Worth Restoring? 1948 Cadillac Convertible Tent Find

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A tent find may not always be the find of your dreams, but this Series 62 Cadillac Convertible does stir some daydreaming, about the possibilities for this cool ride. Far from restored, but far from being crush-worthy, this Cadillac could be a fun and cool project for someone who wants a classy rat. Appearing reasonably complete minus the drive-train, this shade tree tent find is offered for $7,519.48. You can find it here on eBay out of Montpelier, Virginia.

The original engine and transmission is long gone, and the overall chances of restoring this car are slim to the non-millionaires. So what to do with this Cadillac? Well a basic, tried, and true Chevy 350 could propel this Caddy, but let’s think a little outside of the box. The seller is willing to include a ’79 Cadillac frame, but how about a semi modern truck frame with modern brakes and drive-train? What if this once elegant convertible was revived with a diesel? Well no matter your preference, there are definitely some possibilities for this convertible tub.

From what little we can see of the interior, I am thinking that the current condition of the dash could be suitable for a rat rod type theme. Many body parts have wound up in the cabin space, as well as a road sign that is hiding what looks to be some pretty rough rot in the floors. Needless to say, any and all of the interior components would need work. Although if you were to go in the rat direction, you could put a unique spin on the interior that matches your style.

Miraculously, the exterior of this Cadillac seems fairly straight with little to no exterior rot visible. I am sure the trunk floor and the interior floors need to be replaced, but exterior seems to be fair game. The convertible top frame is in place, but I think that a Carson top would be awesome on this Caddy. Perhaps if you are skilled enough, chopping the windscreen and adding a Carson top would look phenomenal. Unfortunately, with many cars like this Cadillac, we all see and imagine what it once was, and see dollar signs to revert it to its original beauty. So in cases like this, I really appreciate the creative minds that can take cars like this and give them a new life. Would you give this tent find a chance?

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  1. Del


    Like 17
  2. Mike

    I see the owner got the ball rolling on the restoration with those sweet wheel covers.

    The $7,519.48 price has me scratching my head. It’s such a specific amount that I think the seller did some serious number crunching to arrive at that total. I think he knows what he has and will not take a penny less.

    Like 7
    • CD

      $7500 plus the year – 1948.
      Took me a minute to riddle this out.

      Like 13
  3. 8banger Dave MikaMember

    Ya, those wheel covers are pretty sweet. Might look good on my Galaxie XL…

    Like 1
    • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

      Don’t mean to show my stupidity but what is a “Carson” top?
      I probably already know what it is, but with every generation, parts are given new names.

      Like 2
      • stillrunners

        They were – back in the day – a lowered top for a convertible car – done by customizers back in the day – believe a man named – Carson – was the one everyone imitated. It was like chopping the top on a metal top for a customized look. Still some wanting that style today.

        Like 2
  4. Zack

    on the ebay listing he has pics of restored cars one is not even the same body style and he says its “has been in my storage building for the past 20-Years. As you can see from the pics” I hope the tent is not the storage building.

    Like 2
  5. Fred H

    At that price it has found its final resting place.

    Like 14
    • Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

      Thank you, Stillrunners

      I kinda figured it was something like that. I just never heard the term before.

      Like 1
  6. Jack Quantrill

    At least it was under a cabana!

    Like 1
    • Robert

      If someone was trying to give this to me. I wouldn’t take it. $7,500? PT Barnum’s would be pattin’ him on the back

      Like 2
  7. John Oliveri

    Lawn furniture for the owner at that price, when he takes out his picnic table and chairs for the spring he can drag that thing out, measure the dimensions of the engine bay and run over to Home Depot or some other chain hardware store, and pick up sims grates, turn it into a BBQ

    Like 2
  8. Tom

    Total junk! I’m sure you could find a turn key one for half of what it would cost to restore.

    Like 4
  9. Mountainwoodie

    Damn shame.

    Like 5
  10. stillrunners

    Still – it’s a lot of car for a vintage 40’s convertible – and a Caddy at that !

    Make the guy an offer !

    Like 3
  11. kenzo

    @ Stillrunners & Angel Caddy
    It was actually a removable padded hard top. Usually on a cut down windshield. Google Carson Top. There is an excellent pictorial article by Hot Rod Magazine on building one.

    From Wikipedia
    Carson top is a one-piece, padded, upholstered, removable top. The design was invented by Bob Houser in 1935 when he worked for Amos Carson at Carson Top Shop in Los Angeles, USA. The first carson top was probably made for a Ford Model A convertible and nowadays it is mostly used on hot rods and customs

    Like 0
  12. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac DivaMember

    Thank you, Kenzo!

    Like 0
  13. James R.

    A ’48 and a ’49 Cadillac look exactly the same on the outside. The ’48 was the last year for the flathead V8. If you are going to change something to make this restoration somewhat easier and less expensive, PUT A ’49 ENGINE IN IT. First year for the overhead valve V8; 331 cubic inches and a two bbl carb. This would be just as easy as sticking a Chevy in it, and it would still be a Cadillac (and everything would fit). And the original Hydramatic is a great transmission (four speeds—very fast).

    Like 0
  14. Jim ZMember

    Odometer ends in ‘666’.
    Avoid this car, the omen is clear!

    Like 0

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