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Cadillac & LaSalle Club
Potomac Region
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Capitol Cadillac / CLC Potomac Region
Annual Fall Car Show:
Magnificent Modifieds
October 25, 2015

By Richard Sills and Vince Taliano
Photos by Dale Darden, Randy Edison, Franklin Gage, Lynn Gardner, Sandy Kemper, Jack McClow, Tom McQueen, Vince Taliano and Michael Veilleux

Pre-registered Magnificent Modifieds owners with their Certificates of Appreciation

In spite of intermittent rain showers on the morning of Sunday, October 25th, Magnificent Modifieds truly ended up being magnificent!  A total of 62 cars, including 10 modfieds, participated in the show.  For the first time in CLC history, a Regional car show held at a Cadillac dealership featured modified Cadillacs and LaSalles.  The modifieds were registered in one of three special peer judging classes for the featured group: Class A: Pre-War Modifieds (1902-1942), Class B: Post-War Modifieds Early (1946-64) and Class C: Post-War Modifieds Late (1965-present).  

As an added feature, the show provided CLC Head Judge Bill Anderson an opportunity to test the draft judging rules for the newly created CLC Modified Division.  Three cars participated in this trial judging conducted by Bill and volunteers Brendan O’Rourke and Rick Menz (pictured below). The Modified Division judging program will take place, for the first time at a CLC national event, at the 2017 Grand National in McLean, VA.

The vehicles ranged in years from a 1903 Model A to a 2010 DTS Livery.  The 1903 Cadillac (pictured right) is #781 out of 2,497 produced in that model year.  Cadillac records show that the car was sold new by John Wanamaker in Philadelphia, that its body was painted black, and that it was equipped with Fisk tires and axles produced by the American Ball Bearing Co.  The car is a runabout with an optional tonneau added to provide a rear seat and additional passenger capacity.  It is also equipped with picnic baskets.  When the car was new, the tonneau cost an extra $100, and the picnic baskets cost $18.

In addition to the modifieds making history, there were three Fleetwood Talismans at the show, one for each model year of 1974-76 (pictured above).   Most attendees have never seen all three years of the Talisman at one show, including Grand Nationals.  Read the story about Lynn Gardner, Jack McClow and Earl Rutter's Talismans (pictured left) in the Hemmings Blog. 


Also in attendance were Jerry & Rita Trapani from East Islip, NY with their 1987 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham Station Wagon.  The car was recently on display at the AACA Museum in Hershey, PA in their “A Family Affair: Station Wagons” display.  The Trapani's Fleetwood won second place in class.

Modifieds and Classics alike in the Showroom

Best of Show – John Denison’s
modified 1955 Coupe Deville

The overall collection of approximately 62 Cadillacs and LaSalles rivaled the quality of any past fall theme show at the dealership.  There was representation from as far away as Long Island New York, Central New Jersey, Central and Western Pennsylvania and the Baltimore / Washington, D.C. metro areas.  The efforts of all the volunteers who worked the event from pre-show promotions to day-of-show registration and parking to after-show clean up made this a truly special event for all of the participants who traveled from near and far to attend.

As the case with previous shows, the crew of volunteers arrived before 8:00 AM to register and park the cars.  By the time DJ Mike Veilleux of Music Madness played the National Anthem at 10:00 AM to officially open the show, which has become a tradition, there was a respectable number of cars on the showfield and in the showroom considering that it rained a good portion of the morning.  For lunch, Red, Hot, Blue of Laurel, MD was on-site to serve attendees and spectators their delicious food.


Mark E. Brodsky’s 1953 Eldorado --
one of two Azure Blue '53 Eldos at the show


Thanks to Daniel Jobe, Capitol Cadillac and the Potomac Region volunteers pictured above for making it a special day!

As announced in the show flyer and newsletters leading up to the show, the judging and awards ceremony both began 30 minutes earlier than normal to allow the participants as much time as possible to drive home before the 1:00 PM Redskins game ended.  Master of Ceremonies Richard Sills welcomed the attendees to the awards ceremony with his opening remarks on the theme of the show (pictured right).  Here is an excerpt:

 “One of the special features of our fall show each year is to choose a special theme to honor to a select category of Cadillacs or LaSalles.  This year, we dedicate our Fall Show to honor the “Magnificent Modifieds” – those Cadillacs and LaSalles whose present or past owners used their own imagination, designing skills and craftsmanship to create something a little bit different – or in some cases a lot different – from the products sold by General Motors. 

The traditional values of the Cadillac & LaSalle Club, like most mainstream car clubs, have been oriented toward authenticity – cars that are either preserved or restored with complete adherence to the way the manufacturer built them.  And yet, when we look at significant cars of the past, we see the creations that appeared in the GM Motorama – the concept cars, and the dream cars that the GM stylists and executives themselves conjured up to excite the public, and to try out new innovations.  Top GM executives in past years would often commission the GM styling studio to create a one-off modified version of the current model car for their own personal driving enjoyment.   And, going back to the Classic Era and before, well-to-do customers would order a new Cadillac or other fine car and have it shipped off to a custom coachbuilder for special modifications before taking delivery.   The special creations by coachbuilders such as Fleetwood, Brunn, LeBaron and Willoughby would be displayed in Cadillac showrooms, auto shows, and other venues.  The public was inspired by the custom creations that sprang from the imaginations, and from the design studios, of those who could not be satisfied by standard offerings of the manufacturers.  And what were these outstanding cars?  They were, of course, “modified cars”.

So “modified cars” really have a long and illustrious history.  Then and now, the observer might find some modifications that he would admire, and others that are not to his particular taste.   But either way, those who design and create modified cars do so because they consider the car as a thing of beauty, as an art form, to be enhanced and to be the subject of creative thinking, rather than as a mere appliance that just performs an everyday function.”

Lester Bailey's modified
1951 Coupe Deville

Randy Edison with his 1968 Eldorado

Interior of Andy Armstrong's
modified 1960 Eldorado Biarritz

Trunk had modified touches too

No show is complete
without a 1959 Cadillac

Carlisle Custom & Classics
modified 1963 Coupe Deville

Showfield's finest

Taking it all in!

Showroom glamour

More showfield

Debbie Taylor's modified
1965 Coupe Deville

Memphis, Tennessee's finest
circa 1960

After emcee Richard’s introductory remarks, we held the 50/50 raffle.  Scot Minesinger sold over $500 in tickets, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to support the Potomac Region’s activities, such as subsidizing the annual holiday party.  The winner of the other 50 percent was Frank Perch who drove his 1980 Fleetwood Brougham from Philadelphia to the show.  Frank had 1980 Philadelphia Phillies memorabilia on display in his car commemorating their World Series victory that year (pictured left).
Following the drawing, Richard announced the winning cars in each of the 12 judging classes (see list below).

The Honorable Emmett V. Jordan, Mayor of Greenbelt, presented the Mayor’s Choice Award to Fred Palmieri, Medford, NJ, for his 1998 Eldorado Convertible (pictured right).

Debbie Taylor announced the winner of the Ladies Choice Award, Dirke Williams, Laurel, MD,  for his 1963 Series 62 Convertible (pictured below right).

Mark E. Brodsky, Chevy Chase, MD, (pictured below right) received the Dealer’s Choice Award from Daniel Jobe for his Azure Blue 1953 Eldorado, which was being shown at Capitol Cadillac for the first time.  Mark was also presented the Henry S. Ruby Memorial Award by Dan Ruby.

Finally, were the Best of award winners!  The Best Pre-War car, the best Cadillac or LaSalle from 1942 and earlier, was awarded to James Elliott, Yorktown, VA, for 1903 Model A (pictured below).  James drove the first-year Cadillac in and out of the showroom.



The Best Post-War car (early) was awarded to Frank Tomasello, North Huntington, PA, for his 1959 Series 62 Coupe (pictured right).  Frank’s beautiful black 1959 won Best of Show at our 2014 Fall Car Show.

The Best Post-War car (late) was awarded to Dan Arnold, York, PA,  (pictured below right) for his modified, red 1967 Coupe Deville, one of the many beautiful modified cars on display in the showroom. 

Our most prestigious award, the Best of Show Award, went to John Denison, Upper Marlboro, MD, for his modified 1955 Coupe Deville (pictured above).  The workmanship (example below) was second to none on this day and most any other days!






Class A: Pre-War Modifieds (1902-1942)


Class B: Post-War Modifieds Early (1946-64)


Andy Armstrong
1960 Eldorado Biarritz
Clear Spring MD

Dirke Williams
1963 Series 62 Convertible
Laurel MD

Carlisle Custom & Classics
1963 Coupe Deville
Shippensburg PA


Lester Bailey
1951 Coupe Deville
Baltimore MD

Todd Duley
1963 Coupe Deville
Prince Frederick MD


Class C: Post-War Modifieds Late (1965-present)

Scot Minesinger
1970 Deville Convertible
Fairfax Station VA

Debbie Taylor
1965 Coupe Deville
Frederick MD

Class D: 1902
– 1942 Cadillac or LaSalle

Bryce Frey
1941 Series 62 Convertible
Chesapeake Beach MD

Dave Rutherford
1940 LaSalle Model 5219
Woodbridge VA


Class E: 1946
– 1958 Cadillac


Richard Sisson
1954 Eldorado
Potomac MD

Randy & Susan Denchfield
1949 Club Coupe
Chevy Chase MD


J. Roger Bentley
1955 Coupe Deville
Brinklow MD

George & Rita Boxley
1953 Series 60 Special
West River MD

Class F: 1959
– 1964 Cadillac

Carlos Ramirez
1959 Coupe Deville

Gaithersburg MD

David Robinson
1964 Sedan Deville

Damascus MD

Bob Norrid
1962 Series 62 Convertible

North Potomac MD

Class G: 1965
– 1970 Cadillac

Chuck & Debbie Piel
1967 Deville Convertible

Ellicott City MD


Robert Meekins
1970 Deville Convertible

Sykesville MD


Bill Hilliard
1969 Eldorado
Silver Spring MD

Scot Minesinger
1970 Sedan Deville

Fairfax Station VA

Class H: 1971 – 1976 Cadillac


Sam Tomasello
1971 Eldorado

Elizabeth Township PA


Lynn Gardner
1976 Fleetwood Talisman
Arlington VA

Earl Rutter
1974 Fleetwood Talisman

Philadelphia PA

Dale Darden
1973 Eldorado Convertible
Stevensville MD

Scott Patton
1974 Sedan Deville

Vienna VA

Class I: 1977
– 1986 Cadillac

Harry & Carol Yarnell
1978 Eldorado

Perryman MD

Joseph Chancio
1978 Eldorado

Waldorf MD

Frank Perch
1980 Fleetwood Brougham

Philadelphia PA

Class J: 1987
– 1996 Cadillac


Jim Hartnett
1992 Brougham

Kensington MD


Josh Pinho
1992 Allanté
Arlington VA

Jerry & Rita Trapani
1987 Fleetwood Brougham Station Wagon

East Islip NY

Ron Renoff
1996 Fleetwood Brougham

Severna Park MD


Class K: 1997
– Current Cadillac

Fred Palmieri
1998 Eldorado Convertible

Medford NJ

Allen Kenney
1997 Eldorado

Knoxville MD

Michael Carlin
2001 Seville SLS

New Windsor MD

Class L: Professional Vehicles

Ati Kovi
2010 DTS Livery

Potomac MD


(1942 and Earlier)

James Elliott
1903 Model A

Yorktown VA

BEST POST-WAR EARLY (1946 to 1964)

Frank Tomasello
1959 Series 62 Coupe

North Huntington PA

BEST POST-WAR LATE (1965 to Present)

Dan & Linda Arnold
1967 Coupe Deville

York PA


John Denison
1955 Coupe Deville

Fort Washington MD


Mark E. Brodsky
1953 Eldorado

Chevy Chase MD


Mark E. Brodsky
1953 Eldorado

Chevy Chase MD


Dirke Williams
1963 Series 62 Convertible

Laurel MD


Sam Tomasello
1971 Eldorado
Elizabeth Township PA

210 Miles


Fred Palmieri
1998 Eldorado Convertible

Medford NJ


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