Not “Ike’s”: 1955 Cadillac “Presidential” Limousine

If someone told you they wanted to build a Cadillac Limo rat rod on air ride with a Cummins diesel engine, what would you think? That’s exactly what can be found here on eBay with an asking price of $18,000. The 1955 Caddy is a real head turner and is dressed to imitate a Presidential limousine. The ad itself doesn’t have much information about the car, but there is a link to more information here.

The creation comes from the folks at Outlawed Restorations in East Bend, North Carolina. As stated before, this beast is powered by a turbo charged Cummins Diesel engine with the exhaust exiting out of the passenger fender! The torque associated with diesel power is probably a good choice to motivate this heavy hulk.

Here is a great wide-angle shot of the interior. The ad doesn’t state if the interior is original, but if it isn’t, it certainly looks the part. The two folding jump seats in the middle aren’t something you see everyday. The dash is really clean and features gauges tucked underneath to keep tabs on the drivetrain and air ride.

From a distance, the seal on the doors looks like authentic POTUS stuff. However, up close, you can see they are hand painted and read “Resident of the United States.” Apparently the owner didn’t want to have any potential Secret Service issues and decided not to do an exact replica of the official Presidential seal. Probably a good idea just to be safe.

It’s too bad there aren’t more photos under the car. It would be interesting to know if it was built on a full custom chassis or if the stock frame and suspension were modified. The installation of the air ride and batteries in the trunk looks clean and the engine install certainly does too. This car is not everyone’s taste, but you can appreciate the engineering and labor that went into the build. I would be a lot more than $18,000 has been invested into this car. Tell us what you think about this creation, we’d love to get your opinion.

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  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    This car is sick and I mean that in a good way. Many times I have ranted on about my dislike of rat rods, but every once in awhile one comes along that makes me sit up and take notice. This is still not my thing but I can appreciate the skill and effort that went into this. Besides anything with a cumins diesel in it can’t be all bad.

    • Dolphin Dolphin Member

      Darn right about anything with a Cummins diesel. This thing is a hoot.

      My family had a few mid-’50s Caddys back in the last mid-century that my dad bought cheap and R&R’d, and I had a GREAT Cummins H.O. diesel that was in a Ram pickup a few years ago.

      Normally I don’t get excited about rat rods, but that combo is just fine with me in this special rat rod Caddy.

      I just wish I knew what Cummins it was, and that the video had the right sound track—one that had the Cummins diesel running, preferably with all of us along for the ride. The Cummins in my truck looked bigger than the one in this Caddy, but maybe that’s just my fond memory of it.

      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Dolphin my daily driver is a 1994 5.9 cumins turbo. 4×4 2500 ram pickup single cab in red. It is one of my all time favorite trucks. It still has the mechanical injection. It a 6000 lb beast, when I first got it it was quite rusty so thats what I named it “big rusty” after a summer of amiture body work and a touch up paint job I now refer to as “big lumpy”. I’m currently laid up after total knee replacement surgery and I’m missing “big lumpy” right now. What a fantastic engine these older 5.9 cumins are. I’ll bet this old caddy is an absolute blast to drive I can see it now cranking out black smoke and rattling away like only a cummins can. It be a total thrill ride. As the saying goes “there’s nothing like the smell of diesel in the early morning”.

  2. Ike Onick

    If I owned a hotel/motel, restaurant, or good old-fashioned watering hole, I would buy this in a heartbeat and have a lot of fun picking up my guests at the airport.

    • Chinga-Trailer

      Re: Ike – I don’t think that would work too well, anyone not into cars would look askance, I can see my (ex) wife now screaming “EEEEEEEeeeeeek!! No way I’m getting into that!!”

      • Ike Onick

        Chinga- No worries! I would not expect anyone “normal” to patronize any place I would own.

      • olddavidp

        Ike- That reminds me of Groucho’s line about not wanting to belong to any club that would have him for a member.

  3. jdjonesdr

    I’d love to hear a video of it running and driving without the music.
    18K seems to be a pretty realistic price for the work.

  4. Ron

    I’m usually not a big fan of Rat Rods either but this thing is cool! It has a sinister look to it and it looks like they built it to be functional. The interior is clean and the drivetrain is bulletproof. Very cool PS- Glad that guy got rid of his uppity wife !

    • Dick Johnson

      Sooooooo…. I suppose that taking a high maintenance wife/girlfriend to a gala event would be out of the question in this ride. I’d pay good money to see the exhaust oiling down the foo-foo crowd at the curb.

      This limo is perfect for the upcoming 2020 election.

  5. Chris

    Its outstanding!

  6. Andre

    So bad it’s good. Would have been nice a little less “rat roddy” under the hood (firewall, rad support, etc…) But whatever. Very cool car.

  7. elrod

    Engine bay is a train wreck. This is a sweet car – but could have been so much more. Looks like it was “figgered out” during a drunken weekend with a keg of beer.

    • Robert S

      Agreed, the engine compartment looks pretty sketchy. I’m thinking they dumped a well used Cummins in it without bothering to even clean it. In this kind of build, underhood should be as clean as the interior.

  8. Fred W.

    My favorite thing is the tree branch holding up the hood. At least it has A/C.

  9. UK Paul

    I am in! Love it

  10. DRV

    All would be fantastic until you sat down and took your first breath of the air in that interior! (Just guessing)😬

  11. Vance

    I would love to drive this beast out here in “bicycle friendly” Tucson Arizona. Just hitting the gas and carbonizing those two wheeled fools would be priceless. Bikes are a huge problem out here, and driving up a mountain pass on a Saturday morning would be hilarious.

    • DRV

      Vance…I can only wish you were next to it with your window open when it passes you!

    • GearHead Engineer


      What makes someone a “two wheeled fool” for riding a bike? I normally stay completely professional on this site, but your comment is out of line.

      I build and drive hot rods, and I have no problem with old cars or diesels. But I also ride bicycles a lot. Bicycles have a right to use the roads, just as cars and motorcycles do.

      What makes me foolish for riding a bike? Maybe it’s foolish to expect drivers to stay three feet away as required by state law where I live? Maybe it’s foolish to think people could slow down for six seconds in order to pass me safely?

      If you think it’s hilarious to “carbonize” anyone, you have serious issues.

      – John

      • Wayne

        Anybody who rides a bicycle on a public road has to be a fool. Nobody with a sane mind, and values their life would ride on a public road. Just because some lame brain politician says you have a right too, doesn’t mean you have too.

  12. Mark Evans

    Really liked it until I saw where the exhaust exits out of the passenger side fender. Don’t believe cars & bikes belong together but poisoning riders is a bit too much. Having said that, it would make a funny u tube video.

  13. David Mika DBA Automotive Mika

    I’m loving the “hood support”! Definitely keeping it real.

  14. Lawyer George

    The exhaust out of the right front fender ruins it. This is a car the owner would drive in parades (perhaps with costumed friends as dead presidents) and being unable to roll down the windows so the dead presidents could wave to the crowd would cut the appeal way down. And driving with the windows up would likely “gas”the occupants. Nothing spells nausea better that diesel exhaust!
    I hate the patina and would have pained it black. It looks pretty rusty . I think it is $8000.00 max for pricing. you would drop the other $ 8K “fixin” stuff.

    • canadainmarkseh Member

      LG I say you run a pipe down the fender much like the Cords did and attach it to a side pipe that exits at the rear wheel. Do it up in Chrome just for the contrast problem solved. I too was a bicyclist for many years commuted to work daily. But I was never brave enough to take on the cars in the winter time. It can be real hairy out there and now with soooo many distracted drivers out there talking and texting it’s pretty dangerous year round.

  15. Dirk

    Looks like a real exercise in redneck engineering but it does have a certain je ne sais pas. I would have to say, I like it but I don’t want it.

  16. Jim Z Member

    Aren’t the jump seats facing the wrong way?

    Looks like they are robbing bench-seat space!

    • olddavidp

      My Father bought one (a standard factory limo) that had the jump seats facing just this way. It was a 1956 and they had built in foot rests when folded down.

    • Ike Onick

      Depends on who you are jumping!

  17. peter k

    With all that work, I’m hoping that they also installed a hydraulic or air suspension system to get that body over those pesky speed bumps that are popping up everywhere. I would clean up the details and paint it flat black.

  18. Karl Kostman

    I love Rat Rods and have a well built 377 sitting in my shop looking for a home, I have to agree there are areas on this car that need to be cleaned up but the potential in this car is really amazing, not sure about the diesel engine in it but am sure about the exhaust exit, it has to be changed. It’s a cool car that with some work and cash could be VERY COOL!!!

  19. JagManBill

    As some have stated, RatRods aren’t my usual cup of tea. But…
    i can see taking this a bit more mainstream with a nice black paint job and instead of the big coffee can exhaust out the fender, a nice “tuned” exhaust using a bunch of Buick portholes.

  20. bobk

    I can totally see this in a “post-apocalyptic” type movie. “Escape from DC!!!”.

  21. Ken S

    I think Jim Z is correct about the jump seats. There’s actually no more seating with them in place as shown as there is without them !!

  22. John

    The patina on the car matches the patina on the barn roof!

  23. Chip Michalski

    Rat rod limousine with a Diesel engine only one name comes to mind. Steve Darrell and the welderup crew

  24. bobk

    I can totally see this in a “post-apocalyptic” movie. “Escape from DC!”, anyone?

    • Ike Onick

      What? DC could be more “post-apocalyptic” ???? I know, I know! “No politics”, but no worse than the guy in Tucson wanting to coal-roll the biking public, right?

  25. Spicy Meatball


    I also enjoy the standard ebay question on this one- “Have one to sell”?

  26. Miguel

    At the risk of going against the grain here, I think whoever did this needs a hard spanking.

    You don’t take a rare elegant car and do this to it.

    • Dovi65

      I’m with you on that, Miguel. Even if the original motor wasn’t salvageable, you shouldn’t do this to such a fine vehicle. The diesel transplant is horrid enough, but then cut the exhaust thru the front fenders?
      Yes, I know … their car, they can do whatever they desire. It just breaks my heart. So few of these creations still exist, they deserve to be treated with a bit more dignity..

  27. JunkYard Jimmy

    I really liked this car until they mentioned the exhaust out the side of the front fender. Why? Why? Why?

  28. Ron

    While I agree it is a shame to not restore vehicles like these I suspect the reality of this is that this car would just be a pile of iron dust or this so why not !! It certainly shows good creativity and would make a great tour vehicle for some small up and coming country band or some thing. Certainly better than being a flower pot

  29. PatrickM

    @18k, diesel Caddy? Somebody’s joking.

  30. Edward

    Vance, sounds like you have a problem. Let’s change seats for a moment and tell me why those bikies got ya goat?

    • moosie Craig M Bryda Member

      In NJ and NY there is Rte. 9W it runs North & South from the George Washington bridge well into N Y, Albany etc. In nice weather it packed with bicyclists by the thousands mainly from NYC
      I.have seen them ride 10, 12.abreast and refusing to move over. It’s an old road , 3 lanes, they have a bike lane. Most times you need to wait for clear oncoming to pass by the bikes and iys always met with middle finger salutes & nasty obscene comments. I can understand why some people dislike bikes on the highway.

  31. cyclemikey

    OK, it’s official – I’m a grumpy old fart. I completely fail to see the appeal of this rolling disaster, or understand why everyone is gushing over it.

    One, it’s ridiculous on the face of it. Two, it’s fairly useless – where exactly are you going to drive this? (other than to some show (?) that caters to other easily-impressed adolescents). Three, it’s a shameful waste of a rare old limousine. Whoever did this “custom build” is no car guy in my book.

    And finally, it apparently brings out the very worst in people – “oil down” the crowd at high-end clubs? Gas out “fools” on bicycles? Seriously? Anger issues much? Get a grip, people.

    And then get off my lawn.

  32. greg Wentzell

    The part of “engineering and labor that went into the build” is lost with the hood support, short exhaust out the passenger fender, a chain holding the red bottle under the hood, and the forced “patina”. Paint it flat black and it’s a maybe from me. There are better ways to spend 18 thou.

  33. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    They wouldn’t allow this to pass through the gates in my community.

    • Ike Onick

      They wouldn’t allow it to pass through the gates of San Quentin, but I still like it.

  34. Edward

    Enforce the rules, but who’s there first? Locals should know when and where to be use roads to “divide the participants” from harm. I’ve got a pack of 10 friends out for a ride. Keep right is law in my town.

  35. BronzeGiant Member

    I’ll leave my comments short for once, this is just so sad…….

  36. Mike R in De

    I would Maybe use the fender exhaust with a cut-out or a exhaust brake. But keep the exhaust clean for the rest of us. Do a white pearl on the roof, gold trim and black the rest of it. I agree about Some of the bicycle public not respecting the law, or showing much common sense and staying in the bike lanes, maybe just add some skunk oil to the exhaust, name the car Peppy la Phue!!

  37. Rob M.

    I like it. Especially the eagle on the emblem that looks to be smoking a “cigarette”. What a blast it would be driving this through town scaring the crap out of geezers and youngins alike. lol

  38. Uberladen

    Fascinatingly hilarious travesty. But the devil has work for idle hands😁The exhaust ‘solution’ sums up the whole build philosophy here. Seems like smoke motivates many unto interesting pursuits.
    Those giant Cad motors were total junk tho in my multiple experiences with them, so I get the charm of a real motor here.
    Btw rust does not equal patina. What a relief when this fad has passed and people rediscover the value of authenticity.
    This car belongs on Pinterest but probably not on the road.

  39. Chinga-Trailer

    Curious about your statement that these Cadillac motors are total junk. Maybe you’re right. I don’t know. But, do the words ALLARD, CUNNINGHAM and FRICK mean anything to you??

    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      I not heard of them. Are they engine builders?

      • CATHOUSE

        Sport and race cars builders/drivers. Google Briggs Cunningham.

      • Chinga-Trailer

        You’re jokin’ right?? Sydney Allard?? Ah, c’mon. Briggs Cunningham and his Cadillac and Chrysler powered sports cars were a force at LeMans in the early 1950s and Bill Frick, famous for the “Studillac” and others?? Allard is a legend here, even more so in UK, Cunningham’s “Le Monstre” has been to Goodwood famously. Bill Frick – OK – he’s a bit obscure to all but the most rabid gearheads.

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