1963-1964 Cadillacs

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think those colors might look okay on a Miata or a MINI but on such a big car--it's really a bit much. I do know that such colors would make a Cadillac very hard to sell.

    You simply can't beat an early Cadillac or Corvette --50s era---in their original classic color combination---white with red interior. For 60s Cads, the blues, silvers, greens and yellows seem to work well---those soft pastels---ugh! Black is always no risk but it's quite formal for such a large car, and not very attractive on a convertible. Red works okay....just okay....but it's a LOT of red.

    Sometimes at those fancy auctions, I am rather shocked at which colors people choose to paint certain cars. It's like they never stood back and thought about it, just laid it on.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    I know some of you are aware of this, but a '63 Fleetwood ('64 I think too) has 8 (count'em 8!) power windows. Two front vents and the standard 1 per door makes 6. The very rear windows don't go down. They pivot out similar to the front vents. Pretty neat I think. Having the front and rear vents open provides nice flow-thru ventilation, thereby reducing the need for A/C unless its beasty hot.

    The car I'm looking at has newer rubber seals at the front 6 windows. But, according to the owner, there are no manufacturers who make the rubber for the rear vent windows. He's looked at Steele Products and all the major players. Any of you guys have any suggestions as to who might make these rear rubber pieces??
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I had a 1965 Buick Riviera that had most of the available options that were offered.

    It had power front vent windows, Autronic Eye, Reverb, AM-FM, A/C, deluxe interior and several other seldom seen options. It even had a purse hook.

    I saw one for sale last summer that was a total stripper. Cloth seats, no A/C and it even had crank windows. No thanks!

    Parm, those Caddys were hard on front end parts so make sure the bushings and ball joints are in good shape or budget accordingly.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,605
    Back in the early 1990's when I was in college, a 1966 Fleetwood sedan showed up at a used car lot near the college campus. It was black, looked to be in pretty good shape, and they only wanted something like $2995 for it. It had the four power windows and four power vents, which I thought was way cool.

    BTW, when did they stop calling that car "Sixty Special", and begin calling it "Fleetwood"?
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    In 1963, it was actually called the Fleetwood Sixty Special - and off the top of my head I think the same name was used in '64 too. But, by 1966, I believe the name Sixty Special was dropped from the Fleetwood name.

    BTW, what's the significance of the term "Sixty Special"? In the 1960's, I know Cadillac had used the term Series 62 before the Deville name was re-introduced. And, "75" was used to designate their limo. "Sixty Special" sounds like a holdover from the 1940's - as in, "Gee-wiz, that Sixty Special sure is a swell car!" :P
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,605
    BTW, what's the significance of the term "Sixty Special"? In the 1960's, I know Cadillac had used the term Series 62 before the Deville name was re-introduced. "Sixty Special" sounds like a holdover from the 1940's - as in, "Gee-wiz, that Sixty Special sure is a swell car!"

    I think it is a holdover from the old days when they really didn't give a car much of a real name, other than "DeLuxe", "Custom", "Special", "Master", or whatever. They used internal designations for the various models, and sometimes those would carry over to the name. For instance, that's how the Olds 88 and 98 models came to be. I think there was an Olds 76 at one time, too.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    In the early 50's the 76 was the base Olds. I think the 60's Sixty Special was actually an extended length sedan a step below the series 75 limo.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    The Olds 76 was a "Six" cylinder. Small body shared with Chev & Pontiac.

    The "88" was the small body with the V8 engine.

    The 98 was the big body shared with Buick Roadmaster and Series 62 Cads.

    In 1950 the Series 61 Cad had a Cad engine in a Buick Special body with Chevrolet upholstry, but it was a Cadillac.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    In the 60's Cadillac made a model called a Calais. These were seldom seen and for good reason. They were "wannabee" Cadillacs. These were decontented De Villes. As I recall, they didn't have A/C and crank windows...on a CADILLAC!

    I remember the seat material was downgraded and a few other items were missing.

    I doubt if many people evern know these were even made and I don't know what years they spanned. I think they went away around 1970.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,605
    Believe it or not, Cadillac actually offered the Calais up through 1976! It held on right through the last year of the pre-downsized mastodons!

    Looking at my old car book, it looks like Cadillac broke out the DeVilles from the Series 62 starting in 1959. The '58, the DeVilles were just high-spec versions of the Series 62 hardtop coupe and sedan. I guess technically they were "Series 62 DeVilles"?

    For 1959, my book lists the DeVille as a separate series. I guess you could call it a "Series 63" if you wanted, as the series code started off with "63XX..."

    For 1965, the Series 62 was renamed Calais, and offered a pillared 4-door, and 2 and 4-door hardtops. Interestingly, for 1964, the 62 had a convertible but the DeVille did not, but for 1965, the 'vert was transferred to the DeVille line.

    As for sales, in 1965 they sold about 33K Calaises and about 123K DeVilles (plus 2125 Eldorado convertibles, 18,100 Sixty Specials, and about 3900 Series 75, which included the commercial chassis).

    By 1976, they were down to about 6200 Calais models, compared to around 183,000 DeVilles! By that time, the Calais must have been a real ripoff. My book lists the Calais at around $8600, while the DeVille was around $9000. But an Electra Limited (top line) was around $6800, and I'm sure was a much nicer car than a Calais! Similarly, a Ninety Eight Regency was around $6700.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    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 Member Posts: 10,384
    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....
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    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 Member Posts: 15,967
    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 Member Posts: 15,261
    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 Member Posts: 20,342
    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 Member Posts: 64,481
    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.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    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 Member Posts: 3,425
    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 Member Posts: 64,481
    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".
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    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 Member Posts: 64,481
    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.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    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 Member Posts: 64,481
    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.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    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 Member Posts: 64,481
    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.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    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 Member Posts: 64,481
    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.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Sounds like the dog left this world in "Cadillac style". We should all be so lucky.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    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!
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    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 Member Posts: 64,481
    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.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    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 Member Posts: 64,481
    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.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    The 1963 Olds had the Roto Hydramatic.

    Not a good transmission at all.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    As far as I'm concerned, it still is!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    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.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    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 Member Posts: 2,358
    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 Member Posts: 64,481
    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.
  • grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    Motor Trend tested a Chevrolet Caprice against a Cadillac Sedan DeVille in 1972...if I recall correctly, the only reasons given to pick the Cadillac were personal preference for the styling and a higher level of workmanship.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I wonder if they meant to say a higher level of materials used rather than workmanship? I don't see why a Detroit assembly line in 1972 would build one car any different than another--unless local management had some influence. This was an ugly time for UAW/management relations for GM. Cars in the 1970s were pretty much slammed together as I recall---which led of course to the Great Consumer Revolt a decade later.

    Certainly Cadillac used better upholsteries, more sound-deadening, better carpets, etc. I guess if you make fewer cars per hour than Chevy, that helps quality control.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Cadillac really damaged their reputation and l;ost a lot of loyal owners when they made some lousy cars. They scrambled to meet smog and fuel economy mandates and their cars suffered.

    They actually put V-6 engines in Devilles that made them gutless wonders.

    The one year only 4-6-8 engines were another disaster along with the junky diesels. In 1982 they took a Cavalier and called it a Cimmeron and that was the first year of one of the worst engines ever produced. The POS HT 4100's.

    No longer was Cadillac the Standard of the World and one by one, they lost their loyal owners.

    The timing for Lexus couldn't have been better.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    A fully-equipped Impala or LTD was nearly indistinguishable from a Cadillac or Lincoln anymore in terms of amenities.

    Well, that was probably true if you want to limit your comparison to an equipment option spec sheet only. Even then, that didn't occur until the LATE 1960's - keeping in mind that the subject of this thread is 1963-64 Cadillacs. ;) But hey, all comments are welcome here.

    No, the point I want to make is this: perhaps you could get similar options on other cars, but when you drove up to the country club or your favorite restaurant in a Cadillac (at least in 1963-64), trust me, you got looks you wouldn't get driving up in an Impala or a Galaxie (the LTD wasn't out at that point) - and that's what attracts me to these cars. In terms of styling (both exterior & interior) in those days, Cadillac was on another planet (and I mean that in a good way) compared to even the faciest Impala or Galaxie of the day - and even if you respectfully disagree, just let me live in my little world. :P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    No I think that's pretty valid for 63-64. You did have the Electra 225, which in full regalia was a pretty impressive car with Cadillac style and looks, so that might have been its match...but certainly nothing foreign could threaten Cadillac in 1963.

    One doesn't really see the decline of the Big Three until about 1972.
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    Yeah, I agree that the D3 started their dive in the 70's, hit bottom in the 80's and kind of just bumped around in the 90's. Toyota and Datsun weren't so good in the 60's, D3 put out much better cars then.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    So, Parm...when are you actually going to buy this car?

    It's only been, what? five years? :P
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,605
    No I think that's pretty valid for 63-64. You did have the Electra 225, which in full regalia was a pretty impressive car with Cadillac style and looks, so that might have been its match...but certainly nothing foreign could threaten Cadillac in 1963.

    The Olds 98 was pretty much the equal of an Electra back then, and also on the C-body shared with Cadillac. They could be decked out really nicely, too. Still, the Cadillac had presence...a certain aura that just couldn't be duplicated by an Olds or Buick, no matter how nice.

    By the 1971-76 generation though, I started preferring the 98 and Electra to the Caddy. All of a sudden, IMO at least, the Cadillac just didn't seem worth the extra money to me. The Cadillacs started looking a bit too pimpy for my tastes, both inside and out, whereas the 98 had a handsome, look about it that was still luxurious, but more understated. And the Electra seemed a bit more youthful and sporty (at least in the context of these 230+" long behemoths), but still tasteful (although I don't like the '74)
  • grbeckgrbeck Member Posts: 2,358
    Cadillacs were built in their own plants, at a slower pace than Chevrolets, until some point in the 1970s (I believe it was around 1973).

    There are always plenty of original, good condition Cadillacs and lesser GM cars at the Carlisle and Hershey shows. The 1960s Cadillacs definitely look better built than comparable Chevrolets...but by the late 1970s, there really wasn't much difference between the two.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    There is a long wait time for the specific car you want from the Used Car Factory.
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