Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Rat Pack's Luggage Carrier

1961 Cadillac Esprit de Ville Sportwagon—Yes you're right. Cadillac didn't make any factory station wagons in the 1960s. Or 1970s. Or 1980s. And they certainly would never have made a 2-door wagon like this pillarless hardtop. But that's what Photoshop is for! 

I absolutely love the way this chop turned out. The original Coupe de Ville I used as a base photo was white with a gray interior, but I made "mine" Fawn Metallic with red leather and cloth, a very striking and elegant combination. Besides the wagon body, I added ribbed stainless steel rocker panel trim and painted the center of the wheelcovers to match the interior color. 

I can just see Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and their luggage, cruising all night to Vegas in this Esprit de Ville for a hot poker game on the Strip. I can also see Lucille Ball or Angie Dickinson using this wagon to pick up a few items on Rodeo Drive!

B T W : 
This little Rat Packer would have loved to have been in the back seat for that middle-of-the-night  trip to Vegas! (Yes, this is me, in 1962...)

16 comments:

  1. Casey, this is outstanding ! This is just beautiful.

    A Cadillac like this would have been the a far more satisfying resolution to the TownSedan .

    I love the outfit. I'd love to see this photoshopped with you on stage with Sammy and Frank !





    Andy

    Malibu

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  2. Thanks, Andy. The '61 Cadillac is one of my favorites of all time I love everything about them, from the Marchal-like parking/turn signals in the front bumper, to the lower skeg fins, to the way the rear fender wraps around the trunk, and the lower round taillights in a horizontal panel. The rooflines were so thin, but harder-edged and just a bit more angular than the '58-60 models. The only bodystyle that didn't really work as well is the "flattop" 4-door hardtop. They raised the roof of the '61s after complaints about the lowness of the '59s and '60s and it didn't work as well.

    I would love to have been on the stage with Sammy and Frank and Dean. At one point in my young life I thought I WAS Sammy Davis Jr, lol. Everytime he came on TV I started imitating him and singing along with him. There is Super 8mm tape of me doing that, silent of course, since those old home movies didn't have sound!

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  3. When my dad bought a slightly used 1962 six window Cadillac sedan in 1964, my automotive journey began . So, I am very well versed in the 1961/62. Some of the best!

    I always loved how one could start at the tip of the fin and follow the line back and forth along the entire length of the car...top to bottom-nose to tail and back- ending at the tip of the lower skeg . Talk about continuity !

    I like the stateliness of the 62, but thrill to those cruel 1961 fins when coupled with the Fleetwood formal roof.

    Your comments remind me how much we little kids loved Sammy . Dean was smooth and suave,Frank could be a little tough , but Sammy was delightfully playful. He looked like he was getting the biggest kick out of it . He could break your heart and then bring back the sunshine.


    I love those old 8mm films. I have a collection of films of small town parades from the 1950s/60s. I buy them from a historical society that transferred 8mm to DVD. What a lost world.

    I can imagine your silent Sammy scene . I do not want to suggest content, but I think your readers would love to see a screen grab!

    Andy

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  4. I have to get it together to transfer those movies to DVDs. I just found out you can do that a few months ago. I think it's going to be so cool to see them. I have a screen and a projector but the projector doesn't really work very well. One of these days. I have such a list of things I have to do, lol.

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  5. It's strange that the four-window roof didn't look good on the 61 Cadillac but looked fine on the C body Buicks and Oldsmobiles. And it was a whole new body for 61! And that roofline was dropped after one year in favor of the "Thunderbird" roof line as it was referred to in the car magazines of the day.

    This wagon is super -- did you just take the rear window of the two-door hardtop, move it back and fill in with the extended roof? Whatever you did, it works -- I love the image of Lucille Ball shopping on Rodeo Drive. BTW, I just watched the American Masters on PBS about Lucille Ball. What a career -- too bad she didn't enjoy it more.

    Paul, NYC

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  6. Yup, Paul, I slid the actual rear window backwards. To start with. I modified it slightly afterwards by tilting it a bit more.

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  7. I love this one. I think the high point of style is between '55 and '70. I hope you do a lot more in this era.

    Suggestion: Do one where you show step-by-step changes to the final result.

    Keep up the good work and thanks

    BobF

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  8. Thanks, Bob. Interesting idea to do a post with say 4-5 interim steps from start to finish. I love the period you mention, too. I'd add '71 and '72 into it, and maybe '49-54, lol. I find myself drawn to the cars of the '60s mostly, when I think of older cars I'd love to own if I had a 50 car garage.

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  9. I keep coming back to this one. It is terrific. Another suggestion: Try this same year Cadillac with the roof of a '67 Impala coupe for a '60's version of the early fifties Caddy fastback. Thanks, again.

    BobF

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  10. Thanks for creating my latest nonexistent-automobile lust object. Spectacular.

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  11. Casey,This Caddy is terrific! I love '61s and2s. I am discovering your work a little at a time as I'm working 14 hour days finishing up the restoration /reconstruction of a famous concept car. no matter,anyway
    I have had a '57 'Mercury 2 door Voyager under a tarp in my back yard for 30 years. I've always been fascinated with the concept of 2door hardtop wagons .Yours is rite on ! The sad truth is that the only ones ever made as production cars are the 1957/59 Mercurys. I have noticed that Larry Wood of "Hot Wheels " designer fame must also like them as he has issued many different Hot wheels die cast cars as 2door hardtop wagons. How about a new Mustang as a pillar less wagon! I know you would nail it ! Marty

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  12. The 61 Caddy was their most beautiful design ever in my opinion. I loved the razor edge lines - the striking view from behind, like looking at a couple of jet engines. I owned a pearl white one in the late 60s. Great Photoshop job, at first I thought it was real because people in LA where I grew up modified Caddies in all sorts of ways. There were several El Camino like pickup conversions of 60s Caddies on the streets when I was young...

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    1. Thanks, EdO! The '61 is really one of my faves, too. There isn't a line out of place on them. I had a '68 Sedan de Ville for about 10 years in the '70s and '80s and I just adored that car!

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  13. Dave here. I love this design....great job. I have a 1961 Cadillac Coupe in white and if I could afford it, would build one of these.

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    1. thanks, Dave! The '61 is really one of my favorite Cadillacs.

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