Cadillac is the brand that has long been associated with luxury, style, performance, and of course cutting edge technology. Since the car maker’s inception in 1902, Cadillac has defined American luxury and become a leader within the car manufacturings industry. The cars symbolize the American Dream and some of the most popular and enduring models were developed in the 1960s. It was in this decade that designers like William “Bill” Mitchell introduced the clean look and sharply defined features seen in other GM makes like the Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Riviera desighned cars. He felt that each GM division should have an “image car;” an automobile that captured the spirit and thrill of driving. The Corvette Stingray, front-wheel drive Oldsmobile Toronado and the classic Cadillac El Dorado were born from this vision.

From the first glance at this model, you can see why we were instantly drawn to overhaul an El Dorado. The body lines and style are so unique, but with a front-wheel drive chassis, it is easy to see why this car was over looked and by passed as a lowrider. We knew this was something we’d have to modify, and upon starting our project, we made this the focal point of the restoration and design; a full frame would simply have to be incorporated into the car. A modern drive train will be used as a foundation for restyling one of Cadillac’s most prestigious and classic designs. The car’s roof was chopped by almost three inches and the windshield would be raked to enhance the roof line.

With the technology available today, we decided to take on the task of designing this project to look like a concept car from that era with modern technology included. It’s far from the Cadillac Ciel as we didn’t have the type of budget to create a full concept vehicle, but we did have the knowhow needed to design this car and make it our own. This El Dorado will truly be one of kind. During the restoration series, we will be showing some of the build and body modifications in the magazine and we will post up some additional web exclusive articles on our process. Here’s a first glance of what we call “Project Hell Dorado.”

Frame Swap Front to Rear Wheel Drive

14×7-inch Wires Tucked in

Slanted windshield post

Original rear window kept frame

3-Inch roof chop

Mercedes glass roof