In the world of hot rod cars, one machine stands out as a true icon – the 1989 Billy Gibbons “CadZZilla,” a masterpiece of automotive customization. Built by the legendary custom car builder Boyd Coddington and designed by Larry Ericson, this extraordinary vehicle is a fusion of elegance, power, and rock ‘n’ roll spirit. With its roots in a 1948 Cadillac Series 62 Sedanette, CadZZilla represents the epitome of craftsmanship and artistry, capturing the imagination of car enthusiasts around the globe.

1. The Birth of an Iconic Ride

Born in 1989, CadZZilla was conceived as a personalized masterpiece for Billy Gibbons, the renowned guitarist and vocalist of the rock band ZZ Top. The masterminds behind its stunning design were Jack Chisenhall and Larry Erickson, who meticulously crafted its appearance to be a true head-turner. Drawing inspiration from the sleek lead sleds and Mercury Eights of the 1950s, CadZZilla pushed the boundaries of automotive design, captivating all who beheld it.

2. A Vision Realized

CadZZilla’s transformation was nothing short of spectacular. Its metamorphosis began with a 1948 Cadillac Series 62 Sedanette, which served as the foundation for Boyd Coddington’s vision. Guided by the creative genius of Coddington and his team, led by body man Craig Naff, the car underwent a series of groundbreaking modifications that would forever etch its name in automotive history.

3. Striking Features

Every inch of CadZZilla was meticulously crafted to perfection. Its top was chopped to achieve a sleek and aggressive profile, while the hood and front fenders were skillfully sectioned and combined into a remarkable tilt nose. The headlights and taillights were expertly frenched, seamlessly integrated into the car’s distinctive lines. The front bumper boasted high-mounted dagmars, flanking a captivating Moon tank in the grille opening. Under the hood, a powerful 500 cu in (8 l) Cadillac V8 engine with custom-built Holley fuel injection roared to life, delivering unparalleled performance. The rear fins proudly showcased frenched late-model Cadillac taillights, while the exhaust pipes made a bold statement as they elegantly exited through the rear bumper.

4. Performance and Handling

CadZZilla wasn’t just about looks; it was engineered for exhilarating performance. Equipped with a Currie 9-inch rear axle and Koni coil-over springs, the car handled with precision and agility. The steering box, sourced from a 1985 Corvette, provided a responsive and engaging driving experience. To complete the package, Coddington designed a set of 22-inch billet aluminum wheels that perfectly complemented the car’s stunning aesthetics.

5. Unleashing the Purple Beast

To match its awe-inspiring design, CadZZilla received a vibrant deep purple finish from House of Color. This bold choice of color further accentuated the car’s personality, turning heads wherever it went. Whether cruising down the open road or commanding attention at car shows, CadZZilla exuded an undeniable aura of power and sophistication.


In the realm of custom hot rod cars, CadZZilla remains an unrivaled masterpiece. Its fusion of timeless design, exceptional craftsmanship, and rock ‘n’ roll attitude solidify its place as an automotive legend. The legacy of CadZZilla continues to captivate enthusiasts and inspire a new generation of car aficionados who seek to push the boundaries of automotive design.


  1. Who is Boyd Coddington? Boyd Coddington was a renowned custom car builder and an influential figure in the automotive industry. He gained widespread recognition for his exceptional craftsmanship and groundbreaking designs.
  2. How much did CadZZilla cost to customize? The customization of CadZZilla, the iconic 1948 Cadillac Series 62 Sedanette, cost approximately $900,000 at the time.
  3. What is the significance of the name CadZZilla? The name “CadZZilla” represents the combination of “Cadillac,” the base car, and “ZZ Top,” the famous rock band associated with Billy Gibbons. The addition of “zilla” is a nod to the legendary Godzilla movies, symbolizing the car’s powerful and awe-inspiring presence.
  4. Who designed CadZZilla? The design of CadZZilla was a collaborative effort between Jack Chisenhall and Larry Erickson. Together, they brought Boyd Coddington’s vision to life, creating a truly remarkable and iconic custom hot rod car.
  5. What makes CadZZilla unique in the world of automotive customization? CadZZilla stands out due to its extraordinary design, meticulous craftsmanship, and the fusion of elegance, power, and rock ‘n’ roll spirit. Its transformative modifications and eye-catching features make it a true one-of-a-kind masterpiece.