The Peachland man’s caddy was fit for the Queen | New

A 1951 Cadillac used by Queen Elizabeth II on a tour of British Columbia now means even more to its Peachland owner.

With the Queen dead, Jim Carpenter says he feels time a little more intensely when he gets behind the wheel of the luxury vintage vehicle he has restored.

“It’s a rolling piece of his history,” Carpenter said Tuesday in an interview. “She sat in the car, was driven in the car, we have pictures of her in the car in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island.

“It’s certainly been a sad week, with his passing,” Carpenter said. “It’s kind of a different chapter that started now.”

Carpenter, president of a local classic car club, acquired the Cadillac in 2014. “It had been sitting in a damp, leaky garage in Abbotsford. It was really rusty, pitted, worn, broken, burned or just dried out.

Carpenter, who has years of experience collecting and restoring old cars, sourced parts from across British Columbia and Washington State to restore the Caddy to its former glory. The work lasted 18 months.

“I sent photos of it to Buckingham Palace and received a letter thanking me and bringing the memories back to the Queen,” he said.

The car has a dashboard plaque explaining its royal connection. “It’s a really striking car because of the intricate amount of chrome on it,” Carpenter said. “They have the style, the size, the red leather seats – it always draws a crowd wherever I drive it.”

While he drove the Caddy to Kelowna last weekend, he doesn’t plan on going anywhere with it in the next few days given the weather forecast.

“This week the weather is a bit uncertain,” he said. “I’ve never driven it in the rain.”

If Saturday turns out well, Carpenter could take him to a vintage vehicle event held for the Father Pandosy Mission site on Benvoulin Road in Kelowna.

Likewise, restored Cadillacs sell for around $150,000, Carpenter says, but he’s not sure what his is worth given his royal connection.

“It could add anywhere from $20,000 to double the value or even triple, who knows,” he said. “It depends on who wants it.

“If anyone wants to come to me with that kind of money,” he said with a laugh, “I’m interested.”

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