Fins For Miles: 1960 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

Are you a fan of massive fins, land yachting and luxury comforts? If so, then you must be a fan of the 1960 Cadillac Coupe DeVille! These massive American classics have some of the largest fins ever mounted to a car and while they might seem a bit over the top in photos, once you’ve seen one of these cars in person you can’t help but love the design. This one is going to be a big project involving repairing rust and a new interior. That being said, this barn find is fairly complete and is being offered without a reserve here on eBay in Cavalier, North Dakota and a current bid just over $1k.

While the rust might scare some people away, it’s actually the interior that is more of a concern to us. Replacement metal is out there and even if you can’t find it, it’s much easier to fabricate patch panels than it is to replicate interior trim. There are a few companies out there that provide reproduction and salvaged parts, so restoring the interior won’t be impossible. And the seller claims that other than the rear seat bottom, it’s complete, so you might actually be able to restore what’s here rather than replace it.

Moving all of this finned luxury takes a lot of power, so Cadillac installed a 390 cui V8 with 325 horsepower. Even with all that power, these aren’t light cars by any means so don’t expect to be winning many drag races in it. That’s right though, this is the kind of car that you don’t need to win any races to enjoy driving it. Getting it running again so that you can enjoy it might be a challenge though. The seller states that this is the original engine, but that they haven’t attempted to start it or even turn it over. We’ve worked on these engines and they are really well built, so it might be as simple as changing the fluids, doing a tune and cleaning out the fuel system, but you won’t know for sure until you start working on it.

These really are incredible cars and finding unrestored examples is getting rather difficult. There were just over 21k built in 1960 and it’s hard to say how many of those have survived. Hopefully someone sees the potential here and takes on the task of restoring it. At the very least, there are lots of good parts and trim here that could be used to keep another one on the road. So do you see the potential of this finned beauty?

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Comments

  1. Tyler

    At least they unloaded it before they started trying to flip it.

    6+
    • Tom Member

      Unloaded it before they try to unload it !!

      0
  2. TriPowerVette

    When this behemoth was new, it reflected the prevalent feeling in the United States of unbridled optimism, a philosophy that large is too small, and a belief in a limitless future. When new, it was magnificent.

    This example, though, will satisfy the would-be buyer’s deranged desire to empty out his (and or her) every source of any funds available, plus ability(ies) to borrow many times those amounts, then drive out to a frozen river (or similar limitless crevasse), drill a hole of adequate diameter until it strikes water below, and then proceed to use a medium-size stick to tediously stuff all the money into that hole (occupying your every free moment for years), until it is all gone (possibly including your marriage).

    After which, you will still have this car, no money (or hope of ever again having any), and no chance of finishing it. You will then sell it for less than you paid (you will call it ‘invested’, so you don’t seem like such a moron), originally.

    I can hardly wait.

    22+
    • Tom Member

      Agreed. I’d like to hear your take on the Cimmaron (Cadillac Cavalier) from the80’s?

      1+
      • TriPowerVette

        @Tom – I try to comment on subjects with which I have some familiarity.

        My opinion of the Cimmaron is and was the exact inversion of the above. It was a budget, borrowed design (in a similar way to its predecessor, Seville / Nova – but with nowhere near the quality of development) and was built as a me too, catch up, to the perceived European ‘invasion’ of high-quality, more efficient, sporty designs.

        I understand that it had an 88 horsepower engine, which could in no way be perceived as “plenty of grunt”. I have no driving experience to confirm (nor desired any).

        One of my (many) gauges of a design’s success or failure, is whether or not there are examples to be found at various car shows and coffee meets, and if any is to be found, in what light it is viewed now. I challenge you to find an example anywhere. Were one to be found, these some 35 years later, it would likely be viewed as Cadillac’s Citroen 2CV (except Bond would never ride in a Cimmaron).

        It was, from my point of view, a pathetic failure of GM ‘yes men’s’ group think.

        I hope I have answered your question, without the embellishment of 1st hand experience with one, other than my impressions of it at the time.

        0
  3. KEN TILLY

    My South African friend used to call it a “GROOT PYPE”, or in English “BIG PIPE ” as that’s where he had to throw all his available cash in able to restore his 1928 Cadillac Coupe. He said it led into a bottomless pit!

    3+
    • KEN TILLY

      Managed to find a pic of my friends 1928 Caddy. He found it as a wreck on a farm with one side rusted out completely then found another in the US that had been hit by a train on the other side so he imported it and restored it into Gold Medal Concours condition.

      3+
  4. Miguel

    I hate to see Cadillacs in this kind of condition.

    5+
  5. Madmatt

    These can bring serious money when restored,but
    this looks more like a resto rod candidate.Too
    bad the rear bumper is rusted through,and chrome
    is in poor shape.It would take some big dough to redo
    interior to original,thus maybe should be a mild resto rod
    with a cad 472 and modern amenities.
    The chrome shop goes into overtime everytime
    a Cadillac owner arrives!….and the interior shop just closes down!LOL
    I love all Caddy’s 48 thru 62,and they are all
    expensive to restore/own and maintain..but they are magnificent vehicles.

    3+
    • Tony C. Australia

      My car club in Sth. Aust. has about 7 of these in it, both 2 and 4 doors and none of the owners ever complain about cost and availability of parts, one guy has a 1950 2 door that’s worth over $120,000. From what I remember the most expensive one cost the owner less than 30 grand Aust. and they were all restored or really good drivers. I don’t know what the big deal is, if you spend the cash it’ll come back twofold in the years to come as a major profit, these things are going up in value ever day as each of the wrecks goes to the scrap dealer. This one has probably got over $2000 worth of parts or more on it that people are desperately looking for, body and trim parts aren’t sitting on store shelves anymore.

      3+
  6. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    Only for the well-funded.

    2+
  7. Richard Douglass

    This is a great example of the largest cars made and Fins!! But, put up 5 or 6k and you can get an early 60’s Caddie, in driver condition ,that has a decent body and serviceable interior. I see them all the time on Craigslist . I bought a 1939 Buick super solid,original paint for $2000,it needed everything. I now have it to the point where it runs, stops,and has a new exhaust , I have over $5000 into the car and still need new glass,tires, interior,and paint. I should have picked up a driver for 5 or 6k and saved all the work! Unless a car is super high dollar you are always better off spending a little more and getting a driver

    0
  8. Jack Quantrill

    This deserves to be buried at Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, TX!

    5+
    • Daniel LARSON

      It looks more like a Battleac more then a Cadillac.

      1+
  9. Davey

    Rust bucketed money pit.
    Flush your dough down the crapper.

    1+
  10. John

    Surprisef so rusty for a North Dakota car. Wonder if it wandered over from salt belt Minnesota next door? ND cars are usually rust free.

    1+
    • carsofchaos

      I was thinking the same thing John. When I first saw the car was in ND, I thought well at least it should be relatively rust free. Then saw the rust. Unusual for that area to be sure.

      0
  11. fahrvergnugen

    Isn’t there an aftermarket kit to install rocket pods in the lower taillight housings, to improve acceleration from a standing start?

    1+
  12. Ck

    Hey honestly isn’t every project car /hot rod /restore it back to its original glory car a money pit.Whats the difference between this caddy or a corvette in the same condition.An old timer once told me,and I quote. “Fixing up old cars ain’t for sissys”.I always say , make sure that ya buy the car or truck that ya want .What ever you do don’t settle on a project car .If you want a 70 Nova SS don’t buy a 60 caddy.

    2+

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