1 Of 50? 1976 Cadillac Castilian Estate Wagon

In 1975, Traditional Coach Works Ltd. of Chatsworth, California began producing custom-built Cadillac pick-ups and station wagons. The company was shortlived, however, only lasting about 3 years. According to the seller of this 1976 Castilian Estate Wagon, 50 of these conversions were produced from 1975-1976. Located in Dallas, Texas this custom Caddy is listed for sale here on Craigslist with an asking price of $5,800. This same car was featured on Barn Finds back in early 2018 (erroneously listed as a 1972 model). However, at that time it wore wire wheel covers. Advertised as the “Wagon of the Stars,” a Castilian conversion sold for around $30,000 back in the day. Accounting for inflation, this wagon would have a price tag of $135,374 in today’s money!

Celebrities who owned (and could afford) a Traditional Coach Works Caddy reportedly included Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Evel Knievel (click here to see a listing for Dean Martin’s Castilian that sold not too long ago). The Castilian started out by taking a yacht-like 234″ Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham frame and body and converting it “to a true six-passenger luxury Estate Wagon,” according to sales literature. Immediately noticeable is the C-pillar that travels up and over the roof of the car. A liftback tailgate and folding rear seat gave the car station wagon status while an optional and lavish “Brougham d’Elegance” trim package furnished added elegance to the already luxurious Fleetwood.

The absence of plush, contoured, pillow-style upholstery in this Castilian indicates it was not equipped with Brougham d’Elegance trim. However, the seats were likely reupholstered during the “low quality refurbish” that took place years ago, according to the seller. Looking closely at the photos, I don’t see a Brougham d’Elegance nameplate on the C-pillar nor is there a prominent jewel-like Caddy ornament adorning the hood. The seller lists the car in fair condition which seems to be an accurate appraisal given the condition of the interior. Photos reveal a dash cover that is likely hiding cracks, a steering wheel wrap, stains in the carpet and headliner, and an armrest and lower driver side door panel that looks like it took a hit from “Mean” Joe Greene.

Traditional Coach Works made no changes to the car’s engine and drivetrain during the conversion process. The seller reports the original 500 cubic inch V8 runs well although the gas tank has been bypassed due to the car sitting for a long period of time and not having been stored properly. 59,801 miles are reported to have been logged by the car’s original owner, a Dallas businessman who purchased it new from a Cadillac dealership in Texas. Rust issues are prevalent and to his credit, the seller posted close-up photos showing problem areas on the right rear quarter panel as well as the roof. Photos of the floor pans are not provided, but the seller mentions they will need to be replaced. This particular Castilian has been on and off the market for a couple of years and the asking price initially seems within reason for such a rare car. However, it would likely be an expensive undertaking to perform a proper restoration. Is there any way to avoid coming out upside down on a project like this?

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Comments

  1. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Nice work, Jay! That original price, wow!

    6
  2. DanaPointJohn

    Quick answer to your question: NO!

    5
  3. art

    Isn’t this a re-run?

    1
    • grant

      As stated in the article, yes.

      6
    • CanuckCarGuy

      Yes, this is the 3rd time I recall seeing that horribly recovered front seat…someone in Niagara Falls is/was also trying to sell one that was previously owned by Evel Knievel.

      3
  4. That AMC Guy

    Bizarre vehicle. I wonder what pieces they used to make the rear hatch? The rear window is reminiscent of a Hornet Sportabout but I’d think that would be too narrow for the Cadillac body.

  5. Ike Onick

    The Excess Express

    5
  6. Stan Marks

    I worked at the studios during the 70’s. One of the shows I worked on was Hardy Boys Mystery. I worked in Transportation, in charge of picture cars.
    Evel Knievel was guest starring on the show.
    I have pictures, of him, on location in front of the Universal Sheraton. He was driving his Stutz Bearcat convertible. I also have a pic of his white Cadillac El Camino, he used to transport his jump bikes. His vanity license plate read EVEL.
    Sure wish I could download my pics here.

    4
    • Jim Z Member

      Pretty sure you can upload your pics, but must be a member to do so. And be logged in. Then when leaving a comment, the option to upload picture will show.

      • Stan Marks

        Thanks Jim..

  7. Rustytech

    Those seats look more like something you’d find in a Checker cab than even the cheapest Cadillac, yuk!

    4
  8. Del

    Great lawn ornament

    1
    • Mike

      You want this on your lawn?

      3
  9. Rodney - GSM

    Never wanted a station wagon. Never wanted a Cadillac. Still don’t.

    1
  10. Andrew Franks

    Well, if you want to do it right you’ll be upside down in the car. It’s not even that attractive in terms of design. So if you want something bizarre to run around in, this is it, just know that you will take a loss upon sale.

    1
    • FordGuy1972

      I think you’ll be upside down as soon as you pay the asking price. I’m a big fan of wagons, I’ve had several and currently own an ’07 Dodge Magnum. Wouldn’t even consider this one; it pretty much defines the excess of the period and to me it’s just an unattractive car. Too big and needs too much that wouldn’t justify the money you’d have to put into it. Hard pass.

  11. Stan Marks

    You don’t mess with perfection.
    This boat needs to be sunk.

    1
  12. Jeff

    No matter it’s origin, present condition or intended purpose. It’s historically GREAT!

    4
  13. Jeff again

    This is why I read Barn Finds. To see the cars of the past and not judge just enjoy😎

    12
  14. Eric B.

    I remember an article in a magazine in the mid seventies about a company that made El Camino type cars based on Cadillacs. They called them Pick-coupe DeVille. Is this from that company? Does anyone know?

  15. JimZ Member

    I wish I knew the company that converted my 74 Eldo to an Eldo-Camino. This is the way I purchased it from a Parump, NV seller…..

    2
    • Mike H. Mike H. Member

      My guess is this car had been a flower car? I don’t think that they were that uncommon 40 years ago, but rare as rare gets today.

      • Jim Z Member

        Mike, normally a flower car is built from a Sedan DeVille, never seen one built from an Eldo. Just sayin’…

    • Jay B Jay B Staff

      JimZ, the same company that made the Castilian Wagon (Traditional Coach Works) also made an El Camino like pick-up from a Coupe de Ville platform in 1975 and 1976 called the Mirage. Your Cadillac looks like very similar, but since you mentioned it’s a ’74, perhaps it’s a Caribou? Here’s an old Hemmings article that talks about both

  16. Del

    Dean Martin had one to haul his wine cases back from the store.

    You could do worse as a lawn ornament.

    1
  17. Roy L

    All that it needs is a casket in the back. Too much like a hearse for my taste.

  18. Stan Marks

    Jim Z, with all due respect, I wouldn’t brag about that
    BTW… Rules say “no politics”.

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