Bruce and Cheryl Conwell’s 1949 “Wickcad” Cadillac Sedanette from Wichita, Kansas took home the Goodguys 2018 Custom of the Year award presented by Street Rod Headquarters last weekend in Pleasanton, California. The Conwells’ radical Caddy by builder Chris Carlson in Mulvane, Kansas reigned supreme, although it faced stiff competition from Kevin Anderson’s ’47 Cadillac, Cliff Mattis’ ’41 Buick, Mike Garner’s ’50 Mercury, and Chuck Mayo’s ’62 Coupe DeVille.

The winning custom has been radically reproportioned yet retains a profile similar to the original, albeit streamlined for a contemporary look. Sitting atop an air ride-assisted Roadster Shop chassis, the roof was perfectly chopped 2.5-inches in front and 5-inches in the trunk, making for a graceful flow. The B-pillars were laid forward but that’s just the beginning of the masterful metal mods on this custom. The drip rails were reshaped, the quarters were welded to the body, the top portion of the trunklid was massaged, and the rear bumper was moved down 3-inches, which puts it in line with the side trim and handmade new rear rollpan. See those curved rockers? They were flared out 1.5-inches, adding a sweet aesthetic. From those rockers to the frame are handmade belly pans. That is only some of the work done to the rear of this car!

Goodguys 2018 Custom of the Year, Goodguys

 

In front, the body mods get completely radical. Carlson pulled out the hood nearly 12-inches to make a peak (which extends through the center of the hood) then pancaked it and wedge cut it 1.75-inches. From the headlights and ’56 Olds trim rings forward is all new hand shaped metal. That’s a ’55 Cadillac front bumper cut in 30 different places to get the fit and desired shape! The top grille bar is ’46 Cad. As you can see, Carlson added a rounded radius to both the front of the rocker and over the wheel well opening to the front bumper. The lower front fender was brought down about 1.75-inches so the bottom of the car is flush to the ground and the front fender bodyline was also removed. Whew! Carlson truly is an artist in terms of visualizing radical mods made to look factory. He outdid himself here. When prepped and primed it was shot with a custom paint blend resembling factory Madeira Maroon Metallic.

Underneath the radically reshaped hood lies a customized LS3 making 525hp – enough beans to haul around all that heavy metal. Atop the V8 is an Edelbrock dual cross ram throttle body with a custom engine cover.

Goodguys 2018 Custom of the Year, Goodguys

There is even more metal magic inside the cabin. Carlson reshaped the dash along with a new transmission hump and a new lowered floorpan, and he crafted the wood garnish mouldings with aluminum trim. Underneath all that are custom belly pans. Walt’s upholstery stitched up the squash- and cinnamon-hued leather and fabric trim. It’s spectacular!

Goodguys 2018 Custom of the Year, Goodguys

And those aluminum wheels? They’re from Circle Racing Wheels with custom Caddy centers. They measure 17×7-inches all around rolling on Diamond Back Classic wide whites.

Goodguys 2018 Custom of the Year, Goodguys

This is the second time Carlson has built a car and headed west to Pleasanton to compete for Custom of the Year honors. He and Buddy Jordan were here in 2016 with a black cherry ’47 Cadillac which earned a Top 5 placing. With the Conwells’ “Wickcad,” Carlson kicked the door down to bust through with his first-ever Goodguys Top 12 award winner. You will see this car on tour with Goodguys at select events throughout the summer before heading to the Goodguys Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale, Arizona where it will be a featured Top 12 winner.
Goodguys 2018 Custom of the Year, Goodguys

 
Congratulations to the Conwells, Chris Carlson and all of the other finalists for the great competition!