December 5, 2020

The Car History of Alex Beloff III

I DEVELOPED A SHARP EYE FOR CARS OF DISTINCTION.  CRUISING SOME MARGINAL NEIGHBORHOODS IN INDIANAPOLIS, I SPOTTED IN AN ABANDONED FILLING STATION’S STORAGE LOT A TERRIBLY NEGLECTED 1957 CADILLAC ELDORADO SEVILLE COUPE.  IT HAD A COATING OF MANY YEARS BIRD DODO, POLLEN, OIL FILM, DUST MIXED WITH MOISTURE THAT LOOKED LIKE MUD.  YOU COULD NOT SEE THE INTERIOR OF THE CAR THROUGH THE WINDOWS.  I KNEW IMMEDIATELY WHAT IT WAS.

ALL FOUR TIRES WERE FLAT MOUNTED ON THE ORIGINAL FACTORY ELDORADO CHROME SABER SPOKE WHEELS THAT WERE BADLY CORRODED WITH THE CENTER CAPS MISSING.  THE ONE YEAR ONLY REAR STYLING IS UNMISTAKABLE FOR A TRUE CADILLAC LOVER.  I OPENED THE HOOD.  THE CARBURETOR AND INTAKE MANIFOLD OBVIOUSLY FOR THE 2-4’S WERE MISSING.  WITH A COAT HANGER, I BECAME AN EXPERT AT POPPING THE CHROME DOOR LATCH BUTTON AND UNLOCKED THE CAR.

I SAW THROUGH THE NORMAL SURFACE SCUM AND WEAR THE ORIGINAL IMPORTED CAPE BUFFALO HIDES FROM AFRICA IN RED AND WHITE LEATHER COMPLETE WITH GORGEOUS DOOR PANELS FRONT AND BACK  AND ORIGINAL RED CARPETS WITH FLOOR SPEAKER.   IT HAD AN IMPRESSIVE PADDED DASH THAT WAS NOT SAGGING FROM THE HEAT OR CRACKED.  I WANTED TO BUY THIS CAR JUST FOR THE INTERIOR EVEN THOUGH I DID NOT HAVE AN ELDORADO TO PUT IT IN.  A NEIGHBOR CAME OVER TO ME AND TOLD ME THE OWNER HAD SUCCUMBED TO AGE AND THIS WAS THE LAST CAR TO GET RID OF SO THEY COULD DO SOMETHING WITH THIS EYESORE CORNER PROPERTY.  I SAID, WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR THAT OLD CAR LAYING DOWN ON THE PAVEMENT OVER THERE?  HE SAID, $100 IF YOU CAN GET RID OF IT TODAY.  WE SHOOK ON IT AND I SAID, DONE.  A HANDSHAKE BACK THEN WAS VERY IMPORTANT.  I CALLED A FRIEND WHO OWNED SEVERAL “BUY HERE, PAY HERE” CAR LOTS.

I TOLD HIM WHERE I WAS AND I NEEDED THIS CADILLAC PICKED UP AND STORED ON HIS BACK LOT WITH SECURITY WITHIN THE HOUR.  IT WAS DONE.  IN 2002 AS A SPECIAL AGENT FOR PRIVATE CLIENTS AT BOB GERMAIN’S LEXUS IN NAPLES FLORIDA, I WOULD SELL MY LONGTIME FRIEND A NEW LEXUS.  WHILE HE WAS WINTERING IN NAPLES, HE HAD 8 BUY HERE PAY HERE LOTS WITH ABOUT 10 MILLION ON THE BOOKS FOR LOANS CARRYING HIS OWN PAPER.  NEVER MAKE FUN OF A SEEDY LOOKING LOT!

I CAREFULLY DETAILED EVERY INCH, EVERY THREAD,  EVERY CHROME PIECE AND BRIGHT WORK ON THE INTERIOR OF THE 1957 ELDORADO.  COVERED, PRESERVED AND SAFELY STORED IT  FOR A FUTURE ELDORADO.  THE 1957 WAS THE FIRST YEAR FOR THE MAGNIFICENT SEAT SCULPTURING AND CHROME TRIM. I PERSONALLY PREFERRED THE CHROME BUTTON TUFTED SEATS OF THE DEVILLE OVER THE ELDORADO’S ROLL AND PLEAT DESIGN LIKED BY CUSTOMIZERS OF THIS ERA.  I THEN SOLD THE REST OF THE BADLY RUSTED VEHICLE TO A COLLECTOR FOR $500.  THE WHEELS SUITABLE FOR CHROMING WERE WORTH $500.  EVERYONE WAS HAPPY.

RETURN

 

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