Auction Watch: “CadMad” Hits The Block At Barrett-Jackson/Scottsdale

When a pink and gray, two-door Caddy wagon won the 2019 Ridler Award in Detroit last year, the custom car world went into quite a tizzy. Here was an outrageous take on a very rare, Pininfarina-bodied 1959 Cadillac Brougham that was voraciously chopped and sectioned into a lean, long roof version of its former self and rechristened “CadMad.”  It was a huge crowd pleaser in Detroit and now, this one-in-a-million custom could be yours.

Many folks speculate what it costs to buy a car like this and though we might never know what the true dollar amount of this build was, we’ll soon know what the completed car is worth when it crosses the block at Barrett-Jackson, Scottsdale.
 

According to the seller’s details from Barrett-Jackson regarding Lot #1419, “Fifteen years ago, Stephen Barton set out to win the Don Ridler Award, the custom car world’s most prestigious honor. He died in January 2018, before he could see CadMad, a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham with a body by Pininfarina, on display in Detroit’s Cobo Center.
“CadMad took ten craftsmen to build and as Craig Barton hoisted the 2019 Ridler Award trophy overhead in celebration of a victory that his late brother dreamed of, judges named CadMad the best of 800 cars at the 2019 Autorama.

CadMad started life as a 1959 Cadillac Brougham, an Italian-bodied, four-door sedan.

“This car was one of 99 built in 1959 with a body and interior by Pininfarina of Italy. They started by chopping 18-inches in length, four-inches of width and sectioning two-inches from the lower body mass to give the car a more modern profile. After remnants were acid-dipped to remove the lead Pininfarina added during manufacturing, the altered steel panels were tack-welded together to serve as a visual model for the handcrafted custom body to follow. Four doors gave way to two, and the roof from a Chevrolet Nomad made the Caddy a sport wagon.
“This Italian bodied Cadillac’s flying hood ornament, head and tail lamps, bumpers, grille, side spears, wheel treatments and steering wheel all made the leap from the Eldorado Brougham to CadMad with subtle alterations.”

The result was a completely altered car that retained the essence of late-fifties GM styling.  In fact, the car looks authentic enough to have come out of Harley Earl’s design studio. From there, everything under the skin is an arsenal of name brand, uber-performance hardware from the biggest names in the business.

The seller elaborates further, “Nelson Racing Engines built a 632ci big-block Chevrolet V8 engine paired to an automatic transmission that is bolted to a 4L60E C5 Corvette transaxle. Fueled by racing fuel and boosted by a pair of 88mm turbochargers, the engine makes a neck-snapping 1025hp and 950 ft/lbs of torque. Tucked away is the starter, air-conditioning compressor and alternator under the floor at the back of the car.

“Everything sits on a space frame with a backbone and peripheral elements fashioned from 1-5/8-inch-diameter steel tubing, handcrafted suspension and steering components, Baer 6-piston brake calipers and 14-inch vented rotors with an electric booster. The car uses coil-overs at each corner. It rides on EVOD Industries machined 18-inch wheels wrapped in Vogue 18-inch radials that have a thin strip that matches the car’s paint. 

“The interior features an EVOD steering wheel, instrument bezel, Classic Instruments gauges, and leather RECARO bucket seats from a 2012 Cadillac CTS-V. The cargo floor was crafted by Heiden’s Woodworking using striped tigerwood, figured maple and African wenge.  A liberal application of urethane protects the wood and a master pinstriper, matched the wood grain in the hand-painted dash and door surfaces. The exterior is finished in a two-tone scheme of Fawntana Rose and Titanium Silver with three Kustom Shop urethane base coats, four color coats, and half a dozen PPG clear coats. Over 4,000 hours were spent building and finishing the body.”
A crazy cool build with the only caveat being we lost a super rare, limited production Cadillac from the golden era of GM Styling. We’re hoping it was a tired car and even though a rare sedan was sacrificed,  we gained a new interpretation of a ’50’s finned Caddy.
What will this car bring?  Stay tuned to Rod Authority and Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale, Arizona,  January 11th through the 19th when the gavel falls. It’s offered at “no reserve,” so we will soon see what a Ridler award-winning, custom car fetches at auction these days.

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About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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