Ready To Cruise: 1966 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

1966 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

You may recognize this Cadillac. Josh and I helped our father dig it out over the 4th of July weekend – you can read more about that adventure here. We got it running, but didn’t have time to clean it up. So, we headed back to Wyoming last week to see what we could do with the paint and interior. Josh pulled out a couple of bottles of polish and his trusty buffer, and went to work. I grabbed a bucket of water and some rags, and jumped inside. My sweet wife even spent a couple of hours on that huge grill! It was a dirty job, but I think everyone will agree that the end results were well worth the effort. Dad’s big Cadillac isn’t perfect, but it sure looks a lot better. He still isn’t convinced that it’s his style though, so we have also listed it here on eBay for him with a $200 starting bid and a reasonable reserve. We have already located something a little more sporty for him, but this luxury classic definitely deserves a good home. Keep reading to learn more or checkout the photo gallery here.

Flowing Fins

This car was purchased by my father from a little old lady he knows. As cheesy as that may sound, it’s the truth and we were there to witness it. She watched out the window as we dragged it away and and I can only imagine what sort of memories it held. Her husband had purchased the car used when it was only a couple of years old and they drove it for next couple of decades. You could tell that it held a special place in her heart. Even the license plate held her birth year. It was parked sometime around 1993 when it just became too hard to navigate. Those big fenders show evidence of a few garage encounters, but otherwise the car is amazingly preserved. There are some bumps and bruises, but we didn’t spot any serious rot underneath. The paint was pretty dry, but we were able to get it to polish up quite a bit. I suppose you could address all the mechanical systems first and drive it as-is while saving up your pennies for a new paint job.

Cadillac Interior

The interior was covered in a layer of dust, but after a couple of hours of cleaning, it looked almost like new. There are two cracks in the dash and the carpet could use a good shampooing, but otherwise it looks great. The front seats were protected by covers and the back bench is still wearing a plastic cover that was likely installed by the dealer. We will let the next owner pull it off so they can be the first to see the protected material underneath. The interior of this car may not look unlike other cars from the sixties, but once you start examining things closer you will find some surprises. Features like power seats, automatic climate control, remote truck release, and tilt and telescoping steering columns may be commonplace today, but these were exciting luxuries when this car was new. The more I sat in the car and admired all those dials and knobs, the more I appreciated it. These really are high quality machines and we should be proud of the fact that they were produced in America.

Cadillac Dash

The radio antenna extends up with a push of a button and after tuning the dial to a channel it works great. We even got the automatic climate control to kick on a few times when it got real hot inside. These were vacuum controlled units though, so I assume that some lines will need replaced and perhaps some sensors cleaned or replaced. The cruise control dial and switch is there, but it looks like the linkage is disconnected under the hood so we weren’t able to test that out. The windows on the driver’s side went up and down without problem, but the passenger’s side were intermittent. Some more detailing and sorting would make this interior an excellent place to be. The seats are comfortable and the panoramic view is great from any seat in the house!

429 V8

This thing is as big as a house too! Luckily, there is big 429 under the hood to move it all around. As mentioned, we did get the engine running. It starts up instantly every time, but as with any old car that’s been sitting for an extended period of time, it would be wise to go through and replace all of the consumables. New hoses, plugs, wires, tires, and fluids would all be a good idea. The carburetor looks pretty dirty, so I would want to rebuild it too. The fuel tank had been drained when it was parked so the rest of the fuel system is probably fine. Some black smoke is evident on startup, but I’m not sure if that was from the Marvel Mystery oil we squirted into the cylinders or not. Either way, it runs well and pulls smooth as-is so any work done should only make it better. We would have liked to gone through more of systems, but we just didn’t have enough time during our visit.

Arrive In Style

Before worrying too much about the engine, the next owner will want to go through the brakes. This is a big car so there is no sense in going if you can’t stop. The brakes worked well enough to drive it around the neighborhood, but the pedal went a little too close to the floor to do much more than that. New hoses and perhaps a master cylinder will likely correct the problem. While you are under there, you could take a look at the shocks too. They seem to compress quite a bit when pushing down on the fender. Perhaps they are suppose to be like that though because they sure provide a smooth ride! As long as you aren’t trying to park this thing, driving it is a very relaxing and pleasant experience. It’s going to need a little work, but I don’t think it will take much to have a reliable and comfortable cruiser. Spending time with this Cadillac has been fun and we are grateful for the chance. Hopefully it will go to good home where it will be preserved and enjoyed for years to come!

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Comments

  1. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    While hunting around online, I found another ’66 Coupe DeVille just like dad’s. The seller claims that the paint and interior are original, but it looks more like a partial reupholster job to me. Take a look and compare: http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/cadillac/coupe-deville/1670674.html

    • Tirefriar

      Hmmm Jesse, if I didn’t know any better I’d say that the price in the link you provided could be a hint (wink, wink) Great looking car. I am looking for a daily driver – good thing I work less than 7 miles away from my house…hmmm

  2. jim s

    the car looks like it would make a nice driver. fix the brakes first and the rest as time allows. the one on hemmings has been ” parked by feel ” also. looks like you have 5 different bidders on ebay. should be fun to watch this play out. i like the listing and all the extra photos. great job. so what vehicle is your father getting?

  3. Ed P

    My uncle was a big Caddy man. He got a new one every 3 to 4 years in the 60’s. They sure were comfortable to ride in.

  4. Ceezy

    I’m trying not to take on any more projects, seeing that I have 2 already, but all these Caddies that have been posted recently are really tempting.

  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    I really like the looks of this car, and the interior looks very nice. If I weren’t in the middle of relocating to another state, I would seriously consider this car.

  6. blindmarc

    Love the coupe de villes. Wish I could make you a fair offer. I hate driving a car I can’t work on.

  7. Chris A.

    Love the blue on blue color and the clean shape. My only turn off is the speedometer looks like the one I had in my ’68 Chevy Nova. Lengthwise, I’ve seen shorter pickup trucks. Get all the systems squared away, set the cruise at 65 and it would be the perfect interstate ride. Your elbow grease efforts will soon be well rewarded. Nice save. Back in the ’60s GM sure could style a car.

  8. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Bidding just hit $3,700 and the reserve is almost off. Looks like it’s going to sell!

  9. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    It sold for $4,238 to a cool guy over in Cleveland!

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