1962 Cadillac - any driving experiences out there?
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I had forgotten about the vague steering on these old cars. On turns I crank the wheel and wait for what seems like a few seconds for the car to respond, then either crank in a bit more or back off. It really took some getting used to.
And also, first time in a long time back to a carb instead of FI - not good!!
I got about 14.5 mpg on the trip which is not bad for a 472 CI engine.
Went through Atlanta around 9:30PM at 70 mph, (which means that you are being passed by everyone else on the road; got a lot of looks, and some thumbs up but I couldn't appreciate them because I had to concentrate on keeping the thing in my lane which appeared to be only about two inches wider then the car.
I put the top down today for a short cruise; it is actually more quiet at 40 - 50 with the top down, than with the top up; guess that means new seals all around.
I hope there are some people reading this who know about old Caddys because I am sure I will have lots of questions.
For whatever its worth, in order to get specific answers to your ownership questions, you might want to consider joining the Cadillac LaSalle Club. I recently did in order to help further my education of '62 Cadillac convertibles and to network with other Cadillac enthusiasts in my area - which I've done in the short time I've been a member.
The CLC has a website with a message board. So, you can post your questions and receive responses from other owners.
The CLC website is http://www.cadillaclasalleclub.org/ where you'll find membership information (though you don't need to be a member to use the message board).
Hope this helps.
The rule for these old cars is (among others)====Always stop and accelerate in a straight line if you can.
For example, the horn will not sound - the 69 Caddy horn is activated by squeezing the steering wheel which adds another dimension - a bit different from a horn button.
The high beams do not function - again there is an added dimension because mine has the "Auto Dimmer" feature. Also the "climate control" function may confuse the issue of why I am not getting heat.
This car is 18.75 feet long; my pontoon boat is 22 feet long; they both handle about the same. I had it out again today and it really is fun on the mountain roads; being huge, other drivers seem more patient when they are behind me. I also spent a lot of time just looking around under the hood - lots of things in there that I cannot figure out.
Incidently, my wife hates the car. I wish I could record her comments but most are not printable. She is totally UN-COOL!!
Hopefully your wife will come around soon. BTW, what does she drive?
My wife will never come around!! When she drives, (and that thought is very scary!), it is in a 2001 Toyota Highlander. Prior to the Highlander, she drove a 98 Camry and I had a 99 Miata. She took a liking to the Highlander and badgered me into trading in the Camry and the Miata, (she said I am to old and fat for a Miata anyway).
She has never ridden in my 71 E-Type but at least she admits that it is CUTE!
The new Caddy is not CUTE! It is big and UGLY!
But I don't think I want her in the Caddy anyway because she will want to take our black lab who sheds enough on a daily basis to make another dog.
Send me your E-mail address and I'll send the pictures; you can E-mail me at [email protected]
I just got a catalog from a place in Manassas VA that specializes in Cadillac, and I am going through it for my wish list - but I will have to take it slow because some of what I want is quite expensive.
I've seen this rim-blow feature on 1970 +/- Mustangs. There were probably other makes/models that had it too.
My '73 MarquisBrougham has one. (Rim-Blow horn)
I think 73 was the last year.
U.S.A. Parts Supply Ltd
8505L Euclid Ave
Manassas, Va 20111
Probably best to go to their website and order the free catalog. As I remember it they also specialize in Olds.
Remember that I am new to Cadillac, parts, and associated costs so I do not know how their prices are relative to other companies. In fact, that might be a good sub-topic for discussion. My initial info source for just about anything is Hemmings Motor News.
Re: the "Rim Blow" horn, does anyone know where the most likely problem area is cause my Rim Blow don't!!
For my Jaguar, there are several parts suppliers some of which are a lot higher than others.
No doubt, the ad agency that came up with this TV spot was paid very handsomely - thereby implying that they know what they're doing. TV commercials have a way of impacting what's cool and what's not. Therefore, I'm assuming the choice to use a '59 Cadillac in this promo was a conscious decision intended to draw people's attention.
As a result, could it be that my desire for a '62 Cadillac convertible puts me at the forefront of today's pop culture?
If so, this confirms what I've thought all along . . . . that the universe revolves around me! ;-)
Excuse me now while I extricate my tongue which is firmly pressed up against my cheek.
If I were Cadillac I'd distance any new product as far away from a '59 Cadillac as I could, presuming I wanted things to get better for the company. I mean, really, wouldn't you? What a strange car to hang your hat on!
It's things like this that make me wonder if Cadillac will ever "get it" about what people want in the 21st century. The potential buyers of the CTS are not in the pop culture anyway, so my read is that the ad agency's demographic target is completely screwed up. They picked a car that old timers used to buy, and pitched it to 21 year olds, neither of which is a CTS market.
Whether you think it was a marvel or a technological disaster, the fact remains that the '59 is an automotive icon - at least the rear grill and fins are, thus resulting is some positive public perception, in an overall sense.
I think this "positive vibe" is what Cadillac was hanging their hat on by using a '59 in their ad. Let's face it, most who see this commercial have never even ridden in one let alone owned one. And those that did own a '59 when they were brand new, are no longer Cadillac's target market.
So, any negative stigma with regard to maintenance/ownership nightmares has long since dissipated - leaving only positive thoughts in its wake.
I guess I'm not as cynical in Cadillac's effort to use the past to try and sell the future. Because, the "past" is now distorted into a blur and the few who theoretically could recount negative "war stories" from the trenches of ownership are probably no longer able to do so.
I was just looking over the posts in the Cadillac CTS message boards and I certainly don't want to carry that excess baggage over to this forum. But, I had to giggle at the comments which are essentially this: Cadillac vs. Mercedes vs. Lexus vs. BMW - which is better?
The niggling comments about the infinitesimal differences between these cars are entertaining. Reminds me of a pretentious customer at an elegant restaurant sending back a bottle of Dom Perignon because it was 2 degrees too warm!
In my opinion, all of these cars are great - and they should be for their price of admission. The 100th of a second differences in 0-60 acceleration, the fractional differences in lateral g-force during a slalom run and the 2ft in braking distance during a 60-0 stop have very little relevance in normal, day-to-day driving.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they have their own forum where they can "vent" their opinions. However, most of the comments are really pushing the definition limits of the term "minutiae".
They should all take a drive in my (yeah right, like I own one) '62 Cadillac. Then, they'd appreciate just how great ALL of today's luxury cars are - regardless of their ethnicity.
Don't worry Andre1969, I'm not referring to you. Yep, I saw you in there! ;-)
Symbolism, Shifty, symbolism. Besides, martinis and Sinatra are big again. We'll be invading Cuba next.
Admittedly not a convertible, though -- although there are after-market conversions of the 560SEC available, still in the $15,000 price range.
Now I'm not saying such things don't "sell". Obviously they do! Look at Harley, they've made a mint off of it. But I really don't think this is the market Cadillac is looking for, to become the Harley of luxury cars.
Anyone who owns a Lexus, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW wouldn't be caught dead in a 1959 Cadillac except for a dress-up retro sock hop maybe. It's sort of a joke car in a friendly sort of way.
A guy I know has a cute saying I don't necessarily agree with, but I'll share it anyway. "If it's not a convertible, it's a parts car." Makes me smile every time I think of it. ;-)
No doubt a Mercedes would be built solid as a tank, but I need a car I can take just about anywhere to have it worked on. I'm afraid a Mercedes, as good as they are, wouldn't afford me that luxury. Plus, I'll bet the labor/parts costs for a Mercedes are more expensive compared to the same repair for a GM piece of iron (total restoration projects excluded).
Still, I appreciate your suggestion. Keep'em coming folks.
I thought the commercial was cool like hell and watch the one with the CTS passing by the car and the same clip with the extended version of the other two Cadillacs, the EXT and the XLR halo car. I think this is the best commercial Cadillac has brought out thus far with the two CTS commercials in a close 2nd. place.
The CTS is a great car same as for the XLR and EXT models for Cadillac with great styling, technology and other things put on Cadillacs that made them great in the mid-part of the century on the new breed of models is for the '59 Coupe to recall off of.
Of course the new breed of Cadillacs are different than the Cadillacs of the era due to changing times and customs but if you notice in that commercial about that guy driving that '59 Cadillac, he did not look old at all like some of the current customers driving in Devilles today that are getting older. Back then Cadillac buyers were probably a lot lower than that in age compared to today's standards like in the late '40s to early '50s of that time. Anyone knows the average age a Cadillac buyer was back then?
If you look at the advertisements of the Porche Carrera, notice how each generation of Porches line up side by side one another in automobile publications. I like the newer Porches a lot better than the older generations of Porches. I thought the older generation of Porches are ugly.
Regarding convertibles, there's an interesting dichotomy between old convertibles and old everything else. Drive an old convertible and you're seen as cool. Drive an old sedan and you're seen as either eccentric or, even worse, poor.
BTW I saw my first CTS today, in silver, and it looked good.
I don't think a lot of people, except maybe industry types, realize how much Cadillac has riding on their new models coming up. They are planning a huge investment in trying to win back a share of the luxury car market. If any of their models slips up, or if their controversial styling doesn't work, the company is DEAD. That's it. 3-5 more years for Cadillac and they are either in or out.
You see, we don't know if the CTS is a "great car" or not! It could be yet another Cadillac disaster in a long string of them. And there's no "honkin" performance in a Harley. The bikes really are cows. Cadillac needs younger styling and really great performance, and they have to be screwed together right, which has always been a problem for Cadillac.
Now if it were me choosing car commercials for the biggest roll of the dice in Cadillac's history, I would have picked President Eisenhower's 1953 Eldo. There was a pretty nice looking car associated with the power and success of the presidency. Even a '55 with Sinatra in it, I could have lived with that. Or the cleaner and more restrained '60s cars.
Geez, a '59 Caddy. Makes me cringe. I don't agree, I don't think there's a market for tasteless ostentation. Even today's multi-million dollar homes, while BIG, do not have fiberglass cherubs spouting colored water into swan-boats on the front lawn while the lady of the house dresses up like Cleopatra. Maybe in Las Vegas, yes. So Cadillac could open up one big dealership there and sell repo '59s, that would be appropriate.
Cadillac better keep its eyes on the ball these next few years. Let's wish them well.
It is just marketing. To who's standards, does the commercial has to be perfect? No, but they have to market themselves somehow to have the future cars to be noticed. The commercials were not funny but at least it was interesting regardless if the '59 Cadillac was right for the commercial or not. At least I was very interested in the CTS. XLR and EXT and want to check them out at the local dealership when they come out. That is the kind of admiration we are talking about here. The substance or quality of the commercial does not have anything to do with the future Cadillacs being a failure or success. People have to go and test drive the cars to determine if it is great to them and generate some prospects.
I was just surprised Cadillac would want a 59 in their commercials, since they took so much heat for building it, even back then. It was often scorned by the press and media. Remember the book "The Insolent Chariots"? Cadillac really needs to hit a home run every time at the plate now. One more screw up and the press will tear them to shreds.
Do I think the ad is hip? No, but I think they've zeroed in on something that's real. Some of us are still driving '59 Cadillacs but now they're called Suburbans.
Do I think it's a good way to sell a sports sedan? No, it's a great way to sell Escalades. They should have shown all those laps at the Nurburgring. This has all the earmarks of "the Caddy the zigs" fiasco. But it's the only Super Bowl ad I remember--that and the dancing monkey.
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.
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.
But this doesn't matter as long as you don't alter your car in the installation.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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.
Med. Saddle Tan(Bronze)..5
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
Here's a link showing the colors available for Cadillac in 1962.
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.
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?
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.
What a beautiful car! I remember the factory A/C blew out the COLDEST air of any car I've owned since.