GERALD´S CADILLACS


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THE 1967 PAINTJOB PROJECT HAS STARTED

The first pictures of my 1967 Cadillac Eldorado restoration / paintjob project are coming in. You can read more details about it here on my website.
The restoration shop is sending me detailed pictures of the process. They are really doing a great job. Very exciting times.
Of course there are the first unpleasant surprise to be seen - there is a little more rust around the rear window than I expected.

You can find all the pictures of the restoration here on my website as high res pictures.
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In the shop - disassembly began. They are cleaning everything up now.edge
Removal of all the trim and sheet metaledge
I will also redo the trunk.

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NEW PAINTJOB FOR MY 1967 ELDORADO

My 1967 Cadillac Eldorado is a completely original car including its factory paint job. It looked great from 10ft away and on pictures. But if you inspected the car closer, you could clearly see the many paint issues it had .This is the reason why I never showed the car anywhere. I have already fixed all technical problems and the interior is in mint condition. It's a very low mileage car with only 28k miles and it drives like a brand new car.
One of the previous owners of this car tried to touch up the paint in some areas but it was not done properly…
I bought the car in 2009, and since then I was planning to repaint the car to make it perfect.

Being a perfectionist I had a hard time finding a shop which is up to my quality standards and work ethics. During a photo-shooting I came in contact with a shop about 2 hours from where I live. My wife and I were invited to photograph one of his hotrods and he also owns a Cadillac with a breathtaking paint job. While we were there I was extremely impressed by the cleanliness of his shop and the quality of the work I saw there and especially about the attitude of the owner Bernd. A couple of years later 3 of my cars needed some little paint touch ups, which made me pretty nervous. But the shop owner did the most excellent job on my cars, so that I asked if they he also do my 67 Eldorado.
Unfortunately a couple more years went by where I did not have the financial means to do the job.
Last year - out of nowhere I was contacted by an uncle I had not had any contact for the last 42 years after my dad was killed at a work accident. To make a long family story short - he "inherited" me a very generous amount of money - almost as much as I´ll need for the paint job of my 67 Eldorado.

Yesterday I delivered the car to the restoration shop.
After a long and thorough inspection by the shop owner, the restoration will start sometime soon. The owner is optimistic that hopefully there wont be too many bad surprises hiding. He measured the paint thickness and found some evidence that some damage might be hiding in the right rear quarter panel. Maybe the car had a fender bender sometimes in its previous life.

The car will be completely disassembled. Front and rear glass will be removed. Fenders, hood, trunk and doors are coming off. Interior will get removed, but the body will stay on the frame.
Then everything will be taken down to bare metal by sanding, as its too cold to strip the paint with chemical paint stripper during the winter months.

Every step will be documented with pictures which I will post here on my website as well. So keep coming back to follow the restoration if you are into this kind of entertainment.

I´m so happy that the car will be fixed at this shop. It's the first shop I have no worries about the quality of job done. Bernd - the shop owner - is a perfectionist like me. He only accepts perfect quality and wont take any short cuts.

FINDING THE RIGHT COLOR…

The big question for me now is if I should have the car repainted in its original "Grecian White" color, which I am not exactly a big fan of, or repaint it in one of my favorite 1967 Cadillac Colors "Atlantis Blue Firemist".
When I asked my friends to help me decide about 80% said I should paint it in "Atlantis Blue Firemist"… If I could go back to 1967 and order one from the factory I would probably order the blue one
I was also informed that the Cadillac LaSalle club does not deduct any points during judging if you do a color change as long as it is done in a correct color for a certain year…
Being an originality buff - I´m having a hard time to do a color change though. My little son also wants to keep the car white - my wife would like to have it changed to blue

edgeThe last picture of the 67- still with the original paint.edgeThe car at the restoration shop during its first inspection. The owner of the shop was pleasantly surprised.
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Cadillac buyers had quite a color choice for the 1967 model. Here is the original 1967 Cadillac Exterior Color Selections Dealer Book.
edgeCode 90 - the optional "Atlantis Blue Firemist" is my favorite color for the 67 Eldorado.
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Atlantis Blue Firemist cars were used for advertising the new 1967 Eldorados - Color Code 90. This would be my favorite 1967 Eldorado color…
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My car still looked flawless on pictures until you looked closer…edgeOne of the areas where the paint is flaking off.edge
Many of the areas where the paint is pretty worn and surface rust is developing.edge
The rear window will have to come out to fix this "repair" attempt by one of the previous owners…

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CLASSIC CADILLAC CLUB OF GERMANY - ANNUAL MEETING - 2017 - HUGE IMAGE GALLERY.

The German Cadillac Club (CCCD = Classic Cadillac Club Deutschland) held its annual Club Meeting in Bavaria / Germany at the "Starnberger See" in 2017. It was a perfectly organized meeting with about 60 cars of all ages attending. As I am no member of any club, I was allowed to participate as a guest with my 1974 Coupe deVille which performed perfectly. I joined my Cadillac friends from Austria in a convoy to Germany, and we had great fun there. There were two driving tours on Friday and Saturday through the scenic landscape of Bavaria. Thanks to Christian Doerk for organizing this fantastic event! The whole trip was 503 miles for me which I enjoyed thoroughly.
You can find all the pictures of this event in my gallery here or by clicking on one of the images below.
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R.I.P. MOM

Hildegard Loidl
*August 10th 1929 - † May 15th 2017


My mom unexpectedly, peacefully passed away yesterday evening. I found her this morning. We had a great day with her yesterday when she celebrated my boys 7th birthday with us. Nobody expected that this would be her last day. At age 87 she still drove her car, regularly rode her bicycle and went shopping on her own, although her heart was a little weak.

She did not have an easy life. She lost both of her husbands in work related accidents. I was only 4 years old when my father passed away. She was a fighter and rose me and my sister on her own.

She fully supported my Cadillac passion and liked my cars, and had a good time when I took her for a spin in one of them. She was always interested what was going on in my garage.

One Cadillac related story with her was especially funny:
In 2015 - after her 85th birthday - there was a big helicopter event in our town. Mom decided that she wanted to go for a helicopter round trip and I reserved a flight for her. She wanted to go there in style, so we took the 78 Eldorado and I drove her through the huge crowd of people directly up to the helicopter landing area. She had great fun that all the people were gazing at us. She then got out of the car and directly boarded the helicopter for her flight. 10 minutes later she returned from her flight and got back into the Cadillac. People could not stop staring at her ;-)
We had a good laugh - everybody must have thought we were millionaires ;-)
Thats the kind of fun she liked :-)

I miss her very much! Love you mom!

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Mom in my 58 Eldoradoedge
Mom in my 74. She liked this car very much!

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FINISHED THE 1974 CADILLAC ENGINE BAY RESTORATION PROJECT

In September 2016 I started to repair the AIR pump which had a broken pulley bolt. The repair of this little bolt resulted in a partial engine bay restoration, which was never planned. But as I had to take out quite a lot of parts to access the pump I noticed all the flacking paint and surface rust any 43 year old original car develops. I did not want to put all these not so good looking parts back into the car, so I decided to clean everything up and detail everything. It included taking out the radiator, condenser, all brackets, AIR pump, generator, all pulleys, power steering pump, AC compressor, removing all the rust from the parts and repaint them, repaint the engine, have some parts powder coated like the fan, dry ice cleaning, rebuilding the AC compressor, straightening the condenser fins and MUCH more.
Everything that came out was cleaned up, and wherever I found some surface rust or flacking paint it was completely removed and the according part was repainted. I had to do all of this on a very tight budget, but luckily the total cost of this project was extremely low, as all I needed were 3 cans of paint, some wire brushes and some cleaning chemicals .

I took a break from Nov. 2016 to April 2017 where I did not do any car related work at all. During the last 2 weeks I finished everything, and the car is now ready and only needs a good cleaning prior to the upcoming season. When everything was back together the car started up immediately (see video below) but I could not let it run for a longer time yet as the engine enamel (I used Bill Hirsch engine enamel) needs at least 2 weeks to fully cure.

I did not restore parts which still had their original decals, because some are irreplaceable, as there are no correct reproduction decals for the 1974 Cadillac out there. Many decals for sale for the 1974 Cadillac are totally incorrect - beware! For example there is no correct "Caution Fan" decal or AC compressor decal available anywhere. So there is still some patina left on some areas, and at first glance the engine bay does not look restored at all, but more like an extremely well kept car with very low mileage. I did not want to go for this over restored look.

But let the pictures speak for themselves - here are 3 Before/After pictures (Click on them for a larger view) and the rest of the restoration pictures can be found here.

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The radiator support frame before, after removing the rust and after painting
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The radiator support frame before, after removing the rust and after painting
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Before and after rust removal

Here is short video of the first start up after the restoration.

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The finished engine bay looks pretty nice!

More pictures of the finished engine bay can be found here.


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A TV COMMERCIAL WAS SHOT IN MY GARAGE

My wife and I were asked to film a commercial for a local TV station. We decided to film it in my smaller Cadillac garage where I have three of my cars in winter hibernation. My wife did the camera work and I had to "act". (I know I am terrible at it ;-) )

Here is the finished spot:

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WEBSITE UPDATE

As its too cold in my garage to work on my 1974 Coupe deVille at the moment, I spent some time to update my website.
I added a couple of images to the "Best Of" image gallery on my website and put a couple more of my videos online in the video gallery.
Check them out - here are a few previews of the new pictures you can find in the "Best Of" gallery.edge

I had the pleasure to photograph my friend Lucky´s 1958 Eldorado Biarritz in August 2016.
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I shot a couple of pictures of my 58 Seville at a mountain at sunset last summer
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My wife and I crossed the Swiss Alps during a road trip with our 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate in August 2016.
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The Cadillac BIG Meet 2016 was one of my personal highlights in 2016. We took lots of great pictures there like this 1964 Cadillac Fleetwood.

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SEASONS GREETINGS 2016

For a few years now it's a tradition to shoot a card with one of my cars for the annual season´s greetings. This year my 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz made it on our card.
All the best to the visitors of my website!

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My lovely little family

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Behind the scenes ;-)

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My son Elliot - Behind the scenes ;-)

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A6 AC COMPRESSOR REPAIR - BAD BEARING ON THE 1974

When I bought my 74 the seller informed me that the AC compressor was bad and that it was disconnected due to a bad clutch or another problem. So I ordered a new rebuilt AC compressor with the car.
Due to all the other projects I never managed to get the AC back in fully working order until now.
Unfortunately the rebuilt AC compressor came with the clutch coil terminals in the wrong position. They are available with the terminals at the correct 10 o clock position or the 2 o clock position, which is correct for other years.
If the terminals are in the wrong position you cant connect the original wires to them as they are too short. With the high shipping costs it was no option to send the incorrect compressor back.

As it turned out the cars original compressor had a bad bearing and that was the reason why it was disconnected.

My friends Lucky and Steve were here to help me with the compressor project and so I took both of my compressors to Lucky´s workshop, as he has all the necessary tools and experience with these compressors from his own cars.
Originally I just wanted to turn the clutch coil on the rebuilt compressor into the correct position, but then we decided to rebuild the original compressor instead, because it still has the original decal, which is not available as a correct reproduction. All the available compressor reproduction decals are TOTALLY incorrect for the 1974 Cadillacs. The 1974 reproduction decals all show the wrong amount of refrigerant! They are also different in many other details. The closest match of reproductions for 1974 are the ones from 1972 Cadillacs…

We still disassembled the rebuilt compressor to "borrow" its pulley bearing to replace the bad one on the original compressor.
The procedure to be able to replace the bearing and to turn the clutch coil is not too difficult - but you need some special tools. Without those you cant do it. You´ll need a basic clutch puller / installer set for this job and some long nose snap ring pliers to get the retaining rings out.
First remove the shaft nut and the snap ring ( the rebuilt compressors always seem to come without this snap ring) and then pull the clutch with the special puller. Pull off the pulley and take the bearing out and replace it with a new one.
To be able to turn the clutch coil you´ll have to remove another snap ring. This snap ring was the biggest challenge for us. The shop manual lists a special tool for this which we of course did not have… It could be done with a very long nose plier as well, but we did not have these either. So it took us quite a long time to get it out with screwdrivers and self made hooks… You can then simply turn the coil into the correct position.
Putting it back together is pretty straightforward as well, but again you need a special installer tool to get the clutch back on and to adjust it properly.

I will now have to buy a new bearing so that I can put the rebuilt compressor back together and have it as a spare.
I have attached some pics from the shop manual which show how to remove the various parts of the compressor to remove the pulley and the clutch coil.

As always you can find ALL the pictures in my restoration gallery!


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You need some special tools to disassemble the A6 AC compressor.
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On the 74´s original AC compressor clutch the bearing was bad.
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The compressor clutch removed. You can see the bad bearing inside which is normally sealed. Some balls were already missing.
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The clutch with some remains of the bearings.
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The clutch and pulley removed on the original compressor.
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My friends Steve and Lucky at work. We also replaced all the O - rings.
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Removing the pulley
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Removing the pulley from the rebuilt compressor.
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There is this one snap ring we just did not have the right tool for. The shop manual lists a special plier for this. After a lot of fiddling we got it out eventually…
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The magnetic coils on the rebuilt and the original compressor
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Lucky in action
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Once the snap ring is out you can turn the coils terminals to the 11o´clock position or the 1 o clock position. On the 74 it has to be at the 10 o clock position, otherwise the connecting wires are too short.
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Getting this snap ring out was the hardest part on this job, due to not having the right tool for it.
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The terminal at the incorrect position at the rebuilt compressor.
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We turned the terminal to the correct position.
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We sandblasted the pulley while it was out of the car so that I can repaint it now. Note the original decal! All the available reproduction decals are totally incorrect for the 1974 Cadillacs. The reproduction decals all show the wrong amount of refrigerant! They are also different in many other details. The closest match of reproduction decals for 1974 are the ones from 1972 Cadillacs…

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