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Rocket Car - 1977 Cadillac Deville

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Lawrence bought the Rocket Car in 2021 and wants to keep the legend alive and silent by converting it to electric. It doesn't have to go fast and doesn't need to be street-legal as it will only be driven at Burning Man and a few car shows/festivals. 

Let us introduce you to Sonoma-based artist David Best’s Rocket Car. 

Built in 2003 with a 1977 Cadillac Sedan DeVille as its base, it measures 27 feet in length and has been seen at multiple Burning Mans with up to 16 passengers aboard. 

To create the Rocket Car, Best and his team hacked the roof off the vintage Cadillac before setting to work tweaking the custom panels. Once all the panels had been stripped, the team began fabricating the huge cones that run the length of the car, almost doubling its dimensions.


“In creating his art cars, Best strips vehicles down to the core before reconstructing them, striving to make the car’s original form unrecognizable.” KQED Arts



The piece of art is definitely heavy. Originally the sedan’s curb weight was 4410 lbs; its actual weight after mutating into this steampunk-esque roadster remains undetermined. The current drive train is a 7L V8 developing 180hp and is coupled with an automatic 3-speed gearbox.



Lawrence bought the Rocket Car in 2021 and wants to keep the legend alive and silent by converting it to electric. It doesn't have to go faster than 15-20mph and doesn't need to be street-legal as it will only be driven at Burning Man and a few car shows/festivals. 

According to Lawrence, rust is there but not terrible. The car has not been updgraded or restored since 2021 and it may require a small amount of work but the body is in good condition.

Lawrence needs a turn-key conversion as he is not interested in physically taking part in the process. The closer the builder, the better, but will consider shipping to neighboring states. Range expectation is between 30-50 miles, and he is interested in a few hours charge. A 20 mph top speed would be great.

When driven last September brakes and suspension seemed fine; they should not need attention. For the gauges, he would be interested in understanding the options available and how they would integrate into the existing cockpit/dash look. 

It is currently located in Oakland, California. Lawrence's deadline is August 10th.



Sources: Top Gear, KQED Arts, Jalopnik.

    • SKU
      00100-rocket-73-Cadillac-Deville
  • Year
    1977
  • Make
    Cadillac
  • Model
    Sedan Deville
  • Location
    California
  • Run
    Yes
  • Street use
    No
  • Drivetrain
    REAR-WHEEL DRIVE (RWD)
  • Transmission
    Automatic
  • Front brakes
    -- Other
  • Rear brakes
    -- Other
  • Upgrade brakes
    Maybe
  • Upgrade wheels/tires
    Maybe
  • Upgrade suspension
    Maybe
  • Upgrade interior
    No
  • Power steering
    Yes
  • AC
    No
  • Primary charging location
    Work
  • DIY
    I am not interested in doing anything at all (premium conversion services required)
  • EV conversion training needed
    No
  • Ship vehicle to shop
    Yes, same state
  • EV drive train
    -- open to suggestions
  • EV HP
    -- I don't know
  • EV torque
    -- I don't know
  • EV expectations
    Less powerful than today
  • EV top speed
    20 mph
  • EV range
    30-50 miles
  • EV charging time
    High (few hours)
  • Towing
    No
  • Use of used parts
    I don't know
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