Cars We Love: 1948 Cadillac Custom Sedanette “The Phantom”


According to, the 1948 Cadillac Sedanette is not only one of the 25 Sexiest Cars of All Time, but it also epitomizes the design mastery of Cadillac. It is certainly a beautiful car, and the perfect candidate for a creative customization like no other. We’ll show you that in a second. But first, check out the smooth curves on this car – the beautiful slope of the roof down to the back end; the elegant, protruding fenders; and the baby fins that foreshadow the glamorous designs to come in the next decade.

In 1989, the renowned California hot rod builder Boyd Coddington and the designer Larry Erickson customized a 1948 Sedanette for Billy Gibbons, the lead singer and guitarist of ZZ Top. Gibbons wanted a car that acknowledged the past while looking to the future; he also wanted a car that could actually be driven – and fast. He got all this, and more, in the hot rod known as CadZZilla. CadZZilla brings together design elements from the forties, fifties, and sixties to create a truly stunning vehicle that invokes a sense of movement even when it’s standing still. It’s said that the customization cost around $900,000.

You can get a closer look at CadZZilla in this video of Gibbons driving the car in the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England. It may look more like a gigantic puma on the prowl than it does a Cadillac, but if you can look past the sleek slope of the car’s body, you can still see glimpses of the original Sedanette. It was a beautiful car to start, and it’s been turned into a piece of art.



Photo by Philip Kromer and That Hartford Guy



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