Parked Project: 1957 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Idaho can be a great place to buy a classic, it’s dry enough that cars tend to not rust out but not so hot as to bake interiors or paint. This Cadillac has been parked in a garage in Salt Lake City, Utah for the past 10 to 15 years, but prior to that it was an Idaho car. The seller’s father-in-law wanted a project, but didn’t want to do interior, body or paint work. This Caddy had a clean body, nice interior but some mechanical issues, so it seemed like the perfect match. Sadly, he just never got around to fixing the transmission and so it sat in the garage. It still looks to be in solid shape and can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $2k.

I don’t necessarily disagree with the logic the owner had when he purchased this car, but repairing a transmission isn’t always a simple task. For one, they can be a bit difficult to get out of the car if you don’t have the right tools. And even if you do have the right tools, that doesn’t mean you have the know how to rebuild it. Personally, I would have found a car that ran and drove with a solid body but needed a tune up and some TLC to the interior. You can drive a car with some tears in the seats a lot easier than a car with a damaged transmission.

The engine was said to be running about 10 years ago, but the seller hasn’t tried to start it yet. Hopefully after sitting for so long it isn’t seized or damaged. Getting it running will likely be a fairly simple task, but getting the car back on the road will likely be more of a challenge. Besides needing transmission work, it looks like the dash has been taken apart and is in pieces. It looks like everything is in good shape, but hopefully nothing is missing. While the transmission could be a big issue, but Hydra-Matics are easy to find and any transmission shop should be able to rebuild it. While it’s going to need some work, this Cadillac looks like a great find and could be a fun project!

Fast Finds


  1. Luke Fitzgerald

    Shame – should of driven it straight to the trans shop – might have been 15 years of enjoyment – rather than tearing things apart and not re assembling them

  2. Jay M

    Exactly! Why do people take $hit apart like they are going to fix something and then give up?
    Only I am allowed to do that…

    Still, be a pretty cool car when done.

    • Steven

      The wife and money 😉

  3. redwagon

    @Jay M you just made me laugh and spill my favorite nighttime beverage!


    He prolly took it apart because there was a problem like a heater core or something. Without a reference it will be a major undertaking to put it back together.
    That’s a nasty dent. Good luck fixing that one and paint match. It will have to be spot on as it’ in a highly visible area.

  5. flmikey

    The seller mentions they hooked up the power to a spare battery to ” show me how the rear quarter panels rotate and drop into the body, pretty cool.” Can someone explain this to me? I have never heard of such a thing…wish I could get this one…I have a transmission guy who loves fixing these old trannys…

  6. Jay M

    I think you are referring to the quarter windows, and how they rotate to open/close.
    Probably a Google video online somewhere…

  7. JamieB Member

    Hoh-boy. It’s probably easier to disassemble and re-assemble a Hydra-Matic than it is to put a a 1957 Cadillac dash back together! I can’t imagine how many little parts and chrome bits and switches there are on that.

  8. Mark S

    When someone takes a car apart like this dash and then leaves it like that what they are doing is killing this cars chances of ever being brought back to the road. Not a lot of peaple will want to take on this dash. As a mechanic I have taken many dashes apart and even when you know what you are doing they ar a long and arduous process from start to finish. This will be about 40 hours of head scratching knuckle busting work, and will most likely leave you with a squeak somewhere in the dash. A gremlin that will drive you nuts until you can find it. This seller is probably selling because he can’t figure out how to get the dash back together. As for the trans problem I’d take it to a trust worth shop and get the tranny guys to do it. Transmissions are like a trade within a trade and if you don’t know what you are doing you can make a real mess of things and besides it sucks to have to warranty your own work. If I had space and money I’d be interested in this car its got good bones and lots of class.

  9. John C Cargill

    The dash could be a problem but you can get factory manuals. The dented left front fender? A simple Google search found 5 repros about $400.00 apiece. Paint match, most modern paint shops can match it electrically.

  10. Kevin W

    No Step for a Stepper.
    But that AFB Carb definitely looks out of place.

  11. DJS

    More photos would be nice but still it looks clean .

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