Captain Billington on School Street in Rockland. Glenn Billington

Luke Knight is a big man. He drives big cars.

I have known Luke and his brother, Greg, since they were young gym rats at the Rec Center. They are now all grown up, running a second generation Rockland Business on Old County Road. They sell and service used cars.

I am all about Cars. I understand them and feel them. It has been my good fortune to attend over 100 cars shows in my lifetime, big and small. Through the generosity of my two step-sons in New Jersey, I attended many New York auto shows at the Javitts Center in New York City.

With the statue of limitations now expired, I can tell you I placed my hand on the right rear fender of Carroll Shelby’s very first Cobra, when security was not looking.

Car fans — like sports fans — have home teams, but only they are brands. My team is General Motors, which has more than seven brands. I have to know all about every one, even the ones that became extinct.

Cadillac is one of them.

Luke likes Cadillac. Like dogs that take after their owner, Luke’s ride takes after him. It is big and has lots of power. In the summer, Luke drives a Cadillac that is truly a one-off proposition.

To the casual observer, it is a big white Cadillac Convertible with the horns of a longhorn steer attached to the hood, out in front of the Cadillac crest, which is about seven feet ahead of the windshield.

Looks can be very deceiving.

Convertibles are specially constructed and almost always have two doors. Without a steel roof for strength, convertibles are built on a reinforced chassis. American, factory-built convertibles were discontinued for a time, starting in 1976, due to the threat of impending roll over standards from the federal government.

Luke’s ride started out in Texas at the Arlington assembly plant as a 1988 Cadillac Broughm. A rear wheel drive relic of a time gone by, built for elderly Cadillac purists who wanted decadent tossed pillows, leather interiors, wire wheel covers, cavernous trunks and rear-wheel drive, thank you very much. The very last Cadillac Brougham rolled off the assembly line June 5, 1992.

Luke and his brother, Greg, take turns going to auction to buy vehicles to stock their lot. On one of his turns, Luke liked the look of a particular white 1988 Cadillac Brougham sedan.

It was not a convertible when he purchased it.

When Luke brought the Cadillac back to Rockland, he made what I would call a bold move.

He cut the roof off with a saws-all.

I am not making this up.

A bold move, because he did not modify the chassis. A mortal passenger car would have collapsed in the middle and become a total loss. If it were an old schooner, it would be called “hogging out.”

The Cadillac Brougham held fast. The old-school chassis beneath was more than up to the challenge. What Luke created was not a convertible. He created a phaeton. Convertibles with four doors are known as phaetons. Luke’s phaeton at no time has a roof; it does not exist. It has to duck inside when it rains.

But what it does have is a powerful five liter Cadillac V8 engine, and a more powerful stereo system. It has two power amplifiers, one is a 1,000 watt unit to power the sub woofers in the trunk, the other a 650 watt unit that powers the head unit in the dash, driving the four speakers up front.

The stereo costs more than the car.

Luke let me borrow the Caddy one summer day, and the summer before last. It was an experience like no other. It was high noon, I picked up a newspaper editor and a School Street lawyer as my crew, and set sail with Schooner Brougham.

As any Rocklander worth his salt, I sailed the Caddy down Chickie Stretch.

At this point, I want to point out that most trips down Chickie Stretch are for the sole purpose of “airing it out.” Not this time. The phaeton drives more like the wooden pound boat, the Hazel J., at Maine Coast Seafood in Spruce Head.

Again, an experience few have. Steady as you go…

I brought her gently into the turn out, looked out over the lake, then turned back toward Lime City, with the destination of Main Street. Accompanied by 1600 watts of total harmonic devastation, we paraded down Main Street.

The head unit selected “Back in Black” by AC/DC.

Coffee drinkers at Rock City swore off espresso in large Americanos. The T from the Eat Sign went over backwards atop the Farnsworth. The ladies inside 412 came to the door to find out what was shaking front windows. A pair of millennials in front of the Puffin’s nest gave the “ sign of the devil.”

I reached automotive nirvana.

Thanks, Luke!