'Elvis' Cadillac' Stars Again

With flying fins and lots of chrome, the ‘59 gem among 3,000 cars at Goodguys show
Goodguys Show
Lorenzo Dossena's customized 1959 'Elvis' Cadillac.
Goodguys Show
1959 Ford Custom.
Goodguys Show
Exotic 1950s-era custom cars like these we be at the Pleasanton show.

One of the West Coast's top custom car galas will feature a highly unusual vehicle this year—an Italian take on the kind of Cadillac Elvis most loved to drive.

Lorenzo Dossena's customized 1959 Cadillac, with its flying fins and face full of chrome, will be a star of the Goodguys 33rd All American Get-Together in Pleasanton.

"It's a way cool car," says John Drummond, who edits the Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette for the Pleasanton-based company that has grown to one of the largest presenters of car shows in America since its Bay Area birth 33 years ago.

"Un sogno americano di velocitá, rock'n'roll e innocenza," GQ Italiano has called the Elvis Caddy—"an American dream of speed, rock 'n roll, and innocence."

'Elvis III,' as the car has been dubbed, is far from the whole show. There will be about 3,000 vehicles at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton on March 28 and 29.

"It's basically Disneyland on wheels for car people," Drummond says. The event focuses on hot rods, custom cars of all stripes, muscle cars, classic cars, trucks, and more. Vehicles will compete in an autocross. One highlight will be the awards show, with one car selected as 2015 Custom of the Year.

The event includes a swap meet, kids events, an old-time jazz band, and a famous DJ spinning rockabilly tunes. People-watching may be as rewarding as car-watching.

"We have [women in] poodle skirts and guys with pompadours in white T-shirts with rolled up sleeves," Drummond says, describing the rockabilly crowd, who are expected to turn out in force to see what Drummond describes as the "James Dean-era" hot rods that will be on display.

"It's all different cultures," he says of car fans, " there are so many different splinter groups."

And for those who can't let a Sunday pass without worship, be aware: there will be a 'Rodders' Church Service at 10 a.m.

"People bring cars from all over the country," Drummond says. You'll find groups from local car clubs, pairs of friends showing off their cars together, "lone wolves" too, he says.

"All kinds of different people come," Drummond says. "The nice thing is, everybody who's exhibiting their cars are so excited and energetic about their cars, they are just great to talk to. Find cool cars you like, and ask the owner what he did to them. It's educational."

For more on the Goodguys show, click here.