Hey everyone, I am one of the newest members to the club and I am looking for a suitable vehicle to purchase. I found this one for sale in Montana (link https://www.carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/75623973) I realize that I am a rookie when it comes to looking and accessing one of these beautiful cars..so I would appreciate any input from you experienced people. I you have some time could you take a look at the pictures on the link and let me know what you think? Thx Pat Westphal
Chris, Really? The ones that I have seen so far for under 20K have issues. Rust, cracked dashboards, alot of pitting in the chrome and things like that. Here is an example of what I have found so far. https://www.autoblog.com/cars-for-sale-detail-2199425195008210239-C...
I think $18,000 to 25,000 might be a better estimated range to find a reasonable good condition Cadillac convertible in our years
If you can find one with most of the restoration work done you will be paying for that but might be best as these cars are not cheep to bring back to life
A lot of expense will have to do with your own repair skill or if you plan on shops to do the work for you ( big headaches often ) l
Sometimes you can get - the deal - as a sale is always based on circumstance that could be listed fro A to Z on the sellers side —and you never know what those conditions are but sometimes can work in your favor big time to get you the car of your dreams
Good luck in your Quest !
Patrick, I think the point is you are looking at the these "online used car lot sellers". You can generally add 25% to 33% over price and the quality is often questionalble. If you follow our eBay listings at www.ebay.6364cadillac.com. I am seeing the same inflated cars being reposted 20 + times by the same sellers at inflated prices, using unscrupulous descriptions, with the Lo res pictures hopeing someone will bite. It was bad with the regular used car lots now we have the online used car lot sellers which means we really have to do our homework. If your car link points you to a seller named "Classic Car Deals" (which is the case with your link above) you need to be prepared for used car lot shenanigans. The only used cars I have ever bought in my life have been from the Cadillac or Chevrolet dealer with warranty, or used from an individual. I am just extremely suspicous of online auto car lots! I generally don't get into price but $20-25K seems to be the going rate for a #2 or so 63 or 64 6267 convertible. I know one of our members sold a decent 1963 6267 a few years back where we run his car in our newsletter and it sold for about $21K as I recall. Now if you want something absolutely 100% perfect, #1, concours, everything replated, rebuilt, refurbished, then yes... the prices are going to follow that J curve toward the perfection mark... but the two cars I have seen from these online auto car lots have a lot to be desired .... even with lo res picture from 15 ft way. Just being honest.
Jason, No be honest and thanks for the input. I thought the ads to be wary of were the individual sellers because I don't know who they are (scam artist for instance) and I will not buy a car that I don't personally see and drive, which means I am prepared to Tx, Cal, Az, etc to look at a car. I am wary of doing a wasted trip. Also, if the car is one to purchase how do I get it back to Michigan. Driving is taking the chance of nothing breaking down (hoses, bearings, belts, etc) in the middle of nowhere. However I don't know shipping companies either, so either way is a bit of a roll of the dice. Auctions are out because I can't drive the car ahead of time, plus I've never done an auction for anything before so I would get stomped on (probably).
I get to know the sellers and discuss why they are selling. If they don't really have a clue about the car and say vague things like I am reading in this online sellers description I will say "have a good day, goodbye" and hang up the phone. I bought my 64 Coupe de Viller Nov 13, 1996 from Steven Jessep here in NC. He taught at NC State, my alma mater, and explained he had bought the car originally, used as the family car in the 60's and on, but never sold or traded it in. Said it had been a very good car, he had maintained it well, listed the odds and ends it needed (e.g. son Robert had broke off the RH door mirror leaving on the base, etc.)' said he had bought the build list and had most maintenance documentation. He explained he had a 1940's Packard that he and his sone Robert were working on and needed the garage space and needed to sell the car ... as much as he would like to keep it. More importantly, he invited me and my wife to come over (about 20 miles away) and take out and drive, or take out for an inspection, whatever I needed to verify it was a good car. He stated the car had rolled over the odometer once, and was at 150K + miles but again indicated always garaged kept, well maintained, and knew all the little issues with the car. If I cannot buy a car from someone that actually knows something about the car, I will let it pass. To be honest, most of my $500 parts cars have come with so much more description and often more and better pictures than this online used car lot seller. Sure, you can find an individual huckster, but if you have been around the block a few times (pun intended) you can weed them out pretty fast.
I bought my daily driver (still to this day) my 2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT in 2004 from Thompson Cadillac of Raleigh, NC with 22K miles and about 38K miles and 24 month Certified bumper to bumper warranty. I made sure every single widget and idget that was not 100% right was fixed and corrected before that warranty ran out. I remember my left park light was a bit loose.. ad them replace it. Same with left side mirror.. had them to replace it... that lower cover on the sun roof did not slide as smoothly as I thought it should... the replaced the entire sun roof track assembly.
I bought a 1995 IROC-Z, 1995 Fleetwood Brougham, 2004 Camaro Z/28, 2007 PT Cruiser all in a similar manner prior. So for me if it is not an individual that I can discuss all the details about the car and come away with a very complete understanding of the car, it is going to be a dealer or company that is going to stand behind it with some lengthy warranty.
One of our members recently sold his to somebody in Finland for sixteen thousand. A gold convertible in very good driver condition. It was a California car with no rust issues. They're out there. You just have to be patient and find the right one. I'd highly recommend looking for something in the rust free parts of the country. Some of the older non-tech folks still use the classifieds. Don't let people give you the runaround with Barrett-Jackson prices.
I have found that in looking for a classic car that there are a few key things that are very helpful:
(1) Patience - The market and prices for classic cars is all over the map as is the availability of any specific vehicle. You can easily spend way too much money and time on a car that needs work if you let yourself get attached to it too early. If you are patent you can get a ready to go car at a decent price. As you have seen, you also need to be prepared for fickle sellers and for those that work with you, tell you your are the only interested party, and then sell the car without giving you a chance to purchase. Spending the time to find the right car for you is well worth the extra time.
(2) Flexibility - The more flexible you are with what you want the greater chance you will have in finding a car that you love (but that does not mean to compromise to the point that you buy a car that is not what you want). Flexibility in the region where you are willing to purchase the car from helps a lot too. I wanted to only buy something I could easily look at myself, but I was willing to drive up to about 5 hours if necessary. I also want to be able to drive the car home. If the car is far away from you, there are services that will do an inspection for you to save you a wasted trip (that was my plan for anything over 2 hours away). If f it is really far away and you get a positive inspection, you can also have the car shipped.
3) Research and Inspection - Learn about whatever car you are considering. It seems you are well along this path. Find out what its typical issues and weak points are with the year, make, and model and especially how hard or easy it is to get parts for the car. Also, keep in mind that as long as parts are available, most mechanical things can be fixed for a more reasonable cost than fixing rust. Rust is the gift that keeps on giving (and taking your money), and once it is dealt with, paint ain't cheap either. On this front, keep in mind that how the car looks on the bottom is more important than how it looks on the top. Inspecting underneath the car usually reveals rust, leaks, and other issues. Maintenance records are helpful, but lots of people with these cars do their own service, so these records often can only take you so far.
It also helps to know what you really want and how you plan to use the car. I wanted a big 1960s era GM convertible that was driver I could drive to work and meetups and shows for fun. I did not want the cost or responsibility of a pristine concourse car that I would have to be more careful with where and when I drove it.
I started my search looking for a late 60s Impala, but I was open to other GM models of that era. While looking, I realized I could get a Cadillac for about the same cost as an Impala, if I was patient. I looked (mostly online) at a lot of GM cars including several 65-68s Cadillacs as I think their stacked headlights are cool, and the finned cars seemed to cost more than I wanted to spend. After about 6 months of looking, I came across the 1963 convertible I bought. It was 60 miles from my house and in decent shape for a decent price. Its body and paint are fine (It is a good 10-foot car). I had to have some work done on the brakes and had the carb and the steering rack rebuilt. I've also done some of the basic work myself (window felts, seals, trunk liner). It still needs a few things (AC, radio upgrade, wiper motor fix, fuel gauge fix), but you should know that all 50+ year old cars always need something... I drive it to work whenever the weather is good. Its been a great car to own and tons of fun.
Karl, thanks for the feedback. The patience will be the tough thing for me - I had in my head starting to drive around in this car over this summer. But now I'll back off of that idea and go for the car I want. As for flexibility, I'm retired so I can go anywhere in the US for a car, no problem. In fact I would be very wary of any car here in Michigan - this is the middle of the rust belt. As for research and inspection - as an GM automotive engineer, I have insights that many others don't, and that is why I won't purchase any car unless I get to inspect and drive it first. Also the reasons I am looking for a 64 is the 429 and the THM400, and it is the last year with the good looking (to me at least) tail fins. After that the car got too boxy for my tastes. Now with a 57 year old car needing some work done to it - that's half the fun of owning one of these in the first place!
You'll probably have your best luck here: https://www.cars-on-line.com/cadillac.html or Ebay. The 1963's are getting hard to find but everyone on this site has a '64 so I'm assuming that's what you want as well. Get an inspection before you buy, if you can't visit the car in person. I paid twice what mine was worth because it was in California and I was in Michigan and trusting enough to believe the seller. When the car arrived it was stone cold dead and when I got it running drive shaft so bent it couldn't be driven over 10MPH. I was told "everything on the dash works" but in reality nothing on the dash worked...so I've spent 7 years fixing things myself one at a time. That said, these are good cars, which handle surprisingly well and very smooth, silent & comfortable to drive. But that inspection could save you thousands! Good luck.