Whole Lotta Love Needed: 1962 Cadillac Series 62

By Jeff Bennett

For decades, Cadillac could legitimately use the slogan “Standard of the World.”  General Motors took pride in their top tier division, and the whole company was set up to provide vehicles for customers from cradle to grave.  Your first car as a customer was a Chevrolet, then, as you became more affluent, you moved up through the different divisions.  If you “made it” in life, then you finished out your years in a Cadillac.  Of course, if you were successful earlier in life, you skipped a step or three and ended up cruising around in a Cadillac.  This 1962 Cadillac Series 62 four window sedan, for sale on Hemmings.com for a cool $16,000, harkens back to the golden age of the marque.  Located in scenic East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, this big blue boat will need a bit more work to get it back to ship shape condition again.

While Cadillacs are certainly nice, the costs of restoration and the fact that most of the survivors from the 1960s are four doors tend to keep prices low.  Vintage Cadillacs have a lot of chrome, acres of cloth and/or leather inside, and they rust like the Titanic.  All of these things are expensive to repair, and most of these cars are far larger than most modern drivers are comfortable with.  So, why is this being sold for $16,000?  There are two reasons.  The first relates to the odometer in the picture above.  In the ad, the owner states that the car has just 15,000 miles on it, and claims to have documentation with the car.  It is not made clear that the documentation verifies the mileage number, but it is implied.  The other reason that the car is being sold for $16,000 is that the seller is pretty optimistic, given the condition of the car.

Its not that I don’t believe the seller’s claims, because they are likely true.  Many of the parts on this car look well kept and fairly fresh.  However, I am a trust, but verify kind of person.  There are some problems with the car, and many of them are due to a lack of care.  These are cars, and they are meant to be driven, but if you want condition one prices, then you need to start with a car that was garaged and pampered throughout its life.  The split seats, faded cloth, and rough exterior finish point to a car that was probably garage kept for most of its life, but also spent significant time out of doors.

However, other parts of the car are in nearly mint condition.  Take for example the rear door panels.  They are in great condition, but the door rubbers will need to be replaced.  Also, while it is hard to tell from the pictures, something is going on with the chrome trim on the door panel.  A lot of this could be repaired, and a thorough going through would bring the value a lot closer to the asking price.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that this car has even been treated to a proper detailing.

The once left outside theory seems to gather traction when we look at the exterior.  Surface rust is slowly emerging on nearly every panel, and the gloss of a well cared for paint job seems to have disappeared about the same time Elvis left his last building.  Rust is also bubbling up in a few areas, and that doesn’t bode well for a low cost repaint scheme.  While a fresh paint job would make the car more sellable, doing it right would entail stripping it down to bare metal, cutting out and patching spots that have rusted through, and neutralizing the surface rust before the first drop of primer lands on its battleship sized panels.  This would cost a lot of money, but it will need to be done sooner rather than later.

The picture above tells more of the left outside story.  If you look closely, the existing paint has huge scratches in it.  My guess is that the car was covered with dirt, mold, and mildew, and its rescuer worked it over with some soap, bleach, and a stiff brush.  While I am sure the car looked a bit better, the rough treatment didn’t do it any favors.  We can also see the rust through on the rocker panels and rusty stains creeping up from the chrome around where the roof meets the trunk and rear quarter panels.  These are trademark Cadillac rust areas, and they must be addressed.  Another small detail is that the wire wheel hubcaps are from a late seventies Cadillac.  This is a small nit pick, but the standard hubcaps that the seller has in the trunk would look a lot better on the car.

Under the hood is a lot of good news.  Cadillac engines of this era were powerful and smooth, like a glass of top shelf bourbon.  They eat gas like a fat kid gobbles up Twinkies, but you forget about the damage to your wallet after a few hundred miles of sliding down the road as if you were floating on the cream from said fat kid’s Twinkies.  The seller has replaced nearly all of the items that you need to change out after sitting for so long, from the radiator hoses to the carburetor and even the motor mounts.  The parts and labor must have cost the price of a small, island nation, but it shows the dedication that the seller had to getting the car back on the road.  The spending will likely continue as mileage is added, but the lion’s share has already been spent.  The best news is that it has air conditioning!

Underneath, the car looks great for a Cadillac of this vintage, especially for a Massachusetts car.  The picture above lends credence to the 15,000 mile claim, and makes the car worth a lot more than the average Cadillac from the salty north.  It also reveals the potential for this car.  If someone recovered the seats, continued to refurbish the car mechanically, replaced all the door and glass rubber, and put the proper funds and labor into a top flight paint job, then the new owner would have an awesome automobile.  It won’t be cheap to finish the job, but it would be worth it if you could get the owner to come down on the price.  $16,000 is the right price, but it is probably not the right price for 2017.  Let’s hope the seller and a dedicated purchaser can find common ground before rust and wear further degrade this proud automobile.

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Comments

  1. Rabbit

    Check again, Jeff. That’s a 63.

    5+

  2. Rhett

    Nope – 64. Still like it.

    1+

    • ccrvtt

      Nope. 1963. ’64’s had pointed taillights.

      1+

  3. redwagon

    looking at the original bill of sale we see that the car cost $6500 new with the options. the original owner traded in a 2 year old caddy 2 door Series 62 sedan and received a $4,000 trade in allowance. Assuming they were optioned similarly that is about 60% of the price of a new car after two years. Talk about depreciation.

    0

  4. Wrong Way

    My dad had one exactly like this he called it a poor man’s car everytime something went wrong with it he always said wait a while and it will fix itself and darned if it did everytime he said it! Go figure?

    0

  5. Gay Car Nut

    Nice looking Cadillac. It just needs some love and someone who knows how to keep such cars running. If I may correct you, it’s a 1963 Cadillac Series 62, not a 1962 or 1964.

    1+

  6. Luke Fitzgerald

    Wrong caps – wrong badges – trim wear everywhere – not 16 – 116

    0

  7. Chebby

    115k would still be low mileage for this car. Without full documentation, I don’t buy that originality claim: 4 owners and none of them drove it? And the driver’s seat looks like that? Even if it were true, it looks like hell. Maybe worth $6k if a lot of mechanical work has been done. And put the real hubcaps back on and toss those terrible 80s fake wires.

    0

    • Miguel

      It might be that the original wheels are gone.

      The original steel wheels were deep enough to use the hub caps.

      If it has later wheels, they won’t go on.

      0

  8. chad

    30 min away…
    lemmie know
    – -Chad

    1+

  9. Whitetop

    It’s a ’63. You can tell by the front turn signals. My first project when I was 19 was a ’63 Fleetwood so I know this year. ’64 had a rectangular turn signal in the front bumper.

    2+

    • Miguel

      MY first hearse was a 1963. It was 20 years old with 21,000 miles on it. I loved it.

      0

  10. PAPERBKWRITER

    $16k…Dream on.

    1+

  11. Hank

    Needs THOUSANDS in TLC—Trim, Body, Upholstery. RIdiculous. Not a penny over 11.5, and when you’re done you will have 30K plus in it.

    0

  12. angliagt

    I agree – it’s a ’63.My Dad had a ’64,
    which I think looks a lot nicer.

    0

    • Miguel

      There are very few differences between the two. To each his own I guess. I think the ’63 has cleaner lines front and back.

      0

  13. cocobolo

    $10k needs to come off the price, been looking at buying one for some time and you’ll find lots for sale in much much better condition for less than the $16k. Hemmings has one up in Maine which has 17kmiles and excellent condition for $15k

    https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/cadillac/unspecified/1968730.html

    0

  14. Warren

    16K asking? Good luck with that.

    0

  15. Ron

    I’m afraid that I’m not buying the mileage claim……too many things don’t add up. One thing I’d like to clear up, though, is regarding your comment on the rear door chrome trim. What your seeing that you think needs fixing is, I assume, on the vertical portion of said trim. That is actually a built in handle to close the door with.

    1+

  16. Paul K

    Wow, there are a lot of armchair experts! It is a 1963 and was advertised as such. The stitching in the seats has dry rotted, the vinyl is in excellent supple condition. Headliner is perfect, seat cloth is still available. Rear side emblems are incorrect, (don’t know where they came from). Original hupcaps are pristine, which is why they aren’t on the car, to preserve them. Most of the trim is all stainless steel. All mechanical system have been refurbished making it an excellent driver as is. No steering wheel cracks, glass is not pitted, etc. Car can also be seen at the Hemmings Concours event on Saturday in Lake George. It will be driven there.

    1+

  17. Paul K

    Ok, page 2. 1st owner traded after 2yrs, 2nd owner kept, obviously didn’t drive much until his death in 2013. Son of owner 2 put in storage for a couple of years then sold to 3rd owner who bought for his wife. She didn’t like it (too big like Jeff said, and he had a hot rod Chevelle) so he put it out on his sons driveway where I found it. Rides nice, with no rattles or shakes, kinda like riding on Twinkie cream? My personal preference would be to finish the body, but I’ve been told by many (and this is popular, believe it or not) that the “patina” look is very desireable.

    1+

    • Miguel

      It is but not on a Cadillac. Standard of the World you know.

      0

  18. Paul K

    Ron, you’re right about the trim, that is a door handle.

    1+

  19. Brian

    You can buy nice examples of this for 12-15k so if you paid $6k for it you would have another $10k to do body, paint and interior work. Fun car to play with but he needs to rethink that price.

    0

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