Custom Cruise Friday
Depending on the time of year, a long black Cadillac limousine from the 1970s can be seen cruising around the streets of Edmonton and beyond. The car doesn’t contain mourners coming from a funeral, foreign dignitaries or even a gaggle of celebrities. It’s Edmonton resident Paul Doerksen, his wife and friends going for a ride in his 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five. This is the second time Doerksen has appeared in a Custom Cruise Friday blog with a rare Cadillac. While this weekly feature has featured a number of Cadillac models, though this is the first limousine to be featured.
Doerksen bought the 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood limo in 2005 on popular online auction website, eBay from a dealership in Boston. In the decade since he’s owned the rare vehicle, Doerksen has faithfully restored it to be nearly as it was when it left the assembly facility. The repairs include a new exterior paint job, new chrome and period-correct white wall tires with the correct 1.6-inch stripe.
“In most of my cars I seem to have to fix radio,” Doerksen said. “With this one, I got lucky.”
Under the hood
As one would expect, the 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five is a long car. The perfectly preserved body sits on a commercial chassis, measuring more than 151 inches long. Doerksen’s Cadillac limo is one of a few purpose built models. The commercial frame was also used for ambulances and hearses. At more that 20 feet long and a weight of more than 5,700 pounds, it takes quite the robust power plant to get the car moving.
Under the hood sits a 500 cubic-inch V-8 engine with a four-barrel carburetor. The combination of a large, heavy car and gasoline-hungry engine equals fuel-economy scores that are not for the weak of heart.
“I’ve never documented my miles per gallon,” Doerksen said. “And I don’t want to.”
The 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five comes with a driver-friendly features like tilt steering and cruise control. However, the challenge comes with navigating the long sedan through everyday tasks like going through for coffee or backing into garage. Doerksen mentioned that he’s never damaged the car backing into his garage, but the same can’t be said for the drywall.
“I scuffed the old white walls really, really good on drive-thrus getting morning coffee,” Doerksen said. “There’s nothing worse than a scuffed white wall. You might as well walk around with mud on your face.”
Family, friends and fun
Doerksen has not been terribly shy about taking his 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five out for a drive. He routinely picks up his wife and their friends for a night out on the town. He’s even helped out making a few couples’ wedding day be a little extra special.
“For friends and family only, I’ve done some weddings with (the limousine),” Doerksen said. “It always seems to be the star of the show.”
As jovial and willing to take the car out for a drive, Doerksen does have one major bugaboo about playing chauffeur for a day.
“I have a nice black suit and some pretty interesting ties,” Doerksen said. “But I draw the line at a hat. I’ve never been a hat guy.”
If you have a classic, custom or otherwise special vehicle you’d like to see profiled in a Custom Cruise Friday blog, contact Don Wheaton Brand Manager, Melina Kawecki by email — firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include a few photos and important details about the car.