If you're into categories, compartments, and labels, this '49 Cadillac Sedanette is going to make your head hurt. If you take a close look at these photos and keep reading this article, it's going to become obvious right away that this spectacular car challenges quick and easy descriptions and defies all of the standard custom classifications.

Let's go down the list. Traditional custom: not so much. Mild custom: The high-tech engine compartment eliminates that pretty fast. High-tech: The virtually unmodified body and nostalgia-influenced interior don't fit in that category.

If you have to call it something, call it a concept. The car was built by Rob Ida Concepts in organville, New Jersey.Shop owner Rob Ida has been building magazine-quality cars since before he was old enough to drive-not surprising if you know that his father, Bob Ida, has been building cars for 50 years and has been involved in practically every corner of the high-performance hobby.

Fred digiovanni is the owner of the Cadillac. He started the hunt for a '49 Sedanette two years ago. This car turned up in Florida as a welldone restoration with only 25,000 original miles on it.

Fred is a longtime Cadillac aficionado who did not want radical modifications made to the body. When he delivered the car to Morganville, he and Rob agreed that Harley earl's classic styling should be respected, right down to every piece of the intact factory chrome trim. and, since the original body lines were also being left intact, they chose a paint scheme that would show them off. The two-tone finish is not only elegant in its own right, it also follows the car's natural lines and makes the whole thing look even lower, longer, and sleeker. of course, the effect wouldn't have worked without the dropped stance provided by an upgraded independent front suspension and four-corner airbags.

The concept doesn't stop on the outside. Instead of disguising the interior as a brand-new luxury car, Fred wanted to honor the car's heritage by following the style of a 60-year-old luxury car. Original items, such as the power windows and speedometer, were kept wherever possible but upgraded with modern technology. It looks old and works new. Where aftermarket items were necessary, they were chosen for the right retro styling.

Just when you think you've got the Caddy categorized, Rob surprises you with an engine compartment full of extensive sheetmetal fabrication and a high-performance Cadillac CTS-V engine (basically Cadillac's version of the Corvette LS6). Rob said he and Fred considered something more traditional to match the style of the car but chose something more contemporary to match Fred's plans for driving the car.

Driving the car?! There goes another snap judgment out the window. We expected to hear the Cadillac was destined for a pampered life of car-show celebrity. uh-uh, says Rob. Fred has a lot of miles to put on his low-mileage custom and intends to keep it on the street as much as he can. How's that for a concept?