And now for something completely different. The Fleet Equipment staff was lucky enough to have a front row seat as the automotive aftermarket side of our company took on one of the coolest, and most challenging video projects we’ve ever attempted: Take a 33-year-old Cadillac Brougham with more than 180,000 miles on the odometer, fix it up and drive it 2,500 miles, down Route 66, from our HQ in Akron, Ohio, the the bright lights of Las Vegas in time for AAPEX, biggest show in the automotive aftermarket. (And a show that’s related to Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week, which we cover every year.)
As Babcox Media’s Joe Keene says in the first episode, “It’s about the journey,” and the ASE-certified technician had a long road ahead of him as he brought the Cadillac up to a safe standard. With the help of aftermarket suppliers and experts, Keene conquered the leaking transmission, an air suspension that didn’t work, and a complete lack of air conditioning (which could have made a drive through the desert even longer), to name a few challenges.
“There were a lot of things about the car that weren’t specified in the ad,” Keene said with a laugh. “It floated, the steering was all over the place, the windows didn’t work–just all kinds of things going on with it. But I didn’t want something easy. I wanted something that was going to be an ‘are you going to make it’ moment every time I get in the car.”
Combing through junk yards, testing the counterman’s expertise in hunting down new parts for an old car, and a trip to Ohio Technical College were just a few stops Joe makes to whip the Caddy into shape.
Watch the first episode above to see how Joe takes a clunker and, with expert help from the automotive aftermarket, gets it ready to tackle The Road to AAPEX.
Make/Model: Cadillac Brougham
Hometown: Arlington, Texas
Mileage: 180,000+ miles
Engine: 307 LV2 Olds V8
Power: 140 hp and 245 lb/ft
Weight: 4,500 lbs.
Length: 20 ft
Fuel Capacity: 21 Gallons
Fuel Economy: 15 City/22 Highway
Transmission: Remanufactured Turbo-Hydramatic 200-4R
Brakes: Front Vented Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
Air Conditioning: R134a Conversion
Air Bags: None