Hi guys, I inherited a car from a neighbor (long story) and hoping to get some good advice here.

The car: 1964 Cadillac Deville Convertible, 64k original miles. CA car. Original owner (neighbor) had the car in his garage from brand new, passed away in 90 and the car was parked and not driven since. 100% original, no rust at all, interior needs some work on seats (cracked). 

Started the car and mechanic said $1200 to get it running (not 100% sure what it would entail).

Brakes locked up, paint in ok shape but needs a repaint I am sure (will post pictures soon).

I really like the car but don't have time or skill to work on it at this point (newborn, etc)

So my questions are:

1) what issues should I look for in terms of common problems?

2) what does a new interior and new paint job of decent quality cost on these cars?

3) what is the car worth now? (the mechanic I brought it to, offered to buy the car right off the bat since he supposedly wants it for himself for 9k) Is this a fair price, or is he taking me for a ride?

4) Any other advice for a newbie owner or things I should look for?

The car seems to not have AC, not sure if it has the hydramic or the Turbo Hydramatic (how can I tell). Also is there a way of figuring out what options are on the car with codes or?

Thanks and sorry if all of these questions are answered somewhere else on the forum. Happy New year!

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So you have a new car and limited knowledge of it?! First, buy a 1964 Shop Manual, paper and/or cd. Can be found on Ebay or from members here.

Second, use the Help section. Literature might also be useful. You can also search the website, but in my experience it is difficult searching on correct word or phrase. Anyways, look on the Help section.

Here is an example of an okay car that was not sold on Ebay. My guess is that the reserve price range would be 14-20K.

So if you throw 10K on your car will it fetch 19K?


Thanks for posting the photos. It looks quite solid to me except for that issue on the left rear corner. a piece of side trim is missing but they are not too hard to find. The chrome looks solid overall and will polish up nicely. It is also wearing its original black and gold 1964 liscence plates which is a nice bonus here in California.

I would again advise you to do some research and decode the info on the nameplate. This will help you determine if the paint/interior are original as that information is included on the nameplate. From what I can see, it is a non A/C car but does have a tilt steering column which was an option.

Link here: http://6364cadillac.ning.com/profiles/blogs/body-name-plate

I agree with others here that it gets expensive in a hurry doing a complete restoration on a car like this. My personal opinion would be to not go that route but rather work with what you have there. It is straight and the paint and interior are salvageable. If you go this route, It will not be a show car but looks like it could be a very nice survivor. This way you could well spend thousands but not tens of thousands. 

I do second all the good advice the boys have posted on the subject
Do be VERY CAREFUlL ---you just might fall in love --with this machine as it is going to change you life experiences when you drive it
14 to 25 thousand based on its condition and degree of restoration completed would be my value placed on it ( and increasing yearly )
I own a 1964 Classic Antique Cadillac Convertible myself since new
All due respect ---i do not think any Antique car is for someone with limited hobby mechanic skills ---unless you have deep pockets to be paying mechanics 50- 70 dollars an hour to be working on her
You could be better off buying a car completely redone so that the last owner takes the LOSS in time and dollars invested
You do this because you love the car and never plan on making the money invested or plan on selling it
Mine is going to my son
It is Very Prestigious and VERY COOL to own one of these cars but it literally comes with a PRICE but the experience is Priceless

You will have an initial high expense just to make the car road worthy after sitting for all that time
Have a good restoration shop go over the total car to tell you what the car needs and how much they want for the repairs
That will give you a rough idea what is involved in accomplishing your goal with the car


Pics in full size. I will get more in the next few days. Thanks for all the help!

Its a cool car.

Its also a huge decision for you, as whatever you think it will cost to get sorted, will blow out.

If you have a safe place to store it, just sit on it and think about what you want as the final outcome. Then go for it.

Be real careful with DMV and your black plates! Don't give them up! Pay the back fees.  Maybe you will be lucky and the owner paid yearly non Opp fee.  Just double check what the DMV tells you. Most of them have no idea what can and can not be done. Dave

California actually made it a lot easier a few years ago. I unsuccessfully went through this in 1989. I gave up and the new modern plates until a few years ago. Now if you have a set of plates that are clear, you can put them on an appropriate year car without too much trouble. I finally got to put the originals back on my car where they belonged all along. If you have an old registration slip with the plates and VIN it should be even easier.

Well at least the dash isn't cracked! That nine thousand offer is starting to look better. None of the side trim is original. If you can pick up a parts car for all the missing or bent/broken parts you may be better off. You may even be able to sell a few of the unwanted parts here. This if your not going to do your own work you'll be in twenty deep within a year. It'll be 1500 to go through just the brakes yourself. Anything rubber that has anything to do with moving or stopping  that car needs to be replaced. There is no short cuts this NEEDS to be done. New interior and top? Ten grand all day long. Motor? 5-7 thousand easy. Transmission?  2000. Five new white walls 600. Suspension 3-5 thousand. Tank boiled and refined 500. Paint 5-10 thousand. New door, window, trunk, cowl, under hood and roof rubber, 3-4,000. Another 5-10,000 miscellaneous stuff. I'm sorry I'm not trying to sway you one way or another but there is a lot that goes into owning any old car. You will have pride of ownership and a wonderful hobby while working on it. If there is any advice that I can hope you will heed is this, if you decide to take on this challenge do it as a rolling restoration. So many old cars get taken apart and never get finished. People just don't realise the time and money that's required to get it to the finish line.  Small achievable goals and the abilty to also go out and enjoy it in between those small projects is priceless. Good luck on your decision 

Alex, looks like you decided to not pursue the restoration track?

I think you did the correct choice. Its a good project for someone with time, garage, tools and knowledge.

You do have a great add. FREE MUSTANG included in the sale of a Cadillac! I mean, it does makes sense to throw in something extra and a Mustang clearly is something to give away as a freebie.

Good luck and hopefully you decide in the future to get a 1964 Cadillac.

Thanks for posting this, yes I decided to put the car up for sale. I did get a mustang from the neighbor as well, I did really want to restore the car but couldn't get any friends to pursue it with me, and with 2 young kids I wasn't going to get to it for a while. Thanks to everyone for their help and let me know if you're interested in the car.

1964 Cadillac DeVille  http://r.ebay.com/4m9nXS



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