For our latest “Hot Rods You Should Know” feature vehicle, this is especially true, as its unique design, quality finish, and big names behind the build made it an instant icon of the industry — one that has sparked interest in the hot rod and custom worlds spanning a number of generations since its debut in 1989.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the car has appeared alongside Gibbons at a number of affairs, as well as starred in a couple of television show appearances dedicated to his great enthusiasm for the hot rod industry.
Rendered by one of the head designers for Cadillac back in the 1980s, Larry Erickson, CadZZilla is a car like no other. Based on the 1948 Series 62 Cadillac — a car of relative rarity and one that boasts the claim to the first appearance of Cadillac’s iconic tailfins — CadZZilla is a mix of early post-WWII Cadillac design and artistic customization at the hands of both Erickson and Coddington’s metal artisan at the time of the build, Craig Naff.
Working for the one and only Coddington in the ’80s, Naff took Erickson’s revised car design and got to work, shaping new and old sheetmetal alike into the aesthetically pleasing custom lead sled you see here.
Featuring a chopped roofline, fully welded front clip with a sectioned hood and front fender combination that tilts open in one fell swoop, Frenched headlights, and custom tapering along the sides of the car that flows effortlessly into the lowered and fully blended rear quarters. CadZZilla is simply like no other custom build out there. Just one look, and you know you’re looking at an icon.
Add the initial shock value of the build to that sweet custom House of Color’s deep purple paint scheme and a one-of-a-kind interior, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a legend, with or without a rock star owner. And to think, this was a car that debuted not in the 2010s, but in the 1980s!
Underneath, the car boasts a custom steel frame and suspension system featuring Koni coilovers, 1985 Corvette steering components, a Currie 9-inch rearend, and front disc brakes. All of this is capped off with 22-inch, two-piece billet aluminum wheels made to look like classic Caddy wheel covers up front, and fully skirted 22s in the rear. This baby is meant to drive!
A truly remarkable custom, CadZZilla continues to set the precedent for custom builds. And with a look that good and a name so recognizable, you know it will be that way for generations to come!