The Grinch who didn’t steal Christmas: 1959 Cadillac Roadster

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Christmas is most definitely the time of gifts. Probably, you receive more gifts during the festive season than on your birthday. And although Christmas has already passed, we are extending the holidays to gift you the Grinch. No, not that Grinch!

You might be looking at the photo wondering, “What is this car?”.  Our expression was similar when Corsia Logistics was hired to transport the vehicle. Amazed when we saw the creature, we couldn’t imagine the amount of work that had been put into it!

The custom-designed, metallic green 1959 Cadillac features a supercharged, big block Chevy engine, 32 Ford grill, and 55 Chevy dash. Some might say this is a bizarre take on the classy Cadillac. Yet, others appreciate it exactly for its creativity. The vehicle could easily fit a Batman movie – it suits the idea of Gotham city perfectly, doesn’t it? Wait, but what does Grinch has to do with the car?

The Grinch

As a matter of fact, the man behind the wheel of this magnificent car is neither Batman, not the Joker. The car belongs to Butch and Tina Reeves from Missouri. The couple has a lifetime interest in classics with modified engines. They even own a whole collection of 50s memorabilia of hot rod movies, music, and celeb photos. Butch Reeves first gathered the attention of local and state media when he appeared at the St Louise Thanksgiving Parade in 2012 as the Grinch in his lime green Cadillac.

Over the years, the family has built numerous custom vehicles. The Reeves are known among friends and parade visitors for their unique vehicles and loving hearts. One of their cars, the Santa Express, is an equivalent of Santa’s sled. As a matter of fact, the Hot Rod Santa is built with an authentic 1851 Russian sleigh! In one of the interviews, the family shares a heart-warming experience they had with the Express.

In 2002, the family went to Granite City to help a family with two little girls who had no money or hope for the holidays. The Reeves arrived in the Santa Express roadster with food, presents and $200 in gift certificates.

The design perks of the 1959 Cadillac

Even without the modifications, the classic 1959 Cadillac is a masterpiece in so many ways. Certainly, a masterwork of design. The head of design at Cadillac wanted a new, innovative, state-of-the-art construction. So the work began in 1956 and two years later the car was ready for introduction.

An interesting fact: The tailfins of the model were the most discussed part of the vehicle. According to critics, the fins of that year’s model reached a “ridiculous” height. Some even refused to acknowledge the model as a whole. Maurice D. Hendry, for example, author of Cadillac: Standard of the World, The Complete Seventy-Year History, refused to include a picture of the regular production ’59 Cadillac in his book exactly because of this reason.

The Cadillac tailfins had been gathering collectors’ attention for many years. Many agree that the 1948 tailfins were the best ones. According to the most loyal fans and those passionate critics, the fins have only become more flamboyant since then.

The story of the 1959 Cadillac door

As if the fins weren’t enough, there’s also the story of The Door Challenge – as people in the company remember it. At that time General Motors wanted to cut costs because the company had a few rough years. That’s why they decided to make the basic Buick front door a common interchangeable element throughout the GM C-body line. That’s how the 1959 Cadillac was supposed to get a Buick door. And it did. 1959 was definitely the year of the design team.

Despite the controversy around the fins, the 1959 Cadillac became a symbol of the ultimate success. The American dream in a single car model. Yet, it is always fun to see the quirky side of the American dream. After all, we are all unique. Why shouldn’t our vehicles be personalized as well?

Shipping a custom-made car

Being in love with modified cars comes with its responsibilities. Especially if you are like the Reeves who travel to shows and parades with their cars. Transporting a custom car can be a challenge. You have to plan the shipping process, research a company that matches your needs, and arrange even the tiniest detail. After all, you have put so much effort into transforming a standard vehicle into a masterpiece. You can’t afford to have it damaged during transportation.

Choose a transporter

Research auto transport companies online and narrow down your choice to at least three. Then call them to find out more. Talk to the real people behind the company to get a sense of how they work. Your car is a valuable item that you are about to leave with total strangers. Use your judgment to evaluate the professionalism of the companies you consider. It is very important to collect multiple quotes. Prices, however, will vary from one company to another. Auto transport cost depends on several factors such as distance, make and model of vehicle, the condition of your vehicle, the type of transport carrier and some others.

Learn about the process

Ask about each step of the shipping process in order to know what you are dealing with. If you are a newbie in auto transport, say it. There is first time for everything. If the people behind the company are professional, they will be patient answering your questions and explain everything in detail. Once you select a transportation partner, everything will be easy. The shipping process only takes a few steps. Yet, your research prior to that is key. If you trust the company, the process with be smooth – both for your car and for your mind.

Select the carrier type

Evaluate your options – open vs enclosed auto transport. We highly recommend selecting an enclosed carrier for your trip because your custom car will be better protected. Classics, sports, and luxury cars are usually transported in covered trailers. Yours is even more special because is your own creation. Enclosed auto transport trailers will prevent weather conditions or any road debris from damaging the vehicle.

Fun side note: Sometimes custom-made cars deserve a special type of carrier, don’t they? Check these out and have a laugh about the level of craziness in these bizarre auto transport carriers.

Ask about insurance

Insurance should be included in your shipping rate but always double-check. If there is no insurance, do not trust the company. This is a legal requirement and the lack of such can be a bad sign. Liability limits vary based on the type of carrier you choose. Typically, auto transporters purchase $250,000 coverage, which comes down to about $25,000 per car. Many enclosed trailers, however, carry insurance of $500,000, and that can go up to $2 million if the customer prefers.

Prepare your car for shipping

You should strip your vehicle from any personal belongings and accessories. Make sure you give it a good wash in advance – this will help you note any scratches or marks that you have at the start of your journey. Any wear and tear of the interior are also worth noting. Take your time preparing your car for shipping. No carrier will accept responsibility for damages caused to your car interior by personal items you didn’t remove, nor for theft of the latter. Also, we recommend that you leave a tank less than half full – enough for the transporter to load and unload the vehicle.

At delivery

At delivery, always inspect your vehicle! Did you get the same vehicle you are expecting? Custom-made vehicles are hard to confuse, we know. But this is why you should look at it even more carefully when you receive it at your door. After dark only accept delivery in a well-lit area. Many customers don’t notice the damage to their vehicles until after the carrier has left the delivery site. That is too late! Always inspect the vehicle at the presence of the driver. If you find any damage that is not accounted for on the Bill of Lading, make sure to make a note of it before you sign off on the delivery.

Shipping during winter

Winter is not the best season to be relocating. Moving in winter has its charm for sure – Christmas lights everywhere, snowmen cheering from people’s yards. But if you get distracted for a second, the winter roads could play a trick on you. The biggest obstacle for snowbirds when they start moving is the long distance. And this can be a huge problem during the winter season. With the shorter daylight hours and bad road conditions, even 300 miles can be a nightmare. Shipping your vehicle can save you the trouble – you don’t want to start your warm winter under pressure, do you?

Your biggest mistake when shipping your car may be to opt for the shipping offer with the lowest price. Moving companies enjoy higher demands prior and right after the winter season thanks to snowbirds. There are numerous requests companies can choose from, so they go with the highest payers. This is exactly why we emphasize the importance of doing your research. Choose from companies with good reviews. Choose wisely!

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About the Author:

Dilyana Dobrinova is a nature & travel enthusiast. With a heart for books, scarves and vintage. She runs a brand consulting agency, while also running 10Ks between meetings. Dilyana holds an M.A. in International Marketing Management from the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Germany, and two B.As. in Journalism & Mass Communication and in Business Administration from AUBG.
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