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1962 Cadillac - any driving experiences out there?
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Some guy at the old car meet was trying to sell a 1970 Karmann Ghia convertable.
Are you ready for this...?
It was in about a Number 4 condition. Had a cheap repaint, dark green, had a raggy interior and a top that needed to be replaced etc.
I don't know how it ran.
Asking price...10,500 !!!
Looked pretty nice, about a Number 3 car.
Interior needed some attention etc.
For Sale - 16,500 !!
I'd guess that prices for all collectible cars, not just convertibles, go up in the spring and decline in the winter. Spring is prime driving weather in most of the country and that gets buyers off their couches and out kicking tires.
Convertible prices must be the most consistently volatile, taking off in Spring and tanking in Winter. I wonder if anyone's charted the seasonal price differential for convertibles? I'll take a wild guess and say at least 10%, maybe 20%.
However, for what I'm looking for, you pretty much have to go after it whenever one comes on the market - regardless of what the calendar says.
Well now the current owner has offered the car for sale. He placed it on Ebay with a reserve and the auction closed a few days ago with a high bid of $14,600 (I was at $14,500). Not surprisingly, this did not meet his reserve - which I'm guessing was around $20K.
Anyway, the $14,600 value it garnered on Ebay soundly verifies my assertion that $18,500 was too high. Actually, the bidding on this car jumped up about $4,000 in the last couple of hours. Me and another guy bid it up. I foolishly was trying to be the top bidder knowing all along it didn't matter as we were well under the reserve. Thus, anything over $13K was kind of stupid on my part. Still, I wanted the seller to know I was serious.
The payoff is that in my own mind I knew $18,500 was too high. So you can call me analytical. But, you can't call me wrong. The market has spoken and it agrees with me!
I work with a guy who's been looking for a 442 convertible since February. This afternoon I caught him surfing car sites and he told me cars are starting to hang around longer.
Parm, this is your time to shine!
This guy bought this Cadillac in March of this year.
Per my post #262 the convertible market seems to have slowed within the last few weeks. Admittedly this is based on just one person's observation, but since this guy spends a lot of time looking at convertibles for sale on the net there's a good chance his experience is representative.
And it makes sense. At this time of year people are focusing on the end of school and graduation. After that it's peak vacation season so both buyers and sellers are out of town and therefore out of the market.
I don't know this for a fact but my guess is that convertible prices ramp up really quickly in spring when buyers are getting ready for summer cruising. By Memorial Day enough of them have either bought or gotten distracted (see above) to take some of the steam out of the market. Demand tapers off and prices start to soften.
If I'm right then the long term trend in convertible prices is up, but within that trend prices can go up and down depending on the season.
Going back yet again to the residential real estate market, prices usually take off like a rocket after Super Bowl Sunday. Buyers are suddenly back in the market, wanting to get settled into their new house by summer, but inventory is just starting to trickle on. With way more demand than supply prices shoot up.
But by Memorial Day more inventory is starting to come on the market just as buyers are temporarily leaving it for other things. With supply and demand more in equilibrium prices flatten and decline.
After Labor Day people are back from vacation, the kids are settled into school and buyers re-enter the market. This is the second big selling season and prices go up again but it's short, tapering off near Thanksgiving when the market goes into hibernation and prices flatten and decline again.
So at least one market has cycles during the year, but with the long term trend usually up. And while markets differ, it's possible to draw analogies between them.
My guess is that convertibles differ in that they don't have that second season after Labor Day. My idea of their price curve would be a sharp spike in spring followed by a gradual but steepening decline starting about the time school gets out and continuing through summer. From Labor Day to Super Bowl Sunday the price premium for convertibles is probably at its lowest. There's still a premium but if the top can't go down the price can't go up.
Was there much difference between these two transmissions? 1964 was also the first year for the 429 motor. Perhaps this had something to do with the unveiling of the Turbo H-M?
In addition to the older one having 4 forward gears and the newer one only having 3, I'd guess the only other differences are that the newer one is lighter and smaller, which saves weight and allows for a smaller transmission hump. Also, didn't the older tranny have the pump in the back? I think if the pump's in the back of the transmission, you can push-start it if the battery's dead, just like with a manual-shift.
The Hydra-Matic went P-N-D-S-L-R, while the Turbo Hydramatic went P-R-N-D-S-L.
It used a torque converter, whereas the older Hydro used a fluid coupling, that acted more like direct drive. The thinking was to cut down on bulk and weight by eliminating the first gear and substituting the torque converter to make up for the first gear. In reality, though, it didn't work. They should have just started over from scratch, which they did with the TH350 and TH400. My grandparents had a 64 Pontiac Grand Prix with the Rotohydramatic. My grandmother used to say "it zooms!" What she meant was the way it sounded when it took off-seemed forever before it shifted into second, then a big let down. A lousy transmission overall. The worst thing about 61-64 fullsize Oldsmobiles and Pontiac Catalinas is that Rotohydramatic. But the later TH400, from everything I know, is bulletproof.
The four speed hydro was the standard of excellence for automatics in its time, from the late '40s to maybe the early '60s. I don't think it had an equal until the Torqueflite showed up late in the '56 model year. Up until '56 the Hydro shifted pretty hard but GM smoothed it out that year. I had one in a '61 Bonneville and it had good performance, although the two-three shift was a little firm.
The Turbo 400 is just about bulletproof, and probably easier to find parts for.
I have heard that the 429, new in '64, did have some teething problems but don't know the specifics.
I know Oldsmobile used the bulletproof (and HEAVY)cast iron Hydramatics until mid 1956. Then they went to a different (and inferior)unit. I think Cadillac used the same transmission. In 1961 they did even worse when they went to the Roto-Hydramatic also known as a Slim Jim.
What did they call that other transmission between the cast iron units and the Slim Jims?
Pontiac's junior cars went to Roto-Hydramatic (slim jim) in '61 while the Bonneville and Star Chief kept the four speed Hydro. The entire Olds line went to the slim jim in '61 but still called it Hydramatic. As for Cadillac I thought they had used the Hydro through '63 but apparently the commercial chassis used it through '64.
Cadillac and Buick got the Turbo-Hydramatic (Turbo 400) in '64, Pontiac and Olds (and Chevy) in '65.
I know 63-64 and 65 Rivieras all used a different transmission...strange.
I vaguely remember that Buick went from a Twin Turbine Dynaflow to a Triple Turbine sometime in the '60s but the Buick I drove was a '62 so probably had the final version. I think the only time you felt a Dynaflow shift was when it kicked down into passing gear.
In 1956, Pontiac offered the newer version only in Starchiefs, and called it "Strato-flight hydramatic." It had a larger fluid coupling with an extra turbine to smooth out the shifts. All other Pontiacs used the older version. Pontiac used the newer hydro, like speedshoft says, in the Starchiefs and Bonnevilles through 1964.
Olds offerd the newer hydro in 1956, but only in 98s. Olds called it the "Jetaway Hydramatic" [not to be confused with the later "Jetaway" from the sixties.] Olds only used this 4spd hydro through 1960, after which they stuck you with the slim-jim "Rotohydramatic."
Cadillac offered the newer 4spd hydro in all its 56 cars, and used it through 1963 in its passenger cars.
There were a few early bugs in that "Strato-flight" hydro. My Dad had one in his 57 Pontiac, and it went south on us-twice-in 74,000 miles. But, the kickdown passing gear was fun. I learned to drive [and burn rubber] in that car.
Now, I get a little nostalgia taking my 55 Starchief out for a cruise, floor it around 50mph, kick in to passing gear, and listen to that 4barrel and dual glasspacks wind out through the old hydramatic. Not all that fast, but the old sights and sounds are there!
I do know that early 56 Oldsmobiles used the heavy cast iron Hydramatics. Great transmissions, but when they changed gears, you knew it!
There was the old geezer down the street from my parents who had a 55 Buick Century. He would wash it, without fail, twice a week. This was in So. Calif where cars really didn't get that dirty.
One day, as a 11 year old (?) I asked him why he washed it so often. His reply?
" Son...let me tell you something...driving a dirty car is the same thing as wearing dirty clothes!"
Wish I had never asked...now, every time my car is dirty which is pretty often, I can hear his words!
My question is, why would Cadillac spend the resources to rework the 390 for a production run of only one year when they knew they had the 429 warming up in the ball pen?
The 1964/63 was a new body style. Was the old 390 such a behemoth that it wouldn't fit in the new model? - thus, necessitating the need for the rework job?
Gee, maybe I just answered my own question.
In any event, comments on this orphan 390 (ie., the 1963 version) would be appreciated in terms of their overall reliability and appeal.
I have quite a bit of documentation on 1962 Cadillacs (including a brochure specifically for available accessories) and have NEVER seen anything that suggests a hardtop accessory was available from the factory.
Anyone ever seen or heard of another 1962 Caddy convertible with a hardtop???
We could research this I bet.
What I'm talking about is a full-blown hard top.
Personally, I couldn't care less about this extra top as the whole point of buying a classic convertible is to drive it with the top down (usually) in nice weather. Having a hardtop implies one could drive it in inclement weather which goes against the grain of owning one of these. Perhaps in 1962 it made sense but not today.
On the other hand, if this top is the "real McCoy" and somehow a factory piece, I suppose one could argue that it is a novelty item and thus would have some value. But, in my mind, it would be limited.
Pretty good sleuthing, eh?
Ah...the power of the internet!