CLCpic1CPITTSBURGH REGION CADILLAC-LASALLE CLUB                               





The Original

Caddy Chatter


Pittsburgh Region Cadillac LaSalle Club

Since 1984


Leadership in the Pittsburgh Region Cadillac-LaSalle Club consists of

Steve Ehrin & Joe Kress, Co-Directors; along with Rob Bogan, Mark Demyan, Ken & Lisa Bucher, Board Members; and Lee Herbermann representing the Pittsburgh Region at National meetings.


September 9th Picnic & Car Show

          The date was set and invitations were sent for the Regions Picnic & Car Show.  What could go wrong?  There were reports that an uninvited guest may show up.  As the date got closer more reports on the uninvited guest grew more believable, but the event planner decided to stay the course.  Well the uninvited guest arrived, as expected, Hurricane Gordon brought water in the form of rain along with high winds. 

            Did a Hurricane along with the threat of flooding, cool temperatures, and poor driving conditions hold some (10) back from attending?  Sure, but some (over 20) decided to attend without their collector cars and enjoy the inside activities.  Inside it was warm dry and the people made it comfortable.  Food, beverages, snacks and desserts, more than could be consumed at one event, were set out for our consumption.  Games, prizes, and a 50/50 drawing along with good conversation completed the event that went into overtime.

            Our thanks to Joe, Steve, Ken and the Queen of Activities, Lisa, who put this event together along with the help of attendees who together made this a memorable picnic. 


Everyone Testing Their Skills on the Games Played at the Picnic 100_9782




            The AACA Fall Meet held in Hershey each year is scheduled for October 10th - 13th.  Events will include a Car Corral, Flea Market, Race Car condition run along with a Car Show.  If you have attended Hershey you know what it’s all about, if you haven’t you may want to put it on your bucket list.

            As in past years the Cadillac-LaSalle Club will have a hospitality tent in the North Chocolate field, spaces C4P 24-27 (near light pole #37).  The tent will be open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. You are welcome to stop by and meet other CLC members, rest your feet and enjoy a beverage.  Marty and Lee will be hosting at the tent on Thursday morning.  Stop by and say HELLO!


CLC Museum Donation:

The Self Starter lists a donation of a 1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic, rare car indeed, from long time CLC member and former Pittsburgh Region member Richard Anton.  Some of you may remember that Richard researched a 1960 Cadillac Convertible, that he purchased new, and found it.  Now, after many years, belongs to a Pittsburgh Region member.  He had a photograph of the car, taken when new, enlarged and framed.  At one of our Region brunches at the Youghiogheny Country Club he presented it to Peter Payne the car’s present owner.


Cadillac and Harley Davidson Servi-Car:

            The Harley-Davidson Servi-Cycle, powered by a 45 c.i. V-twin engine was introduced in 1932 as the company’s new entry into the commercial market.  It was aimed for use by businesses as a quick and economical means for deliveries and soon found favor in the automotive trades.


Harley-Davidson quickly added an accessory tow bar and bumper clamp for the machine as can be seen in the above photo.  A worker would drive the rig to a customer’s home or place of business to pick up a car scheduled for service or repair work.  The tow bar for the Servi-Car was quickly attached to the bumper of the automobile and the vehicle was then driven back to the shop.  After service work was completed the order was reversed, and afterward, the rider could pick up another vehicle or return to the garage.


            Harley-Davidson quickly added an accessory tow bar and bumper clamp for the machine as GM Applies for Patent on Instrument Panel That Adapts to

Steering Wheel Position:

            General Motors has filed a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an “adaptive” instrument panel that seeks to address the issue of dash instrumentation being blocked by the steering wheel.  According to the automaker, as much as half of the information displayed by a vehicle’s instrument panel can become blocked as the driver turns the steering wheel.  That’s a problem even during ordinary, everyday driving, GM says in its application, but it becomes an even greater one during performance driving events, when metrics like engine speed and oil pressure ought to be visible at all times.

            The ability to view all relevant information at all times is also particularly important in autonomous vehicle applications, GM’s patent application says.

            So, to combat the big blind spot that can be created by the steering wheel, General Motors has come up with a means of using a vehicle’s steering angle sensor to determine where to reposition readouts on a digital instrument panel. As the wheel turns, crucial information like vehicle speed, coolant temperature, and the like can thus dynamically reposition itself so as to be visible through the main opening in the steering wheel.

            The patent drawings included as part of GM’s USPTO application depict the interior of the current C7 Chevrolet Corvette, perhaps suggesting that, like the advanced aerodynamic feature patents we reported on earlier in the week, the technology could be Corvette-bound.

            Then again, with the rise in popularity of head-up displays like the one already available in the C7 Corvette, it seems automakers have already found a satisfactory solution to the problem of instrumentation being obscured by the steering wheel.  What’s more, HUDs cast that information onto the windshield, more directly in the view of the driver, which translates to less time spent glancing down to the IP to ascertain vehicle speed, engine speed, and other information.

            As always, just because it’s been patented does not necessarily mean that it will reach production.


One of Roughly Seven Remaining, the View Master is the

Woodie Wagon that Cadillac Should Have Built

            There was no shortage of luxury sedan, coupe, and convertible models from Cadillac in 1956, but buyers wanting a luxury station wagon were (mostly) out of luck.  Enter coachbuilder Hess & Eisenhardt, that began building Cadillac woodie station wagons in extremely low volumes in 1955, carrying production over into 1956.  Of 19 that were built, just seven View Master woodies are known to remain, and one of them - a six-seat 1956 View Master with the optional Eldorado V8 - will cross the auction block later this month, part of the New England Auto Auction to benefit the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Owls Head, Maine.

            It isn’t clear how much View Masters sold for when new, but as a coachbuilt Cadillac, the price was almost certainly stratospheric.  Celebrity owners were said to include boxer Joe Louis, actors Dean Martin, and Burt Lancaster, and business mogul Earle Gamble (of Procter & Gamble fame).  Cadillac options were available to buyers, and Hess & Eisenhardt even offered a full-length roof rack to increase the wagon’s carrying capacity.

            The View Master was constructed on a modified version of the 129-inch Series 62 chassis, enhanced with a Series 86 commercial-duty cowl and floorpan.  In 1955, the first year of View Master production, the standard engine was a 331 overhead-valve V8, fed by a single four-barrel carburetor and rated at 250 horsepower.  Buyers wanting more thrust could opt for the Eldorado’s V-8, which produced 270 horsepower thanks to its dual four-barrel carburetor setup.  A total of 12 View Master station wagons were produced in 1955, including the prototype, which was the only example not ornamented with DI-NOC and fiberglass “wood” trim.

            For 1956, Cadillac’s V-8 grew in size to and received a bump in compression from 9.00:1 to 9.75:1.  As a result, output of the standard Series 62 model grew to 285 horsepower, while the Eldorado V8 (recognizable by its “batwing” air cleaner, feeding two four-barrel carburetors) increased to 305 horsepower.  Hess & Eisenhardt offered both six- and nine-passenger variants, with the majority of buyers choosing the three-row layout.

            As Josiah Work pointed out in the April 1986 issue of Special Interest Autos, the rearmost seat - which faced forward and not out the back window - wasn’t really designed with adult passengers in mind:

“Head room is scant, leg room is limited, and at best it’s only wide enough for two passengers.  As a kid’s seat, it’s a bell-ringer, however, for the passengers sit up high and the visibility is excellent.”

            Hess & Eisenhardt also built another Cadillac station wagon in 1955 - ’56, specifically for the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Starting with a Series 86 commercial chassis, the coachbuilder added a modified Sayers and Scoville hearse body, large enough to accommodate four rows of seats. Six such models were built in 1955, followed by two more in ’56, with some receiving a roll-back canvas roof and others getting a four-panel Plexiglas roof.  Called the Skyview, all were finished in red with tan window trim, and none were adorned with DI-NOC “wood” trim.

            Offered from a private collection of Cadillacs, the example set to cross the stage at Owls Head is said to be in very good overall condition, with its coachwork and interior rated as excellent.  Equipped with the 305-hp, Eldorado-spec V8, the View Master is expected to sell between $75,000 and $90,000, according to Owls Head.


Cadillac Brougham Limo Turned Snowmobile

            We mean this with utmost respect (because it’s seriously cool), but this Cadillac Brougham limousine turned snowmobile seems like peak Canada.  While Americans focus on making the biggest, baddest off-road trucks, Canadians are busy building contraptions like this.  Of course, that’s a generalization, and we’re not in the business of stereotyping.

            For sale on Craiglist (for just $6,000!), the Cadillac Brougham limo features skis as front wheels and a wide set of tracks that replace the rear wheels.  According to Jalopnik, the seller built the outrageous car for a film, but purchased the car back after filming was complete.

            Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, the old Cadillac limo sits atop a Bombardier SV250 Skidozer platform and also incorporates a host of truck parts to make the build come to life.  The seller told the outlet he built the wild Cadillac after receiving the car and using his own Snowcat parts.  With square tubing, he built a ladder frame to marry the old Cadillac limo and the Snowcat.

            The front skis attach to a raised suspension and the steering works via a power steering cooler, a large rack and pinion setup to reduce bump steer.  On the powertrain side of things, a small-block V8 engine reports for duty paired with a three-speed automatic.  Power heads to a low-speed transfer case and finally to a one-ton rear axle. A driveshaft brake handles stopping power for the most part, but drum brakes also help when called upon.

            Even with all the insane modifications, the Cadillac won’t be challenging any Ford F-150 Raptors. The seller said the limo turned snowmobile is best suited for mild trails and won’t go much faster than 15 mph.  And the build likely won’t be for sale much longer.  The seller added he has received about 30 phone calls a day since the listing went live.


1940 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe

            The 1940 Cadillac Series 62 marked an interesting transition for Cadillac. On one hand, it was the first year for this new model, the entry level of the Cadillac range that replaced the Series 60.  It was also a car that represented an early form of “platform sharing” among General Motors products, as it shared its basic configuration with the Buick Roadmaster and Oldsmobile Series 90 among others.  Exclusively for Cadillac, the body was given a wide-shoulder design that eliminated the need for large exterior running boards and lent the car a striking and modern appearance. On the other side of the coin, the 1940 models marked the end of the traditional classic era styling once and for all.  The tall upright center grille was still flanked by separately mounted headlamps and “waterfall” grilles in the front wings.  It was no doubt a handsome car, but the following year saw the introduction of the new front end design with integrated headlamps and a low, wide grille.  In effect, the 1941 models overshadowed the 1940 cars, but when looking back, the 1940 Cadillac Series 62 can be seen as the ultimate expression of the art deco and classic eras, a beautiful machine with fabulously detailed and streamlined front end design that was both imposing and elegant.

            Mechanically, the Series 62 utilized the proven and powerful 346 cubic inch monoblock, L-head V8 engine.  Customers could choose between a synchronized 3-speed manual or 4-speed hydra-matic automatic gearbox.  With 135 horsepower on tap, the performance was quite strong and these cars have always been appreciated for their fine road manners and handling.  Customers loved the new Series 62, as it delivered Cadillac’s traditional quality and style in an attainable package.  As a result, sales skyrocketed for both 1940 and 1941, though Series 62 production was cut short in 1942 to concentrate on the war effort.

Buick, Cadillac Have Most Elderly Buyers in Pre-Owned Market

            If a Buick or Cadillac is sitting on a CarMax dealership lot, chances are an older individual will drive the car home.  CarMax compiled and studied the average buyer age at its dealerships for one year and ranked which brands draw the oldest buyers in the pre-owned vehicle market.

            Perhaps unsurprisingly, Buick and Cadillac sit at the top of the chart.  Cadillac ranked number one with an average age of 47.1 and Buick came in second place at 45.6.  As for other General Motors brands, GMC was the next oldest in fifth place with a 42.2 average age, and Chevrolet came in 17th place with an average age of 38.9.

            Mazda and Volkswagen draw the youngest buyers with average ages of 36.8 and 37.4.  CarMax also looked at vehicle segment to see where buyers trend.  The oldest buyers flocked to pickup trucks (43.7 average age) and minivans (42.8 average age).  Sports cars drew buyers with a 38.4 average age. The youngest buyers stuck by sedans and coupes with an average age of 37.4.


This is President Donald Trump's New Cadillac "Beast" Limo

            After ten years in service, Cadillac's old Presidential Limo, affectionately known as The Beast, is officially retiring.  Just in time for President Donald Trump's visit to the UN General Assembly, a new Cadillac limo has been put into service.

            The design appears to be a simple evolution of the old model with more current Cadillac design cues, like an Escalade sedan.  What we can tell is that it is massive and tall.  A sort of SUV sedan unlike anything you can buy at a Cadillac dealer.  Like the outgoing Beast, it's based on a GM truck platform and heavily armored, weighing between 15,000 and 20,000 pounds.  There's not too much we can tell regarding what security features it has, but we're sure the features are the latest and greatest.

            Work on the new Presidential Limo began in 2013, but much of the details of the car are, understandably, kept secret.  Test mules for this Presidential Limo were first spotted in January 2016.

            As Autoweek reports, this new Presidential Limo features the same 2+3+2 seating layout as the previous models.  Primarily, the Presidential Limo will be used to transport President Trump between Air Force One and his final destination when he's traveling on official duty.

can be seen in the above photo.  A worker would drive the rig to a customer’s home or place of business to pick up a car scheduled for service or repair work.  The tow bar for the Servi-Car was quickly attached to the bumper of the automobile and the vehicle was then driven back to the shop.  After service work was completed the order was reversed, and afterward, the rider could pick up another vehicle or return to the garage.









Previous Caddy Chatters are available by clicking below.

Summer 2015
January 2015

Summer 2014
April 2014
March 2014
September, 2011
April, 2011
January, 2011
June, 2010
April, 2010
January, 2010
May/June, 2009
March/April, 2009
February, 2009
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
April/May, 2008
March, 2008
January, 2008
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
July, 2007
June, 2007
May, 2007