When Florida Panthers goalie Jamie "Noodles" McLennan signed as an unrestricted free agent in July of 2004, he made a promise to himself. "I said when I move to South Florida I'm going to grow my hair long and buy a Cadillac."
Breaking away from the pro athlete mold of brand new Benz-ies and Bentley's, McLennan went to a local auction and picked up a 1972 white Cadillac El Dorado with red leather interior for "a price."
What McLennan's ride lacks in technology – there are no plasma TV's, GPS systems or autopilots – it more than makes up for in style. Floridapanthers.com takes a look.
Engine type:Overhead valves. Cast iron block
Displacement:472 cubic inches (7.7 litres)
Bore and stroke:4.300 x 4.060 inches (109 mm x 103 mm)
Brake horsepower (net SAE):220 at 4400 rpm
Brake horsepower (gross SAE):345 at 4400 rpm
Torque:365 ft. lbs @2400 rpm
Oil pressure:35 psi
Carburetor:Rochester four-barrel Quadrajet
The Plaque and the Rumble Seat
The brass plaque fixed to the center console says McLennan's El Dorado is the first in the series to be built with the rumble seat. "They only made ten of these things," McLennan says. "We had ten people in here the other day. Three in the front, four in the back and three in the rumble seat."
"I'm sending it in next week to get completely restored," McLennan says. "With a few of my own personal modifications." Modifications including actual bull horns on the front grill, and an "S.S. Noodles" monogram along the driver side fender.
"The white wall tires are classic," McLennan says. The signature of Caddy's from the 70's and 80's the white wall tires look nice, but they're hard to clean and even harder to replace. Just ask McLennan, who blew out the rear driver side tire, replaced it with a run-of-the-mill good-year and would only let us take photos of the driver side. "That's her good side," he says.
Famous El Dorado owners include Elvis, Roberto Clemente, Isaac Hayes, former Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev, Paul Newman and now, McLennan. Clemente received his as a gift from New York City's latin community in front of the famous Little Italy restaurant Mama Leone's. Hayes, meanwhile, has his on display at The Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis, Tenn. His El Dorado is peacock blue trimmed in gold with a television and a refrigerator. It could probably use a set of horns though.