A 15 year old boy walked into a Buick Dealership.

It’s December 2019 and I’m chasing a lead on a low mileage 1968 Cadillac Eldorado. This is a particularly hard model to source and one of my favourites from the late Sixties period as I’ve probably mentioned before. The previous one I’d sourced was from Downtown Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard, which I ended up shipping to the UK and is now residing in a private collection in Central London. This new lead has come out of the blue as a voicemail message left by a friend of the owner who has heard on the grape-vine that I’m looking for this specific model of Cadillac.

I return the call but there’s no answer. I hear nothing for a week but eventually receive a call from a guy with a very heavy Russian accent who asks “Do you want to buy a nice Cadillac?” I try my best to communicate with the guy but his command of English isn’t great and he seems to know very little about the car for sale. I’m wondering if this is maybe one of my friends playing a practical joke? All I can establish is that it’s been garaged in Dallas Texas for around 18years that it is black in colour and it’s like brand new. I ask if we can make an appointment to come and view it in Dallas but he says “No”. “In California.” Not a man of many words it seems! I ask his name and he replies “Nick”, so apparently sharing the same name as me I’m definitely leaning towards a wind-up! I ask his surname and he says “just Nick.” In cases like this where the information given is vague, I generally just roll with it go and just try and go look at the car. I guess it’s the adventurer in me, but past experience has taught me that you just never know what you might find or what character you’re going meet. This is really part of the thrill for me as a treasure hunter. Nick tells me it’s his car and he has the Title. Ok, that’s good enough for me. We arrange to meet in San Bernardino CA. The game is on!

The next morning I set off from Thousand Oaks and drive across the city of Los Angeles and head South out to dusty San Bernardino. I have an address which looks to be residential on Google Earth and nothing out of the ordinary. But what is extraordinary, is the vendor. I arrive and the guy is built like Dolf Lundgren and virtually breaks my hand when we shake. He’s very very weary of me which I think is a bloody cheek, because surely I am the one who should be weary?! Anyway, he leads me to an open garage and the car is sat there. As we walk up to it I can see the car is solid black in colour and my first line-sight view of the left side of the body tells me it’s super straight and the rear bumper is perfect like the day it came out of the factory too ….this is a great start and I’m excited, but I can’t afford to show my hand. On first impression this car looks to be a star. As I walk around the car and scrutinize, it just gets better. It doesn’t take me long to evaluate a car, but I already know this is the best looking 68 Eldorado I have ever set eyes on in my life. Not only is it finished in it’s original Sable Black from the factory, but it’s an original triple black spec with full black leather interior and black vinyl top. It is just stunning from every angle and I am blown away by it’s physical presence. Wow. This Cadillac is a four-wheel re-incarnation of Elvis Presley at his 1968 NBC Comeback Special.

Of course, I desperately want to own this car but there’s much to establish first. The guy seems shifty and he can’t give a straight answer to any of my questions. I notice the bonnet is jacked up almost three inches at the passenger side hinge and he insists that it’s always been like that. So I lift the bonnet and find a crow bar/jemmy, great big hammer and a chisel lying on top of the inner front fender which are pushing the rear corner of the bonnet up. Hmm. Very strange. Are these the instruments he intends to bludgeon me with? I ask him if the car runs and drives to which he says “yes”, but it seems he doesn’t even know how to even start the car as he can’t find the ignition switch. At this point I realise he’s completely stoned and is fumbling around somewhat, so I know he’s not going to be able to pull anything physical on me. Ok I tell myself, just roll with it, he seems ok and the car is a real find. So, I get the car running but the engine is really lumpy but it does drive. The brakes and transmission are good but I think its drawing air on the inlet manifold or maybe it’s got valve trouble as a couple of cylinders are off. No worries, I can fix it, these faults are not going to deter me. Now let’s see the paperwork. We go into the house and all he’s more interested in making me a smoothie with fresh oranges and his blender. ‘Do I want some magic in it?’ I’ve got no idea what he’s talking about so I keep it light-hearted and make a joke about clean California Titles being the only magic I’m interested in. Then a huge pitcher of orange juice arrives and I take a sip only to realise it’s seriously laced with cannabis. So maybe he’s going to try and roll me for twenty grand here? …best of luck pal! I take a big mouthful and promptly spit it into a plant pot when he turns his back. He brings me the Title and it all checks out with the VIN but it’s only been in his name at this address for 1 month, so I know he’s not telling the truth about the car and my gut tells me there’s a hidden history waiting to be uncovered here. I need to close the deal quickly and get the hell out of there, so I pay ‘Nick’ cash for the car and I tell him my guys will come and collect it within 48hours. But I don’t have to wait long to uncover the hidden history of this Eldorado.

Twenty minutes into the drive home I get a phone call from a very drowsy sounding Nick. Maybe I left something at his place or he counted the money and I overpaid lol?! “You did a good deal” he tells me. “The Cadillac is very famous car.” “My friend is Doctor. Very Good Doctor. Very good friend.” He puts the phone down. 10 minutes later he calls me back and proceeds to encourage me that “Robert is really great guy Nick. Robert Young. Don’t believe what you read.”

Of course, the first thing I do when I get home is go through the cars document file and research the previous registered owner Robert O Young on the internet. It transpires that this is indeed a very special Cadillac that has been in a number of collections over the years. A previous owner was based in Dallas Texas and was re-known for collecting classic cars of only one colour. Black. He had sold the car onto Robert O Young, a notorious self-proclaimed Doctor and Author of International best-selling book ‘The PH Miracle’. Ironically, I had never come across this Cadillac before, but my good friend Lisa who practises holistic medicine in Kirkburton West Yorkshire UK had given me a copy of Roberts book a few years earlier, which I had read with great interest. I thought both the subject matter and science was fascinating and Robert had appeared very credible. I won’t go into the details of the accusations and lawsuits that have been filed against the author over the years, as it’s all pretty well documented on the internet. All I will say, is, that there are some very dark and frightening stories out there and my heart goes out to anyone and their families who may have been affected.

This is without doubt one of the most stunning looking 1960’s Cadillac’s I have ever owned. One of my friends commented it was one of the most sinister looking cars they had ever seen when he first set eyes on it, without any knowledge of the Robert Young or the ownership connection. Every time I see the car, I wonder why Robert specifically chose it. I do find it very strange that someone who claimed to be able to prolong human life and cure cancer would choose to drive around Los Angeles in such a distinctive and sinister looking automobile. Yes, it is a beautiful attention-grabbing car, but it certainly does not convey a message of life-giving or vitality.

Photographs of the 1968 Cadillac Eldorado can be seen in our archive section when it was on display at ‘The Carding Shed’ in Holmfirth West Yorkshire UK. The car now resides with a private collector in Norfolk UK.

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