How many of you who are reading this remember the Studillac? How about the Fordillacs? Well they were stock new cars with the tiny modification - - - - a Cadillac engine, and they went like hell!
Bill Frick was a major figure in hot rod and racing circles in the 1950's. No one who remembers the Fordillacs and Studillacs can forget the name Bill Frick.
This custom-built car was designed by Michelotti, and has a hand-made body by Vignale. It has a modified Studebaker chassis, Studebaker front suspension, a modified 1955 Cadillac Eldorado V-8, fourspeed manual transmission, and Mercury differential. Evidently the car was not completed until 1957.
Three Bill Frick Specials were made: a prototype coupe, a convertible, and this coupe. This car was built for John Blodgett, Jr., a well-known Oregon, businessman. The car was later owned by Mr. Blodgett's secretary, and in 1970 Mr. Emmett Boitz; purchased the Special from her and her husband. The car was titled to Mr. Earl Benz in 1973; for the most part, he kept the Special stored for about 16 years.
It seems that this automobile spent well over 30 years in Oregon, until the present (fifth) owner, noted collector Michael Pomerance had it shipped from Los Angeles to his residence in Boston, Massachusetts in 1989.
This car was driven round-trip from Boston to Lime Rock, Connecticut on August 31, 1991, where Bill Frick saw it for the first time in many years. Mr. Frick and the car were brought together again in May 1992, at a Pennsylvania event. Its presence at the 1995 Milestone Car Society concours was probably its first showing ever in the state of California.
Bill Frick and Emmett Boitz have both been helpful in providing details of this car's history. A major article by John Matras on Bill Frick and his automobile appears in Special Interest Autos, #143.
FREDERICK J. ROTH
Copyright June 2003