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There are times when a project loses its luster, becomes too much of a burden to finish, the build time has stretched out too long or the owner has added up the total costs involved and decided it isn’t worth it. Such is the case with this ’55 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. Roger Jetter purchased the rough failed remains. He’d been working on a ’48 Cadillac Sedanet but decided this hardtop could be finished in less time http://dailyrubber.com/one-mans-junk-another-mans-treasure-custom-55-cadillac-coupe-deville/
Cadillac Jim posted a topic in Cadillac Builds and Project CarsThis is the kind of topic that we like to have on the forum, so, I'll start a topic there with your message, with names and other personal ID deleted. I presume that you found me by clicking on my web site on my profile and then on a webmaster e-mail link, because that is how your e-mail came, it seems. I'm not an expert on big blocks but there are people on Caddyinfo that are. I'm sure that some of them will chime in. Whether you have problems, and what problems you have, will depend on several things: 1) How much boost you put on. Up to 5 lbs or so, you should be able to run with a hot street setup with no problems. 2) Your use of the engine. If you just drive it on the street with no more than about 5 psi boost, you should be able to use the stock 472/500 cooling and oil systems without modification. 3) Your compression ratio. The 1970 472 has a 10:1 compression ratio, and if you put a 500 crank in it, the compression will be 10.6:1 unless you use 500 pistons (probably necessary anyway), which will hold the compression ratio to 10:1. That's a lot of compression if you want to run boost. You may need a water spray or octane booster to make that work without detonation, even with 5-7 psi boost. If you plan to take it to the track, even for just a quarter-mile run once in a while, you should consider a water spray, an external oil cooler and fan, and possibly increased cooling. Anything more than that will need a full-bore HD competition oil and water cooling setup. If you want to run a lot of boost and/or nitrous, you will need an intercooler and the compression ratio will have to come down. I would look at 9:1 forged dished pistons that are specially made for boost engines in competition, for example. Your existing engine is rated at 375 hp, one of the highest rated outputs for big-block Cadillacs. The 500 is rated at 400 hp. I suspect that your transmission would benefit from a rebuild by someone who specializes in ruggedized clutches for road and track, and an external transmission cooler and fan. I would leave the torque converter alone unless you put a really wild cam in it and don't want to drive it on the street. High stall rate torque converters leave you stirring fluid and putting horsepower into heating the transmission 99% of the time on the street. Note that a stall rate over about 2200 rpm may be OK in the highway but not so good around town, and terrible for in-town gas mileage. Match the stall rate with the cam you select. Brakes and suspension are a whole other topic. Of course, if you increase the engine output by 50%, you will need to increase the brake capacity by 50%. I believe that this car came with disc front, drum rear brakes. You may want to consider upgrading the rear to disks. PowerStop may have a good street-and-track kit. Your suspension will need more than stiff shocks to keep the shiny side up if you go to 600 hp with your car. The car comes with L-78/15 tires/wheels, and the alignment specs are a setup for a smooth cruiser; you will need a tight suspension to keep control when things start happening a whole lot faster.
My dad and I are huge fans of Cadillacs and Evel Knievel. In the 60s and 70s when Knievel would tour he would show up in the stadiums in his Cadillac Caribou or Mirage with two bikes in the back. I've got a Knievel jump bike so we had to have the Caribou for shows. The Caribou is what I own and had only three windows. The Mirage was another type of cadillac pickup that had a small opera window on the side panels. Long story short, we have been looking for a Caribou ( I like the design better) for years and finally found one in California. We bought it sight unseen and got it here, in Chicago. It was absolute junk, the bed and roof are all one piece of fiberglass. The rest of the car is a completely stock Coupe DeVille. They even left the bottom half of the back seat in under the bed. Ours was in such poor disrepair that we bought another coupe deville, made the cuts that would have been made when caribou did it, extracted the fiberglass bed from the junk cadillac and made it our own. At the two links below you can see the entire process. A little history on Caribou Coach Builders - Coach builder in the 50s-70s Took Coupes and made them into station wagons, pick ups, lengthened the hood, lots of weird conversions that never really took off Gene Winfield, a good friend of mine and famous metal fabricator, ran the shop and built most of the Caribous by hand Only five are known to have been built in 1973. I've done tons of research and can only find three (including mine) They were marketed to "the man who already has everything" http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/tag/cadillac-caribou/ There are tons of blogs. Its a neat little thing. Thanks for the interest. Also feel free to take a look around at all our cars. Im 19 and my fathers 48, we just love Cadillacs. We build and restore them strictly as a hobby and own around 15 of them. Our latest project is a 1955 Cadillac Convertible rest-mod with a fuel injected 2010 GM LS-2 engine, 4L60E Trans, Air/Heat, and all power options. http://geezer-racing.com/Geezer-Racing.com/Car_Inventory/Pages/1973_Cadillac_Caribou.html http://geezer-racing.com/Geezer-Racing.com/Restorations/Pages/1973_Caribou.html