It’s one thing to read about the sheer size of one of these classic American land yachts. It’s a whole other thing to encounter one in person. Simply put, this thing is huge.
So huge, that armed only with my iPhone camera, I really had no good way to capture the whole car in the parking lot.
I contend that the magnificence of this vehicle can’t be adequately conveyed through photos. No, you need to be standing physically next to it. For example, it’s only in person where you realize that the trunk lid is about the size of one of those portable dance floors that you might find at a wedding.
From my up close perspective, it seemed to me that there would be room for the bride, groom, and at least several members of the wedding party to take up residence in the trunk whether or not they’re dancing.
While this 1963 Cadillac may not be the longest, widest or lowest American production car, it’s pretty close. The convertible top makes the car an inch taller than its coupe equivalent (although the data seems unclear as to whether this is true, or if they are actually the same height). But at 18.5′ (223″) long and 79.7″ wide, it is considerably bigger – longer at least by around 2′ – than just about anything else passing as a car on today’s roads.
I say “car” because actually, the Caddy is almost the same length and width as the Nissan Frontier truck it was parked next to in this picture. The Nissan is 17.5′ (a foot shorter than the Cadillac) and 74.7″ wide (only 5″ narrower than the Cadillac). But this is where height makes all the difference. The Nissan truck is at least 73″ tall. The Cadillac is 56.4″ high if stock, and this one looked to me to be riding at stock height. That’s about a foot and a half lower than the truck. The end result is something in my opinion much more resplendent. Something more evocative of adult transportation and sensibilities than a real life Tonka truck. So says the guy who’s had much more experience playing with Tonka trucks than driving 1960s Cadillacs. Maybe that’s just one of those the-grass-is-always-greener situations.
For what it’s worth, the Cadillac is also also probably kinder than the Nissan to pedestrians or other vehicles if it were to end up plowing into them. Something of course no one would wish upon this whale of a car or its driver.
Likewise, the Nissan weighs about 4700 pounds (depending on configuration). The curb weight of the Cadillac is 4720. So it is roughly the same as the truck. I don’t imagine that this 1963 Cadillac is actually going to crash into man, beast, or fellow vehicle; but if it were to, it would be sort of like the difference between getting hit by a fat guy on a skateboard versus being run down by a locomotive. Neither would be a happy proposition, but as a pedestrian, I’ll take being tossed into the air by the skateboard versus winding up plastered like a bug on the bumper of the truck. Research seems to agree with me.
Moving to less morbid topics, I’m sure that the owner of this car has heard their fair share of Moby Dick jokes. After all, this particular car sort of defines white whale and that is in keeping with the whole nautical theme that comes to mind upon seeing it.
Nevertheless, I found this subject Cadillac in front of a food establishment that absolutely had nothing to do with nautical themes or whales.
Which is quite unlike this other establishment that comes to (my) mind; a restaurant which one would suppose to be all about leviathans of the white variety. This place is likely familiar to many (most?) DC-area residents; and/or apparently residents of Tehran in pre-revolution days…of which there were many, many, such folk in DC in the late 1970s. Never daring to eat at House of Kabob back in the day, I used to suppose that the idea behind the Moby Dick restaurant was that they served whale kabobs. That thought alone kept me from passing through their doors.
As usual, I was wrong. The kabob restaurant really had nothing to do with actual whales. Go figure. It just turns out that the founder (back in Tehran) liked the book, so he named his restaurant after it. If he’d been an Alcott fan, we might have had the Little Women House of Kabob right there at 31st and M NW.
I live a short distance from the actual Little Women house in Concord, MA. Sadly that place is lacking both kabobs and 1963 Cadillacs. Clearly, for those keeping score, Melville wins again.
People to this day apparently love Moby Dick House of Kebob. As one might note in reference to me, ignorance is the parent of fear. And let’s just say that fear doesn’t get you tasty kabobs for dinner.
Unless you have your sights set on whale kabobs, there aren’t many impediments at the the deutsche metzgerei to finding all manner of grillables. Just before Independence Day this year, the Smokehouse of the Catskills was jam-packed with customers grooving on all manner of German sausage. This includes me. I in fact know nothing about the intricacies of German sausage (is it permissible to use the words “intricacies” and “sausage” in the same sentence?), but I do know that this is the only place along my frequently-traveled routes to acquire unique things such as fresh Weisswurst and Nürnberger Rostbratwurst as well as proper soft pretzels and Bavarian mustard. (“Mustard Museum”??? Who would have thought?)
Being a fan of authentic foods (except obviously for whale) from all corners of the world, I welcome the opportunity to purchase something like this sausage and have a meal representative of a very different part of the world than Massachusetts. In the case of German sausage, this is rather attainable since the preparation skills are not appreciably different from fixing up a batch of all-American hot dogs (which of course are also sold at the Smokehouse, and are equally unfathomable by those who disdain eating dead animals). All of which makes me feel like I ought to go sit in my car to eat it in order to get the total Munich experience.
Over my way, we too generally don’t believe that sausage is something that should be eaten often. But still it is “good”, and I read that “Nürenberger sausage is an essential addition to every family Barbecue in Germany”. OK, well that’s cool. Let’s just chalk this up to being a special occasion. Furthermore, no one who’s not there should ever get to question what constitutes a good family barbecue. It is what it is. Just like this 1963 Cadillac. There is nothing else really like this on the road today. It’s definitely an exotic from some bygone corner of time. While I wouldn’t want to have to live with it every day – just as I couldn’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t eat sausage every day – it brings pleasure to anyone fascinated with that which is unusual (to them).
That pretty much sums me up.
I suspect that this 1963 Series 62 is owned by someone who works at the metzgerei. I wonder if this may be the car that weisswurst wrought. If that’s true, then it’s possible that on some days they tuck into the wurst in the Cadillac’s interior…along with the 6 or 7 friends who would clearly fit in the car. Plus the wedding party in the trunk.
Well, maybe not that guy…he’s no fun at all.
Hopefully, someone will remember to bring extra mustard.