This Christmas for the first time in a
few years, I was not traveling. My kids, 6 and 8, are into the
holiday decorating. We did the tree and the house, but something
I've been wanting to decorate the 1975 Eldorado Convertible
Christmas lights ever since I got it. I even pictured in my mind
what it looked like. It just BEGS to be driven, with the top down,
surrounded in lights. And here in San Jose, it is possible.
It is a bit cold, but bundled up at night it can work.
So, I've gone and done it.
- Walmart 12V to 120V inverter $18
- 200 120V miniature Christmas lights. $5
- Plastic gutter clips, paper clips, and duct tape.
- People honking and waving at your decorated caddy.
I wasn't sure it would work. And I'm pretty sure it is
illegal. My friends in law enforcement suggested that if I wear a
Santa hat I might be able to talk my way out of a ticket. I am
practicing my "Ho! Ho! Ho!s" and hoping it is true. I even set up
a stash of candy canes to give away.
- An inverter plugged in, even with no load, kills your battery
fast. Try getting a Cadillac full of Christmas lights
- Gutter Clips for lights work well on the hood, doors, and plastic
bits at the trunk.
- So far, a Santa hat has repelled the police.
- Slamming the big caddy doors on miniature lights is not good for
- Corrolary: Dukes-of-Hazzard entry and exit is required when
lights are clipped to the door.
- It is surprising how stable lights are at highway speed,
even with a minimal of anchoring.
- Door based cigarette lighters were a great convenience for
- I love an excuse to drive with the top down, even at 55
- People seem to like a nutcase with a decorated caddy.
Shortly after decorating the car. I ran with the kids to a friend's
house to show off the lighted landyacht, since we had discussed on
Monday if this project was feasible. I was eager to provide him
The same night, after my kids went to bed, I took a different friend to
do a late night Krispy Kreme run from San Jose to Mountain View with a
fellow Caddy nut. We took highway 85 and 101 up, and then surface
streets back. We got our donut fix and enjoyed the decorated
homes on the ride back. Nothing like looking at Christmas lights
with the top down.
As a bonus, I had Elvis Presley's 'White Chirstmas' recorded on 8
track, playing back in all of its lo-fi glory through the crummy Delco
radio and $10 speakers. Lo fi writ large!
Ah, bliss. This is why I sink so much money into this heap of
metal. "Oh what fun it is to ride in a 500ci open sleigh...."
Planning some more runs in the days leading up to Christmas. I
even convinced my wife to yield the coveted garage spot for a few days
so I can leave the top and windows down and leave the lights
Already, people are brimming with ideas of how to improve it. Put
wreaths on the hubcaps, use the "net" style lighting for bushes across
the hood, add more lights, etc etc. For now, I will stick with my
simple 200 light display, but I am always open to suggestions from
folks on how they would do it better.
So, Merry Christmas, and a prosperous new year to all!
San Jose, CA
December 21, 2004
The car has captured imaginations. I had the following sent to
me, from a fellow in Law Enforcement::
I have put out a County-wide BOL for this vehicle! Please advise
Mr.Remaker that we know where he lives, what he drives (both thanks to
the fact that he didn't blur his license plate on his Yahoo pictures)
and where he works!
In fact, believing this to be as egregious a crime as a child abduction
therefore I have requested that the California Highway Patrol place the
following message on their Freeway light boards, replacing, of course,
that Amber Alert regarding that tan Toyota Camry:
LG BLU CADILLAC W/ XMAS LIGHTS AROUND VEHICLE. DRIVER IS CONSIDERED
ARMED AND DANGEROUS. PLEASE STOP AND REMOVE THAT SILLY SANTA HAT.
Likewise, the BOL to all LE agencies reads similarly:
BOL FOR A LARGE BLUE BOAT, AHEM, CADILLAC, CA LIC ELVIS75. R/O IS
ARMED AND DANGEROUS. HE IS IN VIOLATION OF SEVERAL SLEIGH CODE SECTIONS
FOR WEARING A SANTA CAP THAT IS NOT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE SANTA CLAUS
APPAREL CODE. IF LOCATED, STOP AND DETAIN FOR QUESTIONING FOR THE NORTH
POLICE DEPARTMENT. EOM.
So, if you see this run for your life, or laugh out loud or maybe even
take a picture.
Lord knows we need some more laughs around this area.
So you want to see photos?