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1962 Cadillac - any driving experiences out there?



  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    But, first...what a beautiful car!

    I'm just being picky, but the ad stated it had climate control. Auto climate control didn't come out until 1964. I'm pretty sure Cadillac was the first to offer this.

    In the photos, the engine appears to have painted a incorrect color...I could be wrong but I remember Cadillac engines in those days were painted a dark blue. The color in the photo looked like the green that Buicks used at the time.

    If this is the case, I would suspect the engine has been pulled, rebuilt (?)and painted.

    This would cause me to be distrustful of the mileage.

    A pretty car though! I would definatly get it inspected by an expert as the others have suggested.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,388
    ...on the trunk pic, the mat up under the rear window area looks like it has some water damage. Now that's not hard to fathom, given the fact that this is a 40 year old convertible, but I would also investigate a bit further to see how bad that water damage got, and how well it was fixed.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    The trunk lining materials didn't look like the factory stuff. Not a big deal but one of those things that makes me wonder about the 60,000 miles.

    But like andre reminded us...the car is 40 years old!
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    Parm, it looks like a reaaallly nice example, but $25k is getting a bit 'dear', IMO. I don't like that the seller put the 'tilt/tele wheel' and 'climate control a/c' on the spec sheet, neither of which were available in '62.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,388
    ...that trunk mat did look like it was kinda pieced together. It struck me as kind of odd at first, that Cadillac would skimp on something like that. All the old cars I've owned (that still had em!) had one-piece mats that were molded to fit. Even cheap ones, like the Darts I've owned, had mats that were molded to take into account the spare tire that's under the mat but still is raised a bit aove the trunk floor, and the raised part over the rear axle.

    Maybe the car sat unused, outside alot before it was fixed up? That might account for the condition of the trunk.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    You're finding items I figured only I was anal enough . . er, I mean astute enough (yeah, that sounds better) to find.

    Andre, the trunk mat was a good catch. In 1962, the mat/liner in a Cadillac was a fabric-like material. The trunk material in this car is plastic and looks like it came out of a '66 Mustang.

    And ghulet, you're right about climate control not being available in 1962. It didn't come along until 1964.

    The '62 Eldorado convertible I'm looking to buy in my area looks about as good as this car (though "my" Caddy is a different color). Furthermore, the trunk in "my" car looks almost new and with the proper liner.

    There's another '62 Cadillac Series 62 convertible that was just listed on eBay today.

    This car looks more reasonable to me in that the car is being sold without a reserve and doesn't appear to be "over" represented. Furthermore, the seller "appears" to have a good reputation - or, at least better than most.

  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    "Recent paint" and it's already bubbling? I just don't get a great feeling about this car. Has the eye candy to reel in the unsophisticated buyer--new paint and upholstery of unknown quality--but the "little stuff" hasn't been touched. Most of it should still be working at 109k. This one has been rode hard and put away wet. You can do better.

    Oh yeah, I noticed the date codes for the engine and transmission don't match ;-).
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Are your comments directed toward the red or the yellow Caddy?
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    The yellow car. I just checked out the red one...that's what you're looking for. Very very clean and a stunning color combination--and I think it's original, not a quick "buy me red" repaint. It's got "it". Even people who don't necessarily love Cadillacs will want this car when you're done with it.

    Everything works which suggests either careful maintenance or a thorough refurbishment before it was put on the market. The car doesn't have all the options in the description, and the trunk mat is homemade but I wouldn't sweat that stuff.

    I wouldn't give much credance to the Sean Penn's dad provenance. 69k miles is great if they can document it--same with the "restoration".

    My one major concern is that it's apparently a long-term Florida coast car--lots of salt in the air. (Cars from Florida's interior don't rust.) But if it's really been five years since the "restoration" (and repaint) that should be enough time for any rust to reappear.

    From the other comments I guess the car is pricey (don't know what they sell for) but if it's mechanically sound, feels tight and it's rust-free this car should sell at the high end of the range. Looks like everything stacks up in its favor including the color combination--forget yellow.

    If you've got the money don't settle for anything substantially less than this car or you'll be bummed.
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    The yellow one 'looks nice' at a distance, but I don't like the fact that the clock (big deal, I know), radio, a/c, fuel gauge, wipers, and power seat all aren't working. Right there, big bucks to fix, even with the important stuff only. I know this is probably 'common stuff' on a forty year old car, but a bit troublesome nonetheless. I would think the seller would give some of these issues attention before trying to sell it. The color is nice ('62 only, I believe) and the interior is nice, but this car strikes me as one that's been made cosmetically pretty without addressing some rather serious shortcomings.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    With regard to the yellow Caddy, I guess I missed the non-matching numbers with respect to the engine and transmission. Can you expound on what you're referring to and how you can tell?
  • badgerpaulbadgerpaul Member Posts: 219
    The bubbling paint on a recent paint job, makes me question the quality of the paint job. It's electrical problems are also a problem, may just be a fuse, if it's anything more it's hard to track down and fix. This is minor, but I noticed that the owner's manual was for a '63 Cadillac. But from a distance it is a pretty car, makes me want one.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    The '62 Eldorado convertible in my area I'm negotiating on also has some electrical accessory problems. The list of non working items is similar: fuel gauge, radio, power antenna, power 6-way seat and heat/fan controls. Also, a couple of the power windows don't go quite all the way up (they come within an inch or so of the top).

    Hence, I'm reflecting these issues in my offer price. I think this is probably the main "sticking point" in that the seller, so far, considers my offer to be on the low side. We're $3K apart which is what I figure it'll cost to repair not only the electricals, but a few other mechanical issues this car has.

    I understand not everything is going to work on a 40 year old car. However, call me nuts, but I'm not willing to pay the same money compared to an otherwise similar car in which everything does work.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Can be VERY difficult to diagnose and repair.

    The yellow Caddy looks like it was Mickey Moused up to sell. You would have thought that they would have at least fixed the top mechanism.

    If you look at the engine paint color, you'll see what I meant. The yellow car is correct. The red car looked "Buick Green" to me anyway.

    Still...the red car is breathtaking, at least in the photo. But, expensive!
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
  • badgerpaulbadgerpaul Member Posts: 219
    Might be able to pick up one of these cheap. Though they look like they might need a little work.

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,388
    ...some of those look like they're in better shape than some of the beaters I've driven!

    I think this pic is kinda interesting...


    Somehow, I thought the frame rails would just look beefier, on a car like a Cadillac!

  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    My ineptitude as a mechanic and body man prevents me from taking on a project cars like these. However, I'm sure the price is closer to my budget.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Parm, just kidding about the non-matching date codes, hence the ;-). Everyone else was spotting detail problems you'd need a microscope to see and I was feeling inadequate.
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    I don't think most Cadillac buffs are half as concerned with 'matching numbers' as muscle car types. I mean, with most years, there was only one engine offered, so what's the difference (as long as it has a 'correct' engine)?

    Here's a nice, albeit later, example of a fine Cadillac convertible. That 'Buy It Now' is a bit dear, I think, and I doubt 17k is original mileage.

    Also, I strroonngly suspect this was the same car I saw for sale locally at a dealer, for substantially le$$ than that price. After all, of the 2250 '66 Eldos made, how many in mint condition, gold and black, with dual spotlights can there be?

  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    I saw this car on eBay a few days ago. The seller of this car is also the same guy selling the red '62 Series convertible. Thus, the fact that the Buy It Now price is high doesn't surprise me one bit.
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    First, it is a gorgeous car! But, if it really were a 69,000 mile original, why does it have a non-original trunk, incorrect, non-original engine color, and actually, though gorgeous, the color is also non-original. The fact that it is advertised as original, with all these glitches, plus the mistakes in the advertised options, makes me think the car has been totally redone, and the dealer is not telling the whole story. By comparison, I just looked at a 61 Coupe DeVille in Portland, OR, with 97,000 original miles. The original trunk mat was there, and showed little wear. Also, the original interior was near perfect, and showed only minimal wear. Not that this red convertible wouldn't be a good car to own-just that the dealer is making claims about it that appear to be suspicious-and, I think the price should be adjusted accordingly. Anyway, good luck, and keep us posted! I want to see and hear about the car you do buy!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    How about a mint '76 Eldo convertible, claret/white/white? My friend has one for $10K.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    1976 "almost" seems like yesterday to me and this particular car doesn't register as an appealing classic on my personal "car-o-meter".

    My family had Cadillacs in the seventies and I can still recall them vividly. After just a couple of years, little things like the interior appointments (particularly the door pulls) didn't hold up very well. Plastics were really coming into their own and there was a bunch of it used in Cadillacs. That's not a knock on Cadillac, because everyone one else in Detroit was doing the same thing.

    To me, the Cadillac's of the early to mid-60's were long, low and a bit sexy. In my mind, the '76 Eldorado conjures up two words "lead sled".

    I'm sure others would really enjoy this car, but it's not my cup of tea. However, thanks for passing along the information.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    That red 1962 Series 62 Cadillac convertible on eBay is currently at $20,100 which is waaaaaaay more than this car is worth (in my humble opinion). What's scary is that there's 3 more days left in the auction and the price could go even higher.

    The yellow '62 Cadillac convertible is presently at $8,058 which may be a tad low for this car. However, there's 6 days left on this auction.
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    I don't think it's a coincidence that we're in mid-Spring and the convertible prices are getting a bit crazy ($20k for a '62 seems a bit dear to me as well). It might be a smart bet to check out some 'off brand' (Buick, Olds, big Ford, Mercury, etc) convertibles. Even the nice ones seem about half the price of Chevy/Cadillac/Pontiac convertibles of the same era, if you don't mind somewhat less 'mystique'.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I have no idea what the red Cadillac should sell for but what's significant is that it appeals strongly even to a guy like me who has only a casual interest in '62 Cads. And I'm more objective about old iron than most gearheads after all the cars I flipped back in the day.

    The fact that we all drooled over it says it all. This is one of those rare cars that gets guys emotional. You can't underrate the value of this. As you move from the "interesting old car" to the "fantasy fulfillment" end of the spectrum, dollar signs start flying out the window.

    But I'm a little incredulous that people are paying this much for a car they're buying long distance. e-Bay is no more advantageous to buyers than when I was advertising in Hemmings and mailing photos--it's just faster. Kind of a metaphor for a lot of technology, come to think of it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    A nice #3 series 62 convertible should sell for about $12,500.

    There's lots of anguish on Ebay sales. People who overpay do not establish the market price, because they'll often unload at a loss. The market adjusts for careless buying.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    I think all of us here really liked it.

    Did someone say that color wasn't original?

    I don't remember that shade of red but then, there are a lot of things I don't remember.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    I don't want to turn this into an eBay forum, but attached is a recently started auction for a 1964 Cadillac convertible (my second favorite model year for Cadillac's of the 1960's).

    The reason I'm submitting this for consumption is because I've seen this car listed for sale for several months at Hemmings online (its still there) and collector car trader online for a ridiculously high asking price of $59,750.

    The seller has apparently now contracted with the good folks at Kruse International (owned by eBay) in order to help sell this car. Currently, the bidding is at $15,099 (it started yesterday at $1,003) and has received 31 bids!

    This looks like a very nice car and well optioned - though I must admit, I don't care much for a convertible with black interior. Still, I'd love to have it. But, this car is worth more than my budget will allow.

    This auction has another 8 days to go so it's anyone's guess what the final bid will be (there is a reserve on it), but I'll go out on a limb and say right here, right now that the final bid will be light years away from the seller's original asking price of $59,750.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    WEll, the car is unusual in that it is (allegedly) a 47,000 mile original car in pristine condition. Originality cannot be purchased at any price, so if in fact the car is "original" (a much abused term) then it will bring top dollar.

    However, top dollar is more like $20K-22K, which I bet will be around the final bidding.

    But with these rare original cars, you can sometimes throw the price guide out the window. Where would you find another one?

    The color is unfortunate, though, that's a downer.
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    ......I like the silver (though the black interior is a bit troublesome, it does look original). It also is really well equipped, I noticed a tilt wheel, first-year climate control air conditioning ('Comfort Control') and power vent windows, among other things.

    Still, sixty thousand dollars? It isn't even an Eldorado. Yikes.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Oh, I know, it's not a freakin' Ferrari and it isn't even President Eisenhower's 53 Eldo and Elvis didn't shoot it with his gun. I don't know what he thinks he's sitting on but it's a bit delusional.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    So I guess someone's willing to pay $20k for a $13k car.

    Shifty, you probably have an idea of the premium that cars sell for in an auction atmosphere. Is it 10%? More?

    Even if it's 20% there's an additional premium that's unaccounted for.

    Where does it come from? Maybe two things. First, they don't call it resale red for nothing.

    Second, it's a statement car. Maybe not everyone is comfortable with that statement, but it's a powerful statement that's appealing to a significant part of the market. That makes the pool of buyers larger and the level of emotion higher. A red Rambler also makes a statement but not one that increases its value.

    I hear you about eBay creating a speculative bubble market, although I wonder if perhaps an eBay buyer couldn't replicate that bubble by selling through eBay, assuming the same level of overall demand existed as when he bought. In effect it becomes a separate market with its own values.

    It all comes down to whether you think markets are rational. I think they are--most of the time--even when someone pays a hefty premium for a car. But you can always find exceptions. Sometimes people just pay too much.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, I do think the market is very rational in most cases. Of course you will find someone now and then paying too much, but sooner or later that very car will rationalize its price (that is, sell for its "real" value) and someone will get stuck.

    Those of us who do price guide work often keep track of VIN #s on certain cars and we see them come up for sale more than once. You'd be amazed what a beating last year's exuberant bidder takes in this year's auction.

    You can't have a collectible car market run like a Ponzi scheme. Just because person A sells a car on Ebay for double the value (rare, but it happens) doesn't mean Person B will get away with that.

    And Ebay doesn't tell you about all the people who "kick the car" (auction parlance for backing otu of the bid) or freak out when the car arrives on the flatbed in their driveway.

    I have also seen good buys on Ebay...nice sound cars at a fair price, but the dirty little secret is that the very very best cars are usually sold privately and passed from collector to collector.

    Auction premiums can be pretty high, easily 10%, and are part of the market, like agent's commission on real estate. Do agent's commissions drive up the price of houses? An ongoing argument, and I really don't know. I guess that they do.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    No, I don't think so. If the market is willing to pay X for a house, that's its market value, not X minus the commission. Put another way, if there were no agents involved houses would still sell for X, not 94-95% of X.

    The proof of this is the For Sale By Owner homes--none of these guys discount the sale price to reflect the lack of commission. They just pocket the 3% that would have gone to the listing broker, and that's if they can sell the house. Usually they can't find a buyer because their list price (and desired sales price) is higher than the market will bear and higher than if a market expert/agent advised on the price.

    But that gets to the one big difference between the housing and collectible car markets. The stakes are much bigger with houses. And as the stakes go up the atmosphere gets more litigious. And as the atmosphere gets more litigious the documentation gets more complicated and extensive.

    After a transaction I have a folder that's several inches thick. In contrast, even a new car sale has far less paperwork, and the private sale of a used car has virtually none by comparison.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Oh, I don't mean to imply that agents don't work for their money (in most cases).

    Auctions too, put up infrastructure and advertising and deserve their commissions.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    But they can't spell "litigous".

    I think both good agents and good auctions enhance the selling experience, and that means more dollars and less hassle for the seller. And since sellers have that advantage, buyers need it too. I'd never pay $10k or more for a collectible car without paying someone to represent me. An expert will save you money.

    For a view that markets (or at least the stock markets) are irrational you might want to wade through Robert Shiller's "Irrational Exuberence". But I think the stock, housing and car markets differ. Speculation injects a note of unreality into a market and there isn't enough of that in residential real estate, even in income properties, to be a real factor.

    From what I hear there was plenty of speculation in collectible cars during the late '80s, especially in exotics.

    Anyhow, it's my inexpert opinion that the red Cadillac is worth a substantial premium--if the condition is as represented.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    I believe emotion plays a larger role in the purchase of a collectible car than when buying a single-family residence - or at least an investment property. Some people can let their emotion carry them away in a car auction setting. Thus, I personally tend to think prices paid at prominent auctions are generally above what the same car would have otherwise sold for if sold privately. This would account for the bid prices we're seeing.

    With regard to the red Cadillac, you're right that this car is worth a premium (how substantial of one though I'm not sure) IF it's condition is as implied. However, given that the advertisement of certain aspects of this car are flat out misleading (and that's being kind), I wouldn't assume anything with regard to its overall condition. If I were interested in this car, I'd hire an experienced Cadillac-LaSalle Club judge in the Florida area to go over this thing with a fine-tooth comb.

    You might just be paying for a quick paint job (difficult to tell if its a factory color) and some new upholstery - both of which, admittedly, can be rather costly if they're done correctly.

    No doubt about it though, the red '62 Cadillac is pretty. But, I think the silver 1964 Cadillac convertible is a much better car in terms of it's options and how well its screwed together - thus making it a more enjoyable car to drive and live with. Now, if only it had a more appealing color combination . . . .
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    No, having sold both cars (but not for a living) and homes, I think there's more emotion involved in buying a home. That's a big part of the challenge.

    They say "real estate is an emotional business" to which I always add "even for the buyers and sellers".
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    I agree. A single-family residence is a more emotional purchase. I was thinking more along the lines of buying 2-4 family rental properties which are pretty easy to find here in the Midwest. I should have been more specific.

    By the way, the silver '64 Cadillac has quite a bit of documentation which adds to its value. Plus, the fact that its a national Cadillac-LaSalle Club show winner (among others) gives this car credibility and some pedigree which most other cars lack. As far as I can see, the only drawback this car has is its color combination.

    By the way, what's the advantage of selling a car on eBay through Kruse? I've read the eBay feedback on them and they clearly state that the descriptions of the cars they represent come directly from the buyer. Apparently, Kruse just takes the seller's word that everything is accurately represented. Not a big confidence booster in the eyes of a buyer.

    I guess Kruse has the ability to provide broader coverage. But, if you advertise in and Collector Car, you're probably reaching 75% of your target market already.

    It's not like you're buying directly from Kruse. It looks like you're still buying directly from the seller. Kruse is merely acting as a middle man which ultimately adds another layer of cost to the buyer. Perhaps Kruse runs interference by insulating the seller from simple "gawkers" or wannabe buyers (ie., not financially qualified). If so, that may be worth the price of admission.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes, you're right, the main appeal for selling or buying on Ebay is that it broadens the market and puts more buyers and sellers together. However, there never will be a substitute for eye-balling a car in real life. And the digital camera DOES LIE, often.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    You don't have to contract through Kruse to sell your car on eBay. So, what value does Kruse bring to the table?

    Case in point, the silver '64 Cadillac is being auctioned on eBay by Kruse. But, the owner/seller in Arizona could just as easily to this himself and save paying Kruse a commission.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well maybe Kruse offers escrow and other title services, etc. I don't know. Haven't read up on that yet, sorry. Surely they have to offer something for their commissions.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,388
    ...contracted through Kruse to sell the car, and Ebay is just one of the routes that Kruse is doing. Maybe they figured that it would be less hassle to have someone else deal with selling it, advertising, promoting, etc.

    Back in late 2000, I looked at a 1974 Travco motorhome that I found on In addition to old cars, I also have a fondness of old motorhomes. Hey, where else can you get all the problems of an old car AND all the problems of an old house all rolled into one? ;-)

    Anyway, I passed on it. It wasn't a bad price, but there was just too much potential for trouble. Anyway, about a week or two later I saw the thing on Ebay, and it was being handled by some auction company. I guess the guy who was selling it just got tired of the hassle of trying to deal with it himself. Man, I was soooo close, too! I even had the bank check cut. Thankfully, reason won out...this time ;-)
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I just checked out the silver '64. What's wrong with that color? Very sleek. But you could probably fry an egg on that black interior in the Arizona sun.

    The car is probably too nice to be a family cruiser. "Flawless" original paint--I'd be afraid to take it out. Most of its value is in its museum quality condition and one trip with the kids to the Baskin Robbins would take care of that.
  • jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    I think the advantage of Kruse is they try to maintain a reputation, so one theory is if they are auctioning it, it is not a total piece of cobbed together crap for a quick sale.

    I'm not sure if they do any inspection before accepting business or not.
  • ghuletghulet Member Posts: 2,564
    ....mainly acts as a Consigner, they do the work with regard to the ad (pictures, cleaning the car up, obviously marketing), plus they lend their 'name' to the car, which to the untrained might 'add value'. Their cars generally seem overpriced, shocking.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    As far as I can see, Kruse doesn't take the time to "check out" the car. They admit that it's up to the seller to provide the description of a car. So, if the car was misrepresented, "that's the seller's fault, not ours."

    Don't get me wrong, I don't have an axe to grind with Kruse. They're obviously a successful company and this didn't happen by accident. It's just that I'm not sure how they can sell a car on eBay any better than you or me.

    In terms of the '64 Cadillac's color, I like the silver. But, a black interior (and top) is not the best for a convertible. This silver over black combination is a more formal look and better suited for a hard top coupe or sedan in my opinion.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,388
    My '67 Catalina has a black top and a black vinyl interior. Actually, I don't find it THAT unbearable in hot weather, but then I live in Maryland, which doesn't exactly set world records for extreme heat. Your results may vary ;-) If I leave the top down the seats will get hot when I first get in, but after I drive it for a few minutes, the breeze will cool it down.

    I think vinyl (and to a lesser degree leather) is going to burn you in hot weather no matter what the color, especially if the sun is beating on it directly.
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