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1950's Cadillacs



  • I'm not fond of Mickey Mouse modifications either. But they needn't be like that.

    For instance, you'd think it somewhat reckless to modify a '58 Corvette, right? But one Corvette I appraised was modified in a very special way---aside from the genuine body, the entire frame and powertrain was from a C5 Corvette. An enormous and difficult task, and, to the casual passer-by, completely undetectable.

    Did it hurt the value of the '58? Probably not actually. This is a very desirable, albeit altered, '58 Vette.

    Would a modified '50s Cadillac fare the same? I think not, unless the modification was so radical, so custom, as to propel a 50 4-door into a new realm of 'automotive art'.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    With a starting bid at a "cool" $250,000, are there any takers for this 1953 Eldorado?
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    Would it have come from the factory with that perfectly-painted radiator and air cleaner?
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Good question. Unfortunately, I was "made" 7 years after this car was. So, unfortunately I wasn't around to verify. ;-)
  • The car is definitely over-restored but more importantly, the seller has to put down the Cadillac Kool-Aid, check his calendar to make sure he knows it's 2010, and lower the price to maybe $175K and take less if there's serious money on the table.

    Actually it's a rather poor ad for such a premium price---it suggests that the car still has needs. If you can't get a '53 Cadillac right after spending 1/4 mil on it, you'd best give up.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Red 1955 Coupe Deville

    I'd be curious to get opinions on this '55 Coupe Deville. While I wouldn't go so far to call it a resto-mod, it's not stock either. The major upgrade is the 454 motor with a TH400 transmission. It also has a nicely done A/C system. The stock radio has been replaced with a Blaupunkt unit with CD (a fair upgrade as long as the dash wasn't cut for it) and the stock instrument panel has been totally swapped out for a modern unit (I'll let others decide if this was a tasteful upgrade or not) and the wipers are electrically operated. Given these modern conveniences, the electrical system has obviously been upgraded to 12-volt. The interior appears to have been replaced with what looks to be a factory style kit. Looks very nice to me anyway.

    This Cadillac won't win any originality awards, but no doubt the upgrades make this a better car to live with and drive.

    A totally stock '55 Couple Deville in nice condition is probably worth around $40K (feel free to debate that). So, how do these upgrades impact its market value?
  • I think it might even increase the value, depending on how well it was all executed under there.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    So, do think $40K is about right? They're asking $47-$48K if I recall correctly.
  • yeah, $40K for a very nicely done retro-mod is not out of the question...but it had better be well done, meaning quality parts and quality install. None of that 300 plastic wire tires, a bungie battery tie down, sloppy drippy welding and Kragen engine accessories. And the paint should be first rate all the way---no peel, no overspray underneath, no tape lines. And speaking of underneath, it should be clean and flat-blacked.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,346
    edited February 2011
    On the plus side, that is one beautiful car inside and out! I don't remember ever seeing a fire engine red 55 before?

    Whoever did that interior did a wonderful job!

    It is, however, no longer a 1955 Cadillac and although it appears that the modifications were done in a first class fashion, it is now a Cadillac with a Chevrolet engine and a different transmission among other things.

    And, I don't care at all for the "updated" instruments.

    That car was 12 volt to begin with.

    So, althoughI can certainly admire the time, talent and dollars that went into that car, I would much perfer an accurate "restoration".

    But that's me. A lot of others would consider the changes to be a major improvement.
  • I think the preferences for "stock" over "mods" depends a lot on what one intends to do with the car. If you're in the lawn chair/local show routine, or taking the kids out for ice cream a few times a year, than "stock" is probably the way to go.

    But if you want to do long tours with high levels of comfort, safety and fuel economy, you'd probably want to go "mods".
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    The last 2 posts make excellent points. To me, the primary purchase motivation is to be able to drive a car that has the feel of a classic car - in this case, a 1955 Cadillac. But, once you make mods to it, you lose that. Well I'm sure it drives better with the mods, the higher value should go to the all original/all stock car.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    Agree! It is true in the Mustang lawn chair/ clip board shows at least.

    The larger shows usually include a separate "Restomod" division and that's OK.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,575
    I think my biggest concern would be how that car sounds, with that 454. Cadillac V-8's always had a nice, muscular, understated sound to them that I always found appealing. Even the choked-down 500's of the 70's still had a nice sound to them.

    I'm impressed with what a good job they did restoring that Caddy to still make it look fairly original. But, if the second you turn the key it sounds like a Chevelle SS, then it's lost me.
  • Here again, it depends on which car you 'mod'. Some of them could actually be worth more modded than original. I think the Cadillac would be neck and neck either way.

    Sometimes, keeping certain old cars stock is the last thing you want to do with them. Some of them really suck to drive.

    The '55 Caddy is a nice-driving car "as is", certainly, but has both handling and safety limitations. I'd certainly leave a nice one alone but if it was shabby, i'd definitely make it a pro-tourer if I'm going to put that much time and money into a car. I want to drive it with full confidence.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,067
    How does a DeSoto V-8 sound? I'm trying to recall what the 500 sounded like as I had a 1975 Cadillac Sedan DeVille. From what I remember, it was extremely quiet at idle. A coworker asked me if the car was even running it was so silent.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,575
    Sad thing is, I'm trying to remember how my '57 DeSoto sounds! The last time I started it was in 2006, and the exhaust system had been shot for awhile, so it sounded a lot more loud and powerful than it really was! And that reminds me, I haven't heard from the mechanic who has the car, in awhile. I'd better stop over there...for all I know, he might've sold the thing out from under me!

    As for those Cadillacs, they had a sound to them that, if this make sense, was deep and powerful, but quiet at the same time.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    edited February 2011
    While I would expect a 454 to have a somewhat different tone, the sound coming from the tailpipe is determined by the type and quality of the exhaust system - primarily the muffler(s), right? Please correct me if I'm wrong (my kids do all the time! :P ). I would think you can make a fire-breathing torque monster motor purr like a baby kitten if you go with a top-quality muffler. Obviously, you'd be depriving yourself of some of the power said engine could make, but that's not the subject.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    Two other things that'll make a difference will be tube headers (obviously) and the type of air cleaner housing. Caddy's would have a pretty quiet intake roar, I'd guess, while a high-performance air cleaner setup on a 454 would let quite a lot more out. That one looked to have a Caddy-type air cleaner, didn't it?
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Yes, the air cleaner is the stock design. It's just chromed which wasn't stock.

    I'm guessing if I took this car (or any car for that matter) to my local Midas dealer and told them I wanted this car to be whisper quiet, they could do it.
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