Of course extending the rockers to hide the framerails included wheeling new lower quarter-panel blisters and lowering the rear bumper 3 inches. The lowered bumper required custom panels under the taillights and decklid, which provided room for the license plate above the bumper. All these modifications, and yet the car still looks very much like a '49 Cadillac.

Up front a mix of '55 Cadillac Dagmars and '49 bumper parts were joined and now reside on either side of a Shoaf-fabricated grille bar and lower pan. The rather flat-appearing stock headlights were replaced with '55 Chevy fender brows with inverted '55 parking lights under each headlight. The hood seam was filled before the hood was sectioned for a lower profile. In bare metal it was apparent this was going to be a very graceful car, a car that deserved to be black.

Tommy took the car to Reflection Body Shop for the mile-deep black paintjob before the car went to the upholstery shop. The Classic Instrument gauges, Vintage Air, and power windows were installed at Rodcrafters prior to Chuck Hanna working his magic at Hot Rod Interiors by Chuck, in Mooresville, North Carolina. Hanna mixed Camel leather with Butter Cup crocodile inserts that blend perfectly with the blond wood inserts. Light Palomino carpet completes the upholstery on the car. The steering column is from ididit and the gorgeous ivory steering wheel is the stock '49 unit cut down and refinished by Quality Restorations in Poway, California.

A project of this magnitude takes time, talent, and funding, but in the end Tommy Carver had just what he was looking for; a sleek, black Cadillac that embodies the unsurpassed quality that makes the brand so famous. In keeping with the Cadillac tradition, the power is smooth underfoot and the coachwork is both graceful and timeless; all the work was performed by the finest craftsmen. You might say Tommy Carver's car is the Cadillac of customs.