Move over tail fins, Corvettes and Concept Cars. What would the “Father of American Automotive Design” Harley Earl and his hand picked predecessor Bill Mitchell do if they put their heads and hands together to build a Custom cruiser back in day. When that “What if?” scenario was in the hands of Traditional Custom aficionado Kevin Anderson and the wicked wrenches of Mike Boerema of Gas Axe Garage, the result is a brilliant blue bombshell dubbed the “Crystal Cadillac”. Since the Caddy’s debut at the Detroit Autorama last year, this killer diller custom conveyance has had the show circuit buzzing! Tongues have been wagging and jaws be dropping across the country.
The list of modifications done to bring the “Crystal Cadillac” to life is about as long as the Caddy itself. The metamorphosis of the museum kept, sedate Sedan into a Carson topped Coupe was no small feat. Yep this baby rolled off the assembly line with four doors but what you’re looking at now is a 2 door delight. To permanently erase those posterior portals, 7 inches of the rear doors were welded and formed into the body to fill the void. The door pillar was moved back 7 inches and 48 inch doors were installed. Easy peasy right? The capable wrenches of Mike Boerema at Gas Axe sure makes it look so.
More Custom conversion, say sayonara to: the taillights, trim, trunk handle, back up lights, any badges, antenna, wipers, split windshield and door handles. Adios to those OEM parts and hello nosed, decked and shaved sophistication. Pontoon fenders were added in the front and rear to elevate the lines of this bananas build into the Custom stratosphere. Apropos of the Custom curation, this Caddy has been chrome plated from nose to tail. The grille, headlight bezels, bumpers, stoneguard, and Sombrero hubcaps, as well as all the trim and vent window assemblies, all plated to perfection. The copious amounts of chrome plating was done by Jon Wright’s Custom Chrome. Wondering about that mile deep color enrobing this cool Caddy? Not surprising, it’s a custom hue. House of Kolors, “Crystal” Blue candy to be exact. That candy apple blue coat was artfully executed by Gary and Dylan Brown of Brown’s Metal Mods.
The rear pan was hand fabricated and there’s no junk in this truck, except the awards trophies this cool Caddy has been collecting. Next to the hardware, there’s just fine leather upholstery. Where did the taillights go you ask? The custom taillights were put into the bumperettes of course. Speaking of lights, the driving lights are ’31 Ford back up lights, just another one of the custom elements to this ride.
The interior of the “Crystal Cadillac” is positively luxurious. Mr. Anderson designed the upholstery himself after extensive research on the styles employed on post-war transportation. That’s real deal, authentic Cadillac cloth paired with baby soft leather. Joe Bukrey at Buckskinz was the artist behind the custom coverings. The “Crystal” in “Crystal Cadillac” in part comes from the lead crystal Cadillac badges elegantly inlaid into the doors. Can you say posh! And check out the steering wheel, the same only different. That ’47 Cadillac steering wheel which originally could have substituted as a ring around Saturn was skillfully reduced to an Earthly 21st century diameter.
Did you notice that Carson top? There’s a 5 inch chop on that alabaster beauty. Does that custom canopy come off? Nope, it’s a permanent top, for safety, security and an overall quiet interior environment. In addition to that incredible interior, Mr. Anderson designed the leather headliner as well. To complete the top, it was more trick tailoring from Joe Bukrey at Buckskinz.
The “Crystal Cadillac” has the original 346c.i. Flathead V8 for a power plant. The crew at Gas Axe left the original trans and differential. However, the suspension is a different story. The undoubtedly smooth as silk ride is courtesy of an air ride suspension and a four link set up. When that chop is added to the 12 inch reduction in ride height, Mr. Anderson now has himself a cruiser that is a staggering 17 inches lower than when she came off the line. The “Crystal Caddy” rolls on “Super Cushion” wide whites from GoodYear and those Sombrero chromed hubcaps take the look into the Custom cosmos.
You wanna see what’s buzzin’, cousin? Check out the “Crystal Cadillac” in all her splendor.
The case of it takes one to know one could not be more true than with Kevin Anderson and Mike Boerema. Although Mr. Anderson and and Mr. Boerema used the “what if” scenario as the impetus behind this build, it takes true Traditional Custom minds to execute such an incredible build. Mr. Earl and Mr. Mitchell are undoubtedly smiling down from the GM Design Studio in the sky.
Do Traditional Customs float your boat? Well, if they do get yourself down Indianapolis way Saturday, June 8th for the Custom Car Revival. Not only does Kevin Anderson know a thing or two about putting together a world class Custom, he wrote the book on Traditional Custom get togethers. His show Custom Car Revival is quite possible the Nation’s premier Traditional Custom show and is a bucket list show for anyone who digs those candy colored chariots! All the deets can be found on CCR’s FaceBook page.
One look and you know those Cats at Gas Axe Garage are cookin’ with gas. Check out their Builders Showroom and feast your eyes on some old school cool! You dig what Mr. Boerema does with his wrenches, well he also knows how to put on a car show. His Relix Riot at the Gilmore Car Museum is one heck of a hootenanny! Plan your trip and get all the details here.
Browns Metal Mods had their hands on this ride and they too are part of our Builder’s Nation. Check out their Showroom.
Till the next time – Keep on Kruzin!