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MEMBER PROFILE:

Tony & Lynn Hiller

by Calvin Jones

As a child growing up in Gary Indiana during the 1960’s Tony fell in love with the Cadillac automobile. He saw a few of his father’s friends purchase second hand Caddy’s from the local Cadillac dealer or drive as far Detroit to purchase their dream car.

Back in 1983 Tony Hiller started down a road that would take him on the adventure of his life. That's the year he purchased his dream car, a 1947 Cadillac convertible. Before long the old ragtop was looking good enough to enter into local car shows and did pretty well.

Thirteen years later, disaster struck when the old Caddy was involved in a three-car accident that would require a complete new front clip and an infusion of professional help. Tony turned to Grand Touring Restorations in Orange County and said, "fix it...all of it."

And fix it they did. Tony wanted nothing but the best, and that meant Christiansen chrome, a lush leather interior, hand-rubbed Lotus Cream and endless detailing. In early 1999 the job was done—to call this vehicle stunning would be an understatement. It is so visually exciting that it literally stops people in their tracks.

That car eventually became a show winner.  That car project was followed by the restoration of a 1948 Cadillac convertible which led to a 1949 Coupe Deville, 1958 Eldorado Biarritz, 1953 Cadillac convertible and a 1956 Continental Mark II.

Tony is a car builder and he’s at his best when hunting down the elusive classic Cadillac. Once Tony finishes a project he would always tell me “No More No More” until inevitability prediction he caught the fever again.  Three years ago Tony told me that he was finally finished with restoring cars and he simply wanted to drive his collection and enjoy them with his wife, Lynn, a very serious car enthusiast

Fortunately for Tony, his wife Lynn is as interested in automotive aesthetics as he is. She enjoys the show and concours circuit more, perhaps, than he does. The weekend after Tony and Lynn took delivery of the freshly restored Forty-Seven, they won their first "Best of Show." From that point on it has been one award after another; a trail of honors, blue ribbons and trophies that may be unmatched by any other Cadillac in the Southland, or the State, or maybe even the USA. Sometimes the Hillers collect top honors at two different car shows on the same weekend.

Tony and Lynn took the '47 to the big Beverly Hills charity show. They were sent to park with cars in their class which was quite large. When the show's promotional team walked by a bit later, they too stopped in their tracks. "What's this car doing here," they wanted to know. The Lotus Cream beauty was directed to move to the platform to take it's place with the Duesenbergs, Talbos, Rolls Royce and MBZs.. There were 300 fabulous cars at that show, including many exotic foreign cabriolets. Not to worry, when the winner for the Best Convertible in the Show was announced, Tony and Lyn stepped forward to claim First Place.

Of course Tony doesn't just admire '47s. He has a number of other collectible cars including an absolutely mint 1974 Eldorado convertible. In their home, the Hiller's have a trophy room that packed with the awards their cars have won. Two six foot high trophy cases, a wall full of plaques, plus trophies standing on the floor because they are just too big to display elsewhere.

I received a call from my very excited friend Tony telling me that he was on his way to “look “at a 1958 Cadillac series 75 limousine.  The limousine was formerly owned by a high ranking west coast mob boss who gave it to his attorney in 1961 in exchange for legal fees.

The attorney kept the car in South Pasadena until 1967 when he gave it to good friend, Craig Carr. It stayed in Craig’s driveway until 2005. The car over the years had become weather-beaten and Craig had no desire to restore the car. Tony and Craig had known each other for years and Craig admired how quickly Tony could restore a car.  They agreed on a price and as quickly as you can say “fever” Tony had another pet project.

 Tony started on the limo, immediately gutting the interior and restoring the drive train.  I would often see Tony transporting the limo, without fenders or hood, barreling down the streets of Compton.

The car looked like a half-eaten prehistoric creature.  Tony continued to work his magic and finally at the 2007 Southern California CLC meet in Lakewood the limo made its first public appearance.  The car chauffeured by Tony, escorting his beautiful wife Lynn in the rear compartment.  That day the car won best of show.

For the Hiller's, the show and concours circuit has given them a wonderful opportunity to share their fabulous Cadillacs.

 Look for Tony and Lynn at the next big car show in your neighborhood. And THANKS TO THE HILLERS FOR INTRODUCING NEW GENERATIONS TO THE HIGH STYLE WORLD OF CADILLACS.



ABOVE: Tony Hiller with car buddy Jay Leno. Check out Tony's three-piece, 1940's style, linen suit, now that's a fashion statement! Along the Southern California concours circuit the Hillers are always among the best dressed.

ABOVE: The Hiller's Lotus Cream chariot arriving for a SoCal event. The front license plate proclaims "MILLENNIUM".

BELOW: A display of king-size trophies the Hiller's have collected in recent years. How do you carry these things home, Tony?

Tony & Lynn Hiller's Cadillacs

1947 Cadillac

1953 Cadillac

1958 Cadillac

1958 Cadillac Limousine

1961 Cadillac Convertible

Click on Thumbnail Picture for Larger View

 

   

 
 
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Date Last Updated: July 14, 2017
 
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