Barris, George (USA) custom Eldorado
coupe Del Caballero [which I shall translate loosely from Spanish as "property
of a gentleman"]; see Universal Coach Corporation, below. Cadillac
enthusiast, Rick Anderson of Boston, MA, had this to say about these customized
Cadillacs:: The term "El Caballero" is the title we, on the East
Coast, used for customized El Dorados and "De ["Del" ?]
Caballero" for the De Villes and Fleetwoods.
Barris, George (USA) custom
"shop truck" on '67 professional car base, with metal flake paint
Photos: Barris archives, courtesy Tony Wood
Garthwaite-Derham (USA) [The following text is copied from an Internet website devoted to
Derham custom coachwork]: Al Garthwaite Jr., former president of
Conshohocken PA's Lee Tire and Rubber Company, bought the Derham building and the business
in 1964. Garthwaite produced a sales catalog using J.H Grotz's line drawings in 1967.
Although his designs were on contemporary chassis from both Lincoln and Cadillac
[my emphasis], and were chiefly modifications to the production bodies, they
gracefully blended past elegance with modern styling. The text in the catalog informed
customers of the Derham policy that had been in existence since 1887: "Your choices
are limited only by your imagination and desires. What you want, we will build." Part
of the purchase agreement with Derham was that Garthwaite keep the name alive and keep the
firm in its original building. Enos Derham continued to work in a small corner of the shop
on a very limited basis until 1971.
[ no images ]
Glover, Gordon (Frog) (USA) Unique conversions by talented Maryland amateur, including
this 6-wheeled 1967 custom rumble-seat coupe which began its life as a regular Fleetwood
sedan for that year. Sadly, Gordon has passed on. The information and pics here were
supplied kindly by Gordon's brother, Ronald.
The quality of Gordon's workmanship may be seen in
the perfect, lengthened hood, made up of TWO hoods welded together; not a seam or ripple
to be seen !
The car was featured in Playboy magazine some years ago; it was
subsequently sold to a dealer in NY (the same one who bought
Gordon's converted 1959, half-top Eldorado Seville that later is believed to have
been acquired by the late King Farouk of Egypt)
Miller-Meteor (USA) Unique custom station wagon on Cadillac chassis built for an
unknown customer in 1967.
Professional car sleuth, Bernie De Winter,
kindly identified this car as a MM custom job
Fleetwood [Cadillac] (USA) Mildly customized 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Series
75 limousine, commissioned for use by Queen Elizabeth II of England during a state visit to Canada in 1967 on the occasion of
the country's "Expo 1967".
1967 June 29 (Arr. 5:30 p.m.)July 5 (Dep. 11:00 p.m.)
Ottawa, Montréal -
In Ottawa, to attend ceremonies relating to Centennial
Anniversary - Visit Expo '67 in Montréal.
[ Photos: Internet, May, 2007 - where the car
was offered for sale on EBay ]
Mitchell, William (USA)
special Eldorado coupe XP825 photo of clay models seen GM Styling Library, 9/94;
also lots of color renderings in library's '60s photo drawer.
Mitchell, William (?): Bill
Mitchell's own, front-wheel drive Eldorado. It's outstanding feature was the two
road-lights set low in the center of the front bumper, and 1969 style wheel covers. This
car is still in operation today; I have photos of the car taken during the Cadillac-LaSalle
Experience meet at the Gilmore Museum in June 1993. Car is currently  owned by Ronald L. Brooks, 3729 Causeway Dr., Lowell, MI
49331. Have color photos. B&W frontal view in ELD, p.88.
Stengel (USA) Le Phantasme
Cadillac Sedanca de Ville Town Car. Again, all I have is a color rendering [¾
rear RH view] of the designer's sketch of this car on the reverse of a business card sent
to me by Colonel Abdulla Al-Rifai, Dubai agent of Peter Stengel - Carrossier.
Stengel (USA) Cadillac Manishor
Estate Carriage - estate carriages, i.e. station wagons, were popular with Stengel.
Once again, all I have is a color rendering [¾ RH front view] of the designer's sketch of
this car on the reverse of a business card sent to me by Peter Stengel in the late
Stevens, Brooks: mildly customized Eldorado
coupe; photo ELD, p. 92
[Unknown, USA] A Database user mentioned
to me a 1967 or 1968 Eldorado conversion with a Targa- type top.
Could this be that car? Or this could be the Barris Del Caballero [see above]
[Unknown, USA] Truck
conversion from '67 Coupe DeVille; besides being crunched in the front and
being painted lime green, it looked like a pretty good job. It ended up going to the
crusher. It had Texas plates (a Texan's favorite cars are his Cadillac and his pickup
truck, so why not have the best of both worlds) [italicized text from Dave Morgan,
Universal Coach Corporation (USA) on
a design by George Barris, the Del Caballero [i.e. "belonging to the
gentleman"] Model D-VII was a personalized front-wheel drive, half-top Eldorado
built at UCC's Detroit plant at 7447 St. Aubin and at their Los Angeles plant at 7834
Balboa Ave., Van Nuys. This was built to Barris' design and specifications; it features
include a retractable roof over the driver area, landau bars and sterling-silver owner's
nameplate. Other special features include de luxe wheel covers, wraparound directional and
parking lights, aircraft interior lamps, pin-striping, headlight shrouds carrying a winged
Cadillac emblem, sun roof, padded top, triple chrome-plated Tiffany imitation
landau bars, El Coche [i.e. "the car"] upper door trim and
chrome accent spear and, finally, a Derham-type limousine rear window. Photo McC p.371.
Mildly converted 1967 DeVille convertible with a nicely
integrated continental kit.
Converted 1967 Fleetwood Eldprado coupe named El Conquistador
[Unknown, USA] Chopped and
stretched "gangsta" limousine?
[Unknown, USA] Another "chopped"
job; this time a "wild" hearse conversion.
Zagato (Italy) special Cadillac Eldorado
[see 1970 page]
Barris, George (USA) custom Casa de
Eldorado Town and Estate Wagon; features include double roll-bar cage, simulated
side-mounted spares, "His" and "Her" storage compartments in the rear
fenders, optional sunroof, TV and wet-bar. Photo McC p.375
Barris Kustom City [George Barris] (USA) Customized
Fleetwood Brougham sedan models for upbeat CEOs
The Barris Director's Limousine
Executive Limousine by Barris
Kustom City , Hollywood, California
Mitchell, William L. [former GM Styling chief]
(USA) Seen for sale a number of times on Ebay (2005-2008), but never sold owing
to the high reserve, this mild custom job is described as: Uniquely spectacular
restyling done by GM's then VP-Design Bill Mitchell for my [the vendor's] Dad,
whom [sic] was a long-time friend of Mitchell's ... The exquisite frontal-motif
of this specimen is the result of modification to reflect what Mitchell said was the
styling that he and Earl preferred ... this motif has a certain stately-elegance that time
has shown to be more enduring. Other changes made by the Mitchell's GM/Design-studio, was
the subduing of chrome on both front/rear-bumpers, hubcaps, and outside-mirrors. The
beautiful Black-leather interior (black-carpet never stepped upon) has the rare
raised-armrest/center-console and the original bucket-seat option; the photos also show
the handsome dash/brass-plaque commemorating the retrimming-treatment signed by
Wm.L.Mitchell. ... Presently being offered on another website at $37.5K. IMHO this
car may be worth 20-30% more than a regular '68 Eldorado coupe, but certainly not as much
as the vendor is asking for it on that other Internet site! On its last appearance on Ebay [Sept.-Oct., 2008], the nameplate "Phaeton",
in script, appears to have been added above the regular "ELDORADO"
nameplate on the trunk lid. Why?
Factory photos of "before" and
"after" front ensemble changes
(left) It seems a shame to hide the main feature of
the front ensemble (center) behind the license plate
(right) Since the last time this custom job appeared on EBay, it appears to have acquired
a new Phaeton script nameplate
The two central photos show the "custom"
nameplate with twin embossed "V8"s and central Cadillac crest; so far as I
can make out, it reads: Proprietary GM Styling-Studio Design
comprising custom classical central grille theme & extended paint trim motif;
alterations approved by Wm. E. Mitchell, VP Design, GM Corp, Special Edition - 1968
[ Photos: Internet, 2008 ]
Fleetwood (USA) special Eldorado
Biarritz Coupe de Ville created for the 1968 Auto Shows. Features were no
roof over the front seat, landau rear roof sans ¼-windows, fine-mesh grille; the car was
finished with 20 coats of gold-flaked olive Firemist [a heavily metallic hue] and
the interior trimmed in antique gold velour [velvet] with mouton carpeting and walnut
garnishings. The gold accents were intended to recall El Dorado, the "golden
one", mythical figure of S. American Indian culture. Photo McC p. 375, SIA23,
p.39; ELD, p.93
In a GM/Cadillac ad from the
company's Commercial Department, that appeared in June, 1968 in a professional car
magazine, under the banner headline THIS IS CADILLAC WITH ITS SLEEVES ROLLED UP, the copy writers had this to say about the commercial
A Cadillac-chassied ambulance is one of the hardest working professional cars you
can buy. It is powered by the biggest production passenger car engine in the world - the
472 V-8. Heavy duty components ...balanced ride ...extra roominess ...famed
dependability and lasting value - make a Cadillac-chassied ambulance the first choice of
leading professional rescue-service men. And, if you choose a combination car,
Cadillac's prestige is a priceless asset. Select from these fine coach builders:
Hess & Eisenhardt Company, Cincinnati, Ohio, Miller-Meteor Division, Divco-Wayne
Corporation, Piqua, Ohio, Superior Coach Corporation, Lima, Ohio.
National Coach Distributors, Knightstown, IN (USA) Larry Friedman, a
visitor to the Cadillac Database in March 2003, says he has got a 1968 station wagon built
by this Indiana firm; it carries #N8268479 and is believed to be one of only 22 made. That
wagon, or one very similar to it was sold on Ebay, in 2006, for $14.5K.
Universal Coach Corporation (???)
(USA) Like the Barris 1967 design (above), but El Caballero (?) [i.e. the
gentleman], not Del Caballero [i.e. "belonging to the
gentleman"] or even El Cavellero [no meaning in Spanish?]; probably
just another trimmed up front-wheel drive Eldorado; this one too appears to
feature a retractable roof over the driver area, false landau bars and upper El Coche
door trim. The illustrated car was for sale on e-Bay in January, 2001. Late Extra [Jan., 2008]: I was contacted by an enthusiast who believes the
car shown below was owned by his uncle. He wrote: I saw this site after searching for some pictures I had lost. Back
in '69 and the early seventies my uncle was in the business of managing ladies of the
night [!]. I was only 10 or so at the time, but I was infatuated with cars
of all kinds. My uncle and his friends purchased several of these Caddy Eldo customs as
this was their car of choice. I found two pictures on your site labeled 68elcab and
69delcav [below]. The one on the right (black one) [it's actually green] shocked
me. I am willing to bet that that was probably my uncle's old car. That was the way it was
left in my grandma's backyard when he moved to LA from St. Louis in late '79 or early '80.
As a child I wanted this car, but being only a kid they told someone to get it out of
their backyard! This was common practice; people wish they could have taken [them] back.
Anyway, I was so mad, I took the hood ornament, which on these were cast metal flying
ladies, and which I still have! OK: this is the breakdown on some of these: the Del
Caballero was a hard top with a custom sunroof, limo rear window, thick vinyl top
w/matching trunk vinyl, chrome grille cap, sometimes the bug eye treatment (optional) or
running board and oversized bumper guards. As for the Del Caballero, it came with
T-top or full, custom Targa top, with all the above options, although most of these had
exotic interiors. moreso than the Del Caballeros. These cars were mainly built in
York and New Jersey area. My uncle
made plenty of trips there with his buddies to purchase these customs and which, when they
got home, people would buy them out of them. There were also many companies, later,
who tried to copy them but they are the ones that are extremely overdone, with similar
names. The "el" and "del" Caballeros were kind of a cleaner custom
than the later imitations. If I find my photos, I will send them.
Thanks "depe40"; I appreciate your insight and your input.
[ Photos of two survivors: Internet 1/2001 ]
Universal Coach Corporation (???)
(USA) Like the 1967 design (above), but El Cavellero (?) which the brochure says
identifies this Fleetwood Eldorado as "the car of the gentlemen". Where
I learned Spanish (i.e. in Spain), "of the gentlemen" translates as de los
Caballeros!) The following images are from the product brochure in my collection
Tiffany imitation landau irons are triple
chrome plated; the landau half-top is covered with textured vinyl and the
car features a smaller, limousine-style rear window; Del Cavellero
insignia graces front fenders, deck lid and dash
The front grille is said to be a beautiful blend
of hand-crafted British tradition [Rolls Royce?] and modern
Eldorado design; the lower bumper is painted to match the body color and to
accentuate the chrome grille
Del Cavellero features a large, push-button
sun roof that is lined and totally weatherproof; pinstriping in contrasting
colors highlight the elegant Eldorado silhouette; El Coche door
trim is a vinyl of the buyer's choice and creates a lower
general appearance; a repro Goddess blends the old with the new; it is
cast in bronze and triple chrome-plated
[I have seen these offered on e-Bay as the "authentic 1941 Goddess"!]
El Coche transom adds custom look; trailing
edge of rear deck is trimmed either
with matching or contrasting material to that used on the door and is framed in
deck trim includes either a mock tire or a complete tire with a rear deck power
[Unknown but possibly Universal Coach
Corporation] (USA) like the Barris designs for 1967 and 1968, it's
named Del Caballero. This survivor is in poor shape.
[Unknown, USA] De Ville series convertible
with custom grille cap and door saddles (possibly a Barris creation).
[Unknown, USA] Mildly customized Eldorado
coupe. All the work on this car was done back in 1972 by the late Ed Evans, at Marr Dodge
body shop, in Oroville, CA. Photos kindly supplied by the owner himself, Mr. John R.
[Unknown, USA] station wagon, regularly
featured in monthly SSA classified [photos]; a similar car is featured in a late
sixties ad for Lincoln Highway Premium VIP Classic tires [2nd photo].
[ Possibly the same wagon as above? ]
[Unknown, USA] Here is a
second such wagon along the same lines as the car above
[Photos: © 2000, Yann Saunders]
[Unknown, USA] Here is a
beautiful wagon built on the Eldorado chassis for 1968. It was photographed at the
Cadillac "Grand National" meet in August, 2002.
The same or a similar wagon photographed earlier
Enthusiast Courtney Newman contacted me in July, 2004 and sent me this photo of her 1968
Cadillac Eldorado convertible. None were built,
you say ? Wrong ! There is at least one driving around and here it is.
Courtney says: I have a 1968 Eldorado that I made into a fully functional convertible
and wondered if you would consider putting this on your web site. Done,
Courtney, and congratulations on a very nice looking car. Pity that GM did not think
to build this model.
Here's another interesting
"cut down" 1967-68 Cadillac Eldorado coupe
[Unknown, USA] The
Pink Panther is the theme of this "work of art" on a 1968 Cadillac coupe.
What's funny (and the reason I'm showing it here) is that I used the same theme on my 1968
Buick Electra 225 when I was still living in Switzerland [photos also shown here]. I think
mine had more class !
1968 Cadillac "Pink-Panther-Mobile"
Right (and below) the author's own 1968 Buick Electra
225 Der- Pink-Panzer (Panzer is the German word for
[ in Switzerland, where I used to live, large American cars sometimes are called
"tanks" (des chars in French) ]
[Unknown, USA] This modified Eldorado
coupe was offered for sale on eBay in 2004. It appears to be a conversion by George Barris
but I prefer to leave it among the "unknowns" until I get confirmation.
[Unknown, USA] This monstrosity started
life as a Series 60 Special sedan. From the front it looks like a F109
fighter jet. Powered by a Cadillac 500 CI engine and street registered [believe it or
not!], this 6-wheel non-car with an exhaust stack for each cylinder is shown here to
please my friend and fellow Cadillac enthusiast, Derek Sherwood who kindly brought it to
my attention and has asked me to nickname the "thing" the Sherwoodicus
Horribilis ...quite right, Derek! Offered for sale on this web site
in February 2002 for $85,000, I doubt if it will ever find a buyer in the Cadillac
[ Photos: Internet, Feb. 2002 ]
Dunham Coach (Boonton, NJ, USA) [see next
section, Dream Cars for 1970-74,
for a lengthy description and explanations about this Eldorado coupe model
prepared by Les Dunham for the James Bond movie, Live or Let Die].
1969 Cadillac Eldorado in
"Superfly" garb by Les Dunham
Fleetwood [?] (USA) station
wagon, featured in SSA, 1980, p.27. One source asserts that just 5 of
these were made by GM to chauffeur their executives around for the 1969 Indy 500 race
season. These starting their life as loaded Fleetwood 4 door Broughams, then they were
modified in house with actual GM wagon parts.
This original factory photo "disappeared"
from my collection,
as have also a few others over the years ... you can't trust anybody!
Rear views of two different survivors; the one on the
left is (was) located in Minnesota;
it was offered for sale for $15,000 in the CLC's Self-Starter, in April, 199
Possibly the same car ? This one is (or was) in the
Steve Plunkett collection.
This one was located in S. Carolina, in May 2001;
the owner was told that his car is one of only 14 built; he is unsure
if it was made by Traditional Coachworks of Los Angeles, CA, or by Hess
& Eisenhardt of Rossmoyne, OH
This one was offered for sale on the Internet in 2004
(thanks to enthusiast Tom Dowd for the tip)
[ Photos: Internet via Tom Dowd ]
Possibly the same wagon, with a
repainted roof ... or one more come out of the woodwork?
Klett Cadillac, Detroit and Universal
Coach Corporation (USA) Built in Detroit in 1968 at a reported cost of $32,500,
this car is said to have belonged to singer Tom Jones as well as to a man in Ohio
currently in prison for murder. FBI agent, Robert K. Ressler, wrote a book (Justice is
Served) about the murder investigation and mentions this limo. Originally pea-green,
currently it is painted white. Interior changed to red velour (probably at time of
restoration). This limo is 22' 10" long with suicide doors, electric sunroof, partial
vinyl roof, tinted electric division window separating driver and passenger areas, tinted
windows, 472 cid motor, front wheel drive, a/c, tilt wheel, power windows & locks,
power steering & brakes, fake "Continental" kit, front vinyl bench seat
(black). Passenger area has a bench seat facing forward and 2 buckets facing the rear.
Between the bucket seats is a TV, VCR and radio. The car uses 2 batteries (the extra one
being reserved for passenger area amenities). Car was offered for sale on the Internet in
The stretched limo was originally metallic green
[ Photo (left): courtesy Tom Dowd, the current owner ]
Singer Tom Jones is reported to have owned this
stretched Eldorado limousine
[far right] Front bench has been replaced with "fiery" bucket seats
Photos in above two rows courtesy Tom Dowd, the
car's current owner
This photo shows the car in its current
condition [4/2004]; the hood ornament
and faux Continental kit have been removed; new, Jesse James 20" 44Magnum
wheels have been added [the original parts have been stored by the owner]
Ohrberg, Jay (USA) "rolling
guitar" on the Eldorado chassis. I got this information from Rob Muirhead, a
Database visitor in April, 2003. Rob adds that Jay Ohrberg is the man who built the
longest Cadillac (100 feet!); he has the reputation of being a great car show promoter.
Thanks for the update, Rob. My son, Philip, photographed this "Cadillac
object" in France, early in 2003. It appears to be in a sorry state today. Rob says
it was present at the Cannes Film Festival (what year?) where it arrived under its own
steam. Late Extra: November, 2003
(thanks again to Rob) the "rolling guitar" has been acquired by an
American collector and will be returning shortly to the USA together with a few other
Barris creations that were seemingly exported to France.
This "car" is in
France (2003), but I don't know how it got there
[ see recent (2003) photos, below ]
Photos in five preceding rows:
© 2003, Philip Jolivald
Universal Coach Corporation (???)
(USA) Like the 1967 design (above), but Cavalier De Ville and Edgewood
Brougham on 1969 Cadillac chassis.
These two trimmed up cars feature the trademark El
Coche door [el Coche is Spanish for "the car"];
the upper door trim may be either vinyl or cane, framed in polished chrome;
In my opinion, this is one of the more tasteful trim packages of the sixties and
This is the Cavalier Edgewood on the Brougham
chassis; like Del Cavellero, above, the rear deck is trimmed either
with a matching or contrasting material to that used on the upper door; imitation Tiffany
landau bars again are featured
Here is the Cavalier Coupe de Ville; the
bronze, triple-chrome plated
mascot, below, was available with both these trim packages
[Unknown, Switzerland (?)]
Conversion of Eldorado coupe to stretched tow truck; poor images below are
from video footage I took at the International Cadillac Meet I organized in
Geneva, in 1984.
[Unknown, USA] Another breakdown truck from an unknown
[ Photo: © Bob Yarko ]
[Unknown, USA] It's not
customary to make a "big foot" or hi-wheeler on a Cadillac base. Here's
one that proves it can be done.
[Unknown, USA] (Possibly George Barris)
customized coupe on Eldorado chassis
This survivor resides in France
[Unknown, USA] (Possibly George Barris)
customized coupe on Eldorado chassis
[ Photo: Internet, 10/2001 ]
[Unknown, USA] "tarted
up" De Ville convertible for sale on e-Bay (Internet) in 2002. Probably one of the
ugliest Cadillacs on the road today. What was the owner/customizer thinking ?!?!
[ Photos: Internet ]
[Unknown, USA] Custom Coupe de
Ville seen for sale on Internet (2002); $7,000 custom paint job: lime green
with two "kameleon" colors [green to gold & red to gold]. Kameleon painted
Cadillac symbol on shaved trunk. Flame grille. Dual turbo exhaust with chrome exhaust
tips. Green alligator skin quarter top. Green LED side blinkers. 22" Chrome GenX
Titans rims with 265/35/22. Pirelli tires and chrome disc brake covers. Two tone (green
and brown) alligator skin seats and door panels. Kameleon dash. Billet flame steering
wheel. Four matching painted mobile TVs: One 6.8" monitor up front, two 5"
headrest monitors, and a 13.5" flip down monitor. JVC CD player with remote.
"Compustar" alarm system with remote start, pager remote with picture monitor,
and long-range detection. Power windows and seats. Playstation 2 with green controller...
[ mislaid photos ]
[Unknown, USA] Custom Eldorado,
[Unknown, USA] Said to be
fitted with a dealer-installed T-Top, the owner of this car believes it is one of only
fifteen built that year
[Unknown, USA] Camper
conversion, presumably built on the 1969 Cadillac commercial chassis. This one was
seen for sale on EBay in May 2007 and was claimed to be one of a number of such
conversions made by the same company in Illinois. I have my doubts.