Caddymino Longs For Escape From NorCal Junkyard

Illustration for article titled Caddymino Longs For Escape From NorCal Junkyard

Since I haven't needed to buy any race car parts for a few weeks, I've fallen behind on Junkyard Find photos. Fortunately for us, car-graveyard aficionados such as Maymar, Yurikaze, and now Armand, Star-Spangled Pedant have stepped up with their own junkyard finds. Here's a one-of-a-kind Caddymino that Armand found in a Willows junkyard; make the jump to get his story.


Here's my junkyard find from Big M auto recycling in Williams, CA. This past weekend I drove up to Thunderhill raceway for a CSRG vintage racing event. I've lived in the Bay Area my entire life, and my mother's family is from Redding, so I know Interstate 5 pretty well. Anyway, the halfway mark between my house and my grandfather's house is near the town of Williams, which means that I've been stopping at Granzella's Deli and Sports Bar for sandwiches and bathroom breaks since I was a baby. Driving up I-5 on my own this past weekend, I got lunch at Granzella's and took the opportunity to look around Williams a little bit. Now, if you had looked off to your left whileapproaching Williams from the south, you might have noticed a junkyard filled with old American iron. Well, I assume YOU would, as would any true Jalop, and I sure as hell did. So this weekend, after getting a sandwich at Granzella's, I headed a mile down old Highway 99W to get a closer look at the junkyard I had previously seen only from the Interstate. I won't catalog the awesomeness that fills this lot, but suffice it to say that if Detroit made it between the war and the Malaise era, you can find it here. Need a flathead Packard straight-eight? They have several. Looking for a motor for your hot rod? They can hook you up with an 8BA Flathead, or a Y-block, or a Nailhead, or an early Hemi, or a small-block Chevy (of course) and they can find you as many Stromberg 97s as you'll need to feed the beast. Looking for parts for your Edsel? They have several from all three years, from Pacer sedans to Citation convertibles to Ranger wagons, in all states of decay and disassembly. I found fifteen Edsels before I stopped counting. They even have an early '30s Franklin. A FRANKLIN, for Pete's sake, the air-cooled sedan that Charles Lindbergh drove.

But one car at Big M truly stopped me in my tracks. The bulbous fenders and P-38-style tailfins told me it was an early '50s Cadillac, but this one was different. It wasn't an everyday sedan or a nice fastback or even a hearse. It was, in fact, a Caddymino. > At first I thought it was a funeral home's old "flower car," the kind that travels behind the hearse with a bed full of flowers. Some of them even had movable bed floors so the funeral home could make it look like the bed was completely full of flowers even when few people had bothered to honor the deceased. But no, the welds were obviously not done by a professional. Moreover, what was left of the floor was from a regular passenger car, spare tire well and all. This was clearly a homemade Caddymino, made by some sort of Proto-Jalop from the mid-to-late twentieth century. As a wannabe motoring journalist, I considered it my duty to share this amazing archaeological find with the world, and here it is.

Picture 1: I don't know the year, and I couldn't get the hood open to see whether the V8 was of the flathead or overhead-valve variety. But even if it doesn't have a motor, the yard has plenty of 331- to 390-inch Caddy motors that should fit right in.

Picture 2: The welds along the top of the fenders were never ground down, but it still looks like someone put a lot of thought and time into this conversion.

Picture 3: The interior is shot, but a bench seat from an old pickup will do wonders for it. The Keystone Light can is a nice touch.

Picture 6: Not the Caddymino— this Ford F1 truck apparently belonged to an animal feed dealer in Berkeley. It comes complete with a "Swingin' A's" sticker from way back when.

Picture 7: Again, not related to the Caddymino— just a sample of the awesomeness that you'll find in this lot. Enjoy! -Armand4

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This is really scary.

Not the Cadillac, though I admit it is pretty scary on its own accord.

What got me is that the entire lot seems like bits of my past:

Start with my parent's '58 two door Ranch Wagon and Uncle Fred's Falcon sedan. But there is also my algebra teacher's Chrysler, the Fredenhagen's Powerwagon we used to use for Saturday chores, my Dad's Dodge sedan, Art Deming's Windsor, and my old '55 Ford sedan from high school (never had the coolness to step up to the equivalent Chevy).

Looking back at your childhood, rusting away scattered through a junkyard is very, very chilling.