Ken Caskey's 1937 Cadillac 60 Series Coupe
(from Volume 27, Issue 332)

photos by owner / builder Ken Caskey


Throughout over 30 years of building custom cars for clients as owner of Kidd Darrins Custom Built Cars, Cadillac Ken always wanted to build a nice 30’s Cadillac Coupe into a Street Rod. However, as the years past, the prices on these cars as “original” kept increasing upward making transforming one into a nice Street Rod, for the most part, not feasible.

One day while cruising the internet car sites he landed on Hemmings Motor News. There in the Cadillac section he found this ‘37 Cadiilac listed in Kentucky. It had been built as a Street Rod in the seventies. So as the sin of cutting up an old Cadillac Coupe had already been committed, he felt this was the Cadillac to resurrect and build back to a 21st Century Street Rod.

The car had no engine or transmission. It was without a seat or interior and it was truly only a roller. But most of what he needed was all there. So the trip to Kentucky was made and the deal sealed.

The car took Ken five years to build. It was trying, frustrating, and most of all - as he put it “totally worth the sacrifice of time and money”. It was the car he always wanted to build. Yet the daily rigors of running Kidd Darrins Custom Built Cars as well as life in general kept his dream on the back burner.

He soldiered on with the build adding hand fabricated touches that totaled hundreds of hours in themselves. As the car neared completion, a fellow enthusiast saw the Custom Cadillac in his shop. He was so impressed he put a call into a close friend of his to come see the car. At the time Ken had no idea that the “close friend” after seeing the Caddy would contact the Detroit Autorama and have the Show Chairman invite the car to contend for the 2022 Ridler award. Which they did. The car was accepted as one of only 21 contenders nationwide. The car was named CADITUDE - a Cadillac with Attitude - and custom made emblems adorn the car in select places.

The upgrades are subtle. The exterior of the car is completely stock and the only modification was the louvers on the hood, done to hint that there is something more than the old flathead in the engine bay. Ken installed a 500 cubic inch Eldorado engine (featuring a custom made air cleaner that took over 100 hours to fabricate) with a TH400 transmission behind it. This Cadillac has all the upgrades and features: electric exhaust cut outs to straight pipes (to give this Cad attitude), power windows, power steering, 4-wheel power disc brakes, air conditioning, power locks, tilt and telescopic steering column, electric powered cowl vent, and more. The subtleties include an electric release fuel door, hand fabricated turn signal indicator on the dash, cable operated gear selector (no turn signals or automatic transmissions in 1937) and an automatic electric trick drop down rear license tag unit fabricated from scratch of Ken’s own design.

This 60 Series Coupe is a rare car on all counts. Less than 500 are estimated by the National Cadillac La Salle Club members to have been made as records are no longer available. Certainly, very few remain. This is a superb Custom that retains all the class and stature of a Cadillac with a little Hot Rod Attitude. This, as well as being recognized as a world class Custom by the Autorama selection committee, I’d say Ken has obtained his dream! CN