Four and a half years. That’s how long it’s been since I served as a cross-country delivery driver for TTAC reader doctorv8‘s 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman.
As the more eagle-eyed of the Best & Brightest noticed earlier this week, that same Fleetwood is now for sale after a $10,000 freshening. So let’s catch up on what’s happened with the car, and the characters, from that once-in-a-lifetime trip.
The story went like so: I picked the car up from a dilettante-ish RV dealer in Columbus, Ohio, loaded up my trusty G&L S-500 Deluxe and headed to Houston. Long-time TTAC readers will recall that the Talisman broke down in Franklin, TN. I can now reveal that, although the breakdown was unplanned, my stop in Franklin was absolutely planned because I’d fallen in love with the woman I came to call “Drama McHourglass” the moment I saw her for the first time at a New Year’s Eve party at the end of 2009. My plan was to steal her heart and, although I failed miserably that June evening in 2011, by November we’d embarked on a relationship that would prove to be utterly devastating for both of us.
After a week of indifferent servicing, I picked up the Talisman and drove it to Houston via the “crossroads” in Mississippi. I will always remember the look on “Sanjeev’s” face when I drove that Cadillac around the corner of his parents’ street. In all fairness, I should mention that I used the Talisman the night before for an assignation with a Latina street racer who was trying to hide our on-again, off-again affair from her terrifying drug-dealer gangster fiance. Not to worry, prospective Talisman owners: we didn’t do anything in the car itself.
My review of the Talisman appeared shortly afterwards. Much attention was paid to the makeup-free sporty blonde with the killer figure who appears sitting in the back seat with me in some photos. We’ll get to her in a moment.
But first, let’s fast-forward four and a half years and see where everybody ended up.
We’ll start with the Talisman itself. It can be yours for the modest price of $15,000. I corresponded with doctorv8 today and he showed me about $10,000 worth of receipts, all work done by a respected shop using new parts. Given that the car made it across the country before all that work got done, I have to believe you could drive it anywhere in the country now.
In fact, I am willing to drive the car to you if you buy it. All you have to do is pay for the fuel and any miscellaneous expenses.
What about the owner, doctorv8? Well, he married a lovely woman and bought a lot of neat cars after the Talisman. He’s always been more of a Ford guy than a GM fan and I wonder if perhaps that isn’t why the Cadillac is on the block while his Lincolns stay safe at home.
The girl in the photos? She is, and was, TTAC writer Sam Miller. I’m sorry to say that although we’ve spent a fair amount of time together, she has always been absolutely impervious to my charm. On the positive side, I had the privilege last year of watching a fellow who writes for Motor Trend strike out with her in somewhat more embarrassing fashion than anything I ever managed.
My Latina street racer from Houston went legit and decided to work in an office. She became a grandmother when her fifteen-year-old daughter decided to follow in her teen-mom footsteps. If I ever see her again, I will make fun of her for this while simultaneously envying her for basically being over and done with parenting well before her 40th birthday.
The girl from Franklin, TN waited a whole week after I broke up with her in 2012 to start dating a very handsome, if not terribly accomplished, fellow from her hipster neighborhood. He got her a ring earlier this year. My requests to play “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” at their wedding have gone unanswered. I’m not bitter about this.
The Church’s Chicken At The Crossroads is still open and doing quite well.
As for me, your humble author, I won some races, lost some races, broke both of my legs, lost my spleen, gained some titanium bolts, fell in love, fell out of love, had unforgettable experiences and unfathomable despair, drove a Rolls-Royce in Beverly Hills and a Peugeot wagon in Malaysia and a Miata in Spain and an Accord in Ohio, took Dilaudid and Vicodin and Oxycodone and various other things that don’t bear mentioning in a family publication like this, and wrote the new marquee feature at Road&Track, “Performance Car Of The Year,” for each of the three years it has existed. I continue to reside in flyover country where I haggle with my creditors and attempt to parent my son. In my bedroom drawer there is a worn and weathered hood ornament, opaque from time and wind. It is from 1976 and it is a Cadillac wreath and crest. The end.