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Another Shorty: 1958 Cadillac DeVille


I wonder sometimes what inspires folks to shorten a car to this extent. There isn’t even room for a door, just a scooped out area on the sides with upholstery snapped over it. However, the work in this case (unlike most) seems to have been done nicely. The little Cadillac is located in Salem, Oregon and is advertised here on eBay, where bidding is well under $500 as I write, but of course has not yet met the reserve.


Here’s a view where you can better appreciate how short this car is. The aftermarket wires go along with the whole look, I think–if it’s something you like. In my case, I’d like it better if there were doors and a top incorporated into the car. That being said, I do think the customizer did a great job of keeping the trim intact and looking correct.


The shine sure is nice, and the seller claims it’s rust free! It will be very interesting to see how this car’s selling price will compare with the value of a nice 1958 Coupe DeVille (average NADA retail $27,700).


The seller tells us that seats from a 1960 Impala were fitted (why?) and obviously this work has been done for a while. The car is showing 134,000 miles and we don’t know anything about the mechanical condition apart from the seller saying that it “runs and drives great” and is a blast to drive. I don’t doubt it, as long as you can keep it in a straight line!


A newish looking fuel pump and filter have me hoping that some recent maintenance has been completed, but I’m wondering about the two tywraps I can see next to the filter. Assuming this is the original engine, it will be a 365 cubic inch V8 making 310 horsepower when new. Originally, 0-60 would be in 10.9 seconds, but I figure at least 1/4 of the weight of the original vehicle is gone, so I’ll bet that time is lower for this roadster. Ultimately, you know what I’m going to ask you–is this a car you would stretch to own, or would you sell it short?


  1. MH

    In my opinion they wrecked a beautiful car. It would have been worth alot more stock then it is now. Resale might be tough with this one. Who would want it and what do you do with it?

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  2. dj

    This is one of those cars that you have to want it to buy it. Then once you did, you’re stuck with it. I’m sure it was a four door before they cut it up.

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  3. piper62j

    Why do all that body work and leave the engine compartment looking like a dump?

    I agree with you guys.. This car is an elephant you can’t get rid of.. Maybe someone down in the “hood” will fall in love with it..

    Unique find and an odd car..

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  4. Glenn

    Each to their own I guess but I have no idea why you would cut down a Caddie. The whole attraction of these cars is their size. Good luck getting a buyer.

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  5. Bob Hess

    Tie wraps are around the water temp sensor. I still do wonder why folks insist on putting plastic fuel filters over exhaust manifolds… Agree a great car was cut up.


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  6. Pfk1106

    Eh, once beautiful, not looks like something from roger rabbit.

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  7. boxdin

    There is one of these in my city that has been stretched 6 feet or so. It too is parked for years and unused.

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  8. Peregrine Lance

    This conversion, in my opinion, is clever, and well-done! The engineer took a GM-late-50s railroad car, and made it into a compact, slick-looking vehicle!

    Why all this bad press??? Remember the ‘Vette made into a barbecue? BRAVO to this guy! ANY DAY he wants to drive it into my garage, I will trade him straight across for my ’97 Sidekick (another underrated car!).

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  9. ClassicCarFan

    Sorry, I have to fall in with the “nice classic car ruined” camp. I don’t really see the point. I admit that this one seems relatively well executed, but why?

    The other thought that sprang to mind immediately for me….if bidding really does stay low and someone can pick this up real cheap – it would make a great donor car for parts and trim for a “normal-size” Deville restoration?

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  10. Fred

    This was “customized” a long time ago. Better that it still exists rather than being scrapped out or left outside to rot. If the bodywork is anywhere near as good as it looks in photos, you have to respect that. Would make an excellent parade car or cruise in conversation piece. Definitely not headed for Pebble Beach though.

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  11. Cebo

    Good parade car that the Shriners pile into

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  12. Tirefriar

    An answer to a question that should never been asked…..

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  13. JW454

    Had they been skilled enough to give it functional doors it would have been a more pleasing (re)-design. As is, it’s just silly.

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  14. G.P. Member

    My dad, years ago would buy 50’s and 60’s caddy’s at a impound lot for 35.00 each. They probably didn’t pay much for it when it was started. I also know where there is a field about 10 acres big where a truck driver would pick them up and haul them home years ago. The field is still full and he has never done anything with them and will not sell anything today. It’s about 20 miles away.

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  15. Mark S

    If this was done where they left it a little longer, and took the time to make working doors it would be way more attractive. It’s hard to know what he had to work with when he got started, maybe it was a run down beater saved from the crusher. As it is right now it needs that dip in the side filled in and the interior refinished, but you’d really have want to keep it to go to that much trouble.

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  16. Rick

    I think its totally cool, especially the way it was done without doors. like a true roadster. Almost looks factory, bet Cadillac would have outsold the 2 seater T-Bird if it was offered back in the day

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  17. Vince Habel

    60 Impala did not have buckets seats. Look like 62 SS seats. Ad says it has a 390

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    Don’t look now but the bid is just shy of 9grand. Someone likes it, and I think it’s cool but not that cool.

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  19. grant

    The eBay page says they cut up a coupe. I’m gonna be sick.

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  20. Curt

    Some should be put in jail for this crime!!!
    And…the upholstery should have been done in Tijuana, they would have been done a much better job.

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  21. John

    It’s jus sad to see what is arguably the most beautiful Cadillac of the modern era destroyed in this manner. To each his own. I feel the same way when I see a beautiful young woman with tattoos all over her. True beauty can seldom be improved.

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  22. That Guy

    “Shorty” customs seem to have been a thing in the 60s and 70s, maybe into the 80s. Any I’ve encountered generally date from that period. They aren’t fashionable now, and may never be again. I guess I think of this car as a historical artifact, representing an era whose time has passed.

    Most likely it was just an old beater at the time the work was done. At least it survives as something vaguely interesting, rather than having met a squishy end in the crusher.

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  23. Barry T

    Good Grief! What in the world possesses a person to do this to what was a very nice car. Pretty much ruined it in my opinion.

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  24. Barry T

    BTW, it just occurred to me that I thought it rained a lot in Oregon. Does it come with an umbrella?

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  25. ben

    well as I say to each there own had a friend cut up a perfect elcamino to use the running grear and frame on a rambler marlin go figure nice conversation piece

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    • John

      Somewhere around here we have a guy who has put an early 60s Corvette body on a 4×4 Jeep chassis. I have to admit that the ingenuity that goes into these kinds of projects is admirable. But, given a choice between a stock 58 Cadillac coupe and this shortened device, I would surely take the stock model. But I would applaud the skill and effort that have gone into this one. It’s just not my cuppa tea.

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  26. Evan Allen

    The upholstery looks a bit… well, it’s not my taste. I’d prefer a more original interior to a Nash style fold flat interior (considering it used to be a big car, maybe that will work better than in a real roadster). Other than that? I assume this work was not done to a once-nice vehicle, it was done to an absolute beater and anything that looks nice is owed to the effort of the customizer. I would buy this but I already have a project and that would need an engine compartment overhaul. I see that as a classy alternative to the more brash and sporty corvette and thunderbirds of the era.

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  27. Brad

    Less practical – but just as dopey – as a Fiat Jolly. Use it to ferry yourself around the marina… and if it rolls off the dock, nobody will shed a tear.

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  28. Curt

    Well Said !!!

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    I think they used to call this conversion a “BOBTAIL”. Nice job whether you approve or not.

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  30. yannsaunders

    Sold for a “measly” $29K on Jan. 16, 2018 during the annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ.

    Like 0

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