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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

CadMad: The anatomy of a Ridler winner

CadMad is a hot-rod fever dream of an atomic-age family wagon that looks like 1200 gallons of chilled rosé trying to go supersonic. It has yards of metal in it from a hyper-rare 1959 Cadillac and some scraps from a 1956 Pontiac Safari. But otherwise, it is all hand-formed, pearl-coated, wet-sanded, chrome-plated, and turbo-injected custom perfection.

 

Jordan Quintal II remembers the first phone conversation about CadMad. “Steve Barton contacted me and said he had a Cadillac that he wanted to build into a station wagon. ‘Can we do it?’ I said, yes, we can do it—we can do anything with enough time and money.” Quintal remembers the second conversation with Barton, too. “He said, ‘I want to do a Ridler car.’” Quintal knew that when the word “Ridler” is spoken, everything changes.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/magazine-features/cadmad-the-anatomy-of-a-ridler-winner/

 

30 REPLIES 30
25aniv
Intermediate Driver

I appreciate the crafsmanship and next level work that went into this. I could stare at that chassis pic all day. The car itself though, it just looks odd to me. Id certainly love to be in a position to build a Ridler contender but the reality is I'll be sticking to my bottom feeder home built junk and trying to like it. I know this particular car is incredibly polarizing...its got no grey between love and hate. For cars at this level, for myself anyway, i couldn't care less what "make" it is because it takes a full custom to win the title anyway. I just enjoy looking at the details. I have no interest in a stock 4dr Caddy so i honestly couldn't care less about the fact they started there. Like i said, i like seeing next level detail. The hobby is vast and wide these cars are as much a part of it as the guy with an entry level collectible. 

TonyT
Instructor

A beautiful work of art. Wouldn't it be cool, though, to include one more category in the judging: a 25 mile lap to demonstrate roadworthiness. As the AMBR entrants are required to move into the Pomona Fairplex under their own power, something on the order of a Ridler contender should, at its core, be asked to be what it is: transportation. This might sharpen the focus on the ability to be operational as well as something to be looked at.

greenhue
Pit Crew

I don't know what is worse. 16 years and 2 million into a show car and selling it for less than the paint job or dying before it is finished. So many projects end when the owner dies and the family doesn't have the same vision and just dumps it on the market. You can't blame the industry for skyrocketing costs if people continue builds of this devotion. A moment of silence for Steve, but somebody lucked out on that deal.

dough
Intermediate Driver

Sold for 15 cents on the dollar of build cost.  Buyer got the deal of the century, hands down.  $300k covered only the actual cost of paint job.  Maybe that's a touch of poetic justice to someone who rented appliances to poor people at loan-sharky rates.   

spoom
Technician

Compared to the cost of this build, it would have been pennies on the dollar to 100% restore the two great cars that were butchered to make this one. The two resulting gems would have been worth far more than this one as far as selling price, and saved both a rare car and a scarce car. As for the Riddler prize, with the budget and mad skills that built this car, one made from 6-8 Yugos could still have had a good chance of winning.  

1933ford
Intermediate Driver

It boggles the mind for an individual to try for the Riddler award with suspect decision making with this type of car notwithstanding the original objective of the award itself

(from the MHRA archives - the award would honor individuals who are creative in building cars like Don Riddler).  I was there that weekend and thank goodness (for the judges) Foose did not show up to complicate matters. Or maybe he and Troy knew to stay away. However having said that, IMO the very fine craftsmanship displayed in this very large car has never been duplicated. 

SuperCommando
Pit Crew

super controversial project, where a rare, significant, and beautiful car is cut up and lost forever.  past Ridler winners have been much the same...I won't partake and didn't even really look at the pix in this post.  Its possible that the 1-of-99 Eldo's was a basket case...have never seen the starting point.  But a $2m budget would have surely fixed up the car, even if they had to jack up the VIN and drive a new car under it.  It seems to be a current trend, where builders say 'look at this rare and exceptionally clean original car, and then watch us cut it up'.

Papa-tony
Intermediate Driver

Absolutely beautiful craftsmanship.  I just can't figure out just what its supposed to be though.  It has elements of extreme elegance, the utility of a sport wagon, with a wooden bed and dash feature, tons of chrome, pastel pink in color... and my mind keeps swinging from left to right.

 

Each detail is perfectly executed in its own right, I'm not sure that it all really "fits together" though.  But as one writer said, I too could sit and look at this car for hours.

17in68
New Driver

Anyone with money can own a classic car.  It takes a REAL MAN to cut one up.

ThumperUSMC
Intermediate Driver

Beautiful car, every square half-inch of it. Would I have done something like that out of an extremely rare car? No, I wouldn't have, but then I was not the owner of said vehicle. That is the owners right. Not a big fan of the owner of that car, originating this build either, as he made his living off the backs of the poor. The Quintals outdid themselves with this vehicle. Unfortunately, I cannot afford their services, so I will stick with my Corvettes and my "do it yourself" nature and build my rides the way I want to do it. 

NITRO450EXP
Instructor

So here is the $64K question, What would Hagerty insure it for, the $2 Mil invested or the $300K sale price ????? I wonder.
NITRO450EXP
Instructor

So here is the $64K question, What would Hagerty insure it for, the $2 Mil invested or the $300K sale price ????? I wonder.

CJinSD
Advanced Driver

Insure it for the market value of $300K, and then declare it a total when it gets scratched in transit to a show. 
NITRO450EXP
Instructor

So here is the $64K question, What would Hagerty insure it for, the $2 Mil invested or the $300K sale price ????? I wonder.

 

RickB
Pit Crew

Once again there is a lesson to the new hobbyist who wants to build or restore cars, at any quality level.  You need the time, skill, tools, and money to do it right.  Buy one already done and enjoy the ride.  You will clearly loose $$$ every time by doing it yourself. 

silverado
Intermediate Driver

Wow!! for the love of the build. Buyer stole it. Work of art for sure. It looks like something ZZTop would build. It's Kewl.

BrownAutoDesign
Passenger

@TonyT-All Ridler contenders have to prove they can operate under their own power by driving around a predetermined course inside Cobo Hall before they are put into their display. Asking people to take a 25 mile drive on snowy, salt covered, pothole infested Detroit streets in an unproven, brand new 2-3 million dollar build is unfeasible. You can't even take the car for a shakedown run before you put it in the trailer to go to Detroit because it will be disqualified if even one photo shows up on social media before the event starts. I designed and lead the team that built Brute Force, one of the Great 8 cars this year. 

Maestro1
Instructor

It's meticulous and stunning. I'd be afraid to drive it but I'd love to be an owner! I've often looked at this vintage Cadillac and envisioned a Nomad style wagon integrated into the design and shied away from it because of the costs I presumed would be involved. 

To all those involved in this project, very well done; this is a monument to your skills and dedication.

Punk
Detailer

This would have been a really cool styling exercise although its hard to stomach cutting up a rare and classic car. The other thing that kills it for me is the regular habit of taking a huge car and just slamming it all the way down on the ground such that it is impossible to ever drive the thing. What a waste. And being that low just looks dumb to my eye. 

Kewina50
Intermediate Driver

Wait a minute! Isn't this CadMad the same car that some fool called a Frankenstein car in a recent article?  So what's that "piece" the guy down the street that has the barn door hinges on the trunk and a hose reel welded to it called?  The Frankenstein article was as fake as CNN.

NightRanger
Intermediate Driver

Sorry, the emperor has no clothes. This is one butt-ugly car. Maybe a refined build, but for me, nothing works. Too low for the length, terrible colour, and bad colour combination with the top. and the multi-shade cargo space wood flooring ??? come on, it just does not come together. I wonder how many clowns can fit in??

Mikesdad1
Pit Crew

Like I tell everyone, a custom car is the choice and taste of the customer, nothing holds it value to dollars like an original 67 427 Vette, compared to a custom 67 Vette, 2 million dollars in and a 300,000 return is horrible, but hopefully the car stays together 

ConfuciusRacing
Detailer

What an amazing car...except for the garish wood interior...they should have looked at a few modern Bentleys before deciding. Gag.

farna
Detailer

Beautiful craftsmanship, well deserved the award. Two things "bother" me about it.

1) "...the starting point was no ordinary Cadillac. In 1959, GM contracted with the Italian design house Pininfarina to build a special four-door Eldorado Brougham with unique sheetmetal and trim.... CadMad is the 85th Brougham built out of a total of just 99 cars."  If it was indeed a wrecked, burned out, or basket case hulk I wouldn't have much of an issue here, but I doubt that was the case. If it were a run of the mill 59 Caddy it wouldn't be bad, but a rare car that's still worth decent money restored, and is collectible? I do understand that "rare" and "valuable/collectible" don't always go hand in hand. If you have the only one left (rare!) but nobody wants it/cares, it's hardly "valuable".

 

2) It's a "checkbook build". Of course the right thing is done here and the building shop gets credit (most of it IMHO). Having the idea, giving some artistic guidance, and writing the checks are important, but it's got to the point that "he who has the most money to spend wins".  Granted, it takes money to make a truly work-of-art custom, but this just tosses so many would be candidates out the door. I guess it's ok though, since maybe there needs to be a pinnacle that not many can reach. There are other awards, after all...

Tinkerah
Technician

For anyone who's into the math don't forget about buyer's premium and sales tax. The seller likely walked away with three fourths of the gavel price.

Tinkerah
Technician

Oops I just remembered buyer's premium and tax get added afterwards but I'm not able to edit my previous comment....

Teuffelhunden
Pit Crew

A friend of mine built a '59 Ford School bus this year for a gentleman in a wheel chair and the Wounded Warrior's Project. It's a fine piece of work that lays flat on the ground so a ramp the wheelchair ramp that automatically slides out the side door is at the lowest angle. Inside, are only two seats up front and from there back it's all wheel locks for wheelchairs. The only funding was a reasonable donation from some local charities and Kicker threw in the system. Even though he built it for a fraction of what he charged for it, the exposure at SEMA has launched his shop to another level where he can quit his job, hire additional technicians, and add onto the place. So don't feel bad for the Quintal family only getting 302K for a 2M investment. The amount of work they will get for winning a Ridler will more than make up for the loss in the future. Thank you Quintal family for going off on your own and building something outside the box. I have a '36 Buick Series 40 "Humpack" 4-Door that I would love to build and take to SEMA. It's nice to see something other than the '32 Coupe, '37 Chevy, '69 Camaro, and all the usual's chosen as finalists for the Ridler. 

Teuffelhunden
Pit Crew

I like your comment "dough". Anyone can win a murder trial, acceptance into a certain university, even the presidency with enough money. As a gas turbine engineer, give me 2M and I'll build you a 500mph Rocket... Let's see on of those at Ridler! I also appreciate "Tony T"... Ridler contenders should all start 100 miles from the convention center doors and go from "A" to their display areas trouble free!

Swamibob
Instructor

So many things to say here, but I was taught "if you can't say anything good, perhaps you shouldn't say anything.  

This car does move me.  The craftsmanship is incredible!  That said; the design leaves much to be desired.  I think several other of the Great 8 nominees got jobbed.

Spuds
Advanced Driver

I cant judge it as a car.Its a work of art,a rolling sculpture.Using that criteria I think it is superb.