What Price Perfection? Driver ’62 Cadillac Convertible

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What price perfection? This 1962 Cadillac convertible is a gorgeous car, and would be perfectly acceptable to most of us condition-wise. The seller admits it is not a concours quality car, and makes no attempt at representing it as such. It’s located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania and is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is just below $5,000 as I write.

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The paint is shiny and rust-free. I’m sure it’s a repaint, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it dates from 2003 as a lot of other work was done on the car at that time. It’s only covered 10,000 miles since then, bringing the total up to 87,000 (or 187,000). All the trim appears to be both present and in place, and although I usually don’t like wide whitewalls on 60’s cars, I’ll make an exception in this case (I’d still prefer narrow whitewalls, though!)

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Even the top looks pretty nice, although I wonder about the bulge at the right side window top. Looks like the front tire on this side has met some curbs as well. But I certainly wouldn’t evict this great cruiser from my garage, would you? Yet the cost to take this pretty nice car and turn it into a show winner would be staggering. The brightwork alone could run in excess of $10k! This is one car that I’d almost rather have in this state–where I could drive it and enjoy it but not be petrified of every trip down a gravel driveway (I happen to have one at the new house, so I’m pretty sensitive to that).

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The interior was redone in 2003, supposedly in the original pattern but in vinyl rather than leather. Now, if you’ve ever had a child spill their soda in the back seat and not tell you right away, you’ll appreciate good vinyl. It doesn’t bother me that much that the seats are vinyl rather than leather (it’s a driver, remember). But it would kill it’s value, and again, to show the car competitively you’d have to start from scratch.

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Here’s the big 390 cubic inch V8, said to be original. The car also came with a lot of options, including air conditioning, power seat and windows, “Autronic Eye” automatic headlight dimming and cruise control. I, for one, don’t demand perfection in this case–Sunday driver condition is just fine by me. How about you? Do you want all your cars to be perfect, or at least perfectly original? Or is your definition of a fun car more flexible than that?

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Comments

  1. Bingo

    Schwing!!

  2. Rabbit

    Personally, I think the ‘Gangster whitewalls’ make the car. One super sharp weekend driver!

  3. Joe

    I’m not fussy. I miss having a car I can (gasp!) sit on the fenders without worrying about it denting! This would be the perfect boulevard cruiser, hanging out at the doughnut shop type deal.

  4. grant

    Now, this. This is a wallowing boat I could get aboard.

  5. ccrvtt

    While the ’59 is supposedly iconic, the ’60 is prettier, but the ’61-’62s are just somehow neater. Not only did they have fins that pointed UP, they had fins that pointed DOWN. You just can’t beat that. The grilles were over the top but Elegant. The great thing about this car is that it’s a driver. Having owned a car that I tried to preserve for a number of years I finally came to the conclusion that it’s still just a car. They’re so much more enjoyable when you simply drive them. I love this Cadillac.

    Like 1
    • George

      I love old Cadillacs but did not have one. I figured I would get a 59 CoupeDeville. I was 17 when the 59’s high the showrooms. I remember thinking that the rocket ships welded to fin was not particularly attractive. A guy I knew bought a 1960 white Cadillac. The only time I rode in it was in the winter, so it was always covered with snow and freezing cold, as was every other car until the heater started taking effect.
      It was hard to get much enthusiasm when your body temperature is 33 degrees so I was not gassed up about the sixty either. I found a low mileage 4-6-8 V-8 which drove most people nuts because they would keep shifting between 6 8 then 6 then 8 because they weer supposed to click out of 4th immediately when the mph was in the 50 to 55 mph range.So a slight grade in the road would kick it up or down to maintain the speed the driver wanted to go. I found one on an independent car lot and bought it. I always freak when my cars mpg drops off and the shops can’t get it back. I tried to never let the car jump into 8 mode, so I would was cruise control sometimes coming pretty close to the car ahead before I could pass him. The trick was in the feet. I would be tender to the gas pedal my foot pressing only enough to add a mist of gas to the setting. Doing that would trick the Caddy into thinking it did not need to shift down because the RPM’s did not go down even though the speed was dropping with the load. So keeping the RPM’s level was the trick to keep it from sifting down. If the engine lost RPM, even 1 the sensor would order the down shift. It took a bit of practice, but I finessed it to where I could drive in town using only 4 cylinders. I was getting 26-27 mpg highway and 20 town where those who chose to run it on straight 8 got 10- 12.
      Let’s see, I was comparing the looks of the 1959 fins with side rockets, and the smoother line of the 1960. the 1960 fin was smoother, but as I suggested, I was enamored with either one. Moving along, a buddy who lived east of the mountains called me in 2004 to tell me a 60 DeVille was sitting on a lot next to his place and the guy also had a 2004 Mustang GT with 7K miles. I was actually looking for a GT, with low miles $ speed, so I drove over. The dealer was on glue with his price. When I buy cars I have a price I will pay. And I will eventually tell the dealer that I will give him X. A salesman says to himself, “I got him to 18, I can get him for $5K MORE.” I will not move and will walk if he does not take my offer. 18K was wholesale book and he had an offer from a dealer in Bandon for $20K. He told and told me he’d give to me for 20K that price because he did not want to drive the 350 miles R/T. I told him no. He went nuts asking me if I was nuts, because his was the current model year in perfect condition, and low mile used were bringing close to what the new one were bringing. I don’t believe you will let this go for $200. I opened the door of my ElCamino and was stepping in and he grabbed my arm. The Cad was on consignment and the owner wanted $20K. I offered him $9K which he said they guy would never take, and suggested he would take what I had paid for the GT. He could not raise the guy, so I got into the GT and gave it quite a ride–I had dinner reservations in Eugene at 6 and I only had 1 hour and 38 minutes. It is 2hr 30 minute drive if you can keep the needle steady. I knew some of the back roads that are wide and paved and not too many cars. I pulled into her driveway 1hour 40 minutes. The next Morning I got a phone call before I had even tried the floor and had my coffee. He guy took $9. The drive-train, the engine etc.had been redone about 2K earlier for $16,000.00. Interior was in good condition. I is easier to drive and park than the smaller car. It gives the impression that you are driving an aircraft carrier. It has almost 360 degrees of glass. The only thing holding the top on is 4 styled posts which if laid next together, cover 8. The hood is completely flat so no worries about banging into cars in the tight parking lots. and the fins delineate where the sides are. It does not overheat, is lie a feather bed compared to contemporary cars. It accelerates quite quickly. I like it better than my other cars. It is light pink and white–supposedly the same color as Elvis gave his Mom. It is a great stress reliever. If I get stressed at work but my hands are to shaky to load the 2 gauge which I feel like using for the reassignment of the office desks, leave the building fire up the Cad, the air conditioner will bring the heat down to where it will eventually freeze steaks, drive a mile or so, and find an old tree to park-under, shut off the engine, roll the windows down, tilt the seat back, lay back you will be so relaxed that you forget for a couple of restorative minutes of rest that ***extremely funny but political rant redacted so that we can post the rest of this great comment*** And I will be happy in my Cadillac.

  6. Roselandpete

    I wouldn’t be interested in having a show car either. Just something that looks nice and is mechanically sound.

  7. Dolphin Member

    I’m with ccrvtt, to me this is a really desirable Caddy. They just float down the road. It might not do the suspension any good, but you could ignore the bad roads and just drive and not be very aware of the bumps and potholes when you’re in this baby.

    Owning this would be a tribute to my Dad, who loved and owned ’50s Caddys—-when he could get them cheap because they needed lots of work, which he could do. He never got up to a ’60s Caddy like this one, tho.

    This one looks cared for, with believable low miles, and the perfect state of really good driver condition, but not so perfect that the price is sky high and you wouldn’t want to drive it much. Just be sure to check out the underside to make sure it’s as good as the topside, relatively speaking.

    Good luck to the buyer. I think he will have a great Caddy convertible that he can get a lot of enjoyment from.

    Like 1
  8. Puhnto

    And that’s VERY good looking vinyl too!

  9. MikeG

    Beautiful old girl!

    Like 1
  10. chris lawrence

    As Billy Joel sang “I love you just the way you are”.

    Like 1
  11. dirtyharry

    The dual-reservoir brake master cylinder, with separate front and rear hydraulic systems, was introduced in 1962, six years ahead of the Federal requirement. Having owned a 1961, I can attest what nice driving cars these are. Even with drum brakes they stopped with authority and made great power.

    Like 1
  12. Chebby

    “Sonny, did you really shoot that man over a parking space?”

  13. Chebby

    Hmmm it’s being sold by a garage, that can’t be bothered to service the A/C.

  14. Doc

    Not only is it a gorgeous car, it rides like a Cadillac!

  15. ben

    had a few of them 61 and 62 61 being my perfence painted one dersert rose white intiour white top sold it before I even finished wish I still had that one I like all 61 gm cars a nice year not so bulkly smaller steering wheel nicer ride most like the 59 not me nice car and looks like it might be a good buy if it doesn’t go much higher ben gonna be listing a 56 tbird and a 69 cuda perhabs next week

  16. DonS

    It previously sold for $19,999 right on eBay item 252485048843 at link:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1962-Cadillac-Other-/252485048843

    I think $20k is fair for this beautiful ride!

    Like 1
  17. Loco Mikado

    Wonder what happened? Buyer got cold feet? Inquiring minds would like to know.

  18. bsur

    I looked at the bids. The final buyer had a very low rating m***l( 2 ) and no one after 10K in the bidding had a very high rating (9). There should be some type of threshold for buying cars on Ebay to stop people from backing out. Maybe a credit card on file that gets charged a percentage of the final price if you back out.

    • Roselandpete

      Ebay doesn’t care. Over the last few years, they’ve been bending over backwards to accommodate the buyers at the expense of the sellers. I stopped selling on there years ago.

  19. jaymes

    tubbs’s caddy from Miami vise

  20. tim spann

    I happen to own a 58 series 62 coupe in the exact color scheme. I aquired it as a parts car for my 58 Meridian Taupe coupe. Its nearly complete, very little rust. I will probably sell it as a resto project. Interesting to see another in the dark gray color.

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