No Reserve: 1968 Cadillac Calais

This is not the first time that we’ve seen this 1968 Cadillac Calais. It first came to our attention in this Barn Finds article back in 2018. At that point, it had only just emerged from the Pennsylvania barn that it had been parked in since 1980. It has since been treated to a large dose of TLC, and the transformation has been incredible. All good things must come to an end, so the owner has decided to part with the Cadillac. It is located in Euclid, Ohio, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding currently sits at $4,450 in what is a No Reserve auction.

Now, doesn’t that look a whole lot better? The owner believed that under all of that dust was a healthy Caddy, and a bit of effort has proven him right. It is finished in San Mateo Red, and it presents superbly. The panels are laser straight, while the paint now shines magnificently. When the Calais emerged from the barn, the paint did have a few blemishes. Most of these have been touched-up, but the rest is as it left the factory. I can still spot a few small marks, but there’s nothing horrendous for the buyer to contend with. There is no evidence of any external rust, and the fact that the vehicle was undercoated initially means that the floors and frame are clean and sound.

The chrome and trim sparkle nicely for a 53-year-old classic, but once again, there are a few corrosion marks and blemishes. If the Cadillac is to be considered as an unmolested survivor, then these imperfections should be acceptable. The wheel trims look to be perfect, with no evidence of damage. The vehicle is fitted with tinted glass all around, and this is free from any problems.

The interior is one aspect of the Calais that does stand out. It isn’t perfect, but man, it looks pretty inviting. Some of the polished metal pieces show signs of oxidization, but I’m sure that someone with an eye for detail could address this. The upholstery is in remarkable condition, and if the claimed odometer reading is accurate, this would be easy to understand. It shows 21,400 miles. Given the fact that the car spent 38-years of its life in storage, that seems plausible. The carpet and dash are just as nice as the rest of the interior, while the headliner is in as-new condition. One aspect of the Cadillac that I find surprising is that it isn’t equipped with air conditioning. However, it does come with power windows, a power front seat, and an AM radio.

Under the hood of the Calais, you will find a 472ci V8. This should be producing 375hp, which would find its way to the rear wheels via a TH-400 automatic transmission. It is par for the course with a luxury car like this that power steering and power brakes are all part of the package. The Calais holds no pretense as a high-performance car, but the fact that it should be able to dispatch the ¼ mile in 15.7 seconds is quite impressive. Since it emerged from hiding, the vehicle has been treated to a new carburetor, a new air pump, a fresh set of tires, and other mechanical work. The owner says that the tailpipe is rusty but that the car isn’t loud. However, it does run and drive well and is ready to be enjoyed immediately.

I find cars like this 1968 Cadillac Calais to be enormously rewarding. This is one of those rare opportunities at Barn Finds, where we get to see a classic as it emerged from an extended hibernation and witness the transformation that has taken place as the car is returned to active duty. I wish that we saw more of them, so if you do buy a project car that you have located on the site, we would love to see your progress. It is enormously satisfying and lets us know that another classic vehicle has been pulled back from the brink.

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Another great save, and incredible price currently.
    Very popular car for its time with the then older generation, and especially in Las Vegas at that time with certain members of the population having ties to gambling…big trunks.

    Like 15
  2. Ted-M

    Thought AC would have been standard on a Cadillac!

    Like 7
    • SamM

      This was the entry level caddi

      Like 9
    • Kevin

      I hear ya,but the Calais was the entry level, so perhaps no a/c was ordered,or it got pulled,didn’t really read any information to that matter.

      Like 1
      • ACZ

        A/C was optional on this series. So were most power options. These were known as church raffle cars. A base Caddy, as base as they could get but the raffle was advertised as “Win a New Cadillac”.

        Like 3
    • Mike

      Not back then. I think it was optional on the De Ville too.

      Like 2
    • 1-MAC

      This is a Calais. Has less equipment and a different interior than a DeVille. A/c was still an option and some Calais did not have it. Calais was a way for a potential Cadillac owner to save a few dollars on a new Cadillac. They made few of them.

      Like 1
  3. Phil Maniatty

    The lack of a/c isn’t surprising. The Calais was the entry level Cadillac. The seat trim is not leather, it’s vinyl. A/C wasn’t standard on the De Ville series either. I knew a guy in my hometown who had a ’68 Sedan de Ville that did not have a/c.

    Like 3
    • Charles Sawka

      Many dealers in the North West and Alaska ordered cars w/out a/c and sometimes with no p/windows. Buyers didn’t want the a/c and if you have ever had a run in with a frozen solid window motor you’ll know what that’s like !

      Like 1
  4. Douglas Threlfall Member

    In the Midwest, a/c wasn’t a must have. In the Northeastern United States, with the god awful humid weather, a/c was ordered by the dealership for stock units. You had to special order a Cadillac WITHOUT a/c if you’re didn’t want it, and be prepared to get nothing for it upon trading it in. The Calais was the base or entry level Cadillac back then. A/C didn’t become standard until the mid ‘70’s on Cadillacs. Lincoln it didn’t become standard until the 1970 redesign.

    • Kevin

      Actually the mark III lincoln redesign occurred in 1968.

      Like 1
  5. Mitchell Gildea Member

    Once it was cleaned up it became a certified beauty

    • Kevin

      Yes it is,I would buy it,and I’m only 45 minutes or less from it!

  6. Ken Carney

    Makes me almost regret buying the
    Mariner for the girls after seeing this car
    all cleaned up. I had a ’66 Calais and it
    was a wonderful car. Room, ride, power,
    and one hell of a chick magnet too. To
    this day I regret trading it for that piece of crap Toronado I thought I wanted.
    A/C would be a must here in Florida
    where it gets to be 115° in the shade
    during the summer months. That’s what
    they make Vintage Air for right? Great
    car too.

    Like 2
    • Charles Sawka

      You could pirate everything you need from a junkyard dog.I wouldn’t say it was an easy job but certainly not the worst thing you could do.

      • 1-MAC

        I have done that on a 68 and it is a difficult job. Finding a complete system in a junkyard car that will work would be difficult as bits and pieces go missing over the years. I had 33 68’s at one time and few were complete even back in the 80’s. However if you can dothis the 68 is a great car. Built like a 3/4 to truck of today. everything heavy duty and duravle. Nothing today will ride like one of these.

  7. BravoCharleyWindsor

    Sold for $8800.

    Like 1
  8. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Ted, this is a Calais, an entry model. A/C was not standard, nor were power windows seats or locks or trunk. They were standard on the de Ville, Fleetwood and Eldorado.

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