Brenda & Don Waters’ 1966 Cadillac Calais
When building a custom, it never hurts to start with the “Standard of the World” – a Cadillac. Classic Caddys have strong style, so crafting a tasteful custom version is largely about refining that style. That’s what the team at Big Oak Garage did with “Mer-Low,” the beautiful ’66 Cadillac Calais built for Brenda and Don Waters.
A low stance was achieved using a Choppin’ Block front suspension, PMT Fab rear four link, and RideTech air spring management, with big-inch Baer brakes behind 20-inch Schott wheels. Big-time modern power came in the form of a supercharged Chevrolet Performance LT4 crate engine that was nicely detailed in rose gold paint and backed with a 10L90 transmission.
Special attention was given to the car’s bumpers; the front was welded into one piece and smoothed, and both front and rear bumpers were tucked tight to the body. The Big Oak crew also built custom side trim, fine-tuned the fit on all panels, and invested countless hours in block sanding before the beautiful custom-mixed Axalta candy red finish was applied.
Inside, the seats received custom-cut foam and beautiful maroon Moore & Giles leather paired with textured vinyl, all stitched by Ricky Howard. Fresh chrome plating and paint highlights the mostly stock dash.
Photos by Damon Lee & Steven Bunker