20 Years of Dust: 1966 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

Isn’t this DeVille beautiful, even with all the dust? Can you imagine cruising in it with the top down this summer? There’s no AC, so hot days won’t be much fun. The third generation DeVille has the same wheelbase as the previous generation but has a little more legroom thanks to the perimeter frame. The new frame made it possible to move the engine forward and lower the transmission hump, thus giving more legroom up front. This Convertible is listed on eBay in Winter Haven, Florida. Bidding is already over $3,000 at this time with no reserve. The owner purchased it in Sacramento and took it to Florida in 1976. He hasn’t driven it since 1996, perhaps because of its electrical issues. It’s complete but doesn’t run and it will need some restoration.

The top was replaced shortly before the Cadillac was stored and the back window is glass so perhaps all the top will need is a good cleaning. A peek of the interior would be nice, but it’s not likely a pretty sight. Twenty years of Florida moisture and possible critter infestation have no doubt taken their toll, especially as it seems to have been stored with the window down.

There aren’t many pictures provided in the ad. A peek at the right side and engine would be nice. It’s hard to tell how bad the paint is under all the dust but the trunk certainly looks grim.

It was likely the electrical issues electrical issue that ended this drop top’s driving days. It is quite possibly a simple fix that is causing the problem, like a bad ignition switch or a bad ground. There is said to be little rust and the chrome seems to be in good condition. If the engine is not seized, perhaps this could be a nice driver quality car for a reasonably small pile of money. However, you can buy a nice driver quality convertible like this for $10,000 to $15,000, so it might not be worth much more than the current bid. Are the bids already too high? After 20 years on Florida roads and 20 years in damp storage could this convertible really be “essentially rust free”? It would take a very close look to find the truth. And then there’s the lack of AC.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Bill

    Money pit.

    • Jon

      Money pit, precisely

  2. Wade Anderson

    Having grown up in Central Florida kit is not as bad as you think it is a lot of cars actually came from other parts of the country I have had a couple of cars in Florida that had no rust issues at all

  3. Big Al

    I concur with Bill

  4. Thayer

    (no air conditioning which was not unusual for convertibles in 1966)

    And yet, as I recall, A/C was standard on all Cadillac models from 1964 onward…

    • KEN TILLY Member

      What beats me is why would anybody buy a convertible and then complain that it doesn’t have aircon? The whole idea of driving a convertible is to go topless so having aircon is just a gas guzzling extra.

      • RS

        Sitting in traffic in Florida on a rainy day, the AC would make all the difference. And it does rain in FL.

  5. Moparman Member

    GM Styling at its finest! These cars display a presence that today’s cars just cannot seem to match.

  6. Ken Carney

    Might be in the fuse panel. These cars had fusable links– meaning that one fuse controls several items on the car’s electrical system. It was thought that this would simplify tracking down electrical issues, but instead, many cars were crushed needlessly because this system drove the owners and technicians nuts trying to track down even the simplest of problems. My FIL nearly
    crushed a gorgeous .72 Coupe De Ville
    because of it. Also, I recall seeing this car back in the late ’90’s. The car was beautiful back then and the folks who owned it were regular customers at the restaraunt where I worked. Sure is sad to see it in this condition. If I had the cash, it would be going home with me.

  7. Nova Scotian

    Price up to $4,400.00. Where I come from, this would be considered a MAJOR score. No interrior shots, so maybe some repairs there…but still, pretty much rust free from what I can see. If you just wanted a gas guzzling cruiser and not make a concourse car, this would be fun ride to do it in! Love to have this one myself!

    • Ken Carney

      Yeah Nova Scotian, I used to see this car at least twice a week after the owner bought it and brought it back to Winter Haven. He and his wife took great delight in driving it. The engine ran smooth and quiet except for the telltale burble that came from those twin tailpipes at the rear of the car. I can still recall how that Ice Blue metallic paint just glistened in the afternoon sun. The interior was dark blue (I think) leather. And it was jjust as perfect as the rest of the car.
      For the next 21/2 years, I’d see them
      pull up in the Caddy anytime they wanted a taco fix. In ’98, I saw them
      without the Caddy. The owner told
      me that the car would be off the road
      indefanately due to electrical problems. I offered to help him fix the problem, but he told me that he
      had hired a specialist to troubleshoot
      the issue. I would see the couple many more times after the car was put up. I almost had him talked into
      selling it to me when I lost my wife
      to a stroke in 2003. Until I saw this
      post, I often wondered what happened to the car. Now I know.

  8. ccrvtt

    My grandfather had a ’66 Calais 4-door that he bought new and drove for 6 years. Sold it to one of the locals in northern Wisconsin and that guy drove it for at least another 10 years. It was easy to spot – all 38 feet of it done in Baby Blue. I never understood how a staunch conservative could have chosen that color. Nice running car, though.

  9. Vern

    Had one in the 80s what a cruiser drove it all over up to New Hampshire on my honey moon to vacations in Florida. One of my regret as far as cars I sold. Had to sell it when my business went under. If I buy another needs to be perfect I’m to old to restore another.

  10. Unclehotrod13

    id get it

  11. Joe

    My family always had Cadillacs. For my Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary “the family” gave my Grandfather a 1964 Coupe DeVille painted gold. All my uncles drove Cadillacs. After my grandfather passed on I needed a car so the family gave me his 1972 Fleetwood Brouham(?). I still miss that big old car.

  12. JAMES

    not to be a nit picker about things, but it never ceases to amaze me why automobile sellers hardly ever rinse off the years of bird crap, mouse droppings. bat crap etc in order to get a better perspective of the patina, ( i hate that word ) and chromed areas etc. is it really that much trouble to also vacuum/ sweep the dirt crap from engine compartment and interior to make the item mo0re presentable ???

  13. BillyT

    As I recall from the 1964 Cadillac Fleetwood that my father had, with all the factory installed accessories electrical issues were common. The power windows were the main ones we experienced and we were never able to track down this mystery. You would have to open the driver’s door all the way to get them to work. The wiring diagram looked like a road map of New York City.

  14. Rob

    Cool car. If I had the money I’d buy this and the Merc and start my own armada.

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