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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Heavyweight Hauler: The Flash Cadillac has spent four-plus decades flattening drag strips

In the early Seventies, a Cadillac dealership might have seemed a bit of a humdrum place to work for a young tech with hot-rodding heating up his blood. At that point in the brand's history, its connections to racing and performance were either two decades behind it (Le Mans, La Carrera Panamericana, Cadillac-powered Allards) or three decades into the future with the "V" models and SCCA World Challenge.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/motorsports/heavyweight-hauler-the-flash-cadillac-has-spent-four-plus-...
30 REPLIES 30
TonyT
Technician

Imagine that! Something other than a flippin' LS engine! Will wonders never cease!
MLFifer
Pit Crew

I am from Albuquerque and in the early 70's , drag raced a 3 cyl. Kawasaki at the Albq Drag Strip and saw this car many times there. I had never heard of it again until now.
It was always fun to see it go to the line and the starter telling him to put up the window and he would hit the electic window switch!!! Then the car would literally BLAST down the track.
Congrats !!!!
Wallst
New Driver

Quite amazing how much horsepower these guys squeezed out of a Caddy engine. I did a similar thing in the mid to late 70s, but to a lesser extent. The car was my grocery getter after all. Read about it at 660mike.com/cad/cad.htm
TinCanSailor
Intermediate Driver

Interesting mix of Caddy, MOPAR and Olds parts. The car looks amazing!
knuck39
Intermediate Driver

imagine replacing the heavy bumpers,hood,deck lid, then gutting the doors and making all those components out of fiberglass or carbon fiber.....and replacing the glass with lexan how much weight could be saved....
CP66
Intermediate Driver

Sounds like fun!
drhino
Technician

Wonder what the guy who couldn’t make the payments on it would think of it?
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

The turbo setup under that hood looks awesome. Love the effort to make this boat go ridiculously fast.
olmon
Pit Crew

Back in the early 90s, a kid who was dating my boss's daughter dropped a 500CI Caddy into an early 70s Pontiac Grand Prix. The motor was stock but it sure did move that Pontiac!!!
SJ
Technician

So cool and original maker engine.
Shiftmaster1
New Driver

I had. 70 Deville back in 74. 472 we ported polished heads and port matched aluminum intake manifold. Trying to remember who made the manifold but I keep thinking was offenhouser or something like that. True died exhaust back then we ran 4 cherry bombs quieter but performance no headers yet Holly carb thin 780. Tuned car ran qtr mile 12.975.00 best on stret tires.
CraigCopple
Pit Crew

I grew up in Roswell, NM and remember the Flash Cadillac over 40 years ago. In the spring and summer of ‘81, my sophomore year in HS, I heard about a Cadillac showing up at the drags. The drag strip was the old muni airport later converted to a police station which was there at the time. I kind of rolled my eyes when I first heard of a Cadillac showing up at the drags, so I went the following month and it had returned, after cleaning up on the competition the previous month. Lo and behold the Cadillac was lining up and blowing the doors off Camaros and other old school cars at the time. I became a fan of Flash and don’t recall ever seeing it lose a race there. Thanks for bringing back a fond memory!

elvacarsdallas
Intermediate Driver

You were in the big city, I am from Hagerman.
Moonlighter
Pit Crew

Awesome! I have seen this Car run Many times. Nice to read about a Local Car!

Joe Gallegos
Santa Fe, NM
Firehawk2K2544
Intermediate Driver

When I was growing up in CamdenNJ in the 60s, there was a guy who used to show up at the park where we hung out (Dudley Grange, if anyone is familiar).
He had a 49 or 50 Sedanette with later Cad engine with 2x4 BBL carbs.
Front bumper was removed.
He ran in D/Gas at ATCO.
It was unusual.

OOOO, OOOO, OOO Growin Up......
PU
Pit Crew

This is cool. I've been interested in drag racing since the 60's but I've never heard of this car. In the early 50's the Caddy motor made the most power but was displaced by the SBC. I'm assuming the dimensions are too large to drop in just anything but like the guy below inferred, this is way cooler than just using an LS, and it can make serious power. (For a minute here it felt like the old days, when Cadillac, and America, were the Standard of the World).
Patrician
Detailer

I'm always amazed even in their stock form how big block motors were able to propel heavy full size 60's cars as fast as they did. It was raw power. . A few that come to mind. My 430 CID 1960 Thunderbird, 1962 Odlsmobile Starfire 394 CID , 1965 Olds 98 425 CID, 1967 Electra 430 CID and 1969 Mercury Colony Park with a 429CID. They were all missiles. One reason all these cars were so fast except for the Electra they ran on 14" tires. A 14" tire took the place of 3.56 gears. Another reason was high compression. I can tell you if I didn't put in hi-test gas those cars they would ping like marbles in the motor. To this day the Starfire was one of fastest cars I ever drove. As a repair shop owner of 50 years I have driven plenty of cars. A employee of mine had a 1970 400 GTO and the Starfire would beat him in a drag race every time. He would be enraged. I have a smirk on my face every time I think about it.
Orca
New Driver

How exciting to see the possibilities with the 70 caddy! My purple monster has been sitting idle … tired of dealing with “shifty” mechanics in south Florida. How I wish I was closer, because I could sure use a lot of advise and help with my deville. If you want to share who is great at working on these beautiful motors, I’d appreciate it, it’s depressing not having her in full power the way she was built. At least now I know where to order, all I need is an old school pro who’s good and honest. I bet it would be a blast to see the flash Cadillac run against my daily driver LOL, my boss’ biturbo S63, it would be fun!
turbobill
Intermediate Driver

It's never to late to learn what you need to know.Get out there and learn and do it yourself. Stat with learning the basics.........get an old auto mechanics book and start reading and studying.
MustangJim
Instructor

Fantastic story..true and pure hot rodding. Thank you for bring that to us.
TDASmith455
Pit Crew

I remember being at the South side of town in ABQ back in the late 70's, along with the rest of the street cars, thinking we were really something on that remote stretch of road, and all of the sudden, this Cadillac showed up (was street legal at that time), and smashed through all perceptions!! It also showed a quite a few cars it's taillights!
SuperDeLuxe
Advanced Driver

It would be a hoot to blast down the quarter > 8 seconds in a ginormous land-yacht. Stopping? Not so much. 😲
Gimmea6
Pit Crew

Takes me back to 1965 at Connecticut Dragway. There was a guy who ran a 1962 Sedan DeVille in the stock classes. Called himself "King Farouk".
turbobill
Intermediate Driver

So glad it isn't just "another" (boring) LS swapped car.
TG
Technician

Cadillac offered multi-point fuel injection from 75 to 79 and didn't move to throttle body until 1980
bblhed
Instructor

I would like to see that thing on the street!
Charlie
Intermediate Driver

I've seen the "Hot Rod Lincoln" run 100 times to my amazement, but have not seen the Caddy run at all. I always was amazed with the Lincoln turning 12's in the quarter , and would no doubt be blown away with the big Caddy turning 8's and 9's !!
427sc
Detailer

This story reinforces the unequivocal truth of the age-old gearhead adage that "There is no replacement for displacement"...
Also, they got this car down to 4300lbs before the addition of a fiberglass hood, bumper, etc... That means this car, in all it's hulking hugeness, is probably tipping the scales at @4000lbs or less now. Honestly, many of todays "muscle cars" don't weight too much less than this (V8 Camaro & Mustang GT both are @3700lbs dry, 2022 Corvette is @3400lbs dry) and the cow known as the Hellcat Challenger weights 4450lbs, well OVER what this car weighed even with the previous heavy steel body panels!
So, considering this larger than large vehicle, with 500 inches of forced induction glory under the hood making 2000HP, it's just a matter of getting the power to the asphalt to make it a REAL ego-buster for many modern drag strip dwellers.
In the early 80's when I was in HS, I had a '69 Ford LTD 4dr car (weighing in at 3825lbs) with a 390-4bbl engine under the hood. That car was equally huge to this Caddy. In fact, when we went to drive in movies, I could "seat" 4 regular sized teenagers in the trunk (yes, the trunk was deep enough that they could actually sit on their butts with the trunk lid closed). But, with the FE under the hood making @320 factory horsepower and 427ft-lbs of torque, my big land-vessel could beat the '82-'83 Mustang GT which was producing a whopping 158 HP off the assembly line.
Aaaah, the good old days when you could order a car with sometimes 4-5 choices of powertrains under the hood and when even big-a$$ luxury cars made enough power to easily get out into any level of traffic.
The-Mayor
Pit Crew

Bought slicks from J.C. Penney's? I think they meant to say J.C. Whittney!
jimkwriter
Pit Crew

Nope, we meant J.C. Penney.