Trends come and go in the automotive industry just as they do in any other industry. However having a passion for cars is a pricey project, and what can an owner do when the spark begins to fade. Cars can be bought and sold, sure, but what if the car in question is your prized possession. For Willie Taitano his prized possession is his 1961 Cadillac De Ville.
Willie has always had a fondness for the Cadillac. He has owned more than 300 vehicles and many of them have been Caddies. He found his ’61 De Ville in an old Autotrader magazine 15 years ago. At the time the car was pink and white, but it didn’t matter; this was the year that he was looking for. Since then this Caddy has been everything from stock to custom to a lowrider to this extreme look that it has now. Instead of selling his “baby,” Willie changes the look when he gets bored to keep the passion alive.
The look of this car is hard to describe, but it is certainly an attention-grabber. It did just that for Mike Musto, and he knew that he had to take this one for a drive. It is set up to look like a CTS-V race car; if they existed in the 60’s. With its unique wing, large hood scoop, and lowered all black look; it is easy to see how people have said that it looks like the Batmobile. The exterior alone is enough to turn heads, but Willie took it even farther by entirely doing the interior in faux red alligator skin.
As far as the powerplant, this ride has had the same big-block 472 producing around 500-lb.ft. of torque and 375-400 horsepower since Willie first bought the car. Of course, he has had the engine rebuilt, and his builders worked with COMP Cams to find him the perfect sound for his Caddy. The tranny is a Turbo 400 3-speed, and the rearend is a stock Cadillac axle with 2:94 gears.
While this ride has the look of a race car, it is certainly not producing mass amounts of horsepower. It has enough get-up and noise to be fun to drive but not so much that it can’t be Willie’s daily driver. But then again, who knows where Willie’s passion will take him down the road.
Ashley Cegelka basically grew up at car shows as a kid, which nurtured her love of classic musclecars. As she got older, her love heightened for the Ford Mustang specifically, and her first car was an ’83 Mustang with T-Tops that her grandpa helped her to get out on the road. Now that she’s grown her summers are spent at car shows and the dragstrip, taking in the rumble of an awesome engine and the clean lines of a great ride.