Who Needs a New Escalade When a 20-Foot-Long Cadillac Fleetwood Station Wagon Exists?
Half the cost, twice the class.
Here's an essential question for you—if nothing but a big Caddy will do, why spend six figures on a fully-loaded 2021 Escalade when you can buy something like this rare, perfectly preserved 1976 Cadillac Castilian Fleetwood Estate Wagon for less than half the price? It wins out in all the important measures, like sheer comfort and dollar-per-foot. Not to mention it's a better old-money flex in the way a Cadillac used to be; fitting that instead of eBay or Bring a Trailer, it's for sale on RM Sotheby's new online auction platform with bidding currently at $18,500.
This station wagon is one of only eleven reportedly built in 1976 and has a hair over 20,000 miles showing on the odometer, hailing from an era when Cadillacs could still pull off a set of longhorns and chrome ashtrays. The Castilian is a custom job done up by Traditional Coachworks in Chatsworth, California, which made a name for itself in the mid-1970s by converting Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham sedans into a limited run of pricey longroofs. Dean Martin owned one, to give you an idea of the sort of clientele it attracted.
The funny thing about these Castilian wagons is that they do not have a third row, even though they are the size of a long-bed Chevy Silverado Duramax. Bumper to bumper this is a wagon is nearly 20 feet long with only two rows of seats. There is something deviously charming about the selfishness '70s land yachts express. Telling the world that you need all this steel, leather, and glass, to haul you and a reasonable-sized family around town. Instead of a third row, you get a carpeted studio-size apartment to carry all of your upper-crust problems.
The Castilian wears an Innsbruck Blue exterior coat with an Ivory leather interior complimented with burl trim and blue Mounton carpets. The ore that rows this boat is an 8.2-liter 500-ci V8 using a three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. It may only produce 190 horsepower, thanks to emission standards of the mid-1970s, but who needs speed when you can simply lean back and glide through life? Bask in the luxury of the one-finger power steering while maneuvering all 5,300 pounds of get-out-of-my-way.
And don't talk to me about practicality—with the back row folded flat, that cavernous interior can swallow up just about anything. Plus, the money saved on purchasing the Castilian over a new Escalade can be used to feed the 500ci-mill with only the finest of premium fuels.
Or invest in an LS V8 engine and turn this AARP-platinum shuttle into a six-passenger speed boat.
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