Last post on Apr 08, 2002 at 8:11 PM
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#78 of 87 Cadillac Collectors Fleet
Apr 05, 2002 (12:34 am)
Hi, I'm new to this board, and I'm here on the behalf of my sister and brother-in-law. They own 2 Cadillacs at present, and that is about to become 3. The first two are are 1974 Cadillac Hearse (Miller Meteor) and a 1979 Cadillac Fleetwood Hearse (Superior). The third addition is a mint condition 1972 white Cadillac funeral limo. It was owned by the Memphis Funeral Home, and supposedly the seller (in Lexington, NC) has documentation of the car being driven and ridden in by Elvis Presley. The car has 70-some thousand original miles on it...not sure what exact number it is. I haven't seen the car, only what my brother-in-law has told me. He said it is in mint condition, 90% at least, nothing is wrong with it, except maybe paint chips or something as small. It is a limited edition, has 24k gold electroplated emblems all around (even on wheels), tinted windows, front and rear air, power antenna, and everything else that was offered on the car in '72. Now, my question for this car is, what is it worth? The seller is asking $7500. My second question spawns from the Rochester carb in the '79 Caddy hearse. It has the number on the side: 17058230, and underneath is 3277. It is a Rochester Quadrajet 4 barrel, on a 79 Fleetwood 425/427 7.0 liter engine. The question is, what is the correct reading for the float bowl when adjusted from the carb with the top of the carb removed? I hope that makes sense to someone, my brother-in-law told me...and I was trying to interpret it to get on here and tell someone about it. If someone could respond to my questions soon, I would appreciate it. My brother-in-law goes to test the limo and get it approved for the loan on Monday. Thanks again!
Apr 05, 2002 (11:07 am)
Funeral limos are tough to evaluate. As an appraiser, I peg them right at Sedan prices, so about $5,000 maximum seems right to me. The Elvis connection is very slim pickings here and I certainly wouldn't pay extra for a car Elvis "rode in".
If he didn't own it (name on registration) or if it isn't a documented movie car, it's not worth ten cents more because he rode in it as far as I'm concerned. Cars proported to be "Elvis's Gardener's car" or the car "used by Elvis's manager when in Florida" have flopped at auctions, so beware of this.
#80 of 87 Celebrity Cars...
Apr 05, 2002 (9:50 pm)
...I have encountered were a 1973 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham said to have been Dr. Henry Kissinger's, a 1977 Rolls-Royce owned by Diana Ross, an 1977 Cadillac Fleetwood limousine owned by Mamie Eisenhower, and a 1962 Cadillac Fleetwood owned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Some cars up for auction owned by two of Philadelphia's more notorious citizens were the 1973 Rolls-Royce owned by jailed mob boss Nicky Scarfo and a 1971 Rolls-Royce and 1987 Cadillac Coupe DeVille owned by serial killer Gary Heidnik.
Apr 06, 2002 (10:40 am)
Aside from a car with Dr. King's name on it, I don't see any of those cars are particularly more valuable for their association, but people vote with their wallets, not mine, so maybe I'm wrong I would think a car owned by Kissinger would be worth less than normal (just kidding). Maybe Diana Ross could boost the value a little. It all comes down to "who cares, and do they care enough to pay more money for a rather ordinary car"? Always a mystery to be answered at auction time, and a big risk for a speculator.
I remember a Pontiac Station Wagon actually owned by Frank Sinatra, but it only brought about $6,000-$7,000. True, a bit more than a stock Pontiac Wagon (an old Tempest or something) but certainly no gold mine. Why did this happen? Because a) there were no photos or film clips of Sinatra in it (he may never have driven it, just registered to him) and b) it's an ordinary car.
You have to admit, a museum showing a Pontiac Wagon "owned by Frank Sinatra" with no evidence, sitting somewhere in a corner, is kind of a pathetic exhibit.
Apr 07, 2002 (1:27 pm)
Is there anyone who could help with the carb question under my previous post, #77? I'd appreciate that. Also, I will pass along the information about the limo. I completely agree with you, just because he rode in it don't mean a dad gum thing, just that maybe some fabric particles from one of those fancy suits may be embedded in the seats somewhere...big woop, "get a microscope honey! lets see if Elvis left any butt hairs in the seat!"...sorry for my vulgarness...but thats about what it amounts to. Thanks for you help!
Apr 07, 2002 (5:16 pm)
The float setting info could be found either in the instructions that come with a rebuild kit or in a detailed shop manual like the one from the factory. There are books on Rochester carbs that are probably available through Amazon if no one else (they seem to have everything) but they won't have that kind of detail.
Unless you know the float setting is screwed up I wouldn't mess with it. The only time I got ambitious and fiddled around with this (out of maybe twenty carbs rebuilt over the years) I regretted it. The float level was way off according to the instructions but the car ran fine. As soon as I adjusted the level to the alleged "spec" the carb flooded. And since I hadn't measured the float setting before I adjusted it, it was trial and error getting the float back to where the carb wouldn't either flood or run out of gas.
#84 of 87 Collectible Automobile...
Apr 08, 2002 (1:35 pm)
...has an article in their June 2002 publication of the 1971-1976 standard Cadillacs. I once owned a 1975 Sedan DeVille.
#85 of 87 1badsidekick
Apr 08, 2002 (3:31 pm)
Just happened to look at this board today for the first time. Hope your brother in law hasn't paid too much for the white 72 limo. I worked at Memphis Funeral Home from 1975 to 1980 and we didn't convert to white cars until 1976. Everything before that was black. So sounds like someone is trying to pull the wool over his eyes. The only white cars that I recall him riding in was the 76 hearse that picked him up at the hospital and the 77 hearse used in the funeral. (yes, he is really dead, if not, we played a real dirty trick on him)
Apr 08, 2002 (8:08 pm)
My sister has pretty much talked my brother in law out of the car, because of their current finances, plus they need a new car that gets good gas milage. Their '74 and '79 Caddy's aren't exactly the kind of car you drive to work every day and run to the grocery store and things like that. My sis wants a new PT Cruiser to do that with. I was wondering about the whole Elvis thing myself. Could be that the car was black and painted white...but its supposedly all original. I told them if they wanted to go into the business of limos, they could get a NICE early '90s model Caddy with low miles on it for around 4 grand, if they were really looking. My brother in law seems to like the early '70s styling, but it doesn't do much for me. My sis's '79 is better looking I think. Anyway, thanks for all your help. I'll let ya know what happens next.
Apr 08, 2002 (8:11 pm)
Thanks for the info on the carb as well. I'll pass the info along. The car is not running as it should be, and my brother in law suspects the float is what is doing it. He doesn't have any books or any info on the carb. He could probably go to Barnes & Noble or somewhere and get something. They don't have access to the 'net, therefore they ask me to do everything haha. Thanks again for the assistance!