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The Road to AAPEX Ep. 1: Will a 33-year-old Cadillac make it to Las Vegas?

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The truth is: We don’t know how this is going to end.

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The 2,500-mile drive from Babcox Media’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio, to Las Vegas, across the iconic Route 66, is enough to test any vehicle. But the car Babcox Media’s Joe Keene picked to rehab and drive to AAPEX held in Las Vegas, Nov. 1-3, isn’t just any car. It’s a 33-year-old Cadillac Brougham with more than 180,000 miles on the odometer. 

As Keene says in the first episode of The Road to AAPEX, “It’s about the journey,” and the ASE-certified technician had a long road ahead of him as he brought the Cadillac up to a safe standard. With the help of aftermarket suppliers and experts, Keene conquered the leaking transmission, an air suspension that didn’t work, and a complete lack of air conditioning (which could have made a drive through the desert even longer), to name a few challenges.

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“There were a lot of things about the car that weren’t specified in the ad,” Keene said with a laugh. “It floated, the steering was all over the place, the windows didn’t work–just all kinds of things going on with it. But I didn’t want something easy. I wanted something that was going to be an ‘are you going to make it’ moment every time I get in the car.”

Combing through junk yards, testing the counterman’s expertise in hunting down new parts for an old car, and a trip to Ohio Technical College were just a few stops Joe makes to whip the Caddy into shape. Watch the first episode above to see how Joe takes a clunker and, with expert help from the automotive aftermarket, gets it ready to tackle The Road to AAPEX.

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Vehicle stats

Make/Model: Cadillac Brougham
Year: 1989
Hometown: Arlington, Texas
Mileage: 180,000+ miles
Engine: 307 LV2 Olds V8
Power: 140 hp and 245 lb/ft
Weight: 4,500 lbs.
Length: 20 ft
Fuel Capacity: 21 Gallons
Fuel Economy: 15 City/22 Highway
Tires: 225/65R17
Transmission: Remanufactured Turbo-Hydramatic 200-4R
Brakes: Front Vented Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
Air Conditioning: R134a Conversion
Air Bags: None

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