Shopping for a Classic Cadillac

Cadillac has made some terrific cars over the years.  Each decade has a different look and style, and very different price points in the collector market.  I love the look of the 30s and 40s cars, and some of the 50s, but they are already very well valued in the market.  I am starting to narrow my consideration to a couple of models — the 1965/1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado (convertible), a 1967-1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible, and a rough earlier Cadillac Convertible.

Cadillac also made a rear wheel drive convertible in 2004-2009, the XLR, but it has been eliminated from consideration by my Wife as ‘too modern’.

1965/1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

The last of the rear-wheel drive Eldorados. Eldorado as a sub-brand meant the finest of the line since 1953.  Fleetwood was a custom high-line body shop later acquired by GM.  The Fleetwood Eldorados were to some less special than the earlier Eldorados, and too much like the rest of the Cadillac line for their year.  But they were still the pinnacle of features and options.

My friend Tim Carroll of Carroll Custom Cadillac notes:

When it comes to design, 67′ 68′ 69′ have the right body lines to compliment a convertible, it may be just me but the 65′ and 66′ look best with the detailed hard top body lines, these years seem to lose their detail to box look when the top is down?
However, they are beautiful too! I certainly would not turn one away!

I prefer rear-wheel drive, and these are still in a good range for picking up and preserving a classic.

1967-1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

Full-body, rear-wheel drive, 472 cubic inches of reliable OHV V8.  These are Cadillacs of the old school, with huge torque and hood lines.

2014 - 1

The Cadillac 472 cubic inch V8 is very similar to the later / contemporary 500 cubic inch Cadillac engines, and they share a lot of speed / aftermarket part support.  This makes them attractive for an ongoing project.

 Pre-1954 Cadillac

I would love to have and enjoy any of the earlier Cadillac Convertibles, but I believe most of them are already outside my budget unless we start with a really rough project Cadillac.

1953 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado Convertible

1953 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado Convertible

I love the look of the early cars though!

First Things First

My garage currently is occupied by my Duke SS100.  My late Father had purchased this late in life, and we enjoyed sharing stories of getting it back on the road and enjoying driving it.

Duke SS 100 recreation of the 1939 Jaguar SS100

I will need to sell my Duke SS100 [info at link] before I have space for the classic Cadillac, so not quite in the market yet.  But I know what I like…

4 thoughts on “Shopping for a Classic Cadillac

  1. I’m sitting here with an old “Standard catalog of Cadillac” for 1903-2000 and have some suggestions. I’m sure the prizes are way up since 2000 but it seems like the late 1940’s series 61, 62 and 75 are worth to check out. I took a look at and found some really interesting cars, for instance:
    This awesome Series 62
    This Series 63

    I would however be a bit worried about the parts supply. But cars of that vintage were usually made to be repaired. One could order spare parts to repair hydraulic shocks, alternators, carburetors, water pumps etc. etc. Just with a basic set of tools and perhaps some machining one could repair the car in the original meaning of the word. Today we just exchange parts!

  2. I’m usually not a fan of “ruining” a car, but turning a rough object like this into a convertible could be an option. Of course it depends on your personal preferences. There are enthusiasts who are willing to sacrifice incredible amounts of hard work and time to create their own dream car. It almost seems to be more important for them to work on their car than to drive it

  3. I lost half the post somehow. I also wanted to say that with time, skills and a proper garage a car like this could be the perfect convertible!:
    Since the older cars have separate frames they are very suitable to use as objects compared to the newer ones because they don’t need any additional supports in order to make the convertible more rigid. But then on the other hand if you are more of a restorer than a builder (like me), this one seems nice:

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