1954 Caddy To Build or not to Build (with a 454 big block) - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:19 PM
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1954 Caddy To Build or not to Build (with a 454 big block)

If you happen to also follow the HAMB and this looks familiar, its because it is. Each site has its own kind of builder so I read each to get input about different styles of building. I look forward to the input from the members here.

So I have been agonizing over this project for a period of time as I find myself at a bit of cross purposes. Recently I purchased a fair decent and mostly complete 1954 Cadillac. My intent with this car is to keep it 'in the style' of a 1950's cruiser but to feel confident about heading out on a 500-600 mile road trip without the worry of having to search for 60 year old parts in the middle of no where. I presume a sentiment that is shared with many here. This car is not to be a restored trailer queen. It will be driven, and I completely expect it to go there and come back, barring the usual vagaries that follow any endeavor of this kind. So here's the rub. I want disc brakes, ease of access of parts in case of break down, newer steering parts and so forth. That seems to indicate a clip but honestly I'd rather not. It isn't only the fabrication issues, those I can over come, but it is then creating a level of complexity that I am hoping to avoid. Then there is the engine issue. I have a rebuilt 454/700R that is turning out some decent numbers and in my mind just plain suites the caddy. Big engine, big car, big torque, good combination. If I do this I feel like I am forced into the clipping corner. As of yet I haven't gone mad with tearing the car apart because I would like some input from those who have gone down this path ahead of me and may have some thoughts I haven't considered. As well I intend on doing much of the work myself. This isn't my first rodeo so the level of difficulty doesn't worry me but I also don't want to expend countless hours heading down rabbit trails that will produce only spent money and disappointment. So Hot Rodders let me hear your thoughts on how to proceed before I go lighting up the torch.

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Old 01-06-2013, 02:51 PM
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That caddy seems too nice to mess with. Sorry but it should be kept stock . This is one to restore.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:59 PM
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There are a lot of guys here that are building what we call a resto rod..tha tis one that appears stock at a distance but that has all late model running gear so I would say go for it..Do some homework on suspension as there are some aftermarket crossmembers that give disk brakes and better handling.

I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:58 PM
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Cadillac should stay a Cadillac.....build one of these for it, 507" ...535 trq. / 466 hp
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:57 AM
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I would have a real hard time modifying that car.

One thing to think about, have you driven it much as is? I personally love the funky old stocker as much as a tire smoker, they both have things I love about them so I can have either.

If you accept that it WILL be slower, it WILL need more stopping room and just face those facts and drive it and have fun.

Another thing, I have driven odd ball powered stuff my whole life I have loved and driven odd ball stuff. Driven them many miles and never found myself stranded on the side of the road needing an engine rebuild.
I drive a 59 Rambler every day. I have to admit I am not going to go 500 miles, but it is more about the poor gears that it has, about 50 is as fast as I can cruise. But other than that, I drive it every single day, have been for a just about a year and a half, put about 8 thousand miles on it without it leaving me stranded once (after I worked the bugs out the first couple of days).

You maintain the car and drive it, it doesn't break down. And if it does, if something in that old Caddy transmission or engine breaks, or if it had the ever popular small block Chevy and 700R or TH350 trans in it and it breaks out on the highway, you are going to be towing it back just as if it had the Caddy trans and engine. You aren't going to rebuild the motor or tranny out on the highway, or in some town 500 miles away, you are going to tow it back home, so what is the difference what powers it?

Just a few things to think about. If you can't live with this and want the modern drive train than do it right and just bite the bullet and start the project.

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Old 01-07-2013, 08:52 AM
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its a dang nice car but its yours. do what you want with it. it sure would be nice updated . a cool old cruzzzer for sure.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:32 PM
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Old car modern running gear, nothin' cooler than that.
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