The Stories It Could Tell: 1963 Cowboy Cadillac

Some cars come with a short history, some with none at all. This modified 1963 Cadillac started life as a flower car, and since then it’s had a variety of uses. Now in…well…you decide what form it is…it’s up for sale here on eBay. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Matt W. for this cool and unusual find! You’d think it was in Texas, but you’d be wrong, it’s in Lanesboro, Minnesota!

The seller tells us that after it was used in NYC in the 1960s and 1970s for police, politicians and gangster funerals, it later served as a Coney Island promotion car with rear sealed to serve as a pool for a mermaid. Later it was used in New York by a fellow who did furniture repairs. Oh, the stories it could tell! The current set of cosmetic alterations have been performed since the seller rescued it from a Pennsylvania junkyard–the intent was to build the “ultimate redneck pickup truck — the Cowboy Cadillac!” They then planned to drive it to Houston and drive it in the Art Car Parade there. Illness has forced abandonment of the project and now the vehicle is for sale.

Unfortunately, no amount of my Google-Fu would yield a result on Hoot Crom and his Texas Warblers. What a shame!

As you can see, the seller has added a lot of Texas artifacts to the Caddy. They are also including an impressive list of items that they hadn’t attached yet: “a Marx Toy Alamo, mock ups of cities of Houston and Dallas, a Longhorn cattle drive, illegal aliens crossing the Rio Grande, and 30 or so photos of famous Texans, many of them musicians, with frames for hanging in rear deck.” Just in case you want to finish what they started.

What better to have on the doors of a Cowboy Cadillac than imitation cow hide! By the way, the seller also fixed a lot of rust along the way and added some good front fenders from an Arizona car.

The erector-set oil derricks on the front fenders look like the rustiest part of the whole car. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t mind modifying this a bit, maybe de-contenting it some, and using that big V8 to motor around town. I’d have to fix the transmission first, and either find a title or use one of the multiple 1964 titles that happen to be in the glove compartment. Feel like a cowboy?



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  1. Andrew not amember

    A car can be a work of art , however an artcar is neither. Automotive sodomy what a shame.

    Like 1
    • Mountainwoodie

      Automotive Sodomy! priceless! A new articulation of the worst that can be done to a car…Auto Sodomites! Ditch the fin extensions to begin with and work your way forward!

      Like 2
  2. Matt G

    The discussion of what is art and what is not art is not a simple one and can get very philosophical, take for example graffiti, or google “Fountain” by Marcel Duchamp, if you want a lively discussion on what is art. If you define art as “creative human expression” then it would be hard to argue against something like this car being art, regardless of how successfully you feel it conveys the artists vision. If you define art as “something pretty that I like” then this car would probably fail by most people’s reckoning.

    Like 1
    • MFerrell

      As a creative, I’ve thought of this question of “what is art” a lot.

      What I came up with is:
      1) Art is emotional expression, through a medium
      2) Successful art conveys emotion from the artist to the consumer of the art
      3) Commercially successful art is where the consumer’s experience is such that they are willing to pay money for it.

      Like 1
  3. Chasgould

    Looks pretty easy to remove the oil rigs, fender extensions,!airhorns and other crap and get it back to a pretty decent factory flower car to use as a pick up truck or just an interesting piece to drive.

    Like 1
  4. edh

    I remember something similar:

  5. Pa Tina

    “Don’t Mess With Texas” surely applies here.

    Like 1
  6. Madmatt

    Man..,I feel sorry for the original Caddy under all that crap.
    would be a real Texas taxi though…just add some more
    garish cowboy flavored trinkets here….and…..there..!Then…,
    Head straight to the local steakhouse and bar for the evening.
    Can I get a YEEEE..-HAAA….?…..Lol..

  7. Dt1

    Looks like a boss hog Kind of Cadillac heaven help the person Who buys it next

    Like 1
  8. OA5599

    Would look right at home permanently parked inside an Applebee’s.

  9. Beatnik Bedouin

    Who ya gonna call? Hoot Kroon!

  10. mike

    Good Lord….would ya look at that. All that’s missing, is a couple bales of straw, and a coon tail, hanging from the aerial…

  11. Fred w.

    Would remove the derricks and most everything else, however, the “cowhide” door panels kinda grab me. Are those fins tacked on or original?

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      Looks like they were (poorly) tacked on over the originals…

      Frankly, I’d rather have one of the ‘classics’ in the pic in this post. It would be ideal for hauling around my collection of old motorsickels and scooters.

      • JD Barrett

        One in pic is NOT a Caddy…Fraiser &/or Kaiser actually, prototype

  12. Metoo

    No…….just no.

  13. Maestro1 Member

    I would get rid of all the crap, get back to as much Cadillac in the Interior as possible and use it as a pickup/driver. Do whatever needs to be done mechanically, and make a nice car/truck out of it. All this on the assumption that its bones are good (chassis, and so on).

  14. Frank

    This looks like some one’s nightmare.

  15. ArtSpeed

    “Hoot Krom and the Texas Warblers”, first thought: the CW band whose motorhome the Blues Brothers hijacked (not correct, but…).

    Definitely an artsy car…dunno if it’s Art, though (didn’t he used to hang out with Fred down on 6th Street?) ;^)\

  16. DB

    I would get rid of the oil derricks and make the fins normal, get rid of the Texas cowboy crap and then get it looking and working decent and drive it.

  17. Pa Tina

    The inventor of the oxy- acetylene cutting torch ha this very thing in mind.

  18. Miguel

    Whoever did this to a beautiful funeral car should be shot right through the head.

  19. DavidL Member

    Great. Can’t get to sleep, get up and see what’s on BF and I find this! No sleep tonite. Just visions of the bad men can do to cars.

  20. Ronald G Bajorek jr

    He had me at “Coney Island”…… this could be a magnificent pickup once again

  21. Mark S. Member

    They say art is in the eye of the beholder, they also say one mans junk is another mans treasure. When I think of art the word talent for me goes hand in hand. Talent is the natural ability to do something that others can not and do it well. Plunking a bunch of garbage on an old flower car is not talent that being said I see nothing here that can’t be reversed my main concern is rust these flower car are not put together like a typical truck box and are loaded with water traps, that and it’s time spent outside in the rust belt should be cause for concern. I’d say anyone wanting to take this one has lined themselves up for thousands of labour hours of work. It will take someone with plenty of practiced talent ( skill ) to get this back in shape. I just don’t see this car as being worth the time. JMO.

  22. dr fine

    Some Art Cars become iconic.

  23. Andre

    Makes me wish I was 17 again and could use this to pick up a prom date.

  24. ACZ

    With the exception of the fin extensions, the rest of the stupid stuff is an easy fix. Would be worth doing if the bottom is proven solid.

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