or receive any free products from the companies I´m mentioning here. If I like products or services I mention them and if I dislike things I will also talk about them in a less positive way ;-) I just like to share my findings.

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One of the dirt eraser sponges in action on the original roof from 1958. White tops are a pain to keep clean...

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Looking o.k. now - its still the original top from 1967...

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In the garage

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Thoroughly cleaning the Vicodec roof

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Meguiars weatherproofer for additional protection

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1958 Eldorado Wheel Bearing Replacement - oil change - winter hibernation...

I finally put the finishing touches on the brake rebuild of my 58 Eldorado. Today I bled the brakes after the full rebuild of the Bendix Master cylinder and brake booster I did recently.
The newly installed Speedbleeder valves made the job a lot easier and quicker. I bled the brakes two times and took the 58 Eldorado for a test drive. The brakes worked fine, but felt differently than before the rebuild. The car did stop perfectly, but pedal travel was too long for my taste, before any brake action took place.
I consulted the shop manual for this symptom and it first suggested to adjust the brake pads first.
As I had no brake adjusting tool, I use a flat screwdriver to adjust the star wheel like described in the shop manual and bled the brakes once again.
After this the brakes worked like before the rebuild again — great!
As I had the front brake drums off anyways, I decided to finally change the wheel bearings as well, as they were making a very slight noise, and I had the new bearings laying around in my garage for years now...
They are pretty easy to remove and replace — no big deal — no special tools necessary. Just make sure to tighten them back to specs (shop manual mentions 4 ft-pound of torque (around 5,5nm))

After this, I also changed the oil after I brought the engine to operating temperature and put in 5 quarts of fresh 10W40 oil and a new oil filter. I also lubed some other parts like the alternator.
I then parked the 58 in the new garage - along with my other cars - where it will spend the long, cold winter.
It will get a good coat of fresh wax on the outside and some good leather treatment soon, and I will also treat the rubber parts and weather stripping, so that everything stays soft during hibernation.

I only managed to drive the 58 Eldorado 86 miles this year - way too less!

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Removed the old bearings
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You just have to tap out the rear dust shield
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The new bearings waiting for installation
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Adjusted the star wheel and checked the front brakes
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Changing the engine oil
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In its winter home
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In the winter home
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Sleep well!

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Repairing the Treadle Vac Master Cylinder and Brake Booster of my 58 Eldorado

In June I bled the brakes of the 58 Seville because it needed some fresh fluid, and the fluid level was a little low in the reservoir of the Bendix Treadle Vac master cylinder.
Now as I wanted to drive it out of the garage, I found a puddle of brake fluid under the car.
So I went on to search where it was coming from.
I suspected a leaking wheel cylinder, but could not find any traces of fluid coming from the wheels. After some more searching, I eventually found out that fluid was dripping out under the brake booster along the push rod. When I checked the fluid level it was only half full.

So I knew that the Treadle Vac would need a full rebuild…
I ordered a rebuild kit at Cadillac Parts LTD. They offer a kit to rebuild everything from the booster to the master cylinder. As I found out, the gasket for the reservoir did not fit from their set and some other correct smaller rubber parts are also not included in the set. So remove everything carefully from your unit as you might have to reuse some parts for your rebuild. I contacted them about the wrong parts and they immediately sent me the correct parts by mail. Great customer services - I would order from them anytime again!

As I had never done a full rebuild I asked my Cadillac friend Lucky for help - knowing that he can repair almost everything, and that he had done this job during the full restoration of his awesome 58 Biarritz before.

He was so kind to offer his assistance and invited me to his fantastic work shop where he is restoring his cars.

So I carefully removed the whole unit from my car and visited Lucky´s workshop.

With his skills he managed to rebuild the whole unit within a couple of hours. As it turned out a bad O-ring caused fluid to leak into the booster.
Due to all the brake fluid the finish of the Bendix unit suffered a lot, and so I decided to strip everything on the outside down to bare metal to repaint it.
So I took everything apart once again to make sure to do it perfectly.
I ordered some great spray cans from Eastwood to get the perfect look to match its appearance to when it was new.
Originally the master cylinder was not painted at all - but left in bare cast metal. Of course it started to collect surface rust very quickly - even on new cars back in 1958.
The booster originally was painted in semi gloss black.

Eastwood has a product called "Brake Gray" which I used to emulate this look. It comes extremely close to bare metal, but of course the paint protects the metal from rust. This paint is also resistant against brake fluid. I first primered the master cylinder with self etching primer two times before two coats of brake gray were applied.

For the brake booster I ordered Eastwoods Chassis Black extreme primer and satin black paint - painting turned out really fine! See pictures below

To make bleeding brakes easier and a one person job I also ordered a set of speed bleeder screws. (SB3824-SS)


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The unit still in the car - before removal
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Removal has started
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The unit out of the car - before rebuilding it.
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Out of the car
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In Lucky´s workshop with the rebuild kit I got from the USA
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My friend Lucky at work
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Lucky´s fantastic work shop
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The Bendix master cylinder fully disassembled


Everything disassembled

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This O-ring was leaking and caused the problem.

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The new o-ring in place.

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The vacuum cylinder
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As you can see the paint suffered from the brake fluid - a repaint was necessary after the rebuild.

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I started to wire brush the paint off - took it apart once again after this picture.

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The master cylinder in primer.

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After painting it with "Brake Gray" - great stuff.

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The master cylinder with paint
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The booster in bare metal before primer. I used Eastwood Extrem Chassis Black primer and paint.

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In primer

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Speed Bleeder screws
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Speed Bleeder screws and bag
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The new Speed Bleeder screw in place
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The reassembled unit back in the car.

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Bleeding brakes and spring cleaning

Finally we had some warm weather and it was time to start working on my cars again.
First up was the 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville which needed new brake fluid.

So I sucked out the old fluid from the reservoir and flushed all the lines with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid.
I started at the right rear line, the left rear, the right front and left front brake cylinder.
Although I have a pit its still a pain to reach all the bleeding screws. The power brake cylinder itself also needs some good bleeding.
Thanks to my dear wife Afra for gently pumping the brake pedal and helping me out.
When you bleed brakes make sure your assistant does not push the brake pedal all the way through as this could damage your master cylinders membrane.

Next up was a thorough cleaning of the garage floor.
My 3 year old son Elliot also wanted to help his daddy and helped me swiping the floor ;-)

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Bleeding and flushing the 58s brake lines

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The cars are out for cleaning the garage floor

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Floor cleaning

Little Elliot helping out - I´m glad he loves being in the garage.edge
Little Elliot helping out - I´m glad he loves being in the garage.

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Men at work




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On the road again - Season 2013 begins

The car season 2013 just started. I got my license plates again and the cars are back on the road after long winter hibernation.
Lets hope for some really nice weather this summer and that I will have enough time to drive and enjoy my cars.
The 58 Seville came out first and needed some new brake fluid and a complete flush of the brake system and a thorough bleeding. Thankfully my wife helped me pushing the brake pedal while I was doing the bleeding procedure under the car. Its great to have such a lovely helper! Thanks darling!


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My 1958 Seville on one of the first spring days

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The 58 Seville is back home. A dead battery...

Due to limited space in my garage I always have to store at least 2 cars at friends. Last year I put my 1958 Seville into storage at a friends awesome garage.

Now after almost a full year of not seeing the car it was time to bring it back home again. I was a little worried if the car would even start up after such a long time of hibernation.
After I put some fuel into the center carb - the car fired right up after only 3 seconds of cranking! Amazing! The car ran perfectly well and made the one hour and a half trip home without any issues.

The surprise came the next day when I wanted to take the car on another trip. The battery was dead although it was disconnected after the last trip. I tried to recharge it but it´s completely dead!
The Exide Maxima battery only lasted for 5 years and broke down over night without any warning… I will buy a new battery probably next spring - not sure if I should go with Exide again, maybe a cheaper one will have to do.


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The 58 after it left my friends garage after a year of storage. To my surprise it started right up!

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Outlook to the 2012 season - doing the first repairs 2012

As we had a nice sunny, dry winter day today I decided to re-arrange the cars in my garage so that I can start doing some work on them during the remaining cold winter nights.

The following work is planed for the next few months before the cars will be put back on the road in May 2012.

1971 Mark III


1967 DeVille

  • needs new front wheel bearings (I already have the spare parts)
  • will try to find a rebuilt OEM Bendix master cylinder and vacuum booster. These are very difficult to find. Everybody seems to offer Delco Moraine parts only. I have replaced my original booster and master cylinder 2 years ago and I´m not quite happy with the power assist of the new units. It seems that the after market master cylinders from Delco have a smaller bore diameter and therefore you will have to depress the pedal with more force. There is a discussion going on on the topic of finding the correct booster and master cylinder in the CLC forum - check it out for more detail! If you know where I could find a correct Bendix booster and master cylinder or where I could get my original core rebuilt, please let me know!! The parts number for the Bendix Master Cylinder is #1489981 and for the Bendix booster it is: #1489071
  • re-adjust the gear indicator as it's slightly out of line.

1967 Eldorado

  • I will remove the starter motor and have it rebuilt - it sometimes is acting up

1958 Eldorado

  • It needs some new front wheel bearings as well. I already bought the parts.

I will of course post the repair progress here on my website

A new garage?


The biggest planned project for 2012 will be to find a solution for my storage problem. I hope to be able to build another garage or to rent one. I will have to find a solution until the spring of 2012. I´m dreaming of building a building which can hold 8 Cadillacs, but I do not know yet if I will be able to afford it...

Car Shows


I hope to attend and visit the „Klassikwelt Bodensee“ from May 17th to 20th and of course the best meeting in Europe - the Cadillac BIG Meet August 25th to 26th. I will also hopefully make it to some local shows here in Austria.

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As we had a dry winter day I took the cars out of the garage - they fired right up after some months of sleeping

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The Mark III was moved to the back of the garage, so that I can start working on the other cars first


Little Elliot loves Daddy´s cars as well ;-)


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The cars are in winter storage :-(

With winter approaching rapidly, today I returned the license plates of my cars and put them into winter hibernation. I did not drive my cars very much this summer due to a mostly very rainy summer. So I did not rack up too many miles on my cars this season. I just made about 200 - 400 miles on most of them...
The cars are now in their cosy garages and will all get a new wax-, lubrication- and thorough cleaning job during the next few weeks. I usually also disconnect all the batteries, give the weatherstripping and rubber a good coat of silicone spray and treat all leather areas with leather conditioner. I also clean the interior carefully and over-inflate the tires to make sure that they do not get any flat spots. I will also park the tires on styrofoam. I really hate winter and snow and I am already looking forward to next spring... Over the winter I will rebuild the starter motor of my 1967 Eldorado and detail the undercarriage. The Lincolns undercarriage will get a very good cleaning as well. The 67 DeVille will get some new front wheel bearings and probably a new wheel cylinder and power booster. The 58 Eldorado will also need new front wheel bearings. So there will be a lot of minor things that will keep me busy over the winter...

Below are some pictures of our very last cruising tour this week with the Mark III

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Cruising through the scenic landscape of Austria looking down at a lake
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The Mark III enjoying the last sun rays...
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The whole family in the Lincoln - little Elliot is taking a nap as usual - nothing beats the soothing sound of the V8...

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The 58 Eldorado is in winter storage in an awesome garage

I put my 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville into winter storage today. As I ran out of garage space and have not found a solution for my storage problem yet, my friend Christian was so kind to offer me a cosy place in his AWESOME garage to store the 58 over the winter. So I drove my car to him today and enjoyed the 75 mile trip to his garage, as we had a warm and sunny autumn day.
When I reached Christians garage I refueled the car and put some fuel stabilizer in it. Amazingly the car needed only 18 mpg / 13l/100km. Thats pretty amazing - and I drove it pretty lead footed...

The car will spend this winter in a fantastic garage . The owner has an amazing collection of fine Cadillacs and some other classic cars. Among the Cadillacs are a 1956, 1957 and 1960 Eldorado Biarritz and a super low mileage 1976 Bicentennial. All cars are in amazing condition. The garage is second to none - it also features a full size bar and diner below the show room...

I´m glad that my 58 can spend the winter there, while my other cars are safely put away in my crowded garage. I really want to thank Christian for his generous offer!!!!

Below you can see some pictures I took on my last ride with the 58 in 2011. Good night my dear 58 - see you in May 2012.

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On the way...

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I had to stop at an oil pump along the road to snap a picture...

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I had to stop at an oil pump along the road to snap a picture...

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Christians “Eldorado Roadhouse“ - an awesome garage! The 1960 Biarritz once belonged to Cary Grant by the way... Next to my 58 is a super low mileage Bicentennial...

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A part of Christians garage - the car under the cover is my 58... then there is a custom corvette and a #1 Mustang GT350...

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A Photoshooting with my Cars

We had a short photo shooting with my cars today. My wife shot a roll of good old medium format slide film through her good old Hasselblad camera. You can find the image gallery with the best pictures from this shooting here. Not in the pictures is my AMC-Pacer which is not running at the moment.


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Seen from the roof top of the garage
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Most of my American cars in front of the garage...
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Cadillac BIG Meet 2011

The Cadillac BIG Meet is Europe’s biggest Cadillac meeting - held every year at the last weekend of August.
My wife and I are part of the organization team together with some good friends. At this years addition we had the theme “Cadillac meets Lincoln“ and so we invited Lincolns to the show field. My own Continental Mark III just got ready for the show a couple of days before the show, so I drove it there along with my 1958 Eldorado Seville which was piloted by my friend Tayfun.
On Saturday there is always a cruising tour limited to 40 preregistered cars. When we arrived at the host hotel lots of people were surprised seeing me arrive in a Lincoln ;-)

30 minutes before the tour started, suddenly the 58 cut out and did not want to start again. I once again suspected a clogged fuel line and we blew the line through. Unfortunately it did not help at all - the line was free. With the help of Lucky (a fellow 1958 Biarritz owner) we disassembled the fuel pump and found out that the valve inside came loose and was no longer in its seat. Lucky put it back and the car ran beautifully again. It all was fixed in 15 minutes and the 58 was ready for the cruising tour.

At the show on sunday 133 Cadillacs and 11 Lincolns participated. There were many awesome cars on the show field, like one of the worlds best 1953 Eldorados, a spectacular 1958 Eldorado Brougham, lots of 59 Eldorados and everything else ranging from 1921 to 2011. The show was once again spectacular.

You can find all the pictures of the show here:
http://www.cadillac-meeting.com/english/pictures/pictures.html

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My 1971 Continental Mark III just before the start of the cruising tour.

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The cars are gathering for the cruising tour

1958 Cadillac Fuel Pump repair
Lucky repaired the fuel pump of my 58 Seville 30 minutes before the start of the cruising tour - Thank you Lucky!!!!

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My friends Claudia and Tayfun drove my 58 Eldorado Seville

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one of the many awesome cars at the show - 1958 Eldorado Brougham # 535 - my dream car

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a small overview of a part of the show field at the Kremsegg castle

You can find all the pictures of the show here:
http://www.cadillac-meeting.com/english/pictures/pictures.html

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TV - Promotion Shooting for the Cadillac BIG Meet - 58 breaks down

I got a call from national Austrian television that they would like to do a short report for the upcoming Cadillac BIG Meet at the Kremsegg castle. They needed some Cadillacs there to do some interviews and to shoot some footage to promote our upcoming event. Of course we had to use this chance to promote our show on air.
My friends Christl, Christian and Willi and I made it there with our cars, on what must have been the hottest day this summer, and we could do the shooting for a 2 Minute piece at the Kremsegg castle.
We had Cary Grants former 1960 Eldorado Biarritz there, which now belongs to my friend Christian, which was the star of the report. The report aired 2 days before our show on national television.

I drove my 58 to the shooting and while sitting in heavy traffic it suddenly cut out while I was in the left lane. Eventually I made it to the right shoulder and I tried to make it run again without any success. Unfortunately I had no tools with me - so I had to call the automobile service club to help me out. They arrived about 20 minutes later. I asked the guy who helped me out to unscrew the fuel line and blow some compressed air into it, as I suspected a clogged fuel line. We reconnected everything and it ran beautifully again. So I safely made it home again. I wrongfully assumed that everything must have been fixed now and that I should clean the tank soon... (see the report about the Cadillac BIG Meet 2011to see what happened)

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Stranded on the Autobahn

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Cary Grants former 1960 Eldorado Biarritz was the star of the show
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The TV team with the show host Simona Pindeus and Willi Hofmann on the steering wheel

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Good morning Cadillacs!

Spring is around the corner and so it was time to go down to the garage and wake up the Cadillacs from winter hibernation. I put them into storage in October last year over the winter. In May I will get my license plates again and I can start driving them for this season.
Before the season actually starts I started to prepare the cars. I checked all fluids, checked the tire pressure, reconnected the freshly charges batteries, pushed the cars out of the garage, pumped the pedal a couple of times and then cranked the engine. One after the other came back to life. Great! I took them for a quick drive around the house and checked all systems.
I´m now starting to clean each one and give them a thick coat of fresh Meguiars wax. The leather seats will also get another treatment with Gliptone leather conditioner. I thoroughly cleaned the cars before I put them into storage and also changed the oil before I tucked them away, so there is not that much to do at the beginning of the new season. I have two more weeks now before I can officially drive the cars again - this should be enough time to make them look absolutely pristine.

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Good morning Cadillacs - welcome to the 2011 season.

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The 1967 Eldorado headlight door repairs - first spring outing

As we had an unusual warm day today with the snow melting in front of the garage, and having a couple of hours of spare time at hand, I decided to drive the Eldorados out of the garage. They both started right up as soon as the fuel pump delivered fuel to the fuel bowl. Both cars idled beautifully and it was a pleasure to see them in the bright daylight again for the first time since last October when I had put them into storage.

While I had the 67 Eldorado out I also turned on the headlights and was once again annoyed by the fact that the right one opened simultaneously, but closed slightly slower than the left one when I turned the lights off. There was a difference of around 1 second in movement between the two headlight doors.
Being a perfectionist I could not stand this, so I began searching for the problem. I already had spent some time in the past trying to fix this, but I did not succeed. The system is driven by vacuum only, so I started to look through the vacuum hoses once again. I had already exchanged a couple of them last year. I found another two brittle ones going through the firewall to the headlight switch from where a slight hissing sound was coming when the lights were on. When I touched them the hissing would become even more noticeable. I then tried to press them onto the connector of the switch and the first hose began to crumble into pieces. So I replaced all the hoses on the switch and rerouted them through firewall through the rubber insulation. There are three hoses . One is the vacuum feed (the one in the middle - I think it was yellow), one is for opening the doors (green) and one for closing (red). I also replaced the red hose behind the firewall going to a T-connector from where the vacuum is fed to the headlight door actuators. I had already replaced the two hoses after the T-connector in the past. With all new hoses in place the doors now perform almost simultaneously and quite fast. So when you run into troubles with your headlight doors, check and replace all the according vacuum hoses first. Its amazing how brittle the hoses going to the headlight switch inside the car can become over the years. It looks like they used a quite different material for these three hoses, as all other vacuum hoses are in much better shape and do not show any sign of deterioration at all.
You can see a video of the headlight doors in action below. On this video they are slightly out of sync. As it looks like they are slightly different every day, depending on temperature and engine idle...



watch on youtube or below


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the vacuum diagram for the headlight doors

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The vacuum diagram for the headlight doors


While the Eldorados were outside the garage my wife used the opportunity to shoot a couple of pictures she had in her mind, which she is planning to hang into the kids room. Cant wait until the medium format film is back from the photo lab. Below you can see only some digital snap shots I took.
Despite the last two unusual warm and beautiful days unfortunately winter is not over yet here in Austria, as some more snow is predicted for next week and the cars are back in the garage desperately waiting for April to come...

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The Eldorado is enjoying some sun rays for the first time this year
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Although she is 7 months pregnant, my wife Afra is still climbing ladders to get the best angle for her shots...
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The two Eldorados in front of the garage where the snow has just melted away.

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FIXED - 1958 Power Vent Window wiring problem

Today I could finally fix the issue with the broken wires in the passenger door. Because of these broken wires there were some issues with the power vent windows. You can read about the problem here.
Today I started to repair the broken wires by soldering them together and put some heat shrinking tubes and electric tape around the repaired areas.
You can see some image below. More of them can be found in the restoration section.
Everything now works as it should! Lets hope that the repaired wires wont break again any time soon ;-)

Next up - repair the door jamb switch of my 1967 Eldorado and install a new power seat transmission as the front up/down solenoid does no longer work and therefore does not engage the according seat transmission. This will involve removing the front bench seat which is very heavy... Oh it is so much fun owning these cars! ;-)


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I removed the kick panel, heater-box and door sill scuff plates to get access to the broken cables.

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They broke at the area where all the bending is taking place when the door is opened. Here the first wire is already soldered together

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I put some heat shrinking tube around it after soldering

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Just to be safe I wrapped some more electric tape around it
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All the wires are back together

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The wires are back together in the metallic tube going through the door

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Kick panel and everything else back in place. Everything works as it should now.

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As I work as a cameraman I had a good film light at hand to light the working area properly.

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1958 Power Vent Window wiring problem

A while ago I thought that I had already fixed an issue with the wiring of the power vent window in the passenger door.
Yesterday when I was repairing the 6 way power seat which had a contact problem somewhere at a solenoid - suddenly the power vent window started to close itself when I shut the door. So the problem was back! (At least the power seats do work perfectly now!)
So I decided to spend the day in the garage - rewiring the 58´s passenger door as there definitely was a short somewhere in the power vent window circuit. Thats the kind of work I absolutely HATE! 52 years of bending the wires whenever you open the door took its toll.
The bug was easily found after I removed the kick panel, door sill plates, parts of the heat tubing, and the metal tube which is going through the door to protect the wires. 5 (!) cables were broken and only held together by the original fabric covering around it. The cables all broke exactly at the end of the tube where all the bending is going on when the door is opened. I will now have to splice the cables back together somehow and get them back into the tube. No idea how I will do this - I will have to buy some electric supply material first, but the shops are all closed over the weekend. I´m still stunned that the windows still worked and the only sign of failure was that they started to open or close themselves sometimes when I opened the door, and that the battery was drained at one occasion. I guess I was lucky that the car did not catch fire...

UPDATE - Feb. 8th:
I fixed it - read everything about it above or by clicking on this link!



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A short in the 1958 Eldorado power vent window wiring

When I came into the garage to take something out of the trunk of the 1958 Seville yesterday, I pushed the trunk release button in the glove box and... nothing happened. I pushed again and instead of hearing the trunk pop open and the sound of the pull down motor going up, there was just nothing happening. This was when I noticed that the interior lights did not come on either... The battery was completely dead.
So there was no other way than hooking up the charger. Two hours later, the battery was strong enough to start the car. I checked all electric components and everything seemed to work - so I was wondering what drained down a fully charged battery over night? This was the moment when I noticed a clicking noise coming from the passenger door. I opened all windows including the power vents . When I opened the passenger door the vent window started to close itself! So even when the vent window was fully closed, the window motor would still draw current. At a test drive with the door closed (of course)- the window would eventually start closing itself again.

So I had to remove all the window switches and unscrew the kick panels. Of course some of the cables behind there were broken or had the isolation coming of at the areas where they had to bend each time the door was opened or closed. I replaced one section of a cable and isolated the other ones.
So far everything seems to be working o.k. now. After an extensive test drive and opening the doors multiple times - everything seems to be well.
It is really a pain to get access to all these cables and trying to repair them. Some smaller hands would be very handy in this cases.


1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville door wiring
Thats the area behind one of the 1958 Eldorado kick panels where the cables have to bend all the time. After 51 years they seem to get tired.

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The Cadillac BIG Meet was a huge success!

I just returned from the Cadillac BIG Meet - Europes largest Cadillac Meeting where I am in the organization team together with some friends. Its held in Austria every last weekend in August. This year we had the sixth edition. Thanks to all participants - the 2009 Cadillac BIG Meet was a huge success once again! 140 Cadillacs made it to the show this year. As we celebrated the 59 Cadillacs 50th birthday, we managed to get 17 of them parked side by side. 9 of them were Eldorados, ranging from 6 Biarritzes and 2 Sevilles to the super rare Eldorado Brougham of 1959. Some of the other highlights among all these beautiful Cadillacs which made it to the meeting- were a perfect 57 Eldorado Brougham and 2 1953 Eldorados and many other awesome Cadillacs. Visitors came from Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland and Norway. While the driving tour on saturday, which was limited to 40 cars, had some terribly rainy weather, Sunday, the day of the show was just splendid. I took my 1958 Seville to the show. But look for yourself and check the image galleries with more than 800 pictures my wife made this year.
http://www.cadillac-meeting.com/english/pictures/pictures.html


on the picture above you can see the venue - in the front there is my all-time favorite car - the 1957 Eldorado Brougham. This one was in perfect condition.

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A great 1958 Eldorado Seville for sale!

Per Rubien from Denmark sent me the following message about his great 1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville which is for sale now:

“I want to sell my 1958 Eldorado Seville. The car is 100% complete and in very fine condition. Everything is working and it drives like a new car. The interior is 100% original and in super condition.”

If you are interested please contact Per Rubien in Denmark directly! Phone: +45 98134480 or mail:
He is asking around € 35.000.- - which is a very reasonable price for a car like this!

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The Cadillac BIG Meet - This Weekend!

The Cadillac BIG Meet 2009 will happen this weekend - August 30th.
Its held for the 6th time this year at the Kremsegg Castle in Kremsmünster in Austria. This is the biggest Cadillac Meeting held in Europe and about 150 Cadillacs are expected.
For more info click on the image below - which was taken at the show. This years theme is “The Cadillac Fin” and the 50th birthday of the 1959 Cadillacs. I will take my 1958 Eldorado Seville to the show, as it is the only Cadillac I own which has fins.


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The first pictures of all 3 Cadillacs side by side

Today I took the first picture of all 3 Cadillac side by side in front of the garage. Unfortunately it was shot a little too late as the sun already set. Will try another time again.



The Cads lined up

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New 1967 and 1958 Cadillac Ads

I found some of the missing 1958 and 1967 Cadillac ads and added 13 of them to the ads gallery.



1958 Eldorado Brougham ad

1967 Cadillac ad

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Winter Hibernation

There is already snow outside and my Cadillacs are in winter hibernation now, safely stored away in their warm garage. I´m still doing some work with my buddy Tayfun on his Pimperado though.

Here are two pictures of the cars sleeping under their cosy covers.




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Last cruising with the 58 for this season.

With winter already around the corner - the first snow is already visible on the surrounding mountains-- today I took the 58 Eldorado Seville for its last spin before it will finally go into winter hibernation.
Today was a picture perfect fall day, so my wife and I drove around a little bit. I filled the gas tank up to the brim and overinflated the tires for the long storage period.

I will soon change the oil, give the exterior a fresh coat of wax, clean and treat the leather with a conditioner, remove the battery and then put the car on blocks over the long winter. I only drove the car 640 kilometers (397 miles) this season. Somehow I did not make it to many shows this year and it was a very humid summer and fall.


pretty fall colors


over-inflating the tires for storage


filling the gas tank


There is already snow in the background!

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First official Cruise 2008

I got my license plate for this season from the insurance company yesterday. First I fixed them onto the Roadmaster and we took it for a spin immediately. (See pictures)

Today weather was perfect and so it was time for the first cruise with the Cadillacs as well. First I took the 58 for a spin - it ran perfectly and it was a dream to drive it once again after almost 8 months in storage.
After the 58 it was time to move the 67 out. Unfortunately the 67s battery is dead after 12 years of reliable service, and the new one did not arrive yet. So I had to jump start it with jumper cables. This worked perfectly and so I headed off with the 67 as well. After a few miles it started to hesitate pretty badly. As I would not be able to restart the car with the dead battery along the road, I got pretty nervous in heavy traffic. Eventually I made it home safely and I immediately started investigating the issue. I was worried that something broke somewhere along the ignition or the fuel distribution. I found out that one ignition cable managed to slip off the spark plug. I have no idea how this could happen - but the problem was fixed easily and I took the car for another spin to the gas station....
Great to be able to drive all my cars again.


the 1958 Cadillac on the shores of the "Traunsee" in Traunkirchen


cruising with the 58 through the countryside


we took the Roadmaster for a spin...

my wife enjoying the "new" family car

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The 2008 Season Begins!

My buddy Tayfun once again came on a visit to start working on his Pimperado for the upcoming season.
First we both made a "To Do List" for each individual car and plans for repairs that we want to do this spring and summer.
Also on the agenda was to wake up the cars, which were stored for the last months.

Yesterday we replaced the fuel pump on the 58, which I already replaced last summer - it was brand new but did not work correctly. So yesterday we installed another one.
This work was done pretty quickly within a couple of minutes. It now seems to work flawlessly. I hope it will stay like this.

Tayfun also did a lot of work on his 1981 Pimperado.

Today Tayfun and I moved all the cars out of the garage to clean the floor a little and to do some spring cleaning.
My buddy Richard also helped me last night doing doing some "Garage Pimpin´".
It was pretty funny - with lots of car talk till late in the night.

The 67´s battery seems to be on its last breaths, as it was no longer strong enough to start the car up - I have it since 1996 - so it lasted pretty long anyways, never needing any charge before. It looks like I will finally need a new one.
So I borrowed the battery from my Buick and then the 67, like all the other Cadillacs, fired right up.


Tayfun cleaning the garage

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My 58 in the newspaper

A picture of my 58 made it into the daily newspaper "Kurier" 2 weeks ago. You can see a scan below, click on it for larger view! Its an article in the travel magazine - not sure why they selected the image of my car - its not explained in the text at all...


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Spring is around the corner

As we had springlike temperatures today in the middle of winter, I decided to wake my cars from hibernation and drive them around the block. I put the batteries in only to find out that the one from the 67 was quite empty and the car would not start. I wanted to charge it with a battery charger but it also quit working... So I had to use jumper cables and eventually I could start the 67. The 58 also had problems starting up as the fuel pump needs to be replaced. I already have a new one lying around which I will install soon. After some cranking the 58 came back to life and ran beautifully. I took all the cars for a quick spin around the block and after they were fully warmed up they went back into storage for about 6-8 more weeks. Can´t wait for spring to come!
I also installed a new hood emblem on our 96 Roadmaster as a wrong one was on the car when we bought it.
It was great to work on the cars again.


the cars in front of the garage

the Buick´s brand new hood ornament

the Buick´s new hood ornament

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New video of my 1958 Eldorado Seville online

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!



1958 Cadillac Eldorado Seville Video
This video can also be found on the video page of my website.


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The last cruising and photo session this year

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.

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Preparations for 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.

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working on the AC
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installing the new backup lenses - which had to be custom fitted...

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Interior cleaning and Cruisenight

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.

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cleaning the trunk of the 58

Cruising night!

After cleaning we had a nice cruising trip around the lake with friends and our ladies.

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Tayfun
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on a hill
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the ladies
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Alex
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Tayfun
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Richard
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I took the 67

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58 gets a new fuel pump - Video shoot

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.

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This is where the new fuel pump goes
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filming

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I think it´s the fuel pump

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...

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58 wont start!

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.

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A great Ebayer - Power Vent Window Switch

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!!
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"New" vent window switch arrived + new Battery

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
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Another Photoshooting with the 58

As weather was really fine I took the 58 out for a little photoshoot yesterday evening.
You can find all the pictures in the 58´s image gallery.
Here is only a little preview:

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Power Vent Window Switch wanted!

Thanks found it!


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:

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58 featured in magazine

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!

weekendmagazine picture - click for larger image!

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A photosession with the 58 - Tires balanced

As we spent a couple more days in Vorarlberg at my in-laws after the show in Dornbirn, we had a nice photo shooting at the shores of the Rhein River today.

You can find the gallery of the first digital images here - the ones we shot on medium format slides will follow sometime next week.

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This morning I drove the car to a tire shop to have the front tires balanced. As it turned out they needed a couple of weights...


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58 Vibrations...

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.
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58 Carburetor Rebuilding Project finished

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.


1958 Cadillac Tri Carb rebuild
during the rebuilding - click on any picture for larger view!

all carbs were blasted and cleaned

the rebuilt front carb

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The 58 is at the restoration shop.

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.

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Finally: A date for the tri-carb rebuild

The restoration shop called and I finally got a date for my carburetor rebuild.
I will deliver the car to them on April 23rd. Looking forward to it.
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