Custom Cruise Friday
One thing that binds all car collectors together, regardless of what their focus may be, is that each car owner regards his or her collection as rolling works of art. Peter Engley, owner of this week’s Custom Cruise Friday feature, a 2005 Cadillac XLR, takes that level of appreciation. Engley stands out from the rest of the owners, in one unique way. He is the first and only vehicle owner in the series to not be able to drive his cars. He chose to surrender his driver’s license after experience some health troubles. However, what would be a devastating blow to most collectors has proven to be little more than a barely noticeable bump in the road.
“You don’t need a driver’s license to own a Cadillac,” Engley said.
Cadillac XLR: An instant classic
Casual automotive fans shouldn’t be fooled by the fairly young age of this week’s Custom Cruise Friday featured vehicle. The Cadillac XLR is as close to an instant classic as modern automobile can be. First, it was only produced for five years from 2004 through 2009. Second, it was built on the same platform used by the Chevrolet Corvette model of the time. The relationship between the XLR and Corvette is so close that the high-performing Cadillac coupe was built along side the iconic Chevy in the world-famous Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant.
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Engley’s 2005 XLR features a 320-horsepower, V-8 engine and the retractable hardtop is made from aluminum. The innovative roof can be raised or lowered in under 30 seconds. Even with all its available performance, the XLR has all of the interior luxury expected of a Cadillac coupe. The leather seats are heated and ventilated. Additionally the interior is accented by aluminum pieces and real wood trim.
Not the first rodeo
Engley is no stranger to owning Cadillac, or other luxury vehicles for that matter. In addition to various Caddy models, he has owned classic Lincolns and Corvettes. But his heart has belonged to Cadillac since at least the late 1970s.
“My love affair with Cadillac started with the purchase of a 1978 Cadillac STS,” Engley said. “It was a lovely car.”
Don Wheaton photographer Dan Wells played and instrumental role in helping Engley acquire the 2005 XLR. Wells was attending a show and shine in Stony Plain and saw the car with a for sale sign on it. He immediately notified Engley who showed incredible patience in calling the owner, waiting minutes to do so. Engley explained his unique situation and the owner arrived an hour or so later to take Engley for a test drive.
“It took me two days to get the smile off of my face,” Engley said. “It was a good find.”
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Making it work
As Engley wisely stated, no driver’s license is require to own or appreciate a vehicle. Especially one as impressive as his 2005 XLR. When the need to go for a ride strikes, he enlists the help of his personal chauffeuse — is daughter.
“Even if its chauffer driven, I expect to get a number of years of enjoyment out of it,” Engley said. “And it’s not for sale.”
Do you have a special or otherwise customized vehicle in your possession? Does it have an interesting story? Let us tell it to the world. Contact Don Wheaton Brand Manager, Melina Kawecki – by email, firstname.lastname@example.org – and arrangements will be made.