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1963-1964 Cadillacs

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  • parmparm Posts: 723
    As a point of reference, from 1960 thru 1963, Devilles were hardtops only. The Series 62 was indeed the entry-level Cadillac. During those years, convertibles came in two flavors - Series 62 and Eldorado. In 1964, the Series 62 came in hardtop form only. That year, the two convertible options were the Deville and the Eldorado. While the Series 62 had down-graded interior fabrics, I believe that A/C and power windows were actually available as options. As noted above, in 1965, the Series 62 became the Calais.

    Just read what I typed and realize my breadth of useless information knows no bounds. :confuse:
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,442
    Just read what I typed and realize my breadth of useless information knows no bounds.

    That'll happen in here. It's a big reason why I come....
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,205
    My best friend's cousin has a blue 1967 Cadillac Calais coupe. It has the crank windows and is sans A/C. He calls it the "working man's Cadillac!" When I was a kid, a neighbor down the street had a gold 1969 Cadillac Calais. I thought it was pretty sharp car. He also had a 1956 Buick Special.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,535
    The Calais was barely distinguishable from a deVille--most obvious difference from the outside, at least in the '71-76 iteration, was no rocker panel moldings. Inside, vinyl instead of leather and no rear-seat center armrest. I think they're interesting just for the reason, you hardly ever saw them. In '75 and '76 they had a neat '70's era plaid cloth interior in bright colors that was kind of neat. Still very much a Caddy inside.

    I remember as plain as day, a brand-new black, no vinyl top, black cloth interior 1972 Calais Hardtop Sedan our local dealer got in new. It was gone in a day or two and never seen by me around town again, so must have been ordered. It had power windows (standard on a Calais by then), but NO AIR...and NO RADIO! It had a radio delete plate on the dash!

    It also had blackwall tires. It had ZERO options. Price at the bottom of the sticker, including destination...$6,480.00. I'll always remember that.

    The Fleetwood Sixty Special continued on into the 1970 model year, with the "Brougham" being an option in the earlier years and I believe a separate model in '70 (at least it has its own page or two in the '70 sales brochure). In '71 they had one model called the "Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham". I think in '72 and later the name 'Sixty Special' was gone, but didn't they call that stretched late '80's/early '90's FWD Caddy a "Sixty Special"?

    Bill
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,205
    Yes. I believe the Sixty-Special was around 1989 through 1993. I kind of liked them but bought a full-size RWD Brougham instead. I thought the vanity mirrors for the rear seat passengers was a neat touch. I saw a nice white 1991 model at the last Fall Carlisle.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,937
    I just don't know why a Cadillac buyer would cheap out and buy one of these. A Cadillac should be well equipped.

    I'll bet trying to sell a Calais without A/C or the power stuff a few years later would have been near impossible.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    It's STILL harder to sell a vintage Cadillac without AC. In fact, we now add about a 10% premium during appraisals for AC, working or not. And a stripper 4-door post sedan with a few needs is practically unsaleable unless it's really really cheap.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,937
    If a 1964 Chevy Impala doesn't have A/C it's not a big deal because the majority of these didn't have A/C back in those days. It would definatly be a plus if it did though.

    On a car like a Caddy, it's expected to have A/C and it's an instant turnoff if they don't.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,345
    I just don't know why a Cadillac buyer would cheap out and buy one of these. A Cadillac should be well equipped.

    There are folk in NY & LA who will buy the cheapest Cad because from the outside who knows what options are in a given car. It still is a Cad.

    When asked why she wore fine clothes and expensive furs instead of eating better, she replied, "People can't see what's in my stomach, but they can see what's on my back."
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    Well in the 1960s there was a certain amount of truth to what you say, definitely, when Cadillac actually had some heavy prestige value. Remember in 1963 there was no Lexus, Benzes had tailfins and modest interiors, and Rolls were ridiculously expensive and pretentious EVEN for American tastes. Cadillac was really the only game in town for "big car prestige".

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    In '63 Lincolns and Imperials, but especially Lincolns, also enjoyed prestige, although not as much as Cadillacs. Top-of-the-line Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Chryslers, the near-luxury Detroit iron of the day, also enjoyed a measure of prestige, although Cadillac was at the top of the heap (pun intended).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    I think Buick and Olds genuine prestige days passed in the 1950s, along with the idea that you "graduated" from Chevy up to Olds/Buick then to Cadillac as you became more successful. I think that easier credit, success coming to younger and younger people, and the muscle car era changed the whole prestige picture in the 1960s. Certainly Lincoln got a prestige bump through the White House in the early 60s but I don't think the President being killed in one did Lincoln's image any good, nor did their bad reputation for reliability. Celebrities like the "Rat Pack" and Elvis and Liberace had their Cadillacs but nobody of any celebrity status showed off in a Chrysler. By the mid 60s, Lincoln and Chrysler Imperial had become indistinguishable from their lower lines but Cadillac still held their distinct place in the pecking order until they become a parody of themselves in the mid 70s and lost all touch with the concept of "prestige". My two cents.

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  • parmparm Posts: 723
    With regard to the market recognizing the value of A/C on an older Cadillac, I tend to agree - a least on a hardtop. Maybe that argument diminishes on a convertible, but even then I know I'd pay more for one with A/C. BTW, the '63 Fleetwood I'm interested in has A/C (working) along with 6-way power seat (which was actually standard), tilt steering and sentinel headlight control.

    When I was in high school and college, I worked in a marina during the summer months. Over those years, I worked my way up to Harbor Master (I kid you not) and became very proficient in docking everything from a 10ft fishing boat to a twin-screw 40ft Chris Craft cruiser - the latter of which was great training with respect to parking a '63 Fleetwood! ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    Yes it would be nice if you could run the left side tires on a '63 Fleetwood in one direction and the right side in the other! Actually rear wheel steering with a steering station in the trunk would have worked, too. You could keep the kids back there.

    I just saw a '63 Riviera yesterday, a car I used to own---GEEZ I had no idea they were so HUGE, and that I drove them around using my pinkie. '63 Rivs were not such good cars BTW. Notorious overheaters.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,937
    Really?

    I've owned two 65's and they never ran hot.

    Interesting that 63-64 and 65 Rivieras all had a different automatic transmission.

    I tend to lean toward the 64's. The 65's had those miserable headlight doors that never worked right. Even when the cars were almost new they would act up. I heard the Buick dealer mechanics just hated them!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    63 Riv was the first year and perhaps the automatic contributed to the overheating.

    The only 60s Cadillac I owned was....let me think....either a 65 or 66. I can't tell them apart anymore.

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  • parmparm Posts: 723
    The 1965 Cadillac had a larger front turn signal side marker. The '66 had a much better looking front grill and my preference between the two.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    Okay I looked at pix. I had a '66, yellow coupe with black top. Good car. Funny story. My friend's HUGE German shepherd jumped in it one day and wouldn't leave---started growling at me. So he (my friend, not the dog) offered to buy the car for the dog. I had 3 cars, his offer was very very good, and I said sure. He didn't actually pick it up for a few days and we did get the dog out. Dog loved that car and I'm told took his last ride in it, too.

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  • parmparm Posts: 723
    Sounds like the dog left this world in "Cadillac style". We should all be so lucky.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    That dog lived large (130 lbs). Funny thing was that whenever my friend backed the Cadillac up, the dog would spin around and face backwards. If he put in back in drive, the dog would face forwards. He'd do that as long as you cared to test him.

    Nice thing was you could go shopping and leave the car unlocked. Woe to the man who tried to open the door without looking in the back seat--LOL!

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,270
    I just saw a '63 Riviera yesterday, a car I used to own---GEEZ I had no idea they were so HUGE

    A buddy of mine in the military had a used 63, that common gold tan color it came in with saddle leather seats. Funny, but back then it didn't seem that big compared to a lot of the cars on the road even though it was pretty large and sucked gas. It didn't overheat, but had tranny problems. I had a 63 Olds 88 in college that also had tranny problems. I wonder if that was a bad year for GM transmissions?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    Size is relative I guess but next to the modern cars parked on the street it looked like a parade float. It barely fit between the parking meters.

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,270
    The 63 Riv was pretty, but my heart pined over the 66 Toronado back then! It was probably complex as hell, but it fit the "rocket" Olds image.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    No the Toros were pretty bug-free, although they ate tires like a whale eats krill. I had one of those in Colorado, with studded snow tires....it was an awesome snow car.

    Cadillac used the Toronado drive system in 1967. The Morris chain drive was very durable.

    I think the Toro stole a lot of Cadillac's thunder in the mid 60s, hence the '67 Eldo.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,937
    The 1963 Olds had the Roto Hydramatic.

    Not a good transmission at all.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,205
    As far as I'm concerned, it still is!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    Well we know you love 'em, but you are alone in the wilderness on this one I'm afraid. Not that the majority is always right of course.

    But Cadillac's image has certainly gotten better since the late 80s/early 90s.

    It won't ever be what it was, though. I can't see that happening. The 1950s were the Golden Years and they aren't coming back.

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,270
    Honestly, I see less and less reason to buy a luxury car today unless you just want it for status. There is so much available on nice riding Toyota's, Ford's, etc. that you really don't need to drop another 10 or 20 large any more. Unique stuff on luxo cars usually makes it way to the volume cars in a couple of years. But to each their own.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Another problem was that by the mid-1960s, a Chevrolet or a Ford could be ordered with all of the luxuries available in a Cadillac or a Lincoln.

    Plus, cars like the Mustang, Camaro and Corvette seemed to have a more "with it" image...they appealed to the stylish, hip and young (or at least the young-at-heart). Cadillacs and Lincolns came across as increasingly stuffy as the decade progressed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,974
    That probably helped to drive Cadillac and Lincoln into the dirt, definitely. A fully-equipped Impala or LTD was nearly indistinguishable from a Cadillac or Lincoln anymore in terms of amenities. You didn't have to give up anything, and with the Cadillac "halo" glowing pretty dim by the early 1970s, and Lincoln's a burnt cinder, you didn't even have to give up prestige. And then Benz drove morel nails into the coffin by the mid 70s, when owning a Mercedes 280 series really started to have some cache. Then BMW followed in the 80s with the impressive 7 series cars, then Lexus in 1990 with the fabulous LS, and the domestic luxury market hasn't been the same since.

    Cadillac has made a comeback of sorts, which is great to see, and they really are once again set apart from a Chevrolet. Thank God.

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