City Dweller: 1960 Cadillac Sedan de Ville

You might not think of cities as barn find hotbeds, but while they tend to be low on literal barns, they do usually have lots of hidey-holes in which to tuck cars away. Among California cities, Los Angeles may have the reputation as the car-crazy one, but San Francisco might surprise you; much of San Francisco’s ground-level and subterranean built square footage is dedicated to parking, and even many of those picturesque Victorians have surprisingly large garages behind their dainty carriage doors. It’s fun to walk around the city and see what peeks you can sneak into these dark warrens, and you might just spot something extraordinary, like this 1960 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, which is coming up for air after 15 years of storage and could be yours for $7,000. You can check it out on craigslist here.

Just to bolster my point, you’ll notice that this Caddy is sharing garage space with a step-down Hudson. Hidden treasures, I tell ya.

It’s an amazing world we live in when this can be considered “toned down” styling, but compared to the 1959 Cadillacs, it can. I really like this jewel-tone green paint, even if it’s not the original color; the sellers humorously note that “it even comes with a protective coat of dust.” Some corrosion on the chrome and surface rust on the body is noted, but it doesn’t sound like anything too serious; otherwise, the body is said to be free of dents or dings—pretty remarkable for such a gargantuan car in tight urban quarters.

Inside, the original upholstery is intact, but will best serve as a pattern for replacement fabric. The power seat works, as do the rear windows, but the fronts are out of commission so no pillarless cruising in this Caddy just yet.

Speaking of cruising, the 390-cubic inch V8 does in fact run, and the sellers took the car through all the gears and determined that it’s firing on all eight cylinders—I wish I could say as much for myself. Appropriately for San Francisco, the brakes pull to the left. There’s certainly plenty of room to maneuver around the engine bay when working under the hood.

There’s a lot to like about this project Cadillac, although it’s kind of a bummer that there will be one less hidden gem in this corner of San Francisco once it leaves its garage. Any of you urban dwellers out there want to shout out other cities that are great for car spotting?

Fast Finds


  1. Steve R

    You are right about San Francisco, I’ve had friends houses with unmodified garages that would fit up to five cars. There is lots of stuff still hidden in the backs of garages, that is if the houses still belong to long time owners.

    An acquaintance just bought a low mileage original owner 1956 2dr Mercury that had been shoved in the back of a garage for decades a few months ago.

    Steve R


    I can see why they painted it that mint green color is hideous. For that reason i say 5k for this car because of the ugly color.

  3. J Paul Member

    There was a guy in San Francisco that was (apparently) a serious collector of late-50s Mopars, and managed to street park them. God knows how much work it was to rotate 4-5 different gigantic cars to different spots through the week, but this person managed to do it. It was always a treat to drive in that area and come across a cluster of big finned Chryslers, Dodges and DeSotos, like going back in time.

    As for cool things hidden in SF garages, very true. Recently I was driving in the Richmond district and saw the dusty nose of a ’56-’57 Vette peeking out of a garage…I had to pull over to the side of the road just to say hello to the owner and compliment the car.

    • Bill

      Nick is still there with his several cars,, mostly 50’s Mopars. The problem here is space. I pay $230.00 for a shoebox size garage. I hang-out with several old car guys and we find some buried from time to time in garages where the person has died and they are selling the house. They are drying up as this generation goes.

  4. misterlou Member

    As a former resident, the Avenues are really where the gems are hidden. My old place could hold 4 cars. Within a few blocks, I could count an Alfa Duetto, Isetta, DB5 and countless muscle cars tucked away in the spacious garages.

  5. John

    Forget the caddy, show the Hudson

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