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1963-1964 Cadillacs

parmparm Posts: 723
Not to rehash the story, but I recently lost out on buying a nice/original and heavily optioned 1963 Cadillac Coupe Deville. If interested, go toward the end of the Collector Car Insurance thread to read my tale of woe. Any-who, I'm back in "search mode". The 2-door Coupe Deville has been my main area of interest, but I'm really starting to warm up to a 4-door Sedan Deville (or a Fleetwood) because, much like buying a large farm, they're cheaper per acre! Haaa! Actually, the exterior dimensions of the Coupe and Sedan are identical. Feel free to weigh in on the whole 2-door vs. 4-door debate. While one would think the coupe would command a premium in price, that doesn't seem to be the case with Cadillacs. I think they're pretty comparable in price - assuming both are in similar condition.

So, let's help 'ol Parm find a nice 1963-64 Cadillac, shall we? Alrighty then! Let me start things off. Submitted for your approval:

Hallelujah! This one is offered by a dealer that is actually a comfortable drive from my house - a refreshing change. But, naturally, being a dealer, the asking price ($19,900 - reduced from their original price of $22,900) is excessive. They've had this car for a while. Today, I exchanged emails with the seller and politely presented my opinion (even supplied him with a listing comp) that their asking price was high and said I'd come inspect it with a check in hand if they'd agree to $9,000. While the dealer was very nice, they implied that at that price they'd be losing money (if that's true, they paid way too much for it) and that they'd rather hold the car indefinitely waiting for their price. Perhaps $9,000 is a bit low, but it's closer to what this car is worth than $19,900. Having said that, this is the quality of car I'm looking for and know of an equally nice (perhaps nicer) '63 Fleetwood that's more reasonably priced (but, I'm keeping that one close to the vest for right now).

So folks, take a look at this green '64 Sedan Deville (I actually like color) and tell me if you think I'm a genius or The Village Idiot (trust me, as a father of 2 teenagers, I'm used to hearing the latter!).

Gentlemen, the floor is yours . . . .


  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    Nice car and overpriced sounds about right. I'll wait for Shifty and others who have better ideas on the right price.

    Meanwhile I see another car for Andre there!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    I like that '64 DeVille a lot, but agree with you on the price. Personally, I don't think I'd go more than $9-10K on it. Very nice car, but it's still just a 4-door hardtop. BTW, I really like that shade of green, too! If nothing else, the seller has your contact info, so if he gets desperate enough, he'll get in touch with you. Either that or sit on his pride and continue losing money as the car sits. ;)

    Fezo, I kinda like that '72 Impala. IMO that's crazy money for it though, even with those low miles. Maybe if it was a 4-door hardtop with a/c, and had a 402 or 454 under the hood I'd be tempted. I like the way the ad talks about "saving $5,000", as they market the price down from $12,900 to $7,900.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,923
    That guy has some nice looking cars, but it seems just about everything he has is a good 30-50% more than a realistic price. He's either in really deep, he's stuck in the time when people got endless HELOCs to buy toys, or he's tacitly asking for lowball offers.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    I told the dealer if the car has all the options the ad says (some of which are out of view on the photo angles) that I'd go more than $9,000, but still less than the halfway point between $19,900. The guy politely said "no".

    Here's the listing of 1966 Fleetwood Brougham for $10,000.

    Looks pretty nice, right? Well, the dealer didn't think so and said it had "issues" with its interior and trim that his '64 Cadillac didn't have. That may well be true, but the under hood photos of his '64 shows it has "issues" too - which I told him. But, he apparently didn't see it that way (or, at least wouldn't admit it to me). How odd. :P
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    I liked his Corvair Monza convertible but would have liked it more if it was a 65 or later.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,594
    Hmm, that '66 Fleetwood Brougham looks familiar, somehow. I might have seen it at various local shows. I know some guys who are into Cadillacs, so for all I know I might even know someone who knows the seller!

    Of the two, I think I like the '64 better, because of the color and because of it being a hardtop. But that '66 is a much more upscale car. I'd definitely take it at $10K before I'd take the '64 at $19K!

    Plus, at least the seller of the '66 is only "asking $10,000", not trying to pull any of this "firm" crap.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,923
    I bet you could knock off a little too, given this stag-deflationary nightmare economy right now. Those brocade cloth interiors have always seemed amusing to me, much cooler than 70s velvet/velour.

    That dealer must have a big low overhead storage facility, if he's planning on selling those cars at those prices...because they'll be hanging around for awhile.
  • I think the '66 is worth about 80% of the '64 Sedan de Ville, and I think the '64 is worth about $8K--$9K in today's market, so the '66 would be worth about $6,500 or $7,000 tops.

    Both cars are overpriced, the '64 ridiculously so, and neither one, in my opinion, has the value or desirability of a 2D hardtop.

    You could spend $100,000 dollars on restoring that '64, and I'd bet a big lunch you would not sell it for $19,000.

    If you are going to pay "top dollar", it has to be for a 2D hardtop, or you'll lose your shirt on resale.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    If you are going to pay "top dollar", it has to be for a 2D hardtop, or you'll lose your shirt on resale.

    Gee thanks. Just when I was starting to get over losing out on that Coupe Deville in NY state. :cry:
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Here's a 2 year old listing of a Coupe Deville. stingID=22917

    Here's the thing, this car just sold yesterday (Thursday) at Barrett Jackson (lot # 618). Sold for $14,300 which includes the 10% buyer's premium - so, the hammered price was $13,000. The car went through a restoration of questionable quality a few years ago. After said restoration, the family listed the car for sale. Originally, they wanted around $21,000. Their asking price eventually went down to $18,000 which is when I contacted them. I offered around $12,500 and they seemed offended and responded with, "We've turned down $15,000!" If a car is really for sale, why do sellers say stuff like that??? It amazes me how when given a market correct offer, some folks will say they've already turned down a ridiculously high price. I lost track of this car after that. Apparently, somebody came along, bought it and took it Barrett-Jackson. I'd love to know what the consigner actually paid for it.
  • So a hammer price of $13,000, and then we subtract the 25% "Hey I'm on television and I'm drunk" FACTOR, and we come up with real world money of about $10,000 bucks.

    True Story: One time some guy told me that "I turned down X dollars on this car!" and I suddenly touched his shoulder, made my eyes real wide and said "OH MY him back up! That's the highest price i've EVER seen offered for this car and I've been shopping them for a year!"

    Man, was he PO'ed at that. . He was actually hopping up and down while he was shouting at me..... :P

    Follow Up: Car sold 6 months later for $300 more than I offered him.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Point of order - I watched every minute of Thursday's TV coverage and this car wasn't on it, so it sold before the cameras were on.
  • Okay, no TV, just drunk then :P
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    The whole coupe vs sedan debate is becoming more and more interesting to me. I know some consider coupes as "sportier" if that's a valid arguement - but remember, we're talking about 1963-64 Cadillacs here. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but I'm not seeing that much difference in the sale/asking prices between nice 1963-64 Coupe Devilles and equally nice Sedan Devilles or even Fleetwoods. Seems to me, big cars like these are meant to be enjoyed by more people than just the pilot. Doesn't it make sense you'd want take your partner and another couple out for a spin, or to dinner? I know the idea of "functionality" may be diluted somewhat for a car that's not used as a daily driver, but there's no question that a 4-door is more functional than 2-doors. Now, if we're talking about a smaller car, a 2-door 1970 Nova is definitely more visually appealing than the 4-door. But, when you're talking larger cars (and they don't come much larger than 63-64 Cadillacs), I don't think the difference in visual styling is as apparent between 2 and 4 doors. So, with these 1963-64 Cadillacs, is there really THAT much difference in value? If so, why?
  • Don't go by "asking prices". They mean nothing to actual value, as you know by now.

    As for selling prices, these are driven by the old supply and demand equation.

    More people want coupes than want 4-doors. Why? Various reasons. One, as you say, "sporty"; two, 4 door hardtops rattle like crazy; three, generally the coupe design is more handsome.

    I do agree with you though, that this difference tends to blur when you are talking about the USS Nimitz-sized cars. But keep in mind that each and every price guide asserts that there is a difference, and each and every auction list seems to support this as well. Sure there will be the odd 4-door HT selling at an equal price to the 2D HT, but by and large, the 2D will always bring stronger money.

    I think there is a psychological reason here, too. "4-door" suggests "grandpa" or something...I don't's a mental barrier of some sort for old car buyers.

    But hey, buy what you like and take advantage of this seemingly irrational price split, is my advice. Just don't pay 2D money for a 4D--that's not good advice.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,356
    I would definatly lean toward the 1964's. They have cleaner grills and tailights.

    They were the first with the Turbo 400 transmission which is a much better trans tan the earlier ones. First year for Auto Air Conditioning and, I'm almost sure, 1964 was the first year for the 429 engines.

    Not to say the 1963's were "bad" cars, not the case at all.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    1964 was the first year for "climate control" A/C which some may perceive as a cool feature. But, the downside is that this unit is well known for being much more complicated and thus harder (and more expensive) to repair. The '63 A/C was much more straight forward. As you indicated, 1964 did offer some mechanical advantages, but by 1963, the 390 was reknown for being darn near bullet proof and the hyrdamatic tranmission works fine when its in proper working order - though its probably more expensive to repair than the TH400. I think the '64 would beat a '63 in a drag race, but that's not a big deal to me as that's not how I would drive the car.

    Hopefully, the Car Gods will smile upon me and present yours truly with another opportunity to buy a nice 1963-64 Coupe Deville for a reasonable price. If so, I won't let THAT one get away (trust me).
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Yes, perhaps the 4-door suggests "grandpa". But, a 2-door 1963-64 Cadillac isn't exactly what'd you call a "babe magnet". So, how much of a hit to its image does a 4-door 63-64 Caddy take?

    With regard to the propensity for 4-doors to squeak, I guess it stands to reason that if you have twice the number of doors that you double your chances for squeaking. But, doors themselves don't tend to squeak, do they? And, keep in mind that 1963-64 Cadillac 4-door models do not have a B pillar which would reduce the possibility for squeaking, right? I mean, that massive roof by itself should provide ample rigidity and the lack of a post eliminates the number of squeak points I would think.

    It's lack of a B pillar is an attractive feature for me. With all the windows down, you get a lot of the open air driving experience - so much in fact that you'd hardly miss not having a convertible. Not saying its the same as a convertible, but its a nice trade-off when you consider the sedan's advantages in terms of cost (both in its purchase and on-going maintenance) and reduced body flex.

    Am I all wet on these points?
  • No you're not all wet but I think the lack of a B pillar makes the squeaking worse...there is no support for the windows, so they rattle in their channels.

    The only 4-doors I think are really cool are 4 doors with suicide doors.

    I agree that the 4D is more practical as a usable vintage car but since when did practicality and value go together with old cars? If anything, the opposite is true.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    "I guess it stands to reason that if you have twice the number of doors that you double your chances for squeaking."

    I don't think the number of doors and the chances for squeaks is proportional. The relationship changes because the structure of the two body configurations is different, so their respective rigidity and other squeak-causing factors isn't necessarily proportional. As an analogy, consider the probability of mortality in a given year of a 80 year old compared with a 40 year old. Are they proportional? Or, are an 80 year old man's chances of dying twice the chance of a 40 year old man's, in the same physical condition? We know that an 80 year old's chances of dying are more than twice those of a 40 year old's, wouldn't you agree? In fact, although I don't have a mortality table handy to refer to, it's probably quite a bit more than twice as much.

    Sorry for citing a morbid analogy, but I believe Shifty is is right in terms of the propensity for rattles with a four door hard-top versus a two door hard-top.

    Another analogy would be the cost of repairing body damage if you hit a stationary object at 20 mph versus 10 mph.
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