Rare Estate: 1976 Cadillac Castilian Wagon

If you didn’t already know, wagons are pretty great. They look damn good (way better than most SUVs) and they significantly enhance the practicality of almost every model they’re originally based on. This 1976 Cadillac Castilian Estate Wagon is purported to be one of just 50 produced between 1975 and 1976, and the high cost of entry limited their mass appeal and availability. This one listed here on craigslist is said to have just one owner prior to the current seller, and is listed for $4,800 with a fair amount of rust.

Now, when GM’s biggest cars ended up in the hands of aftermarket coachbuilders, the results could be less than flattering. Fortunately, in the case of the Castilian, the end result was executed quite cleanly. You could almost believe Cadillac built this car themselves, given the seemingly well-integrated hindquarters. The rear cargo bay swallows up the tail fins almost entirely – not a bad thing, in this case.

The interior was, of course, well-appointed. The seller notes that these wagon conversions were so cost-prohibitive that only celebrities of the era ponied up to own one, so lots of leather and wood trim awaits the next owner of this project-grade wagon. The seat pattern is surprisingly bland, to the point that I have to believe this isn’t a factory-applied seat covering. Door panels are tired, with the leather coming un-done.

The seller says the 500CI V8 runs well enough, but that the gas tank is currently bypassed due to the length of time the Cadillac has been sitting. Rust is the big problem here, with new floorpans needed, and you can see rust bubbling up in the lower sills behind the rear wheels and it looks like the custom tailgate as well. With the need for a total restoration, will this custom Caddy wagon be worth the investment?

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Comments

  1. Big Len

    Sink it in the Atlantic for use as an artificial reef.

    11
  2. DanaPointJohn

    Oh no…don’t do it! Run screaming from this rusty, money pit!

    3
  3. art

    I’ve never been a fan of “ham and egg” quality conversions but this one isn’t half bad stylewise. I wonder where this poor car was kept? If the roof is getting perforated, imagine the rest of the body and look at the drivers door panel…yikes.
    Certainly not for the faint of heart or light in the wallet.

    2
  4. CanuckCarGuy

    This one was featured here before…May and July of 2018, not a good sign for its investment potential. The underwhelming re-upholstery job on the front seat triggered a Barn Finds flashback.

    5
  5. Dovi65

    Take one part malaise build quality of the 1970s, add a slightly more than ad-hoc conversion, mix in lousy maintenance/upkeep, and PRESTO! CHANGE-O! you have this unfortunate, very needy lump shown here.
    That’s too bad, as Castillian’s are kinda cool. Not up there with Eureka, Hess/Eisenhardt, or any of the famed coach-builders but still cool in their own way. $4800 isn’t too bad. If the driveline is sound, it’d be a fun summer beach cruiser [albeit a VERY thirsty one] Hopefully someone will take this one on to give her a much needed redo

    2
  6. David G

    I saw one in a brighter gold color with tan interior at the Tulsa Oklahoma airport in 1981. Heard that most were purchased new by the major oil companies.

  7. dyno dan

    how much is rust per pound? great investment potential ,time capsule, lovely patina, museum piece or parade car. this was part of an underwater expedition.
    oil companies loved this car. got about 4 mpg. status symbol! on a quiet night you can hear it rusting.

  8. firemedic2714

    If I were a body man, I’d buy a low mileage garaged rust-free Sedan De Ville from the desert Southwest and go from there. This could be a very cool wagon.

    1
  9. Edward

    Looks sort of like a hearse. With only 50 made, how many would you need to fulfill demand nationally?

    1
  10. Del

    Floors are gone ?

    Stay away

  11. Angel Cadillac Diva

    Being the Cadillac Diva, I love this! 1975/76 are my favorites in size and design, 1950s not withstanding. If I had my druthers (what’s a druther?) I would own a CDV, SDV, Fleetwood, custom drop top, and a wagon. Unfortunately, I no longer have room (or the money) and time is running out.
    This is a very nicely exacuted wagon. Unfortunately, was not taken care of. And that interior is so blah.
    I don’t know which aftermarket company did other conversations, but there are a few out there with the clamshell tailgate, which is my absolute favorite wagon design.
    I had a 1973 Caprice Estate wagon back in 1976. Loved that clamshell design.
    I really want another Eldorado convertible, but I could see myself in one of these wagons….. eventually.

    2
    • connbackroads

      I believe that “druther” is slang for “I’d rather . . .”

  12. Angel Cadillac Diva

    Thank you, Connbackroads
    You learn something everyday

  13. stillrunners

    Rarer than ? Well I’ve got a few of those too….it’s always about demand more than supply……

  14. Jay

    The best part of 70’s GM full sized wagons was the clam shell rear hatch. It’s a shame these conversions didn’t include that unique feature in this design.

    1
  15. Angel Cadillac Diva

    @Jay

    There was a least one coach builder who used the clamshell design. I’ve seen a couple.

  16. Mountainwoodie

    So back in the early to mid seventies one of these, I’m guessing a Castillian, sat at Broadway and Claiborne Streets in New Orleans for years. I seemingly passed it everyday. I think it was the same color.

    If this has been in Dallas and the South all this time no wonder its rusted through. I think it had seat covers on it too. But never mind, this would be labor of love with no limit to the money needed to be invested.

    Oh well……………..

  17. Brad Mobley

    Asking for punishment to buy something as bad as this is.
    Why would anyone buy such a project????

  18. Angel Cadillac Diva

    @Brad Mobley

    They might take on such a project because of their love for Cadillacs.
    Or, because they really like station wagons.
    Or they love a rare or peculiar vehicle.
    Maybe they love unique vehicles.
    That’s the beauty of this hobby it’s so diverse.
    If I had the room and the money right now, I’d probably scoop it up. I don’t care for showroom new or Concorse type vehicles. I prefer daily drivers. Not so perfect cars.

  19. Miguel Member

    That interior is unfortunate.

    The best part of a Cadillac is the luxurious interior you get to be in while driving.

    This interior looks like a cheap redo of a New York City cab interior.

    1
  20. chrlsful

    clam shell? not hatch back or disappear into floor style?
    Who knows the actual style & can report?

    It’s by “Traditional Coach works LTD”.
    & I C no seam below the rear window…

    I say “HatchBack:.

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