2200 LOS ANGELES AVENUE - PITTSBURGH, PA  15216 www.clcpgh.      VOLUME 35  ISSUE 1

                                                                                                     The Original

                                                                      Caddy Chatter

                                                                      By Pittsburgh Region Cadillac LaSalle Club

                                                                                              Since 1984

Leadership in the Pittsburgh Region Cadillac-LaSalle Club consists of:


            Board of Directors:

Joe Kress        &         Steve Ehrin      

Rob Bogan, Mark Demyan, Ken & Lisa Bucher, and

724-869-5972             412-251-6104 

Lee Herbermann Representing the Pittsburgh Region 


412-848-2408                              at National meetings.

The Cadillac Mind Melt

 1937 Cadillac Series 90 Hartmann Cabriolet


          Is it a Delahaye?  A Delage?  Or maybe some other dreamy, French Curvy scoop of rolling sculpture? This kinetic object d’art, it turns out, is actually a good ol’ fashioned Caddy - specifically a rather special, 1937 Cadillac Series 90 Hartmann Cabriolet originally commissioned by international playboy Philippe Barraud.  Wrapped in fluid sheetmetal that could best be described as Figoni et Falaschiesque and powered by a narrow-angle V-16, this particular Caddy’s impossible, 22-foot-long proportions made waves.  Many wagered that this swoopy cab would win the top Concours prize, but it settled instead for the class win in its American Classic Open category.  Shame, as this Cadillac seemed to have it all: a great story, stunning lines, and elegance for miles. - B.W.


The Best Fire Extinguishers for Your Classic Car

          When it comes to fire extinguishers, most people think of the dry chemical versions you find at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and other home improvement stores.  While those household extinguishers are effective in putting out or containing most common small fires, they aren’t ideal for a car fire.

          First of all, they aren’t designed for fires that involve fuel or oil-based products (plastics, rubber, etc.) and therefore aren’t overly effective at putting them out.  Another costly downside is that they’re made up of chemicals that are highly caustic, meaning that once you use one on your car, the dry chemical residue will likely wreak havoc to your electrical wiring, metal, and paint.  Corrosion is the biggest issue, and it may not be evident right after use.  So, anything that comes in contact with the chemical will likely need to be repaired or replaced.

          A less-damaging alternative is the H3R Performance HG100C HalGuard, a clean-agent gas that will set you back less than $150.  This is the replacement gas for Halon, which ceased production on January 1, 1994 under the Clean Air Act.  (It is still legal to purchase recycled Halon and Halon fire extinguishers, however.)       If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, your standard ABC dry chemical extinguisher is most certainly better than having nothing at all, and costs around $60.  This one even comes with a vehicle mounting bracket.           No need to stop there.  You can also spent up to several hundred dollars to have an automatic fire suppression system installed in your car.  The system is heat-triggered and will put out a blaze almost immediately should something spark an engine fire when you’re not around your car.

          One option you may have considered is aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF).  Although AFFF has been used in the fire service industry for decades, recent studies have shown it can contaminate drinking water and can lead to cancer.  Like Halon, look for this to eventually disappear from shelves. If you’re already using it, you may want to consider an alternative.

          Another valuable fire safety product for your car is a battery cut-off switch.  Retailing for around $30 (not including installation), it can be mounted so that the switch is easily accessible from the driver’s seat. This will be very helpful in the event a fire sparks while you’re driving.


Cadillac During the Great Depression

Authored by Thomas Bonsall; Provided and edited by Steve Fox 

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac 

          The Great Depression sapped the auto industry generally, with the luxury market declining more steeply.  Between 1928 and 1933, Cadillac sales declined by 84% to 6,736 vehicles.  Exacerbating sales performance for the Cadillac brand was a policy, reflective of the times, which discouraged sales to African Americans.  Nick Dreystadt, mechanic and national head of Cadillac service, urged a committee - set up to decide whether the Cadillac brand would live on - to revoke that policy.  After the policy was eliminated, brand sales increased by 70% in 1934 and Dreystadt was promoted to lead the entire Cadillac Division. 

          By 1940, Cadillac sales had risen tenfold compared to 1934.  In 1936, Dreystadt released the Series 60 as Cadillac's entry into the mid-priced vehicle market.  It was replaced by the Series 61 in 1939, but a popular model that was derived from it, the Sixty Special, continued through 1993.  Another factor helped boost Cadillac growth over the next few years: a revolution in assembly line technology.  In 1934, Henry F. Phillips introduced the Phillips screw and screwdriver to the market.  He entered into talks with General Motors and convinced the Cadillac group that his new screws would speed assembly times and, therefore, increase profits.  Cadillac was the first automaker to use the Phillips technology in 1937, which was widely adopted in 1940.  For the first time in many years all cars built by the company shared the same basic engine and drivetrain in 1941.  That year also saw the introduction of the optional Hydra-Matic transmission, the first mass-produced, fully-automatic transmission offered on Cadillacs (offered the previous year on the Oldsmobile).

ATTENTION: 2019 Hershey Fall Meet Attendees & Vendors:

          We have been informed that there will be a very large national soccer tournament in the area the same weekend as the Hershey car show (October 9-12).  We do not want to panic anyone, but we are strongly suggesting you book your hotel rooms for the fall meet now !!!  

          This is especially important if you normally stay at any of the outlying hotels.  This very large kids’ soccer tournament will literally bring several thousand extra people to the local area.  Even though the main part of the tournament is one county over from us and many involved with the tournament will stay outside of our area, some Harrisburg and close by hotels may get booked up for Friday and Saturday nights. 

          We’ve made some calls and the Hershey proper hotels do not seem to be affected yet, but we would suggest making your reservations early there as well. Please, do not take this lightly. 

Make your reservations now, so that you don’t have to scramble later !


          Everyone has some in the garage, basement, or covered up in the yard.  Stuff you would like to sell or giveaway that a Pittsburgh Region member could use.  Cars (any kind), parts, tools, and just plain stuff; but stay away from farm animals and crops.  Send what you want to get rid of c/o Caddy Chatter and it will be listed in the next newsletter and or on the website.


The BEAST – The president’s new ride.  If you are interested you can check it out at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyVjR3-1jaU

A Final Few Words . . .

We, the Board of Directors, would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year.


          There are openings on the Board of Directors.  Some members of the Board are assuming dual duties and we are looking to fill the following positions:

  Newsletter Editor   Membership Secretary        Treasurer

      We are looking for a talented individual that would like to take over the Caddy Chatter newsletter. 

Although not taking credit for it, Lee Herbermann is our current Newsletter Editor.  Lee did not ask for this position.  Without question, Lee absorbed the duties of Newsletter Editor when the previous editor resigned.  Lee is looking to move on to other things and would like to pass the baton to someone else.  We would like to have this position filled soon.  Co-Director Joe Kress will help with this transition.  Please contact Lee Herbermann at 412-848-2408 or Joe Kress at 724-869-5972 if you are interested.

          The Caddy Chatter newsletter is the life blood of our Club.  It broadcasts the activities to the Membership so they stay informed.  If you have the time and talent for this position, we would greatly appreciate the help.

          Membership Renewal:  Be on the lookout for the Membership Renewal Packet.  This packet is now at the printer and should be mailed around the first weekend of January 2019.  We had an active 2018 and are hoping to see everyone again in 2019.


          Mark Your Calendars:  And speaking of 2019 - We have a tentative date to kick off 2019 with our annual Sweethearts’ Dinner at Scoglio’s Restaurant in Greentree:  February 23, 2019.   We hope to see you there !


          Pictures Wanted:  Please send us the most recent photo (digital or hard copy) of your Cadillac or LaSalle.  We would like to feature our members’ cars in the Caddy Chatter outside of the “For Sale” section. 

Please feel free to include as small description of your pride and joy along with the photo(s) and we will publish it.  Whether your car is show quality, a daily driver, or still in restoration; we welcome all photos.  Please send your photos to:  

Joe Kress

1516 Dupont Street

Conway, PA  15027 jakress21@yahoo.com


We are looking forward to seeing you in the New Year !



Previous Caddy Chatters are available by clicking below.

January 2019

October 2018

March 2018

September 2017

Summer 2015

January 2015