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1962 Cadillac - any driving experiences out there?

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  • It's not easy switching your corporate image. Harley did it quite successfullly, getting their bikes into the hands of affluent riders who wanted to be "bad" but still own homes and work in a bank. It was a neat trick, and they only had to improve the product marginally, from bad to mediocre.

    As for car companies, Oldsmobile tried but didn't succeed in luring more youthful drivers "This isn't your father's Oldsmobile"). Honda and Toyota went upscale but had to add a whole new brand name. Jaguar definitely went upscale in the early 70s and pulled that off pretty well, again with only a marginal increase in quality.

    I don't think the Cadillac buyer of 1962 and the one of 2002 are so radically different in basic values or image, but the age definitely has to drop or all of Cadillacs customers will be dead or disabled in 10 years. This is not good.

    Cadillac's great success in the 1950s was due, I think, to their offering "the best America has", and I think it was true back then. But now there are any number of good American cars that can compete with current Cadillacs. Cadillac has to really ramp up to make their newest Cadillacs conspicuously better, just like a German understanding that a VW is not a Mercedes.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    This subject could possibly support its own forum, but I'll stick it here because I'm looking at a '62 Cadillac convertible that lacks factory air conditioning.

    I know that a factory correct A/C system can be installed using original parts - if you can find them.

    However, there's a company called Vintage Air which makes systems specifically for older cars and custom rods. I just emailed them to inquire if they have a product specifically for a '62 Cadillac.

    Does anyone have experience/knowledge about this company and whether these systems look factory installed?

    Supposedly, Vintage Air systems function much better than an original (ie., 40 year old) system - which sounds reasonable given modern technology.

    My concern is whether this company would have the dash/head control unit that would match the rest of the car along with the dash A/C vents.

    As always, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  • I don't think they match dashboards. They make a/c for hotrods, etc mostly is my recollection.
    But this doesn't matter as long as you don't alter your car in the installation.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,605
    ...but back then, I think most air conditioning systems, even factory jobs, just hung up under the dashboard, and really didn't interfere with the design of the dash. Usually the factory A/C systems looked nicer...thinner, more compact, better materials, while the aftermarket ones were usually these big bulky plastic things.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    .......at least from as far back as about '60 had dash a/c vents and actually was a 'built-in' feature of the entire HVAC system, IIRC. A '62 with factory a/c will have round vents at both ends of the dash, and will look different from one without. Actually, GM was pretty good at incorporating factory a/c in their cars, I've seen '60 Chevies for which the above is also true.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Yes, installed from the factory, a '62 Cadillac had round dash vents at both ends of the dashboard. There was also an additional A/C vent located under the leading edge of the dash, about equal-distant between the two, aforementioned end dash vents.

    My question is how seamless would a retro-fitted system be in terms of appearance. The dash vents would, reportedly, not be a big deal to install. Its the control/head unit I'm curious about. Would it replace the existing control/head unit that currently provides the heater/fresh air controls? Or, would this new system be able to use a factory-original A/C head control unit?
  • Another big difference between a factory installed A/C and an aftermarket, was that the factory A/C generally was able to incorporate in to the car venitlation system and could bring fresh air into the system. Most if not all aftermarket units just recirculated the air already in the car.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,367
    Back in the days when I ran a large shop for Sears, we installed a LOT of aftermarket A/C units. "Mickey Mouse" air to some people.

    I remember a good installer could knock out three cars a day. In the mid-seventies we sold these for something like 295.00 installed.

    Badgerpaul is right, they only recirculated the air inside the car. Still, they did work pretty well.

    I remember ordering R-12 freon by the tankfulls!
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Can anyone tell me where I can find what colors were available for Cadillac in 1962? I'm looking at some convertibles and they all happen to be blue or teal in color. However, none seem to be the same color.

    Looks like I've lost out on one because I wasn't willing to go up to the seller's asking price of $18K (down from his original $23,900) for what appeared to be a very nice Series 62. But, apparently someone else was willing because the seller has found a buyer for his price. Going in, I had a price and, right or wrong, I stuck to it. So, once again I'm an outsider looking in. Onward and upward!

    I have two 1962 Cadillac brochures, but none of them list the available colors. They credit the makers of the gowns worn by the ladies in the brochure (ie., Saks Fifth Avenue, etc.), but no mention of the colors! T'was a different time.

    A '62 shop manual would probably have the information. I should probably buy one of these on eBay.

    Thus, if anyone knows what "blue" or "blue-related" colors were available in 1962 (and a verbal reference as to what a specific color refers to; ie., light blue, navy blue, etc.), I would be very appreciative.

    I'm also going to post this request on the Cadillac LaSalle Club message board. So, the gauntlet of challenge has been laid. You guys have never let me down yet. Let me know if you have any "colorful" information.

    Thanks.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,605
    ...you might want to go to an automotive paint store and see if they have color charts going back that far. I haven't painted a car in years, but the two I did (a '69 Dart GT and a '68 Dart 270), the shop had some big books with color charts, and the guy just let me look and pick out the color.

    I don't think a shop manual would have color charts in it. I have a shop manual for my '57 DeSoto that a friend gave me for Christmas, and it's all technical and mechanical stuff...nothing about colors, fabrics, etc. Still, a shop manual would be a good thing to have!

    Anyway Parm, good luck in your search. The right one will come along, eventually!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    No, I've never seen a manual with colors. I think the sales brochures are the best source for that, although there can be a difference between what the color looks like printed and what it looks like on a car.

    I think what you're running across is that when a car is repainted the color is usually eye matched, or it may even just be a stock color that happens to be close to the original. Each factory color has a formula and unless the new paint follows that formula it'll be noticeably different.
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    A gentleman was kind enough to post these for me on the CLC website message board. So, here are the Cadillac colors available in 1962 (sorry the formating is a bit off).

    Color Code
    White....................1
    Black....................2
    Concord Blue.............3
    Sandalwood...............4
    Med. Saddle Tan(Bronze)..5
    Pink(Heather)............8
    Red......................9
    Ebony(black).............10
    Olympic White............12
    Nevada Silver............14
    Aleution Grey............16
    Newport Blue.............22
    Avalon Blue..............24
    York Blue................26
    Turquoise................29
    Sage.....................32
    Granada Green............36
    Sandalwood...............44
    Maize....................45
    Driftwood Beige..........46
    Laurel...................48
    Pompeian Red.............50
    Burgundy.................52
    Silver "Fire-Frost"......61
    Gold "Fire-Frost.........64
    Neptune Blue.............94
    Pinehurst Green..........96
    Victorian Green..........97
    Bronze...................98
    Heather..................99

    You can find the paint code on the Cadillac body number plate. It is riveted to the cowl at the left of center under the hood.

    Convertible top color codes

    White....................1
    Black....................2
    Lt. Gold.................4
    Med. Blue................5
    Lt. Sandalwood...........6
    Med. Pink................7
    Lt. Blue.................8
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Found a great website to find paint chip samples of classic cars. It's called autocolorlibrary.com.


    Here's a link showing the colors available for Cadillac in 1962.


    http://autocolorlibrary.com/cgi-bin/search/searchpic.pl?1962-cadillac-pg01.jpg

  • impeimpe Posts: 33
    Thanks for the info on the paint chips. I just printed out the paint chip sheet for 1969.

    I am finally finished, (with a lot of help from Cadillac friends out on the Web), figuring out what all those codes are on the ID Plate. I really had a problem with "FWD" which turns out to be the "Fleetwood Detroit" Assembly Plant.

    Last Sunday, I took the dog out for her first ride. She sat in the back seat with the top down. She liked it - sort of like riding in the pickup but much more smooth. At 65 mph her fur was flying up into the front seat so badly that I had to slow down because it was getting in my eyes.

    This car is only 3.25 feet shorter than our pontoon boat, but handles marginally better.

    This is going to be a fun car - can't wait for Spring to get here. For those of you who are contemplating, my advice - take a hint from Nike - just do it!

    Again, Thanks for the color chip info.

    Impe
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Can you repeat your advice? I want my wife to read it. ;-)
  • parmparm Posts: 723
    I'm looking at a '62 Eldorado convertible that was restored around 10 years ago. I'm in the process of setting up an inspection by a Cadillac LaSalle Club member who knows exponentially more about these cars than yours truly.

    However, last week I did my own informal walk-around inspection. The thing that impressed me the most was how solid the car felt when doing the "door closure" test. The doors closed with a nice, solid "thunk" without fuss or any rattles.

    This partially explains my desire for a 1962 Cadillac. For their day, these cars were well built - which I'm hoping translates into a car that in 2002 feels alot more solid compared to a 65-66 Mustang convertible, 66-67 GTO convertible or most others from any of the Big 3.

    I don't have any illusions that a '62 Cadillac would even begin to compare with a modern car, but I'm hoping the total package would compare favorably to any other domestic of similar vintage thereby allowing me to get the biggest bang for my buck.

    Anyone care to agree or disagree?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    All I can tell you is that the full-size GM convertibles I've had generally felt more sold than the GM intermediate convertibles I've had, apparently depending on the full-sizer's price range, so I think you're headed in the right direction.

    The '65 Tempest and '67 LeMans convertibles I owned were real flexiflyers. If they're typical of GM intermediate convertibles then I don't want another one. The '66 Wildcat felt solid and the '63 Starfire convertible was like a bank vault. The '61 and '65 Impalas didn't feel either loose or tight, kind of in between. The '61 Bonneville felt really sloppy, especially since I owned the Starfire at the same time. All of these cars had a goodly number of miles so I don't think that was a big variable in my case.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    convertible back in 1962 at a car show. I remember the sticker price was $6300, a lot for that time, since my Dad's new Impala SS stickered at around $3500. That Cadillac left an impression-it was maize color [kind of a butterscotch] with matching leather interior. A beautiful car, I thought. I always liked the 61-62 Cads better than any others from the 60s. I was looking at the Collector Car Trader Online website last night, and was surprised to see a number of 62 Cad convertibles, all of them nice, ranging in price from the low teens to the low-mid twenties. Might want to check it out. I still maintain that the 61-63 Cads, with the 390 engines, Hydramatics, and high geared rearends would push the high teens on the road for gas mileage. This is what I've heard over the years for those models. Anyway, go for it, and tell me about it. My 62 Impala SS with 42,000 original miles is a close cousin wannabe. Always fun to cruise in.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,367
    Every time you talk about your 62 SS Impala, I conjure up fond memories of the one I had.

    What a beautiful car! I remember the factory A/C blew out the COLDEST air of any car I've owned since.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    so I'll be taking the 62 out for more and more cruises. I just love the car-it takes me back to the summer of 62, when I was cruising in my Dad's IDENTICAL new 62 SS. And like you said, Isell, the Powerglide isn't that bad! Still shifts tight, and that 327 has plenty of torque. Hey, the sun's out! Think I'll take it for a cruise.
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