BillhymerMD

The Death of a 1931 Cadillac

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This poor 1931 Cadillac has been chopped and rodded.  This seems like criminal behavior to me.  Perhaps someone can buy it and restore some dignity to it.  On eBay now.  

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Remember the 31 Cadillac was full of wood and very costly to restore properly.  Looks like a good save to me.  

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Yeah , if they are too far gone , everything right about doing this. Maybe some of the original parts have been transplanted where they can help. I wonder what engine it has ? Hopefully a 472/500 Cadillac , thereby preserving the "soul" of this car. We have all seen missed opportunities do do just that. Restoration ? Surely not , I am afraid. Resurrection ? Hmmmmm , ? Maybe. Reincarnation ? Uh - huh ! Reincarnation ! Reincarnation ! But I guess Karmic continuation demands preservation of lineage. Way too many Chev 350s in way too many cars. (Whew ! Good night , Mike , and all).  -  Carl

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Looks like a nice solid project to take over, not everyone can afford a 1932 Ford 3Window. Bob

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P.S. : I just realized , still with Grand National reverberations bouncing around in my head , if this Coupe really is Cadillac powered , it could be exhibited in "Modified" , right ?  - CC

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12 minutes ago, 1937hd45 said:

Looks like a nice solid project to take over, not everyone can afford a 1932 Ford 3Window. Bob

 In my humble opinion, I have no problem with someone hot rodding a 3 window ford all day long but I believe there are certain Marques that should not go down this road.  I don't own the car so I have no say but seems a shame to me for a full classic to be chopped. 

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I think it's a matter of degree or state of deterioration.  If a car is mostly complete and can be economically restored, I agree that it is an abomination to "hot rod" or extensively modify it.  With that said, if a car is a basket case (just a jumble of parts) and one step ahead of the crusher, by all means do whatever is required to put the car back on the road.  What results from such modifications might be only barely recognizable as, for example, a 1931 Cadillac, but there may be enough of the original marque left in the soul of the hot rod that folks could appreciate the origin of the hot rod itself.  I'm a hot rodder, but I hate to see a restorable or survivor car modified.  Along with my modifieds (hot rods), is a 1938 Chevrolet survivor, which I'm almost afraid to touch ... such is my reverence for the originality of the vehicle.  To each his own, but please, do not destroy history.

 

Just my opinion,

Grog

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10 hours ago, capngrog said:

I think it's a matter of degree or state of deterioration.  If a car is mostly complete and can be economically restored, I agree that it is an abomination to "hot rod" or extensively modify it.  With that said, if a car is a basket case (just a jumble of parts) and one step ahead of the crusher, by all means do whatever is required to put the car back on the road. 

 

Grog, I agree with this. 

 

I also hate seeing rare cars being raped and destroyed beyond the point of no return.

 

Eric

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11 hours ago, C Carl said:

P.S. : I just realized , still with Grand National reverberations bouncing around in my head , if this Coupe really is Cadillac powered , it could be exhibited in "Modified" , right ?  - CC

 

Couldn't be shown in AACA but maybe in the new CLC Modified class?

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6 minutes ago, Restorer32 said:

Can any car be "economically restored" ?

 

 

Any part of the car hobby is not for people on fixed budgets.

 

 

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So he cut's up a rare car and in the middle of the job he throws in the towel and put's it on E-Bay. Too bad he didn't really think about it BEFORE he started. Hopefully some one will purchase the car and at least finish the job so the car can be presentable.

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yes can any car be economically restored?  I don't believe it possible in this day and age.

 

 I had complete 42 Packard Limo 27 years,  Not too terrible of shape, but it either going to be sold or parted to others.  sad as this was the car we drove and use in out wedding 25 years ago.  But to much idle time, some 20 year without running. . 

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25 minutes ago, packards42 said:

... can any car be economically restored?  I don't believe it possible in this day and age.

 

Time marches on.  Cars we could once purchase on car lot back rows for $100 went the way of the dinosaur.  Around 30 years ago, vehicles with hundreds of computers on board were still to come and shade tree mechanics could still work on them.  Being so, parts stores still had items on their shelves.  In this age of sealed engines with 100,000 mile warranties and 80% electronics, shade tree mechanics have also went the way of the dino.   Junk yards, in general, only keep stock for cars 10 years old or newer and crush the rest - which includes the classics, leaving the pool of original parts shallow.  That means, supply and demand dictates costs.   Also in this age of technology, people's eye for detail have become keener and so, restorations are more scrutinized than in the past.

 

Eric

 

Edited by X-Frame (see edit history)

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5 hours ago, 46 woodie said:

So he cut's up a rare car and in the middle of the job he throws in the towel and put's it on E-Bay. Too bad he didn't really think about it BEFORE he started. Hopefully some one will purchase the car and at least finish the job so the car can be presentable.

Too bad you didn't read the article. The owner didn't lose interest. The car sat for 30 years and was purchased by the current owner in 2004 who then chopped it. In 2013 he decided to do another "refurbish" but developed cancer and later died. The family is selling it.

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To people who view full classics as works of art, it's painful to see them destroyed.  And rightly so it upsets a few of us.  One could argue that "its not your car so why do you care."  But that is a lot like asking a baseball card collector not to care if someone buys a rare Babe Ruth card and then promptly cuts it into 20 pieces and then tapes it all back together.  It makes you sick that there is one fewer example of that car out there for posterity.    And this was a rare car.  

Edited by BillhymerMD
Error (see edit history)
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38 minutes ago, BillhymerMD said:

To people who view full classics as works of art, it's painful to see them destroyed.  And rightly so it upsets a few of us.  One could argue that "its not your car so why do you care."  But that is a lot like asking a baseball card collector not to care if someone buys a rare Babe Ruth card and then promptly cuts it into 20 pieces and then tapes it all back together.  It makes you sick that there is one fewer example of that car out there for posterity.    And this was a rare car.  

 

I agree.  When you swap the matching numbers chassis and engine then chop, channel, and torch the rest while gutting the interior, what is left?  Nothing you can work with to restore the car back to original.   Like you said, some people only see it as a car and could care less about collectability.  One further with your baseball analogy is that some will only see it as a piece of cardboard so what is all of the hoopla with the value? 

 

It sickens me to see rare or low number cars being altered beyond any future restoration.  Might as well send it to the crusher.

 

Eric

 

 

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This is precisely the reason I bought the '38 Plymouth coupe I'm currently restoring. It was a very complete, original, rust free car but it fell into the hands of a guy who decided to rod it. He dismantled the entire car, and got as far as cutting part of the front floor section out to accept a V-8, automatic. Luckily the floor section was still with the car. The fellow wound up passing away and his family put the car up for sale. I was on an intent search for a '38 Buick Century when I stumbled across this coupe. I HAD to save it. Sold the V-8 and auto trans, again I was fortunate as the original drive train was still amongst the parts stacked in the garage, and started the complete restoration process. And, while it's no Buick Century (or '31 Cadillac), it is beautiful in it's simplicity.

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You are very luck to catch the '38 Plymouth in time.  No, not a Buick nor Cadillac but the Plymouth coupes are also desirable cars and looking forward to your posts of the restoration process.

 

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9 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

Can any car be "economically restored" ?

 

 

Well,  it depends on how one defines both "economically" and "restored".  I buy relatively rust-free non running cars (low value $) and get them running.  Sometimes I'll need to do some minor rust repair, but other times just I'll stabilize the rust so that I doesn't progress.  The old phrase, "Rust never sleeps" is absolutely true, but it is much less active in my humidity-controlled garage.  The extent of my restorations is getting the vehicle to run and drive reliably and then do a cosmetic detailing.  I don't do upholstery, and I don't do much paint-wise.  None of my cars become show cars, but they sure are fun to drive.  I guess the best thing that can be said for what I do is that the cars don't deteriorate further under my care.  I'll gladly sell to the guys who want to do the full Barrett-Jackson type restorations. 

 

Just my opinion,

Grog

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To my sometimes confused mind , another interpretation of the cars history is possible. Thrashed out of the barn by someone else in the early 2000s , THEN sold in 2004 to the late owner who enjoyed it for years. Etc. as per family's explanation. My first gut shot feeling when Joe revealed yet another 350ized , now soul-less hot rod , was to quote the kid in the movie about the "Black Sox" scandal : "Say it ain't so , Joe" , but it is , sadly so. You know , if there were not massive interesting Cadillac power options readily available , what the hay ! But looka here : lots of us play around with our Cad mills , and are quite aware of the plethora of speed equipment for a hot rod "Kitty". 514s , 527s , strokers , huffers , headers , manifolds , oh ! I just thought of something I have posted in the past. Lemmee see if I can post it up. Give me a few minutes , or more. I will post seperately so as not to risk losing this clever babble. Stand by. Or not.  - C Carl

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Sonny Wisner's (left , standing behind) "Studillac". 0.050 over makes it a 514. You see some of the goodies. Yup. They are 45mm Webbers. Now there were Studillacs in the past. 331s. Look , you all know I am partial to Cadillacs. So to me , I don't regard a "Studillac" as soul-less  This is , as far as I know , the definitive "Studillac". Do any of you know of a contender ? At any rate , with all the work that has gone into this tormented '31 coupe , mightn't the original fabricator have been well advised to plop something like this into it ? It would still , then , be a Cadillac. And I am sure at that point it could have been "Modified" , and displayed as such in CLC events. Let me get some corroborating black and white verbiage . Seems the "times they are a changing" , and if still a Cadillac , the mutilated potent , comfortable , air conditioned , unique , truely attractive in its way , hot rod would have been elegible for judging in the not too distant future ! Changing , indeed !  - CC

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