HomeThe MarketSEMA Seen: 1940 Cadillac 'Sophia'

SEMA Seen: 1940 Cadillac ‘Sophia’


It's Sophia, the 1940 Cadillac | Larry Edsall
It’s Sophia, the 1940 Cadillac | Larry Edsall

ClassicCars.com’s editorial director Larry Edsall is among the staffers attending the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show this week. In addition to checking out the newest in vehicle customization, preservation and restoration supplies, one of his duties is to post a classic car of the day. Here is his selection from among the cars he saw Wednesday:

I wasn’t even inside the huge Las Vegas Convention Center when a Cadillac caught my eye early Wednesday morning. The car, a 1956 Coupe DeVille, was parked on the sidewalk just outside the convention center. It was covered in brilliant black paint and was long and lowered (thanks to air suspension) even though it was riding on huge bright chrome wheels.

Just before lunch, another classic and customized DeVille drew my attention, and this one not only had gorgeous black paint but a bright red interior nicely shown off because this 1966 Cadillac was a convertible parked on the convention center patio with its top down.

Back inside the building, a 1963 Eldorado restored in a light golden shade was another good candidate. But then I saw Sophia and it was love — OK, it was lust — at first sight.

Sophia is the name of John D’Agostino’s 1940 Cadillac Series 62 coupe. The car was built as a tribute to Italian movie star Sophia Loren and is as voluptuous as its namesake.

I’m smitten.


Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. What a crime to molest such a beautifull car. These cars are historic artifacts and should be left original, not cut up to satisfy some Celebrity’s ego. A travesty.

    N.Jones, Canada

  2. It’s not just some hot rod here at all…. it’s a classic in its own right and if Sophia was a car it would be her. It’s, well, sexy as hell !!!

  3. Nigel Jones is spot-on right !
    What a shame to deface such a Classic.
    Of course ; the owner has the right to make over the car in any way he chooses.
    But our view is that the rehab of these vehicle should be to retrieve their former and original beauty

  4. please get a life a car is an object and if an artist decides to beautify it then be it, The Cadillac was tastefully done, they made hundreds of these were made and sold. Now the back yard, barn find hoop tie has a glorified life and it can possibly can be driven anywhere in comfort, safety and luxury. so don’t condemn the people that restore and bring back top life the steel…go get a car and stop writing in blogs!!! yes i have a collection of over 12 cars originals an, hot-rod and custom and i spent most of my time when I can maintaining or restoring MENTAL THERAPY !!!

  5. I agree, with Gabe. I have restored cars to show as original factory release, and have restored cars to suit my own taste in colors, regardless of factory colors. Any time a car can be saved for future generations is a good thing. Lets hope we as automotive enthusiasts don’t have to start telling each other what can be done or can’t be done with each others cars.

  6. I love it ! Truly a creation of love by a true artisan. Nothing wrong with someone’s interpretation and vision. My hat off to you for taking the time, effort and money to present something truly different and impressive looking. Keep on doing what you are good at !!!

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