Watch a Man Revive a 1970 Cadillac DeVille Stuck in a Field for 20 Years
…and immediately send it to 90 mph on the highway.
Time after time, we've featured stories of rare, interesting, or otherwise remarkable cars that get abandoned out in the wilderness like ruins of a lost civilization. It's tempting to dream about mounting a rescue mission—but come on, that Honda NSX is toast. That Lotus Elite is gross. That GM EV1 is a dusty doorstop. A truly abandoned vehicle needs a CVS receipt's-worth of repairs to get back on the road. Right?
Wrong, if Derek Bieri of Vice Grip Garage has anything to say about it. The talented mechanic and deadpan YouTuber is known for his classic restoration projects, saving old American cars from the brink of scrappage. He's got an extensive website and social media presence if you want a feel for his work, which ranges from beautiful full-on restorations to strong patina'd runners. But this, this is the real backyard stuff.
In this hour-long video—I wouldn't be sharing it if it wasn't well worth the time—Bieri takes us through the process of pulling a 1970 Cadillac DeVille from the mudhole in Minnesota it's called home for the last 20 years and getting it to start up. There's no fancy footwork on display here, just the unstoppable skills of a man who's seen all this before. Bieri's weird humor and flat Minnesota accent make it all the more engrossing. The first start is at 30:45 in the video below:
Once Bieri manages to get it running and changes the tires, it's not long until he's powering up the grassy hill towards the road, snapping saplings and marveling at the power. There's a stuck caliper in the back, but it doesn't stop him from pushing it to 60 mph on county roads and 90+ mph on the highway. There's definitely some smoke and burning smells, but come on, that's a successful first drive for a car that hadn't moved since the Clinton administration.
You can question the wisdom and safety of taking an unregistered, 50-year-old crapcan to 90 mph mere hours after it was put back on the road. But you can't question the skill it took to make that possible.