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Access: Sports Cars: Steve Montador's Cadillac Escalade

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

from this month's issue of Unrestricted

Panthers defenseman Steve "Monty" Montador's Cadillac Escalade made the long trek from Calgary down to Florida when he was traded in December of 2005. A Canadian-registered vehicle, the speedome-ter reads in kilometers. "I've gotten up to about 180 KM/h," he said, quickly doing the math to let the metrically un-inclined know that is about 110 mph. The car isn't exactly loaded with the splendor of flat screens, spinners and 15-inch subs. It is a practical car.

"I like the bigger cars because it is safer for me," Monty said. As far as what's under the hood, Monty admits he is mechanically challenged. However, there was a chip added to the engine to allow for better gas mileage. "It is a V-8, but I don't know much about cars, I leave that to the professionals," he said. "I know how to gas it up, park it and drive it and that's about it." Unrestricted takes a look.

The Story

The Escalade originally was Panthers goalie Jamie "Noodles" McLennan's, but he sold it to Montador while both were playing for the Calgary Flames. Last month Unrestricted featured Noodles' 1972 Cadillac El Dorado — apparently, goalies enjoy Caddies. "He sold it to me and says he gave me a good deal ... I don't know about that," Montador says.

The Modifications

The car comes loaded with standard features, including a dash that lets a driver know how many miles are left until they need to refuel. A six-disc CD changer was installed, and it houses Johnny Cash and a CD mix Monty's sister burned for him. On-Star is a standard feature in most cars these days. The third row of seats is a nice addition, but Monty decided the extra space in the back was more important, so "I threw the seats in a dumpster somewhere up in Calgary. I was going to sell it and realized that might be a feature someone would have liked."

The Wheels

At the request of Montador, a closer analysis of the wheels reveals some white powder remaining from a recent incident at a fellow Panthers home involving Montador, an "invisible" curb and some white landscaping rocks. Montador says he has some 22-inch Elite rims back in Calgary, but, "I think I am past that stage, so if you want to buy them ..."

The Air Freshener

Hanging from the rearview mirror is a blue dolphin air freshener he bought two weeks before being traded to Florida. While the freshness has dried out, the dolphin stays on as a fitting representation of Monty's new home in South Florida. "I had a name for him, but I can't remember ... Riley maybe?"

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