Needs Some TLC: 1970 Cadillac Convertible

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

Cadillac DeVille’s, such as this 1970 convertible are among some of the finest-looking cars that the Standard of the World produced, at least in my subjective view. They’re large, luxurious, powerful, and understated. At 225″ in overall length and riding on a 129.5″ wheelbase, this Caddy ragtop qualifies as a whammer-jammer – it makes a big, conspicuous visual statement! This one’s not perfect but it surely has possibilities and a closer look will reveal some issues. Located in Hopewell Junction, New York, this DeVille is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $7,000 with four bids tendered so far.

The styling of cars changed dramatically throughout the ’60s. Just compare a ’60 Sixty-Two convertible to this ’70 example and the exterior differences are obvious (or a ’59 to a ’69 which is even more glaring!) much more so than say a 2013 CTS compared to a 2023 CT5 where appearances haven’t evolved to the same extent. Today it seems that technological changes are what occur more rapidly than aesthetics while that was not so much the case between ’60 and ’70.

Regardless, this is a stately looking convertible though the body is marred by rust-through. Beyond that, there are some surface rust spots on the trunk lid but the folding top (mostly), stainless trim, and chrome check out. The seller makes mention of the presence of “gangster wide whitewall tires“, certainly a matter of taste, but I don’t think that they do this DeVille justice (and they’re probably the first thing that I’d pitch if I were making the buy).

Under the hood is an unphotographed, standard 375 gross HP, 472 CI V8 engine, which after 119K miles of use, is claimed to be making a noise – there is an embedded video that provides audible details and you can get a glimpse of the big power plant there. The seller thinks that it’s a valve lifter and based on my experience with big-block Chevrolet motors, I’d agree, that’s what it sounds like.  The seller adds, “I would not suggest driving the car until the engine noise is fully investigated“. The sole transmission available for this car was a Turbo-Hydramatic 400, three-speed automatic transmission and there’s no reason to suspect that it’s still not there.


The red leather upholstery is claimed to need some restoration, most notably the driver’s side of the front seat backrest and the armrests. Beyond that, it’s in reasonable shape, especially for a convertible, a body style that often sees too much top-down time. Extra points if you can identify the black plastic box hanging from the inside of the driver’s door – it looks like it has something to do with a remote control mirror.

This really isn’t a rare car, there were about 15K produced, but it’s a nice find, in reasonable condition, and the engine issue may not be too serious. The seller suggests, “This car is not perfect but has enormous potential”. OK, a fair enough assessment, I agree with that sentiment, how about you?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. David H

    I had a chance to buy the identical car not quite 10 years ago for $1000.00. I probably would have bought it if only I had a garage at the time. Car ownership as a hobby without a garage can be challenging.

    Like 11
  2. Troy

    Boss hog would love it

    Like 7
  3. Bud Lee

    I believe it to be a beverage holder but, a fancy Cadillac one. Where shall I collect my bonus if correct?

    Like 2
  4. Majik

    ~ What? No such occurance exists. (~66 Fairlane 500XL Convertible Builder).
    I love the car, but with that crumbling rust at both ends of the door sills, it’s one good speed-bump from folding in half. – I believe mom’s 69 had a 500 under the hood? Spun the tires on command. Pass.

    Like 2
  5. Robert Levins

    “ A little rust that shows means a lot more that grows”. But – maybe not in this case. The only way to know is to be extremely thorough, which would require some time but in the long run it would be very wise. This is also the last year for the Cadillac Coupe de Ville convertible as many of you fine folks are already aware of. After 1970, all were FWD Eldorados unless it was aftermarket. I wouldn’t want any more than about 20k total in this car. Best of luck to all involved.

    Like 5
  6. Maggy

    Rot box.Pics in the shade under a tree …really? Show pics of the underside, floors ,trunk drop downs ,trunk inside with no mat or junk in it,engine pics ,quarters ,fender bottoms etc.. Terrible pics imo.Looks like a bondo bucket popper fixed up several years ago to me that’s poppin back. Has an engine noise too.I’d steer clear of this one. Caddy 472’s are strong engines , never saw any top engine noises in these old brutes through the decades I worked on them properly maintained. Must have been abused in the past.

    Like 9
  7. Randy Krater

    The black box on the drivers door is the wiper control

    Like 4
  8. Jim Smith

    I had one of these, blue with white top and interior. I bought it in ’86 for $2,200, with just over 100k miles. It was the only non-sports car that I ever loved, and I drove the hell out of it that summer. Sold it to the ex wife in ’87, on payments, of which she made only three before selling it to a loser friend, who made only one payment before disappearing. Of course she had signed over the title before getting the payment. I saw the car 10 years later on the east side of Columbus, outside a big Victorian house. In 2001 I found an identical one down the street from me in Ft Lauderdale, for $9,995.00. I should have bought it. Ah well, life goes on.

    Like 2
  9. Chris Cornetto

    I love these cars, I bought a factory pink one back in the 80s with the same red interior for 300.00. A summer of wonderful fun as my 59 Impala convertible was down for an engine. The 69 and 70 to me are as good as the 59 and 60. I currently have a blue 70 convertible that I bought from the original owner years back, a super solid car albeit the front lower fenders which will even have pinholes in desert models because of the design. Sadly mine sat with no top so the inside is crap in the rear seat area but didn’t sit exposed long enough to do in the flooring. This car is going to be a rust bucket. New York great in the summer, cars worse enemy afterwards. Pictures show rust and muck. Body not so good, inside rather nice. An expensive redo if you cannot do it yourself. Cars like this are the last hold outs for the regular guys. Not a show piece but a wonderful go piece that can be enjoyed. If the underpinnings aren’t complete scale and crud, weld it up, treat the insides of all the panels, lay a driver quality paint job on it and roll. The biggest headache on these are the exhaust manifold gaskets, which they all need at some point……UGH. it’s either heads off or engine out. I lifted the engine out on my limo version I have. At one time these were hot movers to Scandinavia, many went there including my pink convertible.

    Like 2
  10. William Milot

    The rocker arm on these were a lot like the Oldsmobile engines held down with a bridge style piece that’ll wear down if any crud gets in the rocker and prevents oil from getting in there and they’ll tick and clatter like a hay bailer! This is a $20 fix and easy to find out which one’s bad by just removing the valve covers and start it up and look for the one that’s loose, worse case is a bent pushrod caused by a bad rocker hold down or a stuck valve. A good douche of WD-40 and let it sit for a while then hit the stuck valve with a brass hammer till it breaks loose is usually all it takes. The rocker panels on the 1970 are galvanized so they don’t rust and the lower quarter usually holds water if the top leaks, but if caught in time can be a cheap fix as long as the rear floor isn’t rotted out yet. As long as the frame is in good shape the rest is easy fixes and since these are steady going up in value if it could be gotten for under $10K (and you’re handy) you could triple your investment in a short time.

    Like 3
  11. PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $7,100.

    Like 0
  12. Wall-e

    Engine noise might be from a bad cam, not necessarily lifters. I had a ’70 hardtop that started sounding like a sewing machine when cold at around 98,000 then all the the time at 103,000. Our family mechanic said this was common when it reached this mileage.

    Like 0

    I keep saying this over and over. older cars were driven originally with leaded fuel that clogged up the engine. I took my 70 ford truck 300 six lifter cover off and scraped the lead off the cover. lead clogged up the hydraulic lifters that can cause a noise and make the camshaft wear. If the engine oil isn’t changed and the car driven on a regular basis the valve covers become calked with lead.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds