This head turning Fleetwood Wagon was build by Wisco. In the early seventies Jim Baker experienced with GM Clamshell wagons (1971-1976 Buick Estate Wagon, Chevy Kingswood, Olds Custom Cruiser, Pontiac Safari). Cadillac never did build wagons. The only supplied commercial chassis to the professional coach builders to make hearses, ambulances, flowercars which all had high front windshields and not the clamshell rear end with the door that disappeared in the floor and the rear window that disappeared in the roof.
The clamshell end was great because there was no swing open rear door for loading/unloading.
Jim Baker started to cut a Fleetwood and a GM clamshell wagon in 2 pieces and welded the tubular frame channels, floor and roof from both cars together. The wagon has leaf springs as opposed to coil springs for greater loading capacity.
Mostly he used Buick Estate wagons for the modification.
Several conversion companies such as Wisco were instructed by Jim Baker and build only few clamshell Cadillac wagons. The exact number is not known, maybe less than 100 in total. The rear end of the 1975 Wisco El Classico was modified to look like a Cadillac. The quarter panels were extended and instead of plastic rear fillers it has an all steel rear fender. The rear bumper is unique with on top of it a large panel to carry oversize load if it sticks outside the car. The total length is exacly 600 cm, that is 10 cm more than the regular Fleetwood. The door opens and closes manually. The rear window is powered by a motor and a switch on the dash or can be openedby turning a key at the back of the wagon. Elvis ordered a Sedan de Ville Hardtop for modification into a wagon. (white with pink roof).
The wagon has some small spots that are easy to repair and minimal rust.
For me the wagon had to be technically good but it had not to be a show car.
It has 91.000 miles on the odometer. When I bought it from the seller in Lake Okeechobee Florida it showed 72.800 miles so I drove about 18.000 miles (29.000 km). The seller did not know this was an unique car. He bought it from the wife of the first owner only because he was interested in the engine! He pulled it from the car and installed in an Airboat that he build to tour visitors over the Everglades. The first thing I had to do was to find an engine. I found one in Oregon and had it shipped to Rotterdam.
Mechanically I had several parts renewed such as the timing chain + sprockets, radiator, radiator hoses, upper control arm bushings, center link + idler arm, exhaust, head lamps, starter, wiper motor (interval), tires 4 cm whitewalls, radio.
A lot of interior work was done such as new headliner, carpets, leather interior, dash panels, radio+speakers, Impco LPG-system with 82 liter tank, rear brake cilinders, door seals,
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These stories are in Dutch but the pictures give a good impression how bad this car was when it came from Florida. Most of the restoration which took about 800 hours was done within a couple of months from June 2009-Feb 2010. The replacement of the roof sections may appear a lot of work but were not so complicated. The front section came from a 1972 Fleetwood from Arizona Vintage ad the rear section from a 1972 Buick Estate wagon from Desert Valley Autopart who became famous after there junkyard appeared in Dessert Kings on Discovery. The welding of the roof sections was done in less than 2 week but most of the welding was in the floor of the rear section which was very bad and also to make a support for the LPG tank.
The rest of the floor was very good. I replaced the hood and reare door and also had to weld the area around the fender skirt. So in total 60 meter of welding was done.
In total the wagon is an unique Cadillac.
It is for sale for € 17.900
In 2008 werd op Ebay een Cadillac Fleetwood stationcar uit Okeechobee in Florida te koop aangeboden. Hierover heb ik diverse stukken geschreven die geplaatst zijn in The Standard, het clubblad van de CCN.
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Jim Baker begon te experimenteren met het maken van Cadillac station cars uit de jaren 1971-1976. Hij gebruikte hiervoor achterkanten van andere GM wagons met clamshell zoals de Buick Estate wagon, Chevrolet Caprice/Impala.
Hier een impressie van het werk. Zowel de koets als de chassis werden doorgezaagd.
Hij bouwde Fleetwoods met middelstijl en Sedan de Ville Hardtops zonder middenstijl om.
De foto's zijn afkomstig van The Cadillac Database van Yann Saunders.
Het is waarschijnlijk de enige in Europa.
Hij is te koop voor € 17.900