Rare Bucket Seats? 1963 Cadillac Convertible

By 1963, the worst excess of Cadillac’s late ’50s/early ’60s styling had been tamed. Cadillac was in line, at this point, for a long run of substantial sales success, with buttoned-down styling, that would last long into the ’70s. And just such an example is this 1963 Convertible that is equipped with unique bucket seats, what Cadillac referred to as “sports-type” seats. It is located in Novato, California, and is available here on craigslist for $8,000. Thanks to MattR for this tip!

Cadillac offered two convertible models in ’63, one simply referred to as the “Convertible” and the other being an Eldorado Biarritz. There is no specific identifier or an accompanying VIN but the assumption is that this is a standard convertible model. I encourage input from Cadillac aficionados that can help with further model identification.

Well, now you know what happens when you park a convertible outside for an extended period of time and leave the top down. You end up with an interior that looks like this. Rare “sports-type” seats or not, the interior of this Caddy is one of the worst that I have witnessed. There’s pretty much nothing there. While this convertible supposedly runs and drives, more on that later, one has to park their derriere on a board to facilitate actual operation. Nice! To add to the fun, the floor is starting to fall out too. Time for another board!

The exterior belies the interior. It’s straight and appears to be mostly free of corrosion and deterioration; surprisingly so. The original finish badly faded but still provides coverage across this convertible’s substantial flanks. The fender skirts, however, have gone missing as has the canvas convertible top, and thus the responsible culprit for the deleterious interior condition. The trim is mostly present though, and the chrome is reasonable still. It’s recommended that a prospective buyer get a good look at the frame.

Under the immense bonnet of the Caddy cruiser is a 390 CI V8 engine that supposedly still runs and drives courtesy its 325 gross HP. If it does, then it does, and that’s good news but the appearance makes one think this convertible has been sitting for a long time – actually twenty years states the seller. The radiator is showing signs of recent work however, the upper tank appears to have been repainted. As expected, the transmission is the typical Hydramatic, automatic unit.  It’s easy to assume that the engine will need a teardown and rebuild.

The seller gives little detail regarding his Cadillac other than to say, “Needs full restoration. It will need the normal restoration stuff floors interior exterior paint top”. Yes, that, and then some. And $8,000, just to get your foot in the door? That’s a pretty steep hill to climb right out of the gate – and it’s doubtful that the “sports-type” seats really engender a value premium when they are nothing more than “sports-type frames” at this point and nothing more. Any way you cut it, this will be an out-sized project for no reason other than the immense landscape that will confront the new owner. And that’s before you get into the real nitty-gritty. What do you think, up for this colossal Cadillac challenge?

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  1. Carl N.

    An Eldorado would have wreaths around the crests, rather than the ‘V’. Also, the Hydramatic wouldn’t be available until ‘64 (as an option). This would have the four-speed automatic with reverse at the far right of the selector range.

    Like 4
  2. OhU8one2

    New buyer better plan on buying a parts donor car. If bought right, it will save lot’s of labor and money. This is going to be a huge undertaking and labor intensive to do it right. But I’ve always had a soft spot for any 1963 automobile. Probably because it’s the year I was born. GLWTS

    Like 5
  3. Jim Mc

    “Under the immense bonnet of the Caddy cruiser is a 390 CI V8 engine that supposedly still runs and drives courtesy its 325 gross HP.”
    Um, if it’s still running and driving I don’t think it’s because of the 325 HP. It’s courtesy of the initial build quality, and good luck that the storage conditions (or lack thereof) and weather over the years haven’t completely destroyed it yet.
    On a side note: needs full-size cardboard cut-outs of Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in the front seats. If you’re gonna ask eight large(?!) for this bucket, you might as well pitch some “same car, same condition, as the one used in the movie 48 Hours!” marketing yuks.

    Like 2
  4. Dan

    The Eldorado had specific exterior and interior trim, none of which this one has, so not the Eldorado. Yes, bucket seats were relatively rare, but I don’t think I’d invest $8K to start with and then heaven knows how much more to get it back on the road. Now, if money were no object….go for it!

    Like 2
  5. CCFisher

    This is a Series Sixty-two convertible. Eldorado had different trim.

    Hydramatic was the only transmission available and was in its final year in Cadillacs. THM-400 was introduced for 1964.

  6. John McCall Jr.

    The bucket seats and console can bring $2500.00 as is any day of the week on ebay. Those have tremendous value for any 1963 or 1964 Cadillac

    Like 1

    I’m in: how about $1.98?

    Like 5
  8. Terry

    I think if you owned a Cadillac DeVille it would be a convertible, the other body styles were called Coupe DeVille and Sedan DeVille.

    Like 1
  9. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    “Deleterious” what a great word.
    Above is a picture of my wife’s second car; a 63 Caddy convertible. It had power everything including automatic headlight dimmer, power steering and brakes, electric top and windows, a/c in other words it was loaded. She loved that car.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  10. Butch

    Buddy of mine bought one of these in ILL running driving new paint for $6500 back in the 90’s. Turned out to be a bondo buggy. I sold him a Arizona rust free convo body tub for $2500. He made one solid car from the two and made an immaculate black 63 convertible Caddy. Guy is a perfectionist. Now its been stored in his garage so long since last he drove it the tires dry rotted…

    Like 1
  11. Angel Cadillac Diva

    @Jim Mc

    “48 hours” car was a ’64

  12. Bob McK Member

    WAY overpriced. The only thing worth much here are the seats and console. Sorry, but this is a $2500 car.

    Like 1
  13. brian b

    This thing has been bouncing around for ages. The right price is much more like $2000 not $8000.

  14. TimM

    The body looks solid but the interior looks like someone took a roto tiller to the seats!!!

    Like 1

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