Gene Rafferty

Gene at Mancinis, 2005

Gene's '76 75 Series 9 Pass. Limo at the 2005 Spring Tour

1 1972 Lincoln Mark IV

1976 Cadillac Sedan DeVille

1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

1981 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz

Interior of 1981 Cadillac Eldorado

 1966 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

1975 Cadillac nine passenger Limo

Interior of 1975 Cadillac Limo












You my have seen his ‘76 Fleetwood 75 - 9 Passenger Sedan in my article on our Burger Run to Ellingson’s Car Museum last fall. Gene is a new comer to the NSR/CLC Club but not a new comer to Cadillac and other LARGE American Cars. Starting with a White ‘67 Coupe DeVille. This was a short-term ownership of just four months because It turned out to be a bigger project than Gene wanted to tackle.

   Next came a ‘72 Lincoln Mark IV. A fun car to drive and decent sounding with a 400 CID eng. exhaling through dual glass packs. Third was a ‘76 White Sedan DeVille as a regular daily driver. Gene transplanted a Tilt-Telescopic column into this one to gain knee room, since he’s a pretty big guy.

   Fourth, a 1981 Eldorado Biarritz. This beautiful Red on Red rig represented Gene’s dream car from High School. His dream came true nine years after the I0th grader first saw one at the Auto Show.

   Fifth, a White ‘66 Coupe DeVille, came from a high school friend’s dad. Gene has always said “if you ever want to sell it I’ll buy it”. Well, he never did, It just sat in the garage until Gene convinced his widow he’d give it a good home.

   Number six was another White one, a ‘78 Eldorado Biarritz. After six months the timing chain went out and since the engine had to come out to fix it, it became someone else’s.

   And lucky number 7 is the Red 1976 75Series Nine-Passenger Limo Gene has today. This came Gene’s way in ‘99 after a long search for a Limo. He found it on the computer not far from his Blaine home in Spring Lake Park. The car had been damaged in a big Hail Storm in ‘98 so Gene got a really good buy. Gene changed the trunk and hood, his father-in-law filled scratches and dents and MACO shot it.

   This, originally being a Texas car, barely ran due to rotted vacuum hoses but Gene’s experience with his '76 Sedan gave him a clue where to look. The rubber donuts in the suspension were rotted also, so they had to be replaced.

   One of the coolest features of this limo is the liquor cabinet, ice chest, TV & stereo that was custom made in Texas. The rear quarter windows were filled in inside and out. This car started life with a funeral home, then belonged to a private party for ten years where it received the custom interior work.

   The car now resides in Gene’s garage in Blaine where he also has a White ‘98 Olds Regency as a daily driver. This car was another high school dream that resulted from a friend’s father having one.

   Besides spending a lot of time keeping his BIG cars running Gene works at Cub Food and is a Blaine Park Board Member.

   We first met Gene at the fall show at Aquatore Park. He had learned about the show from the Professional Car Society, Northland Chapter, that he belongs to. They collect primarily old Ambulances. Gene showed his Limo with NSR/CLC at that Blaine show and joined our club shortly after that. He remembers Bob Campbell asking him to join. Thanks Bob!

   Greet him the next time you see him and his limo with the license plate “RIDE 1” and license plate frame saying “OFFICAL MAFIA CAR” he had made special. Maybe he’ll mix a drink out of the back seat bar.

by Roy Boone, Herald Columnist & Club Webmaster