Special #1594

Carola's Cadillac

10 min - Special


In this Special, Jillian Hessel shows us the Cadillac that was passed down to her by her mentor, Carola Trier. This Cadillac was built for Carola under Joseph Pilates' supervision when she opened her own studio in 1960. Jillian shows us features that are different from current models of the Cadillac including the original Trapeze Bar, and solid brass Push Through Bar, and more. What a treat it is to see this piece of history!
What You'll Need: Cadillac

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Mar 12, 2014
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In this episode, Julian Hassell talks about Corolla Tree Years Cadillac, which she had shipped from Corolla Studio in New York to her own studio in southern California in the late 1980s take a look. Hi, I'm Julian Hasso. Welcome to my studio, which is in Beverly Hills, California. And this here is my Cadillac that was passed down to me by Karola tree air when I went to work at Carola's studio in 1980 in New York. This was one of the Cadillacs that I learned to teach pallet's on and it's really special to me because it was built for Corolla directly under Joe's supervision for Karola studio when she opened. Gosh, I don't know her opening date, maybe in the 1950s sometimes. So this is an antique and I've been in California now 30 years or so. And this Cadillac is one of the first Cadillacs that came to California.

Um, when Corolla retired in 1986 or 87 I had stayed in communication with her and I had by that time opened my own studio and I said, I want your Cadillac, one of them. Anyway, Corolla, I'm going to buy it from you and ship it out here because they don't know Cadillac work. So in honor of Corolla, I've changed this bed, which I'll tell you about later, but this is her original. She called this piece the swing. Now I know this is called the trapeze by some people, but this was called the swing and this is her original, uh, upholstery you see with the buttons here. And I just kept this one piece. It's got a little rip in it, but uh, this is the color that all of Carola's upholstery was on all of her equipment when I went to work for her. So this part has stayed the same. I've of course changed the springs, but the springs Corolla had made and specially made and replaced quite often. And these are the leg springs that she had.

They're a little bit different from what we use today as well as these straps, these foot straps, these are canvas and Corolla had these made also. A lot of her stuff was made for her by an equestrian center. Um, these are brass, these rings and you can see the length of the loop. The foot loop is a little bit shorter. It gave us more control so that we could point and flex the foot easily without the strap slipping. These handles also are vintage.

These are the original handles. Of course I've changed the springs, but a, I kept them because they're quite interesting and different than what you would see today. Um, some other features that are different about this. Uh, Cadillac are a fixed bar here. Usually the, the modern equipment, this bar tends to move with this is fixed. And also the fact that there's a second bar here that's fixed that I really like for, um, stabilization and setting up some of the sideline exercises with the legs springs. I also have the robot, that bar here, you can see with all the equipment I have hanging from this, where they called it the Cadillac in the first place because back in the 50s, the Cadillac was the creme de la creme of cars with all the bells and whistles. This rollback bar is solid steel. I don't think they're built like that today and quite long. Also, by the way, moving down to the other end on our, what we would call tower end, I have placed here, this is the original foot stock or board that came, and again, Corollas, uh, buttons.

And this is the original upholstery. So those two pieces, I kept the same. You'll notice that this board is quite wide, wider than the bed of my Cadillac. And the reason is that this is not the original bed. This was rebuilt when I shipped the equipment out here many, many years ago. Ken Andelman of balanced body. It was current concepts at the time had never seen a Cadillac or built one.

So this was shipped out and the original bed was this width, the width of a single bed. And when he took it apart, he realized it was an old V bed. Uh, Joseph Valadez v bed, one of those beds that slipped into a v to sleep in and Joe would sleep in it and then pop it flat and get up and exercise, I guess. But, uh, we discarded that. Unfortunately it was in bad shape and narrowed the width of the bed mostly because my studio at the time had a very narrow space and I couldn't fit in this width. So I have a rebuilt by current concepts, wooden base now instead of metal. And you'll notice also a couple of other features that are different. Again from the equestrian center, I have a leather strap that goes across from one islet hall to the other at the base of the bed. And we did use these straps quite often. And this is another feature that I love. This is another foot loop, same as we have on the leg springs here with a little a attachment.

And this is used in the supine single leg springs. So that's a really important feature to teach a Corolla. Signature exercises. The last thing I want to point out here is our, uh, what we call push through bar. These days. Uh, we call this the trap. He is, I believe in the old days. But this is a very interesting piece of equipment because this is solid brass.

I don't know anyone else who has a Cadillac with a solid brass push through bar. This is a funny story because Ken did some research and he couldn't figure out why this was brass or where this came from and he said in the end with all his research he thought that this was a piece from an old toilet and that we would imagine Joe running around New York in his little briefs and in New York, one person's trash is another person's treasure, so maybe he scavenged this, I don't know, but here it is and it still shines up really beautifully. The last thing I want to show about this that is quite interesting and it it, it shows a little bit the evolution of the exercises and you'll notice also this bed is lower, the whole frame is lower, but we have here the original type of spring that Corolla would use from Armstrong, Armstrong Springs in New York. You'll notice the islet here, there is none of these extra kind of clips attaching the springs. She used the original.

We actually would put these on with pliers and squeeze them closed here and then we would just hook and unhook the springs this way. What happens when we use the eyelids is that the angle at which the bar is at rest changes. This would be unsafe right now because I haven't got a closed loop here, but just to demonstrate, here's the height without the the clip and here's the height with the clip. And you can imagine if I had a second clip up here, this would sit more like this. So it's an interesting thing to me because when we do exercises, there's kind of this dead space with these clips at the top and the bottom that change the angle and the pull of the springs and change the recruitment of their muscles and change the exercise.

So I prefer to do it the old fashioned way. I do check my springs all the time for wear and tear. You run your finger in and out like this to see if there's anywhere there. You changed your spring. Corolla was fanatic about that. Uh, we never had any accidents in the studio, but you can see that's quite a different attachment and it really changes the, uh, exercise. So that's Carola's Cadillac.

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1 person likes this.
Thank you for sharing! What you said about the clips attaching to the springs and how it changes the resistance makes so much sense!
Thank you Jiliian: so cool to see and hear about the differences of old to new. Makes sense and in some ways those older differences should maybe be brought back to the new equipment, like the two bars where you have the roll down bar. So very useful. Thanks :)
Thanks jillian, very interesting indeed. Nice how you had Carola's cadi remodeled. Again thanks for sharing. @ kristi. This was a great idea to have jillian talk about carola's cadi. Ps i also found interesting the push thru bar spring and loop info.
1 person likes this.
The toilet brass!!??? Sounds about right to me!
Solmaz M
Thanks jillian, very interesting.
Cheryl Z
thank you for sharing they should bring back side work strap. And respect the original angles

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