Twenty six years after the last factory DeVille convertible rolled off of a Cadillac assembly line, this custom 1986 Cadillac DeVille convertible comes to you from Annandale, Minnesota. It’s posted on craigslist with a $3,995 asking price. The instant that I saw this car online I knew that I’d have to make the short (one-hour) trek northwest of Minneapolis to see it.
This Cadillac convertible is located at a fantastic salvage yard, French Lake Auto Parts, run by a great group of folks. The number of classic cars that they have in their surgically-neat yard is amazing, but I was there to see this mid-80s custom Caddy convertible. This car was purchased, along with three others, after having been in someone’s collection and stored indoors since 2008. After getting the car, they went through the gas tank, put in a new fuel pump and new battery, and it seems to run perfectly.
A car like this is somewhat out of character for me, but it’s highly unusual and as you can see it appears to be in great condition. A convertible is just about the ultimate option, although questionable in Minnesota where there are approximately 17.4 days a year without snow or rain (ok, that was an exaggeration). These Cadillac ragtops were made by a couple of companies, this one by a company called Car Craft between 1986 and 1991. They were based, of course, on the Coupe DeVille. It’s a quality piece of craftsmanship. I was surprised at how nice the details were, especially compared to my old mid-80s Chrysler LeBaron convertible. This is a fully-lined top and it’s snug, quiet, and nice.
There are no engine photos, but it looked clean and the fluids looked clean. It should be Cadillac’s HT-4100, a 4.1L 249 cubic-inch V8 with around 140 hp. It needs new hood struts, but $35 for those and you’ll be back in business. It sounded great when I started it, but one thing it does need is a part on the AC that’s rattling.
You’ll want to add some of those little, round stick-on convex mirrors to the mirrors to compensate for the huge blind spots created by the convertible top. And, while you’re at it, you may need a new top, or at least a patch on this one as there’s a little hole on the passenger side. They actually still make replacement tops for this car, and if you can do the work yourself it’ll save a lot of cash. It’ll still cost $600 or so, but having a patch on a Cadillac convertible seems a little odd. At least put the patch on the inside if you have to get by for the summer. You’ll want to have the top down 90% of the time anyway.
The interior is in great condition, just needing to be cleaned and detailed to make it shine. I did notice that the padding under the trunk floor was damp, but the trunk looked almost like new as did the seal, so I’m not sure what that was from. There was zero rust under the pad so it’s a new development whatever it is. Both sides of the front interior floor were also damp and in trouble-shooting what that could be from, I noticed that the window seal on both sides was a bit old. Most likely, in a couple of hours and some new window seal, a person should be able to get things sealed up and watertight again. This is a really unique car and they’re pretty popular in the southern states where they’re usable for more than just a few months a year. If a person were handy in fixing a few things this car could really turn some heads!