La Jolla resident preps one-of-a-kind Cadillac for upcoming Concours d’Elegance
by EMILY BLACKWOOD
Published - 04/03/19 - 11:21 AM | 1439 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Richard Greenfield and his 1937 Cadillac 85 V-12 Limousine Coupe.

Courtesy photo
Dr. Richard Greenfield and his 1937 Cadillac 85 V-12 Limousine Coupe. Courtesy photo
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While every classic car featured that the annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance is sure to have a colorful history, the story behind Dr. Richard Greenfield’s 1937 Cadillac 85 V-12 Limousine Coupe is truly unique.

“It’s the only one ever made,” he said. “In 1936, the wealthiest woman in Wisconsin went to her Cadillac dealership and said ‘We’re in a depression, and I’m embarrassed to drive around with a chauffeur with my friends in the back of a limousine when people are starving. So will you make a limousine for where my friends can sit in the back, and I can drive?’”

The dealership agreed and made the one-of-a-kind car for the wealthy woman. According to Dr. Greenfield, she drove that car until 1939 — until World War II began in Europe. She again felt embarrassed driving a vehicle that was a gas guzzler while gas was being rationed, so  So she bought a Chevrolet and put the Cadillac on blocks where it sat until her death in 1951. 

"It was a part of her estate, and I believe Tom Barrett bought it and sold it to someone in Los Angeles who did a little work on it and drove it,” he said. “And then he sold it to the Stevens Collection in San Francisco, and they had it the last 14 years. So there are only 20,000 miles on the car.”

Dr. Greenfield — who has shown his 1927 Packard Roadster and his 1966 Lincoln Congenital Convertible with suicide doors at past Concours events — bought the Cadallic from the Stevens Collection to show at the 15th annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance. Only there’s one problem, it’s not quite ready.

“As beautiful as the car looked, there were a lot of things that hadn’t been done,” he said. “It hadn’t been driven in 14 years by Stevens, and it probably hadn’t been driven another 15 years before that. So we essentially took the car apart.”

And while parts of the car may still be in progress in Dr. Greenfield’s garage, he’s hopeful he and his mechanics will have it ready by the time the Concours starts on April 12. After coming to the events, showing cars and winning ribbons the past two years, the La Jolla resident is looking forward to participating again.

“You meet a lot of interesting people, and it’s certainly a lot different than being a doctor,” he said. “I have a high-pressure job, and cars are a stress reliever. They’re fun, and when you’re done, you’re very proud.”

The 15th annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance runs from April 12 to April 15 with 150 of the most exquisite automobiles on display at the La Jolla Cove on April 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission tickets start at $65 and are available online at lajollaconcours.com
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