Maybellene ——by Chuck Berry —from 1955

The Cadillac CDV being the heart of this iconic tune  indicating the Cadillacs high speed performance in the mid 50’s 

“ Cadillac sitting like a ton of lead 110 a half mile ahead “ 

Few cars did 100 MPH in the mid 50’s and Cadillacs engineering was  at the top of there game then and now 

Dad had a powder blue 55 convert in these days 

It’s just such a great tune defining  the early days of R&R and the Cadillac automobile of its time 


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Hey Tony, I completely agree with you and Chuck Berry lol! 50’s Cad had a lot of power for their time even with the old school early style hydra-matics. The 331 just like the 390 and 429 are all stout motors. Very reliable and easy to work on. One could easily gain an extra 10-20 HP in a 53-56 Cad by enlarging the dual exhaust pipe diameter. Possibly going with a larger carb for increased gains as the Carter WCFB is a pretty small but great carb nonetheless. 

I feel like when these cars are properly maintained, they can be driven like any other normal car. But they do require a lot more upkeep vs our 64’s I have to say. 

For instance as you know like my 54 Fleetwood, your dads 55 Vert doesn’t have rubber control arm bushings, but instead used grease fittings to lubricate the shaft as the grease acted like a “cushion” which is awesome in a way because as long as those shafts are freshly greased, they could last indefinitely. Not to the mention the Kingpin type design which is a lot more durable instead of using ball joints. 

Also the gearbox was a hybrid of hydraulic and manual steering, therefore the gearbox needed lubrication in order to operate correctly but is fully powered assist using ATF fluid in the PS reservoir.

Your dad had great taste in Cadillacs. The 53-56 models specifically the Fleetwoods being one of my all time favorite Cads just do to there sheer massive presence and heavy duty chrome everywhere, including the wonderful and beautiful 63-64’s that we all adore here. 

The later 1940’s to mid 1950’s were truly the era of —the Lead Sled —as Chuck so clearly points out in Mybellene 


So very true the older cars in general required a good deal more maintenance ( oil greased and tuned every 5-6,000 miles ) that has been reduced with every few years that passes 

I remember Dad only using  only Amoco gas stations in the mid 50’s because they had a better grease and equipment to pressure the grease into parts that needed greasing 

Amocos gasoline was a better gasoline then —as I remember it 

Very soon electric cars will be needing less maintenance than ever before and many old school auto repair shops should be more difficult to find and stay in business when that comes to pass 

Very Glad we own some of the best Cars to ever be built in America back in the day 

The Times They Are Changen ! !


The Cadillac engines were the engine of choice In many 50’s Hot Rods - the 32 Ford 3 window coupe and the Studalacks come to mind from that time slot 

The early days of Hot Rodding — a very American gear head thing in those years 
“ I want to be FASTER than you and have the fastest car in town —- Vaaarooooooom ! “ 


Come to think of it — I did have the fastest car in my town for about 5 years in the early to mid 60’s 

When the fastest cars on the street were coming out of Detroit off the showroom floor and then prepped for Drag racing that just seemed to be in the air —and on the radio 

Little Duce coupe and Little Old Lady Form Pasadena by The Beach Boys comes to mind

Little Duce Coupe - “I get bent out of shape and hard to steer—  when I get rubber in all 4 gears -  and big slick Dads “ —explains that time slot in American Hot Rod culture to a T ( a model T bucket with a race engine ) 

Street and track Drag Racing  Super Stock was one of the most enjoyable time in my life breaking the track record  in NY 

Street raced a  blue printed  race prepared Triumph Flat track  racing motor cycle for 28 years —-but that is  a whole other story 

Just love those  tunes 


For sure Cadillac made some of the best, most durable and most powerful engines ever for its time. And many hot-rodders loved them. Aircraft specifications and precision build tolerances in its engines until 1971 or 72 I believe was a big factor and difference maker IMO.

Regarding extra maintenance on the older early to mid 50’s Cads, I just lubed and greased the steering gear box on my 54. It was bone dry!! Looked like it wasn’t greased in decades. I put a mixture of 90W gear oil and Royal Purple synthetic bearing grease and packed the gear box with it. So far so good as the steering wheel feels even easier to turn now.

EV’s have their place, but they are still not very practical and aren’t going to be mainstream to Americans for decades. Even out here in CA, Teslas only exist in wealthier communities and we still don’t have the infrastructure to power them all.

Yes the old school shops with the old heads running them, will eventually all go away and the lack of knowledge in the classic automotive industry from the next generation will just make our hobby that much more difficult to keep going.

This is why I tend to do as much work as possible on my cars as I can, and send off major labor intensive work to a shop instead. Watching YouTube videos help out as well specifically on fixing or repairing certain parts.



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