This immaculate Cadillac was one of about 300 Coupe De Ville models that were converted to convertibles, exclusively from Cadillac through the Hess & Eisenhardt Company. Starting in 1980, Hess & Eisenhardt converted about 85 Coupes and about the same number for the next two following years. Even unrestored, these particular Caddies hold value and can run in the $20,000 range. So, to have one of these models in possession is the ultimate prize! “Frankie” of Downey, California, is very particular when it comes to his own ’80 Cadillac Coupe DeVille Cabriolet. When he obtained this ride, it was one on which he would have everything done right. Frankie had all of the upgrades strictly done through the Cadillac dealerships, rather than through second- or third-hand parties. That’s no surprise when his ultimate ride is such a rarity.
Frankie wanted this particular Caddy to not only have the convertible upgrade, but also to have the more modern look with the front clip and moldings from the early ’90s models. Frankie went to his local Cadillac dealership and put all of the necessary parts on order. A couple of weeks later and a trip over to G’s Auto Body in Long Beach, California, gave way to an upgraded look on this “Black Pearl.” The stock front end was swapped out with the newer Euro clip, including the bumper and headlights. The side moldings, rear bumper and front fenders from the ’90s model were also swapped onto this bad ride. Homies Hydraulics in Paramount, California, was called upon to serve up a cool custom Continental kit on the rear bumper. This kit was altered so that a wire rim would be fit in like it came that way from the factory.
Willy Olea of Long Beach just happened to be painting cars for some of the G’s Auto Body project vehicles, when Frankie was having his final bodywork done there. Frankie gave the go-ahead to Willy, who then took on the next installment of this project, sanding down the body and ultimately giving it an immaculate mirror-like black paint job.
Matching the exterior is the all-black, OG leather interior. Upholstery was taken care of by “Gordo” from the Auto-Restylers shop in Signal Hill, California. There, Gordo reupholstered the convertible top in a black color. Also getting a touch-up was the bumpers, which received an extra layer of luster, thanks to Caesar’s Plating in Long Beach. Back at Homies, Ralph Fuentes installed a brand-new from-the-factory digital dashboard, made for the ’90s model Cadillacs. This dashboard replaced the old-style needle gauges and gave the interior a modern look.
Frankie had in his mind all along that this ride would be a cruiser, not a trailer queen going from car show to car show. So, of course, this quality ride would have to have some switches! While still having the car at Homies, Frank and Ray got busy doing what they do best, building and installing a clean hydraulic setup. Two chrome Homies pumps, three dumps and six batteries made up the setup, allowing the Caddy to hit all corners.
Overall, the Homies team really built a firme ride when it came to Black Pearl. That is exactly why Frankie brought it to them; they are known as the “Kings of Cadillacs,” thanks to previous cars that they were responsible for like “Bow Down” (this was the first convertible Cadillac of its kind to come out in any lowriding magazine). But the purpose of it all was for Frankie to have this custom car built to please nobody but himself… and that’s just what he did!
|Vehicle:||’80 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Cabriolet|
|Engine:||Stock GM 368-c.i.d. V-8|
|Setup:||Two chrome Homies pumps, three dumps, 6-inch (front) and 8-inch (rear) cylinders, six batteries|
|Wheels:||13×7 black-spoke Enzo|