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1962 Cadillac - any driving experiences out there?

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  • In my humble opinion, full size Chevy's became less attractive after about 1965. 1968 would be the last model year for the full size Ford convertibles. Pontiacs stayed attractive until 1970.

    For me, the sweet spot styling wise is about 63-67. The full-sizer's got too full size after that time frame.
  • ndancendance Posts: 323
    Speedshift...

    I've got to agree with you on the price thing. As I slowly evolve into my dad (no doubt I'll notice ever-enlarging ears and grey pubic hair next) my ability to seriously think about cars at these prices has diminished.

    I suppose there is some hope that we are in a bubble (post-stock) and as the whole housing thing fizzles, so will overpriced goods...but the amounts people ask for what I think of as parts cars is just ridiculous. Being a muscle car guy, the idea of paying anything more than the breakup value for a '69/'70 Mustang coupe (for instance) is silly, but I've seen a number of cars in the 5-8k range...gack.

    Cadillac driving experiences...hmmmm....only a '73 Eldo convertible (red w/ white interior, naturally). I'd love to have been a fly on the wall during the design process on those things. The whole 501 thing doesn't freak me out, but the shear physical size is downright amazing. I suppose it was good training for those who later bought Excursions.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    You should be able to get a very decent 60s convertible for $10K as well, like a Galaxie 500, and for just a little more, a very nice XL. Or an Impala same years.

    Are you letting silly asking prices intimidate you a bit? You go into any of those ads with a suitcase of cash and you WILL have any number of clean driver 60s convertibles in your driveway (#3 cars, very presentable inside and out).

    You could buy an oustanding Plymouth convertible, 68 on up for $10K and just about any Chrysler 300 from say 62 on up.

    This is really a buyer's market right now but you have to engage the target eyeball to eyeball. Also an auction might work, like one of the smaller Silver auctions.

    Naturally these prices do not include the ever popular muscle cars.

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  • parmparm Posts: 723
    I will continue to fight the good fight.

    Actually, there's a very nice (and I mean VERY nice) Maize color with white interior 1962 Series '62 Cadillac convertible I'm aware of (and it's actually a fairly comfortable driving distance from my house!) that was on Ebay early this summer and resulted in a high bid of $18,000 and some change. But, the car didn't sell and I've stayed in contact with the owner.

    The owner told me his price is $15,000 and I've offered $12,000 - which is consistent with CPI's value of good (which they too define as very nice) and my credit union's loan value.

    The latter is important because I don't want to buy a car for any more than what someone else (ie., a buyer down the road) could finance it for. Let's face it, this is only a hobby and I'm not willing to get "upside" on a car the minute I take possession.

    Furthermore, I don't have the extra $3K to make up the difference. So, what I'm willing to pay is very much determined by my bank account and I don't think I'm unique in this respect.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,785
    Are you saying your credit union will loan money on a collector car?

    I didn't think they would get into anything like that. CU's are usually way too conservative.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I'm not putting down $10k cars just because they're the $1500-2000 cars I was involved with almost twenty years ago. That means they're still serving as an introduction to the hobby, and they can be very nice cars. Some of the people here have and enjoy these cars and I don't, so they're one up on me.

    My one major concern is resale. Maybe I shouldn't generalize too much about $10k cars because that covers a wide range of iron but when I sold my $1500 cars twenty years ago I got a tepid response from the market even at "market correct" prices.

    There's no strong feeling for these cars. You benefit from that going in but you deal with it trying to get out.

    The average buyer lumps them together in a large pot of interchangable and competing cars. I don't want to go back to dealing with a parade of tire kickers who are comparing my car with forty similar cars within twenty miles of their house. It drove me nuts in my twenties and I can just imagine what it'd do to me now.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Can I get financing for a classic car? You bet. My credit union has a "classic car" loan program for around 6.5% over a ten year term. Pretty sweet I think.

    Now, there's a couple of stipulations. First, the car has to be at least 10 years old. No problem there. Second, the car has to have a minimum value of $10,000. They use CPI's "good" category as their basis for determining value. However, if you have an appraisal showing a car is worth $10K+ that'll suffice as well.

    Some may question the wisdom of a 10-year loan on a classic car and I wouldn't argue too much with their points. However, I look it as an inexpensive way of leveraging someone else's money for a car that, if I maintain, will hopefully be worth at least equal to my purchase price ten years down the road. Naturally, if I could pay it off faster than 10 years I would.

    For speedshift: I agree with your analysis. A Cadillac collector I know gave me some good advice this summer. He said "these cars are a lot easier to buy than they are to sell." I've taken this to heart and it puts downward pressure on what I would be willing to pay for a car because I can't afford to take a financial bath on a toy.

    The secret is to buy a car for less than it's market value (well Duh!). But, I really don't think a lot of buyers think in such simple terms. Now, I'm not talking about trying to buy a pristine, fuel-injected 57 Chevy convertible for only $5,000 or something ridiculous like that. But, as it's been said here before, if you step up to the plate and make the seller a bona fide, but rather low offer (not to be confused with a stupid offer) and not just tip-toe around, you just might find a seller who's tired of fooling with the car and wants to get on with his life. At least, this is what I'm trying to do. Call me nuts, but this strategy will help insulate from making a mistake.

    As an example, remember that Maize '62 Cadillac I mentioned earlier? That car could very well be worth $15,000. But, if I can get it for $12,000 then I'd be in pretty good shape I think. What's CPI's value for a 1962 Series 62 convertible in good condition? $12,225. So, I wouldn't have to put any down on the deal. Sweet home Alabama.

    My problem is that I really want to keep my payments to around $100 a month. That means limiting my loan amount to roughly $8,800. So now (taking $15,000 as an example), instead of having to come up with a difference of $3,000 ($15,000 - $12,000), I'd have to come up with around $6,200 ($15,000 - $8,800). Ouch!

    Right or wrong, this is my strategy and I'm sticking to it. Because until I can increase my nest egg, it's my only viable option.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    Well I haven't seen the '62 you are talking about, so I can't say whether the man should take the $12K or not.

    But in general, if you own an old classic car that is not top show quality, and someone puts a pile of real money on a real table, you should give it every consideration these days rather than pride let you chase away the only real buyer you may see for a year.

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  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    That's a great color on a great car. Hope it works out!
    I remember looking at a brand new 62 Cad Convertible, just like that, except it had the Maize interior as well. This was at some kind of car show, in 1962. I remember the bottom line sticker price-$6300.
    As for financing, what about the home equity line of credit? I got mine through my credit union as well-sure works well for me! All the interest [at 6%] is deductible on your taxes.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    We've already used some home equity line of credit (LOC) on house-related projects. Plus, I used some to help finance our Intrepid.

    What little LOC I have left, I'm keeping available for an emergency. And, I suspect my wife wouldn't consider buying a 40 year old Cadillac as an emergency.

    Women just can't see the big picture. :-)
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Sounds like a good strategy, especially when dealing with the soft underbelly of the market. I have a suspicion that the singular examples will continue to command a premium.

    The other option is to "wait until prices go down" but you'd think that would have happened already. Maybe prices haven't cratered because a lot of people made a lot of money in the '90s and they've held onto enough of it to feel comfortable.

    Also old cars aren't the most liquid asset, unless you're willing to give one away.

    Finally, as you alluded, the rise in home values has given homeowners a substantial cushion of equity they've used to pay bills and incur more debt. It's okay so far but if home prices start going down nationally, instead of just in Silicon Valley, things may be different.
  • argentargent Posts: 176
    ...but the '64s on have the improved, more powerful engine and better transmission. In '63 Cadillac redesigned their V-8, knocking about 52 lbs. off its weight, and the following year they increased its displacement to 429 cubic inches. I think on balance it might be one of the best V-8s of that era: it was powerful, had a good reliability record, and it was one of the lightest for its displacment (595 lbs. for 429 cubic inches). In '64 they started phasing in the Turbo Hydramatic in place of the older Hydramatic (in '64 the TH400 became standard on De Villes, Fleetwoods, and Eldorados; it was line-wide in '65), which was smoother and more responsive. The '64-'65 cars had strong acceleration: both MOTOR TREND and CAR LIFE clocked 429/TH400 cars at 8.5 seconds 0-60, not bad at all for loaded luxobarges with 4800 lbs. or so of curb weight.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    True, the Turbo Hydramatic is a better performer. On the other hand, I don't see myself doing stoplight to stoplight dashes with a 40 year old boat of a car. So, I consider any acceleration advantages of the TH to be a neutral issue. I've talked to several 62-63 Caddy owners and they're generally satisfied with the Hydramatic.

    My main consideration is smoothness in shift changes and if it's adjusted correctly, a Hydramatic should shift well enough for me.

    The 429 is reportedly a good engine, but the older 390 is supposed to be pretty bullet proof. Again, as long as it gets the car from point A to B with an acceptable degree of reliability, smoothness and reasonable power, I'm not too concerned with what's under the hood.

    In terms of finding a mechanic who can work on them and parts availability, both the 390 and 429 should be darn near identical.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    http://adcache.collectorcartraderonline.com/10/6/0/37069560.htm


    Perhaps it's my frustration of not finding what I originally thought I wanted or perhaps I'm becoming less finicky and more open-minded. Whatever, the reason, I find myself being attracted to this '66 Eldorado.


    Yeah, its not my usual 1962, 1963 or 1964. But you know what? I've come to the realization of rather than limiting myself to a few specific models and years, I should concentrate on finding the absolute very best car I can find at the highest price I can afford (which admittedly isn't much - can you say cheese line?). And, since I've always like Cadillacs, I find myself attracted to this car.


    Anyway, I never really paid too much attention to Cadillacs after 1964. But, I'm really starting to warm up to the '65-'66 body style - especially in Eldorado form which has the classy looking wood interior trim (which I'm a real sucker for).


    So now, let's talk values. CPI shows a '66 Eldorado convertible in good condition to be $11,400 and one in excellent condition to be $18,800. Based on this guy's description and $21,000 asking price, he obviously thinks he has one of the best '66 Eldorado's in captivity. However, I don't think this is the case based on the amount of work he's had done to it.


    I'm hoping our congenial host will weigh in heavily as to what this car can be (or should be) bought for.


    By the way, there's a red '66 Eldorado convertible on Hemmings.com reportedly with only 30,500 original miles with an even higher asking price of $28,000. At that altitude, an air mask should automatically drop down from the visor!


    As always, I'm looking up to guys to give me some much needed guidance on this blue '66 Eldorado.


    Gentlemen, the floor is yours.

  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    I've always had a soft spot for '66 Cadillacs (especially Fleetwood Broughams and Eldorados), perhaps cuz my neighbors had a black '66 Brougham when I was a little kid (my parents at the time had an orange '71 Datsun 510, which to my three year-old mind just paled in comparison).

    The "asking price" of the last few *really* nice '66 Eldos I've seen (including a gold one with regular black bench interior, an triple tan with bench and a super low-mile red one with buckets and headrests) were all in this same range ($19-25k). Although I love these cars, that seems quite steep. They DO have a lot going for them: they were the last RWD Eldos sold, only 2250 were made, they were well built, heavily equipped, have real wood and real leather interiors, and IMO are way better looking than the '65s (though the bodies are similar, the trim and front and rear ends were greatly improved on the '66). STILL, it's a '66 Cadillac, I just can't see spending quite that much on one, especially since you can likely find a DeVille convert of the same year that, let's face it, isn't a whole lot different in most respects, for half as much. I think that's the problem right there.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    Since it would take well over $25K to restore a '66 Eldo to show condition, it might be reasonable to ask this price for it in order to keep the losses down. But to ask this type of money for a car that is not spectacular show perfect makes no sense.

    It seems to me that CPI is more than generous for an "excellent" car, which is actually a #2 automobile. Price guides do not price #1 cars.

    So if you are looking at a true, blue #1, you can throw the guides out the window. $50,000 isn't too much if the car is spectacular and the best in the country (and can prove it with trophies).

    Unfortunately, many sellers have #3 cars and think they are #2s, and you don't want to pay #2 money for a #3, especially not a Cadillac, as these cars are very expensive to restore.

    I noticed that the Ebay ad says "totally restored" but conspicuously does not say "body off restoration". If the body hasn't been lifted off a Caddy like this you don't have a totally restored car, period, and therefore the car is by definition overpriced by at least $5,000. Also, it sounds like the car is being "turned" by a dealer or curbstoner.

    A frame-off not only allows you to completely clean and powdercoat the frame, but you can replace every bushing in the suspension, redo all the sound-deadening and frame cushioning, and generally make the car feel like new. A frame-on resto, while it might give you a decent car, cannot match these standards.

    If you are paying top dollar, you deserve the best. A '66 Eldo is the type of car you want somebody ELSE to totally restore!

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  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    the 66 is also my favorite. I always did like that clean, slabsided look of the 65-66 Cads. I like these years better than any other 60s Cad except the 62. To me, the grilles of the 63-64 are too busy looking, and the 67-68s look too long for some reason. Maybe it's that small looking greenhouse on the coupes of the 63-64s and 67-68s. Makes the rear decks look overly long. So, I say go for a nice 66 if you can find a good deal on one. But, I'd still watch for a good 62 of course!
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    Points duly noted regarding restoration, Mr. Shiftright. Reminds me of the '66 Brougham I almost bought for $1100 a few years ago. I'd always wanted one, and this one was in decent shape considering the price. Still, half the electric stuff functioned intermittently (there are eight power windows, usually power locks, a six-way power seat and climate control a/c on this model), some of the interior wood (which was used fairly liberally on the doors and on rear fold-down tables in these models) needed refinishing, and the leather was sort of dried up. Oh yeah, a nineteen foot car in a neighborhood with bad street parking was a frightening prospect.

    As is usually the case, paying top dollar for a nice one is ultimately smarter than buying a basket case, but this seems especially true for luxury models, since there's also the myriad of gizmos to consider.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,066
    ...I'm guessing this was around 1993, I found this gorgeous black '66 Fleetwood 60 Special sedan for sale at, of all places, a foreign car dealership! I remember it had the 8 window switches, as the vents front and rear were power. It also had the little limosine style footrests in the back, and I think it might've even had these little trays that folded out (not sure on that one though). They only wanted something like $2500 for it back then, and the sucker was flawless, at least to my eye. One of my college buddies saw me when I was driving it around...he commented on it a few days later in class. He said "It's YOU!!"

    As Carol Burnette used to say on "Mama's Family"... "Oh Lord Lord Lord LORD...where did I go WROOOONG?" ;-)

    I wonder what kind of fuel mileage something like that would've gotten?
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    ...the one next door when I was a kid was triple black, just gorgeous. IIRC, the only differences between a 'regular' Fleetwood (aka 60S) and the Brougham were a vinyl roof, the footrests and lighted, fold down walnut writing tables in the back on the latter. Broughams were generally a bit better equipped, too.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    At least two or three clean, original Cadillacs can usually be found at Carlisle and Hershey. A fair number of Cadillac owners apparently pampered their cars and kept them for the long haul.

    About two years ago someone offered an all-original, almost flawless 1962 DeVille convertible for sale at Carlisle. White with a black top and interior. If I recall correctly, the seller was asking well over $30,000, and the car sold the first day.
  • wq59bwq59b Posts: 61
    >>"A frame-off not only allows you to completely clean and powdercoat the frame, but you can replace every bushing in the suspension, redo all the sound-deadening and frame cushioning, and generally make the car feel like new. A frame-on resto, while it might give you a decent car, cannot match these standards."<<

    Basically a frame-off allows you to clean & seal (paint) the tops of the framerails & the corresponding floor pan areas covered by said frame rails. Oh, and replace the body bushings.

    Of course, it is in no way neccessary to pull the body to replace the suspension bushings, and sound deadening is found in the interior, not underneath. The biggest difference in 'new car feel' will come from rebuilding the suspension... not much -if anything- will be felt with new body bushings ALONE, esp in a car the traditionally is driven like a Cadillac, unless the body bushings are SO bad they're literally falling out.

    I pulled the body on my '59 about 2 years ago and all the body bushings were in very serviceable shape, and my car spent 105,000 miles in Pennsylvania. I AM replacing them anyway- I want the car to be as taut as possible.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    I'll be interested to know the results of your suspension work. Please keep us posted.

    A 59 Cadillac? That's about as big as they get. I'm looking for a nice land yacht myself, but something more along the lines of a destroyer and not quite as big as the 59's aircraft carrier class. ;-) Just joking.

    Is your '59 a convertible by any chance?
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1876343871


    On Dec. 21st, an ebay auction ended on this '64 DeVille convertible with a high bid of $4,050 (didn't meet the reserve) and 11 different bidders (14 total bids received).


    It's interesting that on this go around and with still over 6 days left, the bidding is already up to $3,750 with 9 different bidders (14 total bids received).


    A month or so ago, I would've been more interested in this car. But, more recently, I've been looking at '65-'65 Buick Electra convertibles which make the '63-'64 Cadillacs seem somewhat frumpy to my eye - though I'm sure I'd be happy with a Cadillac.

  • parmparm Posts: 723
    http://adcache.collectorcartraderonline.com/10/3/4/40567134.htm

    Here's a '64 DeVille convertible for sale in Las Vegas I may be interested in. I'd appreciate any comments from the group as to how well sorted out this car appears to be though I realize it's tough to tell much from the photos (there's 12 of them).

    $13,995 would probably be about right if it were very nice and everything worked (including the A/C). The fact that this car appears to be for sale by a dealer (which means it carries an inflated asking price) tells me it's real value is less which, in turn, means it's actual condition is not as good as it looks.

    In any event, I kind of like the green color in that it's different than the usual white or red.

    Gentlemen, the floor is yours.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    Those pictures aren't the most detailed, but it looks generally nice nonetheless. I'm not sure if it's me or the car, but in the photo showing the right side of the car (pic on the bottom left), it looks like there might be some rust and/or bondo on the bottom (like under the door). Like I said, I'm not sure, but it looks a bit 'ripply'.

    I do like the color, also, though I'm wondering if it's factory correct. The white interior is a bonus, at least to me. How is this car equipped (i.e., does it have a/c, climate control, tilt, power vents)?
  • wq59bwq59b Posts: 61
    PARM: Whoops- I should've specified. My '59 is a Buick, an Invicta. It's a 2-dr hardtop. I never cared for convertibles because-

    1.) all convertible tops look OK at best and terrible at worst in my eye. They don't have any styling & look too after-thought-ish when up. And you DO have to drive with them up sometimes!

    2.) I would feel cheated to not get the airy & elegant 2-dr hardtop roofline (and all the extra stainless, don'tcha know!!)

    3.) The headaches of restoring and/or maintaining a convertible's hydraulic & electrical systems, pus the top material itself, is a major hassle & expense not in the least worth it in my opinion.

    I've ridden in a number of vintage convertibles but I still don't want one myself.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    wq59b: Getting a car like this would be a toy to be driven only on nice days. So, to me, getting a convertible is what makes it fun. If I wanted to cruise in a hardtop, I could take my Intrepid out for a spin and get the same experience (and be far more comfortable doing it). For these reasons, the top-down styling is a non-issue for me. Plus, a convertible holds it resale value far better than a hardtop.

    A guy I know once told me, "If it's not a convertible, it's a parts car." For this genre of car (ie., a big toy), I tend to agree - but, readily recognize that not every one does.

    If I was getting one of these as my daily driver, then I probably would rather have a hardtop. But, if I was getting it as my driver, I'd want to upgrade the brakes to discs.

    ghulet: According to the ad that accompanies the photos, this car is pretty well loaded to include a/c and the fairly rare cruise control (though I doubt I'd trust it). It shows it being equipped with dual exhausts which I'm 99.9% sure wasn't available from the factory back then.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,785
    Well...I don't like it.

    To me, it looks like a cheap repaint over bondo.

    Of course, I could be wrong. With photos, it's hard to tell.

    I know, the color of a car is subjective. I don't care for the green and I think it'll make the car hard to sell both now and later on.

    You asked!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    Well he's asking eldo prices for a deville...he's an easy $4K over the market for an "older restoration" (read "issues").

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