Brooklyn’s long-idled mystery Cadillac finally took its last ride.
The decades-old classic car, parked in the same spot for years as its tires went flat and paint peeled from its roof, was towed away last Tuesday by the NYPD after a Windsor Terrace resident complained to the Daily News.
The vintage 1971 Caddy was a local landmark — though one with plenty of detractors as it morphed from luxury car into four-wheeled eyesore. By one longtime neighborhood resident’s estimate, the vehicle first appeared on the block in 1994, some 25 years ago.
The man wasn’t sure when the car was last moved. But most of his neighbors appeared happy that it’s gone.
“It’s a safety hazard,” griped one woman who moved into the neighborhood off Prospect Park three years ago. “My children walk by it every day. It needs to go away.”
Neither rain, nor sleet, nor alternate side of the street parking rules could make the Caddy relocate. Even a recent city filming permit that required all residents to move their cars changed nothing.
“Everybody had to move except — you guessed it!” complained another neighbor. “This Cadillac is even above films. No ticket and no tow.”
The rusty luxury ride doubled as rolling recycling center, stuffed from floor to ceiling with yellowing newspapers, stained take-out coffee cups and empty water bottles. Stray coat hangers bearing the message “We (heart) our customers” were visible through a driver’s side window.
A piece of the front grill was gone, like a missing tooth, and the Cadillac’s hood sported a coating of oxidized decay.
The owner, an elderly man reportedly suffering with mental illness, was unable to take care of the vehicle, according to local residents and police sources. Yet the Caddy had a current New York inspection sticker.
Shortly after The News inquired about the ancient auto, it was ticketed by a street cleaner. Then the city towed the car to the NYPD’s Erie Basin Auto Pound, police said.
A 14-year resident of the neighborhood said his calls to the local police precinct about the illegally parked vehicle inevitably went ignored. He worried that its hoarder-esque interior was a fire hazard.
Not everybody was angered by the Cadillac’s constant curbside presence. A neighbor named Jake recalled the owner driving his mother around until her death about a decade ago, and denounced the Cadillac critics.
“That car is a staple in this community,” said Jake. “Those who gawk at it and want to get rid of it aren’t real Brooklynites.”