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Author Topic: 1970 Eldorado races the 1986 SCCA autocross in Fayetteville, Arkansas  (Read 4253 times)
CadVetteStang
Eldorado Autocross Racer
C2
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Posts: 52


"BattleCar Cadillactica" at home in the pylons


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« on: July 08, 2009, 04:21:54 AM »

I found some old pictures of me restoring and racing my 70 Eldorado in the SCCA autocross. Most of these pics are in very bad condition. They had been cut up and placed in a collage on a cork board that hung above my bed in my college dorm room. I found that cork board last year in storage, but it had water damage. These are the pics that I could salvage (they are not the best pictures- only the surviving ones) - I am still looking for the negatives to make another set.

I checked with John “JM” and he suggested I post this here in Cadillac Racing Heritage.



My Driving: Brief Background- We had a large back yard (see picture above). My father had access to a supply of pylons. Before I got the Eldorado (or had ever heard of an autocross) I learned to drive with a Datsun pickup truck, and practiced my maneuvering in a homemade pylon course setup in the backyard since age 14. The better I became, the more difficult I set up the course and the faster I drove. I eventually put broom sticks in the pylons and set them to one inch clearance between the side rearview mirrors. When that got boring, I started driving the course in reverse. (I really tore up the yard).
  


1970 Eldorado: Brief background- I got the car when I was 15 (back in 1981) It was a gift that my dad had bought for my mom for $600. It was Turquoise, dented, and scraped up by a 16 year-old girl who got it from her parents but said it was too big to drive. My mom did not want the car because of the gas mileage. I asked if I could have it- and it became an early 16th birthday present. (How many kids have ever been lucky enough to say that their first car was the legendary 70 Eldorado?)

We painted it White because the A/C was going to be too expensive to fix and it was the only color that looked right with the Turquoise interior. My uncle (now deceased) is the guy without a shirt who is painting it. He learned how to paint while in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. He was in the motor pool and his unit used to steal Army Jeeps and re-paint them with Air Force colors and numbers. Air Force “creative acquisitions”?



 It was the third fastest car at my high school and I street raced it while I was in college. My favorite opponent (victim) in 1986 was the ‘86 IROC Z because I could beat them in the drags as well as in the corners.  My first autocross, however, was not until 1985, and it was at the U of A in Fayetteville. I had only mild success- beating half of the Camaros, Trans Ams and Mustangs. I was told later by observers that my front wheels were folding over; when the race was over, I had asphalt scrapes on the outer lips of the hubcaps and the whitewalls were deeply scraped. I was running BF Goodrich 235/75 R15s on the stock 15X6 rims. However, In 1986 I still had the stock rims, but was running Pirelli 215/75 R15s that had tread which folded over onto the sidewalls and had recessed whitewalls between two flat racing slick-like areas on the sidewall which allowed the tire to grip when folded over during hard cornering (performance tires for soft suspensions).





Being a Cadillac, my car was the obvious underdog and some spectators laughed when they saw me entering it. However, my first practice run followed the second practice run of a teenager-driven Porsche 944. When I put up faster numbers, I received a standing ovation from a “wowed” crowd that realized my entry was no joke.



 I had also cut the exhaust off of the car a few days before the race in 86 because the dual wall pipes had collapsed on themselves. The final part of the autocross run was a 300 foot straight stretch that opened up coming out of the hair pin turn and ran right in front of the bleachers. The spectators got all 500 cubic inches through straight pipes at close range under WOT as I would go through the finish. I heard reports that the car shook the windows on every building at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. The SCCA officials said it was the biggest and loudest car to ever compete in one of their events. (Pictures were taken at the parking lot of Razorback Stadium)




The night before the 1986 autocross, I spent hours practicing in a vacant parking lot.  I showed up at the competition with a mission: That morning, I was able to beat the Camaro, Trans Am, Mustang crowd and had my eyes set on the Corvettes. I was on the heals of the new C4 Vettes and gained local notoriety from that. Unfortunately, there were no C3 Vettes there; only 25 total cars showed up because of early morning rain that had most people convinced the event was canceled. When my last and fastest competition run beat the slower first three runs of an 84 Vette, the other Vette drivers got together in a group and schooled the 84 driver in a few lessons. They also gave him a lecture about how he, “had better not let a Cadillac make them all look bad”. After some expert coaching, he improved his time by over a second and a half and his best run was a full second ahead of mine (which was a second behind the slower of the other three C4 Vettes). In the end, I did not beat any of the C4s and the teenager did improve his Porsche’s run times so that they were faster than mine. However, I do have the bragging rights that I beat the Camaros, Trans Ams and Mustangs while giving C4 Corvette owners (and a Porsche 944 owner) some serious competition in a bone stock, lead sled, Eldorado with 6” wide wheels and whitewalls. Also, my car was the only one that got a standing ovation after every competition and practice run. The crowd could not believe that an Eldorado was “kicking butt and taking names” in a competition that is dominated by sports cars and muscle cars.

I finished 12th out of 26 total cars that year. Because of the low turnout, they ran F, G and H classes together. I finished 5th out of 12 in that combine class. I’ve been trying to find official SCCA time records for that event, but have so far been unable.  This is a link to SCCA classifications: http://www.moutons.org/sccasolo/Lists/2003/stockc.html



Unfortunately, I arrived too late to compete in 1987. And then in 1988 they had us all drive a Dodge Daytona in some type of “Daytona Challenge” (What a letdown). Then later that year, I blew the engine in my 70 Eldo in a road race with a Porsche 911. We were side-by-side as he was slowly passing me, when at 85 MPH, a lean fuel mixture disintegrated half of a piston. [I was still able to drive it home- (max speed 50 MPH). - -- Not that driving a car with a blown engine is a good idea, but my mechanic said if he didn’t see it, he wouldn’t have believed it.)

The car was almost fixed three different times (and there is a story behind each failure). The last time was when I pulled the car out of storage to modify my garage for its restoration getting it ready for my 20th high school reunion. The day after I moved the car outside, a large Oak Tree limb fell on it denting the hood, busting a hole in the windshield the size of a basket ball, and ripping the rearview mirror off of the door. It has since sat in a field awaiting a full restoration and during the past few years has served duty as a condo for squirrels, birds, snakes and who knows what else….. Someday, I’ll put it back together…… Someday.  And when I do, It won’t be a stocker. Then, the “Battlecar Cadillactica” with a stiff road racing suspension, 20 X 9.5” wheels, Z rated tires, and an additional 100 horsepower will have another autocross appointment with a few (now antique) C4 Corvettes. It will also be interesting to see how the car does against Camaros and Mustangs of the 90s and today.

Cody G. Carson
« Last Edit: July 08, 2009, 08:01:26 AM by CadVetteStang » Logged

“Battlecar Cadillactica” 70 Eldo that raced SCCA autocross in 1985 & 1986

“The Cadinator” 82 Eldo w/ TBI injected 472 and autocross handling pkg.

“CadVetteStang” 72 Fastback Mustang w/ Caddy 500; awaiting a cage & C4 Vette front suspension when the guy storing it- sold it w/o permission
ST Dog
C4
****
Posts: 499



« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 11:14:54 AM »

Thanks for the great story.

Shame about the tree. I hope you get on it soon. History shows that once a car gets neglected like that it seldom comes back.
Instead it becomes a parts car or less.

My first car was a '69 SDV. Locked the engine up when changing the timing set and didn't pack the pump/prime the oil system.
It sat, and was fine for years, then was moved out of the way. The back window was shot out at some point and it quickly became too much to hope to repair.
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CadVetteStang
Eldorado Autocross Racer
C2
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Posts: 52


"BattleCar Cadillactica" at home in the pylons


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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 11:45:13 AM »

I hope you get on it soon. History shows that once a car gets neglected like that it seldom comes back. Instead it becomes a parts car or less.

The problem is that I do not have a place to store it at my house, and it is 120 miles away behind a friend’s body shop at the edge of the woods sitting beside my modified 82 Eldo. I had to move both of them off of my property when the neighbors complained and that was my only free storage option at the time. It’ll cost me $350- $400 to send a rollback to get them, and I still don’t have a place to take them to. I worry about loosing both of them -especially the 70 since the 82 has no racing history or sentimental value. The 82 has more handling potential and would give me a better racing chance against the cars of today, but there is just something about that 70 that makes it hard to let go of---and I could easily replace the 82.  I have thought about selling them so they won’t just rust away, but they are not worth much and if I sold the 70, then there would be no hope of getting it back.

I have some serious low cost modifications worked out for the 70 that will have it cornering as flat as an 84 Vette; I just hope my finances get right again so I can build it. My memories of the 1986 race are dear to me, but I want to make new memories (and I’d like those to include a few trophies and Camaro beating videos)   Grin    
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“Battlecar Cadillactica” 70 Eldo that raced SCCA autocross in 1985 & 1986

“The Cadinator” 82 Eldo w/ TBI injected 472 and autocross handling pkg.

“CadVetteStang” 72 Fastback Mustang w/ Caddy 500; awaiting a cage & C4 Vette front suspension when the guy storing it- sold it w/o permission
ST Dog
C4
****
Posts: 499



« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 12:11:18 PM »

I swore for 15 years I'd get my '69 back on the road, before finally realizing it wasn't going to happen.
I then bought the '70 I have now.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 10:10:56 PM by ST Dog » Logged

dave brode
C5
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Posts: 1074


Best of 11.66, 113.96, 1.59 sixty


« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 02:43:43 PM »

Neat story.
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3960 lb '71 C-10. 11.7-1 CR 514". PEP I beam rods floating MTS 18cc dish Probes, Elgin solid cam, home ported heads, MTS 2.19/1.84", Potter/Probe shaft rockers, edel 2115, 4781 850. Switch-pitch TH400, 12" 1800/3200 Tri-Shield convertor, 4.30 gears. Best so far of 11.66, 114.8 mph and 1.59 sixty
fuzz
C2
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Posts: 67


« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 05:14:46 PM »

Great stories Cody ..thanks for sharing and best of luck.
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Live your life so the preacher doesn't have to lie at your funeral!!
CadVetteStang
Eldorado Autocross Racer
C2
**
Posts: 52


"BattleCar Cadillactica" at home in the pylons


WWW
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2009, 06:23:39 AM »

I have had some PM requests and requests from a similar thread in other forums about showing pictures of the car after sitting for 25 years in a field. The closest thing I could find was one taken in 2004 when I cleaned the car up and did a wheel test fit. It sits high in the front because I still have the disassembled engine in my garage with a .030 over bore in the block that is just now starting to show signs of rust. I had been coating the cylinder walls with oil to preserve them, but now they will at least need a fresh hone. 



I had my son take a digital picture of this picture last night and transfer it to my jump drive. If you look close, you can see the back edge of the hood bend down at about the middle of the car. The black plastic covers a basketball sized hole in the windshield, and the rearview mirror has been ripped off.

I hope I can get the car back soon. 
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“Battlecar Cadillactica” 70 Eldo that raced SCCA autocross in 1985 & 1986

“The Cadinator” 82 Eldo w/ TBI injected 472 and autocross handling pkg.

“CadVetteStang” 72 Fastback Mustang w/ Caddy 500; awaiting a cage & C4 Vette front suspension when the guy storing it- sold it w/o permission
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