Al and Kathy Longley

        Kathy                  Alan Clark & Al              Bob Campbell, Duane Warren, Al & Dick Moeschter

           All these photos are from the 2004 Grand National held in South Bend, Indiana

                                                   1947's 1st Place Trophy & Badge

   

                                                                                                                         Back Garage w/six collectables in it

        1951 Lincoln movie studio car only slightly used, the original unused spare and the jacks still in it's box.

One of three of Al's Pontiacs, a '53      Of course you must have a restored tractor

Al & Kathy's '56 Coupe DeVille resides in the front garage, available for regular use, it has working AC of course.

         

Below, Car as shown at The First Fifty Show in the Spring of 2005                   Kathy at Grand National 2004          Kathy at Mancinis, Spring 2005

        

Two of the truly Car Crazy members, Al & Kathy Longley, and their four acre vehicle ranch in Dayton, MN. Al's interest in cars was from a historical standpoint i.e. he's interested in the history surrounding these old cars and their historical significance.

Al's had many many cars, currently he's got seven "Old" cars and Kathy has a new Lincoln. The collection starts with a '47 Cadillac Convertible, next there's a '51 Lincoln Cosmopolitan, then a '53 Pontiac Convert, followed by a '56 Pontiac drop top, a '56 Cad Coupe Deville, a '68 Bonneville Conv. and a '72 GTO Judge. All these cars are show able, under reconstruction or "Original."  Most have a considerable amount of "Original" components even if Al; has freshened up a few items, like paint.

Every one of these, and many more cars owned in the past, is a story all by themselves, but, we're here to learn more about the '47 Cadillac Convert. See, Al & Kathy just won 1st Place in the Seniors Judged Class at the Cadillac/LaSalle Grand Nationals. They got a nice Plaque plus a badge, see pictures. This is quite a feat as other of our club members won't even enter their cars as the judging is so stringent. Congratulations to the Longley's

Al found this car in the Self Starter (the national Cadillac/LaSalle Club newsletter). It was in Toronto Canada and Al bought it over the phone without ever seeing it in person. He sent a $1000 down payment and got pictures in return and then finalized the deal. This was in 1997. Al went out and trailered the car home in Mar. (or so depending on whether Al or Kathy is telling the story)

The guy who had it had started restoring it but basically Al brought it home in boxes. The motor (which Al did over) brakes and front suspension and some plating had been done. After finishing up another project, Al started on restoring it in ninety-eight. (Al restores in the winter and plays with his toys in the summer.) Al had the body mounted on a rotisserie, plus his in-floor hydraulic car hoist aided in the finest detailing. The car was finished, except for the interior, by the spring of 2003 and the first major show for this handsome yellow 1947 Convert was the 2004 Grand National in South Bend, IN. In fact there have been only 16 Mlles put on the car since restoration was completed.

Obviously it was trailered to Ohio. Behind their Motor Home in their 25' enclosed trailer the Caddy made the trip without incident. The first night they stayed in the Motor Home with the car in the trailer in a lot next to the show until a security guard wakened them at 3 in the morning. The next few nights they stayed in a nearby campground. They also had a '72 Eldorado there that Alan Clark drove down for them. It was sold within an hour and a half of being displayed and sent to Sidney Australia. See, told you every car has a story behind it.

On the way down, Al lost his gas cap but as lucky as he is he found it on the way back home a week later. Not so lucky was Alan Clark who drove the '72 Eldo down for Al & Kathy. After parking the car in Chicago while he flew out east to a meeting, it wouldn't start. Alan bought a new alternator that never got installed because as t turns out the battery cable was loose. Maybe the Chicago folks were trying to steal it. Regardless, Alan won the "Hardship" award for his efforts.

Al has multiple garages. (see photos) Starting with the front garage was Kathy's Lincoln, a friends V12 Packard and Al's '56 Cpe Deville, a beautiful, mostly original car with working AC, so, its the ride of choice on hot summer day's outings. In the business end of the garage, an addition Al added on behind the attached front garage, sat Al's '47. As you might guess, a great deal of "Detailing" was involved in producing this 1st Place winner. As mentioned before, this detailing was aided by the in floor hydraulic hoist.

Notice the "Wedge" of hardwood Cadillac supplied with each car. This was to aide in the safely jacking of the car in the event of a flat tire. It even came with instructions on the proper placement of the block as pictured in the trunk of the '56.

In one of the "Back" garages other cars are stored including: the GTO Judge with it's 482 HP/580 Foot Lbs of torque (Al's foray into the drag racing world), the '53 Pontiac Convert - simply beautiful, the '51 Lincoln once owned by the movie studios and used to pick up executives, guests and stars at the airport. This car is totally original including the jack in the trunk still being in it's original cardboard box. The next car was the '68 Bonneville Convert which is for sale someday. In the corner was the '56 Pontiac Convert which is in process of being refinished and a friend's '40 Chevy.

In yet another garage he restores old tractors, the Ford pictured he uses around the ranch, and rebuilds engines for others. The building also houses some of his spares like a Cadillac dual quad intake manifold complete w/carbs. Thank You Kathy and Al for allowing us a glimpse into your world.

by Roy Boone, Herald Columnist & Club Webmaster

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