Rod & Custom Feature Car

Frank DeRosa Jr.
Pittsburg, California
1952 Cadillac Convertible
Owner contact info: (925) 439-5115

Frank's Cadillac rides on the frame it was born with. A pair of Fatman spindles with Cadillac discs lowers the altitude by 2 inches in the front. The rear frame was C-notched and the stock suspension was rebuilt with a few leaves removed and blocks added to get the rear down. Air bags from Air Ride Technologies are used all around to drop the Caddy for fairground cruising and give it the floating-on-a-cloud ride these Cads are famous for. A Chevelle power steering box was added for easier turning.

The engine compartment was finished immaculately and Joe Lamont packed it with a brand new Chevy small-block, rated at 330 horses and dressed to kill. Induction comes from a single Holley 750 on a polished manifold, topped with a polished billet air cleaner. The billet valve covers match the air cleaner cover. Custom headers and stainless pipes run the exhaust to a pair of glass-pack mufflers. The polished brass radiator from US Radiator keeps the engine running cool. A new 700-R4 transmission was installed and the stock Cadillac rearend was rebuilt.

Wheels & Tires
In keeping with the traditional custom theme Frank was after, he selected a set of 15-inch Kelsey Hayes wire spoke rims from Wheel Vintiques, dressed up with Cadillac emblem caps and wrapped up with 7.10-15 BFGoodrich wide whitewall tires.

Body & Paint
The most noticeable exterior components are the chopped top and the paint. Well-known customizers Frank DeRosa Sr. and John Aiello built the custom Carson top, and Aiello and Frank Jr. chopped 4 inches from the A-pillars. Bill Reasoner did the cutting on the side windows from U.S. Glass.

The door handles were shaved, seams molded and hidden, and the hood profile was mildly rounded, but the full bumpers and trim pieces remain, with the brightwork restored by Sherm's Custom Chrome Plating. Dick Falk created the custom molding, in particular the custom metallic scoop trim on the rear quarters. After hours of careful metal finishing on the body, Frank Jr. sent the car to Marcos Garcia at Lucky 7 Custom Shop in Antioch, California, who shot the Candy Brandy Wine, a custom mix of House of Kolor paints.

It may not be all '52, but it's mostly Cadillac stuff on the inside of the car. The seats are from an '05 Eldorado and feature lumbar support and heat. Gregg Philbrick at Contra Costa Vinyl in Pittsburg covered them with high-quality hand-selected Swedish leather done in traditional tuck `n' roll; each roll was stuffed by hand. The leather extends to the door panels. The carpet is Rolls Royce material. Even the trunk was treated to leather and RR carpet. The center console holds controls for the Vintage Air A/C system (installed by Frank, along with Larry and Lloyd Selph) and the stereo, as well as an ice box for refreshments. The dash is stock, with gauges restored by Red Line Gauges and contemporary polished billet air vents. The steering wheel and tilt/telescoping column are from an '85 Cadillac. A Pioneer CD/DVD player with Rockford Fosgate amps and Punch subwoofers was installed by Brian Hohman. The Ron Francis wiring kit was installed by Antioch Muffler.