What To Call It? 1956 Thunderado

1956 Thunderado

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I’m not sure what to call this odd creation. It’s part ’56 Thunderbird, part ’65 Cadillac Eldorado and completely awesome! But what do you call this creation, Eldobird or a Thunderado? The story the seller gives is that it was built for a movie, but they don’t state which movie that might be. Do any of you movie buffs recognize this one? It looks well built, so perhaps it really was built to star in a movie! Find this creation here on eBay in Lombard, Illinois with a current bid of $10,400. Special thanks to Sam M for this tip!

1956 Eldobird Convertible

If blending a T-Bird and an Eldorado wasn’t strange enough, whoever built it felt it needed a Pontiac 389 V8 and the matching transmission to round things out. I feel like a massive big block would have been more fitting, but I guess a Pontiac engine should get the job done in this Fordillac. Wait, does having a Pontiac engine change the name? Would that make it a Ponchoradobird? This is getting confusing!

1956 Thunderado Interior

I’m really impressed with the craftsmanship of this creation, the body actually works quite well. The interior is a mixture of parts, but looks alright. Can you identify what this dash came out of?

1956 Thunderado Convertible

This really is a strange creation, to be honest I don’t even know what to call it. The seller calls it an Eldobird, but personally I like Thunderado better. What do you think of this thing? Is it something you’d want to own? And if so, what would you call it?

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  1. Jamie Palmer JamieStaff

    Dash looks like they started with a 1962 Cadillac?

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    • DJS

      No its a 1965 my dad had one

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  2. jeff6599

    It certainly looks like a well done custom with only a few areas needing help, such as the inexpensive interior, the front wheel opening trim, deck lid springs and hood to grille juncture. Since no shots are provided underhood, I presume that area needs a complete detailing.

    But I would consider a straight up trade against my loaded 1963 Grand Prix, pw, ps, A/C, auto, 421, Al brakes, am/fm, console, buckets, tilt, 80k miles

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  3. Rick

    Certainly not an improvement in the looks dept over a stock 2 seater T-Bird; however the Pontiac 389 is way ahead of the Y Block it replaced, and it might have more leg room, hard to tell. Otherwise yuck! Wonder what movie is was made for?

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    • MorganW Morgan Winter

      I agree with you, Rick. The 389 is an upgrade, the rest looks like a mess, and a waste of a ’56 bird!

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      • Charlie

        Hey, Morgan…. My thought is the Bird body was a rusted out piece of junk, but the frame was still good. I also think the owner had more time and money than good sense. Not a bad looking car for all the work that had to go into this thing. I was never fond of the first gen Birds, so it’s kind of a wash for me.

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  4. OGwagon


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  5. jeff6599

    There is really nothing there to suggest ‘Eldorado’ as Eldos that year were only trim adorned convertibles. But it is still a Cadillac any way you slice it. So combine those two names as you see fit. But don’t use Fordillac as that term was defined in the 1950s as a Cadillac engine installed in any Ford. Check out Hot Rod Magazine circa 1952.

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  6. cj32769

    Maybe it was made for a Willy Da Wimp video? Stange mix I wonder why they didn’t clone it with a lincoln? I guess it would look too much like a Continental. This sort of falls into the short cars theme from a few days ago. I like it either way just get an insurance rider for flying bondo striking pedestrians.

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  7. DirtyHarry

    If you want unique, this is the car for you. If you want people constantly yacking at you, this is the car for you. If you want to confuse law enforcement, this is the car for you. If you always wanted a hybrid, this is the car for you.

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  8. Dairymen

    Something about lipstick and a pig…

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  9. Joe Btfsplk

    Well, you know the saying… “There’s an ass for every seat and a seat for every ass.”

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  10. grant

    I just threw up a little in my mouth!

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  11. Mark S

    It would be interesting to see pic’s of the build, if it was correctly done there would be very little bondo. The build looks straight and well done but would need a closer look as pic’s can only show so much. As for the name call it the car that Cadillac should have built. I think that this is a very cool looking car that would be fun to own. And I’d have to agree that a nicer interior would be a bonus as well as some detailing. Nice find Josh.

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  12. William H

    Pretty slick looking car. I like it.

    Is it just me or does the hood look bent out on the leading edge on the passenger side? Maybe an optical illusion or weird lighting??

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  13. Fred W.

    Assuming it was done correctly (and it looks it), I can’t imagine the amount of work that went into this. Well executed in many ways and looks great considering how bad it could have looked.

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  14. Richard Holmes

    I think I like it, but I woud like a photo with a more distant perspective. The rear fenders may be to “heavy” looking for the car.

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  15. DolphinMember

    I’m impressed with the build quality, at least from the photos.

    But if it isn’t here:


    …and I don’t think it is—even in the long list of honorable mentions at the end—then if this car was made for a movie, I think it was made for a movie that never got made.

    I had never seen that Rotten Tomatoes list, but it sure brought back some great cars-in-movies memories.

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  16. Chuck Brand

    I recall in one of the Petersen magazines in the ’60s ( Car Craft? Rod & Custom?) where someone did the same thing to a Tri-bird using ’63 Galaxie sheet metal – actually pretty decent proportions with the possible exception of those big-ass tail lamps…

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  17. Julles

    This is what listening to Johnny Cash will do.

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  18. ben

    hi guys ben here in fla I kind of like it but I like caddes and birds just got the 58 bird I bought on here from near st louis a few weeks back for sure 61 or 62 caddie dash had a few looks like camaro buckets still different I would mind crusein in it

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  19. Mike Young

    Sorta entertaining. Hideous steering wheel. Needs Fender skirts. Nice work though!😉

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  20. MJM

    Nope….I’m not liking this at all .
    I’m reminded of a mutt I saw at a friend’s picnic a few summers ago.
    The dog was part black lab and part dacshund.
    You guessed it.
    The poor animal had perfect jet black fur, dark jet black eyes a beautiful lab head and face and a full size lab torso.
    But it’s four legs were stubby four inches and the poor dog just about dragged its belly everywhere.
    Some things are just not meant to be.

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  21. Drew Vincent

    This is an interesting car but it’s no “Thundercougarfalconbird…lol…

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  22. Alan (Michigan)

    No AC = Ok, it is a convertible…

    NO PS, PB = Ruh-roh.
    It seems as though all of the effort put into this car was the grafting on of the Caddy body parts, and the paint. With that big engine should have also come brakes upgrades. And, with that big (heavy) engine should have come a better steering setup as well. IMO, of course.

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  23. Eric Dashman

    Lots of little (and not so little) niggling details that need attending, but my goodness, what an effort! Truly impressive to me. In one of the pictures offered, there are couple of other Caddies. Perhaps this person’s passion, thus the modified Bird.

    Whether I like what people have done to cars or not, I’m continually impressed with the talent and effort seen on these pages. There are some awfully good metal beaters in this space.

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  24. Pete

    Made me think of George Barris (sp) the guy that made all kinds of cool custom cars. I could see him doing something like that. Although he would have done a better job with that hood to grill alignment I believe. A noble effort at the very least. Whoever did that work was a Sheet Metal master.

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  25. Chris N


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  26. Tony L

    Front and rear are too heavy for this car. Those fenders need a longer car. The engine hood was probably narrowed to fit the smaller ‘Bird and the whole front end is a bit awkward. Not liking this one much.

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  27. Rando

    I think I saw this on Jalopnik a week or two ago. Didn’t get much favorable attention there either.

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  28. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    Did no one else notice the Pontiac trim parts on the car? The circa 1966 front turn signal/parking lites, the later Bonneville horizontal grill pieces, and the 1968 Bonneville cornering lites in the front fenders?

    I’ll bet the creator of the car had some wrecks sitting out back of his body shop in the late 1970’s, and was quite creative in producing what has to be one of the best looking “junkyard creations”. Typical for a body shop creation – good body & paint work, but lack of attention to the interior & mechanicals!

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  29. jeff6599

    Correctomundo Thunderllaciac!

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