Cadillac has always been the highest standard of American automotive excellence. If you own and drive a classic or showroom-new Cadillac, you’re waltzing through high cotton and enjoying the good life. Cadillac Coupe DeVille dates back to 1949 during those first post-war boom years when America was on the rise and euphoria was in abundance. The U.S. and its allies had won the war and the only way was up. With that rush of excitement were jobs, cash flow and high-end domestic luxury cars.
Apolo’s motivation here isn’t your grandpa’s land yacht DeVille sporting a stodgy cast-iron 429-ci pushrod V-8 and Rochester four-jet carburetion. This is not only about technology, but a desire to build a cruiser you could pilot anywhere in the country.”
“DeVille” is French for “of the town,” an exquisite ride to be seen in with a massive front bumper and sea of chrome plating that arrived before you did. From 1949-58, the Cadillac DeVille was a glorious big-finned road-going vessel that exuded a commanding presence on the American highway. In 1959-60, DeVille became an incredibly massive wide body with a slippery and overwhelming fin treatment not seen since MISSING TEXT HERE. For 1961, the redesigned DeVille was fresh with a subtle treatment more in line with what was popular in the ’60s. The 1961-64 DeVille really was the last finned Cadillac.
Olympic speed skater and television personality Apolo Anton Ohno has a passion for classic Cadillacs. When he spied this ’64 Coupe DeVille convertible, he understood quickly that his fate was sealed and he had a duty to the breed. Once he had the title in hand, there would be no escaping the dreamy ride he had planned for himself.
It would have to retain the DeVille’s distinctive lines, yet be an edgy work of art. He interviewed the best top ten restoration/custom shops in the country, making the decision to turn his DeVille drop top over to Dave Kindig of Kindig-It Design in Salt Lake City for a little rework time.
Apolo’s motivation here isn’t your grandpa’s land yacht DeVille sporting a stodgy cast-iron 429-ci pushrod V-8 and Rochester four-jet carburetion. This is not only about technology, but a desire to build a cruiser you could pilot anywhere in the country. Beneath the bonnet is GM Performance’s own fuel-injected, plug-and-play Ramjet 502 fat-block for displacement, power and durability. The Ramjet 502 big-block commands our respect thanks to a 4.470 x 4.000-inch bore and stroke, steel crank and forged steel connecting rods, forged pistons, hot hydraulic roller cam, 2.250/1.880-inch valves in lightweight aluminum heads and HEI ignition. Call the Ramjet 502 real Chevy muscle in a tuxedo. This zero regrets Caddy DeVille demonstrates what happens when luxury meets an extraordinary level of creativity.
1964 Cadillac Coupe DeVille Convertible
OWNER: Apolo Anton Ohno
BUILDER: Kindig-It Design Salt Lake City, UT
FRAME: Factory original steel boxed and smooth
SUSPENSION: Air Ride Technologies custom rear trailing arms
BRAKES: Six-piston Wilwood 16 ½-inch disc brakes
WHEELS: Custom Curtis Speed 22-inch resembling 17-inch with wide white whitewalls
TIRES: Pirelli 265/35/22
ENGINE: GM Performance Ramjet 502 big-block, deburred castings, 4.470 x 4.000-inch bore/stroke, cast-iron block with a Aluminum GM Performance heads, 2.250/1.880-inch intake/exhaust valves, GM Performance hydraulic roller camshaft, EFI, custom one-off charge tube valve covers, Billet Specialties True Trac accessory drive with twin 145-amp alternators, Flowmaster mufflers, runs on 92-octane pump gas
TRANSMISSION: GM 4L80E with GM removable carrier rear axle
BODY & PAINT: PPG custom urethane paint, one-off mirrors, Kindig smooth custom door handles, custom exterior trim
INTERIOR: Shop: JS Custom Interiors/California Audio Custom Keyston Brothers white leather, Vintage Air climate control system, Creative Controls electronic parking brake, Steele Rubber soft parts, Hydro-Electric convertible top, New Relics window glass, Kinetik batteries, Dakota Digital gauges Olympic Ring pattern, Kicker sound system
One of the most important things you can hold onto are friendships. Friendships help you build character, define who you are and help you along the way through trials and tribulations. Those friendships often influence your hobbies and interests as you learn about new things and cultures. Since their time in middle school, Robert Walden and his friend Kyle Boring have been close. Although they had different lives and interests, they remained very close.
Kyle got involved in the truck lifestyle and Robert began a career in the pharmacy industry. Oftentimes, Robert would see the trucks Kyle was around and absolutely loved the style and look of them. Kyle was building a 1994 Chevy C1500 and had just added a bodydrop but got distracted by some other projects and set it aside. For about a full year, Robert would ask if he could purchase the Chevy before Kyle finally agreed. Robert had never owned any custom vehicle so Kyle was hesitant at first but figured he would lend a hand.
Robert brought the truck home in pieces—a rolling frame, a cab and lots of other small parts. The frame was painted a bright red, and then tires and wheels with the ’bags were installed. Robert’s friend Wesley Copeland helped add the cab to the frame even though there was no wiring or glass yet. Robert’s brother Joshua has a background in bodywork, so he handled all the body smoothing and shaved the doors, gas tank lid, drip rails, third brake light, tailgate handle and antenna.
The interior was half done, with Kyle trying to use a ’59 Impala dashboard inside. It wasn’t fitting properly, so Wesley and Joshua stretched it 2 inches on each side, making it fit into place. The body was a light gray primer and the frame was bright red, so Joshua coated the entire 1994 Chevrolet truck in a bright red mix that matched the frame. The next step was making sure the Chevy would be a solid driver, so an LS6 was pulled from a ’04 Silverado and fit into the engine bay. The new intake wouldn’t clear the hood, so he had to use ZO6 injectors and the hood finally closed. Wesley had to install a custom-built wiring harness from Hotwire to match the right length. After that was wired up, Oilmasters in Tifton, Georgia, built a 3-inch exhaust with true dual Black Widow Venom 250 mufflers. Derek Browing tuned the motor and dialed in the horsepower to put out 410 hp.
Inside the Chevy, Wesley removed seats from a ’90 Chevy Suburban and cut them down. The foam was reshaped and the factory seat slides remained. The seats were stitched up using black and red houndstooth centers. Joshua assisted Robert with getting the black carpet mounted along with the door panels and new poppers for the doors. Robert called in about five friends to get the bed back on the truck and lined up. Kyle and his crew at his business, Boring’s Glass Company, got all the glass installed and road ready. Robert continued to add final touches with a new center console to fill between the seats. Robert added a box behind the seats to house the battery for the Chevy.
Since his purchase of the rolling chassis, Robert has about 3,000 miles on the Chevy C1500 traveling to shows and events all throughout the country. He owes his dedication and passion to his loyal wife Jessie, who insisted he finish the build no matter how long it took.
Robert was able to make Door Dragger a huge success with the helping hands of all his close friends and brother. His lifelong friendship with his middle school buddy Kyle led Robert to purchase and help build his very first truck.
1994 Chevrolet C1500
Club Affiliation: Aftermath
Front Suspension: Michigan Metal Works control arms, Belltech drop spindles, Slam Specialties SS7 bags
Rear Suspension: Ektensive two-link with Panhard bar, box back half frame, Slam Specialties SS7 ’bags, two Viair 400c compressors, two 5-gallon air tanks, Accuair E-Level air management system
Engine: 6.0 LQ9, upgraded cam, springs, rockers, LS6 intake, Z06 injectors, tuned by Derek Browning of Browning Tuning, 3-inch custom exhaust, true dual Black Widow Venom 250 mufflers
Rearend: 9-inch Ford rear end, limited slip, 3:50 gears
Metal work by Wesley “Stick” Copeland
Paint and bodywork by Joshua Walden
Shaved drip rails, door handles, third brake light and tailgate
Traditional 4.5-inch bodydrop
Custom-mixed red paint
10-gallon custom stainless fuel cell
New clear glass by Boring’s Glass Co. in Moultrie, Georgia
94-98 GMC grille with billet insert
LED headlights and taillights
Sir Michael’s rollpan
Tailgate handle flip kit
1959 Chevy Impala dashboard swap
Omega Kustom gauges
1990 Suburban seats cut down and reshaped by Thomas at Top Shop in Cairo, Georgia
Custom built door panels and center console
Interior work done by Wesley Copeland
Retro style billet steering wheel black half-wrap
Stereo: Pioneer head unit, Pioneer components, Pioneer shallow mount 12-inch subwoofer, two HiFonics amplifiers
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 22×9 Intro Radicalli polished
Tires: 255/30R22 and 265/35R22 Pirelli Scorpions
Special Thanks: My wife Jessie, Wesley “Stick” Copeland, Joshua Walden and Kyle Boring
Taking a truck from modified daily driver to something show worthy can be a hard transition for vehicle owners. Committing to take that build as a whole to the next level is usually never the issue—it’s more like remembering to take it at bit easier on the truck to maintain that pristine condition every show vehicle aims to be.
Will Meadors of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, however, decided that was precisely what he wanted to do: spend more time than ever driving this truck once it was completed. After owning the truck since 2010, Will attended SEMA in 2016 and made the choice that he needed to step it up. From there, the rest is history.
You can catch this beautiful truck at shows in Oklahoma and all across the Midwest.
First thing on the laundry list of upgrades Will wanted to make was suspension. On his suspension and frame setup at that time, he wasn’t able to run deep dish wheels, and that was a must. Let us be clear: It was not a want; it was a need. Knowing the amount of work it would take to completely change his as-is setup, Will decided to make the jump from a decked out extended cab to a single cab. Why cut the cord on all that work? Because body-drop, that’s why. With that, he sold off the old cab and built a new chassis, using all the previously worked up body panels, dash, etc. Now that is commitment. He enlisted a handful of friends and got to work. Between the parts lists from Stone Fab, Air Lift and Belltech it is easy to guess how well this truck lays out after the framework was complete.
Every fresh suspension setup needs a fresh pair of wheels. Wanting the deep dish that started all of this, Will chose a staggered set of 22-inch Intros Twisted Vista 2. Packing a full 22×12-inch wheel in the back, that aggressive set of shoes gave an entirely new look to laying out the 90s GMC.
To better turn those massive new wheels, next in line for the Short Stack was motor work. Why not put down more power than ever when debuting a new look, right? To accomplish that, almost the entire Comp Cams motor catalog was used from camshaft to springs and lifters, then topped off with Billet Specialties valve covers. Throw in the matching air cleaner to those valve covers, then tuck it all neatly between the perfect-fitting Slosh Tubz fender tubs and firewall panels. The engine bay was ready to shut down shows just as quick as the exterior.
Last but not least came the paint and interior work to complete the one-of-a-kind single cab. Will enlisted Albert Stem from Stemco Body Works to knock out the paint work on the freshly installed single cab to match the previous extended-cab paint work, which Will had done himself. Like a true pro, Stem absolutely nailed it. Seeing the paint and bodywork on this truck in person, it looks seamless as if it were all done at once. In addition to that, Brandon McCoy of Gooch Pinstriping laid out the incredible ghost lace on the roof as well as the insane graphics on the Slosh Tubz in the engine bay, setting off the purple and black theme with a pop all its own.
Finishing up its extreme makeover Sierra edition, the GMC went to Cody at Code Zero Customs for interior. The combo of the custom black leather bucket seats with purple stitching mixed with the iPad mini and JL Audio setup make any drive you take in the Short Stack a comfortable time.
With more details left to discuss than we have space for, we recommend you find this beauty in person! You can catch this beautiful truck at shows in Oklahoma and all across the Midwest.
Will wants to give a huge thank you to a few people who helped his dream become a reality on this build: “First and foremost, thank you to my wife Jamie, of course; Mike Losh of Slosh Tubz; also Seth Curry, Cody Landis of Code Zero Customs; the King Covers crew, Mike Hall, Eric Banks, Albert Stem; and Brandon ‘Gooch’ McCoy. Finally, thank you to anyone else who ever played a part in this truck taking shape.”
[divider] TRUCK Specs [/divider]
Will Meadors (Billy Bob)
1992 GMC Sierra
Hometown: Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Build Time: 4 to 5 years
Estimated Cost: $25k
Reason for building: Love old body style trucks, had one in high school
Name of truck: Short Stack