Evel Knievel Wagon! 1971 Cadillac Fleetwood

At first glance, this 1971 Cadillac Fleetwood station wagon looks like something from Elvis Presley’s collection. Yet it was owned by that guy who used to jump things like large canyons, Evel Knievel. The wagon was no doubt custom-built to his tastes (were he and Elvis friends?) and has spent much of its life in a museum. Sadly, that museum is closing, so the car is now available here on Barrett-Jackson for their Las Vegas auction on 6/17-19, 2021. Ironically, it was covered here on Barn Finds about 18 months ago when it was offered for $95,000. We’re guessing it didn’t sell then, Thanks, Larry D, for seeking this one out.

As our Barn Finds fellow contributor, Bruce Johnson, discovered, most Cadillac wagons were built between 1968 and 1976 by Custom Craft. We understand that they started with a Series 60 Fleetwood and borrowed the roofs, tailgates, and interiors from other GM division station wagons. The engine was a stock Cadillac, a 472 cubic inch V8 that produced 375 hp with an automatic transmission.

The oldest Evel Knievel museum is in Niagara Falls and its closing means this wagon (and other memorabilia, no doubt) has to find a new home. Dubbed a Cadillac Fleetwood El Deora, this vehicle is said to only have 36,000 miles on the clock and the Montana title indicates that the owner was Evel himself. It looks to be in great shape, but not perfect. A few scratches are present here and there and a bubble or two may be under the vinyl top.

There’s no telling how much some Evel fan may fork out to acquire this car, but it could easily go past the 2020 asking price on kijiji.ca. This is a no reserve auction and – given the bidding frenzy that Barrett-Jackson is known to generate – it will be interesting to see what happens when the gavel comes down. It would be nice to see this wagon end up in another museum if the cost of acquisition can be overcome.

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Comments

  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it – Evel Knievel

    Like 53
    • Loweredexpectations

      What is the irony? “Ironically, it was covered here on Barn Finds about 18 months ago when it was offered for $95,000.” There is no “irony” in this observation. Best not to use Alanis Morrissette’s “Ironic” as guide for correct use of ironic.

      Like 10
    • Caddyman

      Russ — Nice find. Front end is oddly reminiscent of the Family Truckster station wagon. Difference being National Lampoon movie wagon was purposely making fun while this Caddy was a serious expensive car for wealthy clients. BTW — what is the “irony”? “Ironically, it was covered here on Barn Finds about 18 months ago when it was offered for $95,000.” Like the Alanis Morrisette “Ironic”. No irony here.

      Like 3
    • Peter k

      It’s not how far you go on the bike, it’s the landing that counts….

      Like 6
  2. Terrry

    Makes you wonder why Cadillac themselves never built a wagon, since many were custom-built by outside sources.

    Like 17
    • Will Fox

      That question has been pondered before. Cadillac div. of GM never was meant to be a “family car” type make. owning a Cadillac meant ‘you made it!’ when it was ‘Standard of the world’, meant for an older, “accomplished” crowd. Want a wagon? Olds, Buick, Pontiac, and Chevy all offered those.

      Like 17
  3. Dale

    Correction:
    Evel Knievel tried to jump Snake River Canyon in 1974, not the Grand Canyon.

    Like 25
    • 8banger 8banger Member

      Ya, and we know how that turned out…

      Like 1
  4. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Imagine trying to jump something like this over the Snake River Canyon

    Like 17
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    Didn’t he jump 20 Harleys with this?

    Like 6
  6. Mikefromthehammer

    Russ, the museum is located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada not Niagara Falls, New York, USA.

    Like 11
    • Tony Primo

      The Hammer must stand for Hamilton.

      Like 5
  7. Rodney - GSM

    I alway associate Evel Knievel with the colors Red White and Blue. Motorcycles, jumpsuits, capes, that sort of thing.
    Yellow and brown just does not say daredevil stuntman to me.
    Perhaps it is a reference to the inside of the jumpsuits…..

    Like 45
  8. Joe Sewell

    Oh goodness…only if I could. My first Cadillac was a ’71 Sedan DeVille, I was the second owner. Memorable car, drove well. Primary Cadillac dealer in town had a horrible, dysfunctional service department. New dealer came along and my fortunes improved tremendously.

    Bought a lightly used ’79 Sedan DeVille from the new dealer. Both memorable cars, but my experiences with GM products ended not too many years later. This custom built station wagon should be a blast to own for the right person.

    Like 6
  9. Pookie Jamie

    I’m from Buffalo NY. Did not know the museum was just across the border. I frequently went to Canada for Maple Leaf Village(now fallsview casino) I love the fact t rv at this car has the clamshell back window?(correct me if I am wrong)

    I never knew that Cadillac made a wagon for passengers instead of cadavers.

    Good luck with the sale and the new owner

    Like 1
    • AZVanman

      I don’t believe it has the clamshell, Jamie. It looks like the previous year drop-down, swing-out style tailgate/glass with the built-in step.

  10. Howie Mueler

    It is mighty clean, with a few minor flaws. Maybe it will stay in Vegas if there is a Evil museum there.

    Like 5
  11. normadesmond

    yuck.

    Like 5
  12. John Oliveri

    It’s definitely an acquired taste, Dean Martin had one too, his was better colors, if you change this color combo, it’s no longer original Evil

    Like 5
  13. Jeff

    Wow way to condem a harmless dead entertainer, and disparage his fans in the same breath. As a kid I thought he was a brave adventurer. Interest in him has largely ended, but good to know your distaste for him lives on.

    Like 28
  14. Joe Sewell

    What troll planet did you just beam in from? Knievel projected adventurism, opportunity, and entrepreneurship. He built a product based on his reputation. Crawl back into your shell and….

    Like 20
  15. Cadmanls Member

    Chester try getting out of bed on the other side. That’s some really harsh stuff your pushing. Only in the U.S. could a man pull it off and he paid the price I am sure. The man broke so many bones Iam sure old age was no cake walk. He did what he loved.

    Like 17
    • KEN TILLY UK Member

      @Cadmanis. When I was growing up and breaking many bones via my motorcycling expoloits, the surgeons always told me to get off the bikes as every broken bone was going to come back with a vengence in old age. Just like any youngster I figured he diidn’t know what he was talking about so ignored his advice. Now at age 82 I know what they were talking about as just getting onto my current motorbike is a major effort and getting off is even more difficult. So, to all the young motorcyclists out there, stay on the bike and keep the shiny side up so that you don’t end up with broken bone problems in your old age. There is NOTHING like being on a fast, powerful motorbike, until you hit something that is!

      Like 11
      • Joe Sewell

        I hear ya. Happy to read you’ve made it to 82 and have done as well as you have apparently. I started riding in 1968 and parked them for good in 2018(?) – hoping not.

        No broken bones, but extreme arthritis-bursitis sidelined me, along with a number of connected issues. I’m only 64.

        Looking at smaller, easier to handle motorcycles, something like the Bonneville T120. Sold my Triumph Sprint ST last year and my Triumph Trophy SE sold in recent weeks. I’m truly broken hearted.

        God Bless Evel Knievel.

        Like 8
      • Bill McCoskey

        Ken Tilly & others,

        I had several vintage motorcycles when I was a young man, but as I watched my friends who rode bikes, get hit by cars & trucks that didn’t see ’em on the bike, or ran stop signs & traffic lights, my girlfriends started pestering me to stop riding.

        About 1980 a friend was hit by a red light runner & he’s been in crutches and wheelchair ever since. His girlfriend was killed. Several more friends ended up on the road dead, and after having been a pallbearer for another bike riding friend, I said enough. Too many idiot drivers in the Mid-Atlantic area, especially the I-95 corridor.

        From that time on, I stayed off bikes if it involved the public highways. I sold the WW2 Triumph messenger bike, the Knucklehead, and the Chief. I was sorry to see them go, but they went to other collectors who appreciate them, and I’m still alive.

        Like 2
  16. CharlesS

    The thing I find odd about this conversion is that by 1971 big GM wagons used the clam shell style tail gait, with the tail gait disappearing into the floor and the rear window disappearing into the roof. This car obviously uses a two way gait that opens down like a traditional wagon and to the side like a door. One has to wonder what year GM vehicle donated the rear wagon portion of the car?

    Like 3
    • Bill McCoskey

      CharlesS,

      1971 was the first year for the clamshell tailgate, and it required a very different roof line that required different rear doors and quarters. Plus, the tailgate slid under the floor, requiring a whole different back half of the floor/chassis. These changes would have likely made the Cadillac wagon way too expensive.

      Plus, the coachbuilder had already been making these Cadillac wagons for several years, using this dual-opening tailgate. Would the coachbuilder have been able to recoup the engineering costs to create the new type?

      And then there is the possibility that EK didn’t like the clamshell tailgate!

      Like 4
  17. Steveo

    I don’t know why so many folks idolize the guy. I’m sure it must have something to do with believing the hype and not even taking a peek at the realities of how he did business and lived his life. Yeah, it’s wrong to speak ill of the dead, but it’s not wrong to suggest folks check the facts out for themselves.

    Like 1
  18. Chris

    Back in the day Evil K was my hero , I could not see enough of him . The guy had the American Dream , So if someone thinks they can do better “then do it ” . Its hard to bash a guy who is dead . He was an entertainer , adventurist , stuff that kids like. I wish I still had some of his toys .

    Like 5
    • Steve R

      My family watched him perform at the Cow Palace in 1972, I don’t remember the jump, but remember my dad getting a six foot long poster that hung behind the concession stand afterwards. Which I still have it, unused, rolled up in a cardboard tube.

      Steve R

      Like 3
  19. Dwcisme

    Back in the 70’s, as now, entertainers like EK had to put in more of a show than just getting on a bike and jumping a bus. If that was the extent of the show, how many would pay to see it? Same with Elvis, Wayne Newton, etc. Then came Alice Cooper with Shock Rock. All were great performers in their field but added an extra element to make sure the public got their money’s worth. That included driving pimped out Cadillacs and entering a Rolls Royce in a demolition derby.

    Like 4
  20. Solosolo Member

    @Joe Sewall. I’m broken hearted for you Joe as those are some seriously good bikes that you have recently sold but I wouldn’t say that even the Triumph Bonnieville is a lightweight at our age. I sold my 1933 Calthorpe Ivory Major 500 recently as it was too difficult to ride with hand gear change and twist grip throttle on the right hand side and ignition advance/retard and clutch lever on the left. I still have my 1987 Honda Rebel 450cc and that’s now about as much as I am able to handle. Good luck and keep riding for as long as possible.

    Like 5
  21. chrlsful

    B’nJ will get more (the 90K), s4!+ so will BaT or any of the others. Auction sales combined w/on-line sales have priced me out of an ol hobby/daily transportation (buy low, drive’n restore, sell to get the nxt one – D.drive free something U could not normally).
    Shame~

  22. Doug F.

    Wow, Chester, take a chill pill. Go back to work at your hum drum job and bring those people down, not us who look here for entertainment. The only thing I find ridiculous is your comments. I’m 62 and have been riding motorcycles since I was about 12. For fun and entertainment. Still ride. I lived through the hey day of Evel Knievel and to this day I would watch him whenever I can. Call him a bad example if you want, that’s your opinion, but millions, including me idolized the guy. Took guts to seat yourself on a heavy motorcycle, not a dirt bike like these kids ride, and fly through the air so fast and so high for so far, and he was the only one doing it. He wasn’t admired for bad behavior by millions, it was for being as daring as the millions of us that wished to be so! Don’t think I’ll ever see one of your cars for sale because of YOUR name.

    Like 2
  23. John Oliveri

    Evel Was a daredevil, pure adrenaline rush and a very heavy motorcycle flying thru the air, for all the negative people preaching, if you didn’t like it, don’t watch, I don’t like the Kardashians or those Jersey shore idiots, I don’t watch, he’s a legend, maybe not your taste, but there’s a remote on your TV, if there’s a rerun change the channel

    Like 3
  24. Anthony D

    Why are you idiots on here bad mouthing Evel Knievel? And mocking Americans for supporting the guy? You’re all sick individuals. Take your comments elsewhere. I hear Wayne Newton is selling his fleet of Rolls Royces at Barrett Jackson in Vegas this weekend. Maybe he’s more your style.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      The guy that started it is a troll. He’s been doing the same thing on this site for years. All he wants to do is stir up trouble.

      Steve R

      Like 3
      • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

        I see that all of his comments have been deleted. Even the ones from last week in the Charger posts with you and me. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that he has at least 3 or more aliases.

        Like 2
      • Steve R

        Bluetec320, you are right, he does. Usually he keep himself in check for a short time when he adopts a new user name.

        One thing is for certain, this site is better when he’s not posting.

        Steve R

        Like 1
      • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

        @Steve R – “One thing is for certain, this site is better when he’s not posting” – Amen to that!

        Like 1
  25. Joe Sewell

    Wayne Newton is a living, successful American showman and entrepreneur by his own right. Are you now casting dispersions/throwing shade at Wayne Newton?

    Like 2
    • Anthony D

      Joe…no I’m not. But I could see how it could sound that way….sorry. I just meant that if the haters on here don’t like Evel or what he did as an entertainer, then maybe they’d prefer commenting on Wayne Newton and his fleet of Rolls, rather than bashing Evel and his many fans. I’ve always liked Wayne Newton.

      Like 4
  26. 4501 Safari Member

    For anyone who cares, the rear switched courtesy light is a staple from GM wagons, possibly starting in 1959, but definitely through the 60’s. I’ve the same lamp in my 1964 Pontiac Catalina Safari. To me this is possibly a $13,000.00 car in real life, maybe…

    Like 2
  27. Vinnie G

    AH yeah, Think I’ll pass on this one.

    Like 2
  28. Anthony D

    Sold at Barrett Jackson for $16k.

    Like 3

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