Milan Conversion: 1976 Cadillac Seville

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I have been called a purist in the past. This is not always mentioned with approval, mind you, because a purist can be someone who despises any car or truck that receives modifications after it leaves the factory, or otherwise takes a form that it didn’t receive on the primary assembly line. However, I have a weird, warm spot in my heart for cars like this 1976 Cadillac Seville convertible here on craigslist that has had its roof chopped off and body shortened as part of the Milan Roadster conversion, executed by a California company known as Milan Coach Builders. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Mark T. for the find.

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When this car first popped up, I erroneously told fellow Barn Finds reader Jamie that this was a San Remo model built by a company called Coach Design Group, also in California. The tell-tale sign in distinguishing the two variants is the Milan has its rear doors hacked off and the wheelbase shortened accordingly. Some of them were built by Milan in Simi Valley, California, which is considered by purists to be the “true” builder of these cars. Other shops would take customer Cadillacs and perform the modifications, but these are not considered the real deal. Almost everyone agrees, however, the San Remo has much better proportions (myself included).

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Mechanically-speaking, these were run-of-the-mill Sevilles. They suffer from the same issues as do non-shortened Sevilles, which includes leaky fuel injection lines. The bigger issue is that when the bodies were shortened, they were obviously re-assembled and welded together, so rust can be an issue where this non-factory bodywork occurred. Given this car is located in Phoenix, I’m assuming rust isn’t an issue. The seller specifically calls out the filler used by Milan Coach Builders to complete the conversion, noting that it looks like original bondo. I don’t know how you determine this, but the integrity of the structure is worth evaluating regardless. Fun fact: late-production Milans had 500 lbs. of concrete poured beneath where the rear seats would have been to improve weight distribution!

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Other  characteristics unique to the Milan include the tail lights. The San Remo had Eldorado rear taillight fixtures, whereas the Milan wore the standard Seville rear lights. In addition, you could specify a Rolls-Royce style front grill with a fiberglass hood provided by Milan, or you could retain the standard grill and Seville hood. Overall, this Cadillac’s proportions made it an unusual specimen that I can’t quite wrap my head around in terms of execution, but that may be why I find this oddball so endearing. The seller is only asking $850 and has the title in hand – if you’ve been hunting for a project car your neighbor won’t have, this could be it.

 

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Comments

  1. Bill

    Cutting the tops off did nothing for the structural integrity of these cars. Bumps in the road twisted the bodies to where you swore the doors would open up.

  2. Joe Nose

    Horrendous looking with the top up. Fug-LEE.

  3. Chebby

    “Original factory Bondo”. Never seen that phrase before.

  4. Rotag999

    OMG Conversion…… Body by Bondo & Cracks..+…Slice and Dice interior by Ron Popeil

  5. grant

    kill it with fire!!!

  6. Mark S Member

    Why oh why ??????

  7. jaymes

    so sad to see in this condition, wish it was closer. i’d be right on it. there like driving a old jeep, just with class

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