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Top End Fabrication Shakes Things Up By Putting Caddy Atop a Mustang Suspension | Presented by Nitto Tire


By Elizabeth Puckett

Photos Courtesy of Top End Fabrication

We were absolutely intrigued, and a tiny bit stunned, when Top End Fabrication shared a post on their Facebook page about a 2012 Cadillac CTS that had something a little…different about it. The description called it out as a “Cadillac with Mustang suspension”, and we thought they were kidding, until we started scrolling through the pictures. This is not a test, they’re just brilliant enough, and maybe a little crazy, to do it, and it’s actually pretty impressive.

Instead of “Floating like a Cadillac and stinging like a Beemer” (It’s a car reference we pray you get), this Caddy is going to gallop like a pony and sting like a nuclear weapon when the project is complete. Borrowing suspension meant for a 1979-2004 Mustang platform, the CTS has Mustang torque boxes, control arms, and a narrowed 8.8 rear-end from Lyons Motorsports.

You might be thinking the factory -IRS GM gave Cadillac would be something you’d want to keep, but it’s just not going to get the job done in this case. While so many are converting to Independent Rear Suspension systems, thanks to companies like Heidt’s offering complete kits for cars like 4th-gen F-Bodies, however, the owner of this car wanted the IRS out, and a solid axle to take its place.

“The Mustang suspension is vastly superior to the factory Cadillac IRS for drag racing.” Jason Harvey, owner of Top End Fabrication explains about the benefits. “We have about two weeks in real-time invested in building this suspension out for the owner.”

As you can imagine, there’s not a lot of crossover between the parts. To start, the guys had to cut the transmission tunnel out in order to raise the engine to get it in a new position for the project. Then, to get the rear-end in line and to get the Caddy to sit where it needs to be, they ended up having to cut the entire rear floor and frame out of the car. The CTS has been re-framed with a 1-5/8” chromoly tube suspension, which is tied into the roll-cage of the car.

With the new rear frame section, the Cadillac gains the ride height the team was chasing and then it was time to correct the suspension geometry. All said and done, the Mustang suspension turned out exactly what they were hoping to see out of it. They’re also able to get fat 15×14-inch wheels with 315 drag radials under the car with no issues.

So what’s next for the car? The roll-cage needs to be finished out, then it’s time to move on to the front suspension, and go ahead and brace yourselves, because this Caddy is breaking even more rules; the custom front suspension will be adapting in a set of Racecraft F-Body drop spindles with Strange brakes all the way around the car. From there, a custom fabricated twin 76mm turbocharged LS will be putting the suspension to the test!

This is shaping up to be more of an unconventional racecar, pretending to be a street car, and we love it. Stay tuned for more updates on this Cadillac as it comes along.

Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi is the Director of Content & Marketing at ProMedia Publishing and Events with nearly 20 years of experience in motorsport writing and photography.