Cadillac Kashmir Custom Roadster

Renowned vehicle stylist Rick Dore hails from New York but calls Arizona home. Dore’s resume is an impressive collection of automotive industry accolades, including the Harley Bradley Design Achievement award, World’s Most Beautiful Custom, Goodguy’s Custom d’Elegance award and the Harry Westergard award. Dore has also captured numerous design, style and paint awards at the Oakland Rod and Custom Show. A member of the Daryl Starbird Museum and the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame, he has also been named “Builder of the Year.” In print, Rick Dore Kustom creations have adorned the covers of Hot Rod, Street Rodder and Custom Rodder, and his works have been featured on Speed and Hot Rod TV.

With “Kashmir,” Rick Dore combined traditional custom-car modifications and techniques with Detroit “dream car” styling flair to produce a true piece of rolling sculpture. Rick Dore had always wanted to do a concept car, a Detroit styling exercise you might have seen at the International Auto Show on a turntable during the early 1950s. To fulfill his vision, Dore found a stock 1952 Cadillac two-door sedan in beautiful condition that had already been stripped to its bare metal. His first job was to reassemble the sheet metal to make sure the door and hood jambs met his exacting criteria. Next, the car was disassembled and a Chevy Nova front sub-frame with its independent front suspension was fitted to accommodate a new 330-hp Chevy crate motor and a Turbo 350 automatic transmission.

The roof of the Cadillac was cut away, and a custom-made windshield was installed into a solid steel frame. Starting at the front, the bumper was welded smooth. The original fog lamps were removed, the headlights were frenched, and the leading edge of the peaked hood was rolled forward. Scoops were added in the sides of the hood with a chrome spear trailing rearward. The top of the body along the side was sculpted so the doors sweep down from front to the rear; there is a graceful dip upward in the body line as the custom-made tonneau cover, incorporating twin streamlined head rests, comes into play. The rear quarter-panels were welded smooth, and the fender skirts were extended two inches lower.

Dore conceived all the interior modifications, addressing the tops of the doors, the foot wells, the center console and dashboard, as well as the forward portion of the hard tonneau surrounding the rear seat backs. Topped with a dazzling pearlescent blue finish, this dream car was buffed and polished to a magical brilliance before its triumphant show debut. The story of the blue hue is interesting; in 2003, while visiting an outdoor market in Venice, Italy, he spotted an electric blue shawl being sold by a Moroccan vendor. “That’s exactly the color I want for my Cadillac roadster!” he thought as he bought the item for his wife. On the label, it said “Kashmir” – lending the car its exotic name!

By 2005, “Kashmir” had completed a national tour of 13 of the top auto shows on the circuit. During the tour, it won Best of Show at a half-dozen major events, as well as Best Paint and Best Design, the GM Design Award, and Best Engineered and Best Interior awards at the 2004 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.

350 hp, 350 cu. in. Chevrolet ZZ4 V-8 engine with Holley carburetor, THM 350 three-speed automatic transmission, 1952 Cadillac chassis with Chevrolet Nova front sub-frame and independent suspension, front and rear Air Ride suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic power brakes. 

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

Gallery: Cadillac Kashmir Custom Roadster