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One-of-a-Kind! 1959 Cadillac Wagon DeVille

Back in the 1950s, Cadillac made a lot of wild-looking automobiles. But a station wagon wasn’t one of them. Like this 1959 Cadillac “Wagon DeVille” that began life as a 1959 Oldsmobile Fiesta 4-door station wagon. Substantial grafting work was done to create the one-of-a-kind vehicle you see here. While the bodywork may be mostly done, the car still needs an interior and a drivetrain as no engine or transmission is present. Located in Lubbock, Texas, this interesting project is available here on eBay where the ante is $35,000 OBO.

The first question to address is whether this is a Cadillac or Oldsmobile. The VIN the seller provides decodes as the Oldsmobile the transformation was based upon, so technically it’s not a Caddy. We assume that the creators thought that they could get to where they wanted by starting with a station wagon rather than a Cadillac sedan or hardtop. The heavy lifting you see here was done locally by a company called J&S Fabricators. Why the project hasn’t gone further isn’t known.

According to the seller, J&S took the Olds Fiesta and cut off the front frame at the firewall and then welded the Cadillac frame into place since the Caddy’s front clip was longer than the Olds. After that, the Cadillac sheet metal (Sedan DeVille) was sectioned off and bonded into place on the rest of the vehicle. The hardest part may have been the rear section with the tailfins and the manufacture of a tailgate that swings out rather than folds down.

To continue forward, would you locate a Cadillac engine (390 cubic-inch) and automatic transmission to drop under the hood or locate a period correct powertrain that would have applied to the Olds? We’re guessing that the person who chooses to pick up this work will go with something wilder, like a modern LS. Since you’re not going to have a stock vehicle anyway, why not go “whole hog” with the rest of the project?

Comments

  1. Avatar photo JustPassinThru

    That’s a legal mess I wouldn’t want to mess with.

    There is NO WAY that body could have started life as an Olds. My guess is, the builder got the Olds wagon for parts and cut off the longroof and the rear door tops and glass; and went about banging sheet-metal to match up.

    But there is no way the rear quarter panels could be interchanged to place those massive Cadillac fins.

    My suspicion would be the Cadillac might have some issues in its history that wouldn’t be satisfied with a VIN inspection.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo John Jasper

      I agree. They had to of grafted an Olds station wagon roof onto a Sedan De Ville.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Jeff

      The dash is an Olds, 1959,the doors are the same for all GM’s the skin of the door could be different but they all fit each other, they would not exchange the caddy dash to put in an olds dash, frames were the same except for length and that can be fixed easily by cutting and welding on a little length,, the quarters had to be added to the Olds, no problem if your a good body shop.

      Like 3
      • Avatar photo JustPassinThru

        I think it’s more likely the DeVille had a trashed interior, and so, in went the Olds dash. Also the VIN tag, which in those innocent times, were fastened with simple rivets.

        I suspect the Cadillac was “undocumented” – perhaps honestly, perhaps not; but some states are extremely strict about re-titling cars with a lost record of ownership, or of titling custom units based on parts from other cars.

        I could be wrong, here; but, remember Occam’s Razor? The simplest explanation is the most-likely.

        Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Uncle Ed

    I would rather have either car that they started with than this Frankenstein

    Like 8
    • Avatar photo JustPassinThru

      That leads to a good point: Few are gonna KNOW this isn’t even stock. It’ll just look like body repairs were done, maybe not that well.

      We’re in an age where all luxury cars are SUV wagons; and young people won’t know of or remember a time when a wagon was a compromise, an idea that started with true work vehicles.

      So all this was essentially wasted effort. The original, of either, would be more instructive and a greater draw at displays.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo Randall

        You obviously don’t know your cars and need to take a step back before saying there is no way. I used to have both a 59 olds wagon and a 59 cadillac and yes what they said about using 59 cadillac parts on the wagon is very doable. Those fins along with everything else could easily be grafted onto the olds wagon

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo Rodney

      That’s a weird combination but a nice creation, though! I don’t think Cadillac even made Station Wagons, period!

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo edward kas

    Just buy an old hearse.

    Like 24
  4. Avatar photo Gregory Patterson Member

    Aw, come on! Creatively was the mother of the Hot Rod. If they all stayed stock it wouldn’t be as interesting. I’ll take it! Greg

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Tomvanhouten

    It’s already a piece of freak Art. Do the LS engine and tranny, make a reasonable budget and know it’s never going to bring huge money. Do Not! try and win the Riddler Award! And do not put 2.5 million into it!!

    Like 7
  6. Avatar photo Ken Norman

    I think it cool as is. The bodywork looks good. I do restorations. But I don’t see anything wrong with an LS motor.

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo Terrry

    Just the fact that it’s a “Cadillac” wagon alone makes it unique since Cadillac never made long-roofs. But 35k for this half-finished product seems pretty steep to me.

    Like 12
    • Avatar photo Bonnie S Kantorowski

      This is quite the 1959 frame off project. If you can dream it. You can build it.

      You can find the motor and parts. Kantorowski Legacy Cars has 59 Caddy parts and 57 Olds parts, including motors for sale. To finish this unique project. Barn finds indeed. 574-360-0764.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo Cooter Member

      This is extreme Ratrod material, just paint a hot rod shop name on the doors, clear coat it as is, drop a 500 cu. In. Crate big block, cut the hood out for the 671 blower, drop the front end, huge red rear rims and tires, smaller up front, red interior with some nice upgrades and hit the circuit! As ole Johnny said…I’m gonna ride around in style, I’m gonna drive everybody wild”!

      Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Robert Levins

    Buying it for $35,000.00 AND THEN going all the way with it could put someone in a money pit that they can’t get out of. That could be the case already. How much then? Probably somewhere around 15k-18k- tops. The amount that it’s truly worth is probably less than what they already have invested in it. LS it and have fun with it – if you can afford it. This car would have to go to a new owner that just wants it for him/her self. Interesting idea but be careful – good luck. Nice article.

    Like 9
    • Avatar photo Mike Donahue

      Who Ya Gonna Call !!! LOL!

      Like 1
  9. Avatar photo Robert Levins

    By the way – I actually really like their idea. Hopefully it works for someone!

    Like 10
  10. Avatar photo Mark

    Wow!! Lotta hate being thrown at someone’s dream here! Whilst I do agree the price for a roller that doesn’t have that value is steep to say the least, if it was completed properly, Cadillac drivetrain and such, it could be a super cool car indeed. Just sayen’!!

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

    OK, it’s a mess. It looks good from afar but why did they not just use the roof on the Olds and modify it to the Fleetwood. The Caddy is several inches longer, hence the gate. I wonder how that works? It has the power mechanism, I.E. the circular disc but how does that operate. The second item is it still has the Olds dash and interior. The hardtop doors from the Caddy, and the Caddy for that point should have been retained and the roof modified. The windshield is the same. Modify the side and lengthen the roof the several inches over the rear seat area, ” that’s where the actual body length is”. Cadillac, 98, and 225 Buicks shared that extra rear seat area. The wagons are on the shorter line. You would have then had a hardtop wagon which would be way cool. This is a bit of cash for this and plus this has the Olds under pinnings, suspension and so on. There is a big difference in the ride as I have lived in these my entire life. The Caddy is also easier to get pieces for. Sadly this is a pass. A great idea but executed wrong. Sorry the gate area and the skinned Olds just kills it.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Gary Sebring

      The Olds Fiesta was already a hardtop.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo Chris Cornetto

        Not in 59. 57 and 58. Oldsmobile and Buick offered hardtop wagons that were crafted from 4 door hardtop by Iona coach for GM. I have the Caballero version.

        Like 0
  12. Avatar photo Jim

    The seller is dreaming, or else he added too many zeroes to the price. Would have been much better off just restoring the cars he made this mess from.

    Like 4
  13. Avatar photo Handsome Pristine Patriot

    “Bonded”, or “Bondoed” ?

    Like 4
  14. Avatar photo Snow Drifter

    I would just leave this one alone. the next BF is on the other side of the state and has more potential. https://www.ebay.com/itm/266691297194?mkcid=1&mkrid=711-53200-19255-0&siteid=0&campid=5337851298&customid=701625&toolid=10001&mkevt=1

    Like 0
  15. Avatar photo Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    As always, they f-d up the tailgate.
    My pet peeve with shade tree Frankenstein’s.

    Like 2
  16. Avatar photo matthew grant

    always buy a car that has been restored properly. it is far cheaper, let someone else make the big mistake of restoration.

    Like 1
  17. Avatar photo Jeff Wasniak

    Sure looks like an Olds dash, so the cowl back must be olds with quarters replaced,,,not sure about the doors

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Poppy

      I think all GM models of this body type in ’59 had to share doors due to the crash retooling needed to move from the boxy ’58s to the svelte ’59s. That said I’m not sure if the 4-door sedan doors that Cadillac would have used were the same doors used on the wagons that year.

      The new Y-body compacts in ’61 were the same way. All shared the same door with different body sculpting on the fenders and rear quarters to differentiate Buick, Olds, and Pontiac models.

      Like 1
  18. Avatar photo OldNSlo

    Drop a zero off the ask and I’m all in.

    Like 5
  19. Avatar photo Phil warner

    Needs a rear view mirror so happiness would be Lubbock in it

    Like 2
  20. Avatar photo RichardinMaine

    My wife needs a publicity/delivery vehicle for her candle company, but there’s too many problems and work here. She’d have to tack on a huge delivery charge for this to work. And I don’t think she’d appreciate it.

    Like 1
  21. Avatar photo ACZ

    Ecto-1’s ugly sister.

    Like 2
  22. Avatar photo Tom

    Hmmm… seems like most everyone has better ideas than what the current owner had in mind. Personally, I like the appearance of the Frankenstein as it sits. Would be a fun cars and coffee contributor. However, the asking price is waaay out of line when one considers what is still needed to make this a reliable and tasteful driver.

    Like 2
  23. Avatar photo Robert Starinsky

    Although Cadillac did not have a factory produced wagon, there were numerous custom coach builders who converted Cadillacs and other models into ambulances and funeral cars.

    Like 1
  24. Avatar photo Michael Berkemeier

    Well, the work that has been done is definitely not shoddy…a lot left to do? Yes but, someone has put a LOT of hours into this, so far. It actually looks really good but, will still take a lot to finish. My only hope is that they put some epoxy sealer on it just after taking these pics because it is going to be a complete rust bucket if they didn’t.

    Like 1
  25. Avatar photo H Siegel

    Wait what? a Cadillac Olds wagon what. Reminds me of a Johnny Cash song.

    Like 4
  26. Avatar photo Steve RM

    I cool idea but it just looks wrong from every angle. The parts just don’t match up. The quarters look much too tall and hide so much. The tailgate is just weird looking. The view from the rear is terrible with the boxy looking top trying (and not succeeding) to blend into all the curves of the Caddy. They should of had this styled by someone who knew what they were doing before anything was done. All alot of work done but definitely a swing and a miss.

    Like 1
  27. Avatar photo Rodney

    That’s a weird combination but a nice creation, though! I don’t think Cadillac even made Station Wagons, period!

    Like 0
  28. Avatar photo Shuttle Guy Member

    Pretty cool but not even close to $35K cool. Maybe if it was finished.

    Like 2
  29. Avatar photo Richard B Kirschenbaum

    How this was done would make for a wonderful video There were so many Cadillac wagons in subsequent years that I always wondered about the origins of. Recently got a book on the Henny Company who’s principal client was Packard. Wonderfull book on all the finished products but alas none about the creation process of these fabulous machines. Recently visited Freeport Illinois and yes the Henny Building still stands, Hurrah for any and all coachbuilders, True artisans if not out and out magicians,

    Like 1
  30. Avatar photo Don

    There were cadilllac wagon conversions done back when they were new for the hollywood stars and big money owners.

    This is a cadillac with a chev/olds wagon roof grafted on. It’s been done before.

    Like 1
  31. Avatar photo chrlsful

    keep ‘er buffed’n un painted? Tow an airstream behind?

    Like 0
  32. Avatar photo The Cadillac Kid

    Definitely not a Cadillac Dash

    Like 0
  33. Avatar photo Kenn

    Tom has it right. JustPassinThru is wrong IMHO that it won’t draw interest at a coffee and cruise. It is unusual enough that a crowd would converge. Agree on the tailgate. Like the rest of it. Price at least $25K too high.

    Like 1
  34. Avatar photo Alan Hubbard

    Is it a $35K car? No. But It the beginnings of a very fun trip down a Rabbit Hole. In ’59 or even 1960 GM how many “Bodies” do you think GM had. For 1958 the A Body was abandoned. That leaves the B, C, D bodies, and considering the design rush for the ’59 model year, and my stupid guess that Wagons would be built a longer chassis, also the conversion would begin with the cheapest entry. A Cadillac front clip, a GM station Wagon either Buick or Oldsmobile, and a front damaged 4 window Cadillac. Also there is no way any competent builder would build off the GM X Frame design chassis, It would have to be replaced with a properly engineered modern chassis. Even titling this is California is easy because it has a VIN, and enough documentation for a Statement of Fact Form. I wouldn’t pay $35K, and the first thing I’d work is getting the creation a valid Title. Once a title is in hand a donor ’59 Cadillac dash or entire core interior, but remember these cars are slab sided on the interior, so any custom interior shop can build you a winning interior. I could see spending $50K on this, but that doesn’t include $35K, sadly someone is trying to recoup an investment on an incomplete car, and the more custom a car is, the smaller the pool of people looking for it. Will the seller get lucky, or will the buyer get lucky, it’s too soon to tell.

    Like 1
  35. Avatar photo 59poncho

    VIN should be on door pillar so if an Olds dash was in a Caddy the VIN would show it. Author states it has an Olds VIN.
    My worthless opinion on value is 15K MAX.

    Like 0

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