Author Topic: The 20 Year Search!  (Read 1417 times)

Offline Ineedfins

The 20 Year Search!
« on: April 20, 2016, 01:11:56 PM »
Hi all,
New to the site (obviously) and looking to buy my "white whale" 1961 Cadillac.  It's a car that has thus far eluded me somehow.  I missed out on buying one as my first car in 1996 by mere minutes and have wanted one ever since.  I've been through a bunch of other boats like Pontiacs and Chryslers and even a '75 Cadillac Calais but have never bought the '61 Cadillac that I need to scratch off of my bucket list.  :)

I don't particularly like showing my cards but I've found a '61 that's the exact color I would have liked to paint one.  It has a nice interior but it's a Series 62 with manual windows and no AC.  I am wondering about the value and if you knowledgeable folks can help determine if the price is fair/high/low? 

Here's a link to the photo album: (PLEASE don't steal this car from me!!!!)  https://picasaweb.google.com/114345133658349591352/1961CadillacCoupeDeVille8500#

Would I prefer a DeVille with power options?  Of course I would, but I checked out this car and it's very clean overall with just a few blemishes.  It would make a great driver.  I didn't get a chance to drive it because the owner was out of town but he let me come by and check out the car. 

The flaws that it has are:
- a ding in the grille near the driver's side
- a couple spots near the passenger's tail fin on the wide where paint is scratched off, two the size of nickels,
- firewall is still the original color
- seemed like the lower part of the dash was spray-painted black
- passenger door glass cracked (that seems fairly common on these cars)
- I don't know how it drives yet or what the inside of the trunk looks like.

Good things:
- I found very little rust.  (maybe I should have looked a little harder for Bondo but the car looked great)
- Color I want
- Nice interior even if it's not stock
- Lights worked
- windows worked nicely
- are those real spoke wheels? 

I'm sure that the paint and interior cost more than the asking price of the car but does the price seem fair for a Series 62 with no real options?  Basically I'm getting a "stripped" car with great style.  I'm paying to have fins 8) but want to make sure that the price is fair and that I'm not paying too much because of emotions/excitement.  Thanks all!   
1961 Cadillac 60 Series Fleetwood - ending a 21 year search!

Offline 62 driver

Re: The 20 Year Search!
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 06:41:02 PM »
The wheels are 48 spoke knock off.  Theirs nothing wrong with them and the only way they remake them.  The original had 40 spoke steel.  40 steel spokes were not strong enough so when they knocked off the wire wheel they used 48 spokes. When they restore the 40 spokes wire they use stainless steel spokes.  The are stronger.  You should buy the nice's car you can afford and that you want.  I wanted a 2 door coupe deville. I looked for 3 years before I purchased mine for $6,800.  I also wanted a tinker type car.  I enjoyed cleaning it up.  Now I want a Eldorado with power every thing!  My son has a striped 61 2 door that he paid $8,000. Both car ran well. His was newly painted.

Offline Lexi

Re: The 20 Year Search!
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 07:07:15 PM »
When 62 Driver said to buy the best that you can afford (and what you want), he gave you the best advice anyone can give. My dream Caddy took some 40 years of searching, but during that journey I had bought some other models and passed on a couple of what I was looking for due to their poor condition. I then remembered the other phrase, "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the attractiveness of low price". Nothing compares to finding the car that you really want and can enjoy. Good luck! Clay/Lexi

Offline Clewisiii

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Re: The 20 Year Search!
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 08:20:05 PM »
I say live life for the stories.  Find a car that is half buried in a swamp and bring it back.  But I am also insane.  You WILL find a car later that is a little better, little cheaper or both.  But if you keep waiting for the next one then it may turn into no car.  It has been 20 years.

Below is the pile I got.  It was in no way worth it and will be a money pit.  I do not care at all.  Each step is a challenge.  Each step is an adventure, Each step is fun.

No regrets.
Carl Crittenden

"Endeavor to retain the Spirit of Youth"

Offline Dan LeBlanc

Re: The 20 Year Search!
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2016, 07:15:27 AM »
How big of a drawback is the lack of A/C and power windows to you?  How far are you willing to travel to buy a car.

This price isn't unreasonable for what the car is, however, in this price range, there are lots of options.  1961's and 1962's aren't horrendously hard to find.  If a sedan floats your boat, they are out there with the power features and a/c you desire for the same or not much more money if you are willing to put a little TLC into them to bring things like the A/C back to life.
1970 deVille Convertible
1953 Series 62 Sedan
1953 Fleetwood 60S

Offline 62 driver

Re: The 20 Year Search!
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2016, 04:58:29 PM »
I found this on Craigslist. Not mine. Asking $8,000.
http://oklahomacity.craigslist.org/cto/5537761932.html

Offline 62droptop

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Re: The 20 Year Search!
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2016, 09:04:57 PM »
welcome

the car in question seems a bit steep for what it is presented to be in the pictures
it appears to be a repaint  as firewall looks to be yellow
and that was body colour

the carb has been swapped and has a crappy air filter on it and a exhaust leak or two at engine ,most likely manifold to y pipe or a cracked manifold,both common

these cars run best with original carbs and the linkage for the transmission pressure rod is critical to be right
the vacuum hose plugged with a bolt is an issue for me as it shows a half ass way of doing things
vacuum caps are readily available and cheap to obtain to do a nice job

I hear ya on the passion for wanting a set of skegs in your driveway,just don't buy the wrong car and regret it
you are correct paint and interior will cost more than ask to redo, but living with manual windows and no a/c just because you want fins may get old real quick and you may not enjoy the car
good luck on the hunt!

1962 Cadillac series 62 ragtop

driven like it is stolen
broken because it was driven(still)

Offline Ineedfins

Re: The 20 Year Search!
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 09:48:13 AM »
When 62 Driver said to buy the best that you can afford (and what you want), he gave you the best advice anyone can give. My dream Caddy took some 40 years of searching, but during that journey I had bought some other models and passed on a couple of what I was looking for due to their poor condition. I then remembered the other phrase, "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the attractiveness of low price". Nothing compares to finding the car that you really want and can enjoy. Good luck! Clay/Lexi

Thank you to all. I would love to resurrect an old neglected car as I have done in the past but the attraction to this blue one is that I wouldn't have to.  I have other projects going on at the same time (1968 Chrysler 300 2-dr that I converted to a 4-speed- needs bodywork/paint and an LS3 swapped '77 Firebird that is running but not quite completed yet).  I do everything myself, so having a Caddy that I could get in and enjoy right away is important.  The last thing I need is another project!  (I know, all old cars are projects of some form!)  8)

I really would like AC and PW so although this car is the right color for me (yes a repaint/color change), maybe it's not right for me.  I tend to agree that the price is a little high for this one.  If it had PW/AC then I would have no problem with the carb and firewall.  The trans kickdown that was mentioned is a valid concern that I had overlooked.  I  had a '59 Pontiac briefly with trans issues that may have been related to the kickdown being wrong for years and I think the '61 Caddy uses the same or very similar transmission to that.

Thanks all, you've given me more help in narrowing down what I should be looking for instead of settling for. 
1961 Cadillac 60 Series Fleetwood - ending a 21 year search!

Offline Ineedfins

Re: The 20 Year Search!
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 01:55:19 AM »
Well... THE SEARCH IS OVER!   8)

I bought my white whale.   You'll all know from the pics but it's a 1961 Fleetwood.   All 8 power windows work, power seat works,  super solid underneath and everywhere, runs smooth, ac all intact but not working at the moment.  I'll fix that and the non-charging generator and be on the road in no time.   I loooooove this car!

Hard to believe it's been almost a year since I saw the last '61 but it was worth the wait.  Soooo excited!  21 years in the making!
1961 Cadillac 60 Series Fleetwood - ending a 21 year search!

Offline Clewisiii

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Re: The 20 Year Search!
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 08:17:11 AM »
Beautiful   if you get a chance add more interior pictures. I am a fan of the details.
Carl Crittenden

"Endeavor to retain the Spirit of Youth"