The SEMA Show is an event we look forward to every year. Last year was the first-ever virtual version, and it was a welcome distraction from all the craziness of 2020. Still, we were more than excited to make our way back to the Las Vegas Convention Center and return to our regularly scheduled programming – where the entirety of the automotive aftermarket convenes to showcase its wares and the world-class builds it produces alike.
This year, we caught up with a number of manufacturers, but two that really stood out to us were Hushmat and Zybar. As always, the brand’s booths did not disappoint. However, it wasn’t just incredible sound-deadening material and intake manifolds we gawked at, there was a killer ’66 Cadillac there that had us drooling. We caught up with Will Posey of Big Oak Garage and got the low-down on the epic build.
We asked Will to break down the build, and he did just that. “It’s a 1966 Cadillac Calais. It’s got a GM Performance crate LT4 from Speartech. We just took the supercharger hat off and milled all of the factory GM webbing, cleaned it up, painted it, and stuck some trim on it. The valve covers are Holley LS Chevrolet script that have LT to LS adapters. We put those on there and machined off the part that said Chevrolet.”
Will elaborated on some of the specifics, after a little prodding. “Well, for starters, it’s obviously got Hushmat and Zycoat [laughs], but beyond that, it’s got a stock chassis wrapped around a 10L90 transmission and chopping block suspension with RideTech air ride management. The brakes are the biggest Baer Brakes we could get! They’re big! 13.5″ – I think. The rolling stock are 20×8 in the front and 20×9 in the back Schott C10 wheels. They made us a custom center cap from what they normally give for that wheel. That wheel was really designed to be like a Corvette wheel, and I saw it and thought if we could just change the center cap, it would look great on this Cadillac.”
As far as body modifications are concerned, Will went on, “The front bumper used to be like five pieces, and now it’s only one piece. It’s been narrowed and sucked up to the body to do away with the rubber gaskets that those cars came with. We did the same thing on the rear bumper as well.”
“We wanted a really nice fit on the front and rear bumper because those are kind of an eyesore on a ’66. The factory side trim on these cars are originally really small, and it was just too small, so we made our own side trim for it. As far as everything else goes on the exterior of the car, it’s pretty well original.”
“These cars had a lot of brushed chrome with bright chrome and I think brushed chrome didn’t really look right with this color, so we had everything re-chromed with the bright chrome to match what we did with the interior. A lot of interior pieces were brushed and we wanted it all bright…It added a little bling to it I guess.”
We asked Will about the challenges they faced painting such a big car in such a striking color. He elaborated, “We blocked on it a while. But we got the whole thing done in 18 months if you can believe that. But yeah, it’s a long, big, flat car, and you’ve got to get them straight. If it’s not, it sticks out. So, the color is a color that myself and Shane Young, who paints at Big Oak, came up with. The owners of the car wanted it red, non-metallic, but they also wanted a lot of depth. So, what we did was craft a custom color comprised of a red basecoat with red candy. So, it’s a non-metallic candy that gives it that depth. The depth is pretty wild. It gets a lot brighter in the sun.”
Will told us he has yet to put the spurs to the LT4/10-speed combination, but he has plans on taking it out very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for much more from Big Oak Garage’s ’66 Cadillac Calais as well as the folks over at Hushmat and Zybar.