Larry Erickson: Cadzilla and Other Things


The Gearheads had the good fortune to sit down for a while with legendary Automotive Designer Larry Erickson in The Round Six Experience at the 70th Grand National Roadster Show. In keeping with the original vision of the podcast, it’s a free-form conversation with a master… No outline, no agenda, just a group of friends talking cars, and we’re stoked to be able to bring you along.

If you’ve ever wondered what influences an influential designer, this one has your answer. We dig deep into the process of deign, the organic nature, and the progression of the skill, and dive into the build history of one of the most significant custom cars of all time, Cadzilla. Talk gets uncensored and real, and you’ll be amazed at just how delicately interconnected so much of hot rodding’s history is.


  • The shift in hot rod culture in the early-1960’s
  • The industry-insiders
  • Tony Thacker
  • Larry digs into the genesis of the podcast
    – That moment when your hero is interested in what you do
    – Karaoke night leads to a podcast
    – The other side of the podcast, Stories n’ Steel
    – Creating something that no one else has
  • Larry on the importance of documenting industry heroes and their stories
    – Having to add asterisks every year to the Hall of Fame members list
    – Learning from heroes, and preserving that knowledge
  • On rounding up the cars for a special exhibition
    – The power of networking
  • Brad and Brian trade jabs
  • The ever-changing aesthetic of AMBR contending cars
    – Traditional meets Indy car-themed meets early speed product look
    –Reflection of the time in a car
  • What influences Larry


  • The Cadzilla project process
    – Pre-internet collaborative design challenges
    – The importance of having a team of actively-involved car people
    – The cost of a marquee build
    – Billy Gibbons goes down the rabbit hole
  • The evolution of Cadzilla
    – The Jack Chisenhall/Billy Gibbons connection
    – The Eliminator Coupe finds its way onto yet another conversation
    – Getting microscopic on details
    – On selecting the right car for the project, the Sedanette
    – Selling the project on one sketch
    – Staying the course
    – “Why the Moon tank?” gets answered
        • “Like Robert DeNiro without the mole”
    – Another Harry Hibler connection
    – Air-freighting a 500ci Caddy motor
    – Art Chrisman’s take on the “junk” motor
    – Trivia: The 500-inch Cadillac engine was the mule motor for the Presidential Limousine
    – When things get “too cute”
    – Driving Cadzilla “You can’t see the road for 1/4 mile ahead of you, but you feel cool“)
       • Cadzilla in the Detroit snow
    – The Round Six connection to the Cadzilla tour motorcycles (Brad takes a gamble)
    – The Mick Jenkins connection


  • On car ownership, and what happens to a car after it’s built
  • Larry’s 1932 Chevy Roadster
    – “It’s a six figure car, and I’m a five-figure guy”
  • The cost of detailing
  • A veritable who’s who of hot rodding
  • “Work with what you have”
  • Back to the bikes
    – The Bob Bauder and Jesse James connections
  • Redefining Cadillac design in the 1990’s
  • Even more macrame’
  • Larry heaps praise on some of our friends, like Dave Lane
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Brian Stupski

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