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#1 of 520 Pro or con. Would '62 Caddy be a good choice?
Dec 17, 2001 (9:23 pm)
Anyone have ownership &/or driving experience with a '62 Cadillac? I've always liked these cars and would consider owning a '62 Caddy convertible. I'd like to hear comments (good & bad) with regard to how well (or poorly) these cars drive/perform, maintenance experiences, parts availability, etc. What are the major advantages (if any) between a convertible Coupe and an Eldorado Biarritz convertible?
As always, I look forward to the comments from this forum's participants.
Dec 17, 2001 (9:32 pm)
Parm I was afraid we'd lost you to a Camry . I know nothing about '62 Cadillacs except that way in the back of my mind I seem to recall that the 390 was highly regarded as a very durable and efficient engine. Apparently the 429 that came out in '64 had a few problems, at least initially. I like the '61-2 "downsized" Cads and the '63-64 looks nice too.
A friend of a friend had either a '63 or '64 briefly until he took out a fire hydrant and the one time I was in it I was really impressed with how smooth, quiet and quick it was. It was a low mileage LOL car so I don't know how a more typical example with lots of miles would drive.
Come to think of it, I have a Brooklands book called "Cadillac Automobiles 1960-1969" that you might want to pick up. Quite a few tests of the '61-2 Cad. "Handles like an oversized sportscar."
#3 of 520 Thanks Speedshift
Dec 17, 2001 (9:51 pm)
It's nice to be missed.
I've not yet given up my search to own a nice cruiser with some style. I've eliminated a 64-65 T-Bird as the seats are too uncomfortable. A first or second generation Mustang GT convertible would be very nice, but are rather pricey - at least one worth having. Same argument is true for a 65-67 GTO convertible.
For the longest time, I swore a Cadillac would be way too big (its inconvenient to radio air traffic control for landing clearance!), but I don't live in a big city so finding a parking space is not as difficult as it may be for some. Thus, a '62 Caddy is on my list now. My quest continues . . . . . . .
#4 of 520 Parm, good choice...
Dec 17, 2001 (10:36 pm)
If I was forced to choose any single generation of Cadillac model as my favorite, I'd have to say it was the '61-62. They were so much more elegant and understated than their gaudy, high-flying, overblown ancestors, but they still had a more creased, aggressive look to them than the more formal '63-64 models.
As for build quality and longevity, well, I don't know if this is the most scientific way to go about checking it, but there's a really big junkyard about 2 hours away from me that seems to have a disproportionate amount of this generation Caddy. But the weird thing is, most of 'em looked like they could almost be made roadworthy again without too much fuss. Not so with the older or slightly newer models...most of them had serious rust damage by now. This junkyard has been around since 1961 and very rarely crushed a car, at least not until fairly recently when the bank started threatening to forclose and he needed money. It's been about 4 years since I've been down there, and things may have changed a bit, but it's quite possible some of these cars have been in there 20-30 years or more.
Is there something about the '61-62 Cadillac that makes them less desireable among collectors? I know the overblown 59-60 models are sought after as symbols of Detroit's glory days, and the '63 and later models seem to epitomize the more formal luxury that Cadillac is known for. I'm just wondering if the '61-62 just wasn't as popular back when they were newer, so people just junked 'em when they got tired of 'em, as opposed to when they broke down or got wrecked.
Of course, as with any old car, the convertible is the way to go if you can afford it, but for some reason, I like the 4-door hardtop better than the hardtop coupe. It's hard to explain why...maybe it's because the coupe bears a strong resemblance to a '61 Chevy, while the 4-door just looks more expensive to me. Call me morbid if you want, but I think the hearses they used to build on '61-62 Cadillac platforms are some of the most beautiful cars ever built!
Anyway Parm, good luck on your quest. Let us know if you pick up one of these beauties and, if not, what your next object of desire is!
#5 of 520 A good choice...
Dec 18, 2001 (8:33 am)
At least in my opinion. I especially like the 62 2 door hardtops. Elegant, and a very nice sized car. The tailights and grilles on the 62's are nicer looking than the 61's.
Wouldn't mind having one myself!
Dec 18, 2001 (9:22 am)
I think Cadillac still had some quality left in it in 1962. I had a '64 that I drove for quite some time in Colorado, and it soldiered through some very nasty conditions.
Probably the biggest problems you'd encounter with a '62 is the tremendous appetite for high test fuel and the sheer size of the thing. If you get a convertible, then you also have to deal with the typical chassis-flex on old American convertibles, so you need to drive conservatively.
Naturally, you'd want to find a car where all the electrical systems are in good order, and where the heater/ac system is functioning well. Being a big car, doing any major work can be a bit of a hassle, and I'm sure working under the dash or digging out a heater core is no fun whatsoever.
So I'd say save up your money and buy the best possible example you can find. I would absolutely not get into a restoration on a car like this, as it will eat money faster than a whale eats krill.
Dec 18, 2001 (11:55 pm)
Yup, Buy one that's already nice!
Me? I think its a nice looking car. And I'm sure it drives like a bit of a boat, but it sure is beautiful IMO.
#8 of 520 I agree
Dec 19, 2001 (2:31 am)
The 61-62 Cadillacs were two of my favorite years. I liked that crisp, angular look better than the ones before and after. And, I remember reading roadtests from the time, and hearing from friends who owned both 61s and 62s, that the gas mileage was amazingly good compared to other large cars of the time. [I used to hear high teens on the road]. I saw a gorgeous all original 62 at a recent swap meet-I almost considered it myself. It was a buttercream Coupe DeVille with matching leather interior, and under 60,000 original miles. No wear showing anywhere-a really nice pampered original-and I thought a good deal-for $12,000. So, I think you might have a good idea, and could find a really good one for a decent price. But Shifty's right about one needing work can be a money pit. Look for a nice one and go for it.They had a reputation for being comfortable, well-built, good riding, and fairly economical [for their size] cars.
#9 of 520 Back in those days...
Dec 19, 2001 (6:28 am)
...didn't Cadillacs in general tend to get good fuel mileage? I vaguely remember an old Consumer Reports issue where they tested a '57 Cadillac and a '57 Imperial. They mentioned that Cadillac ads claimed that it could actually be cheaper to own a Cadillc than a Ford, Plymouth, or other lesser car because they depreciated less and got better fuel economy. I remember them commenting that the Caddy did get better mileage than the Imperial (not sure about a Ford or Chevy though!) but it wasn't better enough to offset the cost of the higher-octane fuel it needed!
Also, didn't Cadillacs come in several sizes back then? For some reason, I remember a model called a "short deck" and one called a "long deck".
Dec 19, 2001 (10:12 am)
I think that was all myth. I mean, how could 400+ cubic inches pushing a 5,000 lb brick down the road possibly get good fuel mileage? Maybe some of the smaller 50s Caddies (which probably had way better CD numbers) with smaller engines could put up respectable fuel economy if driven prudently. I'd buy that...but a '62. No way that car is going to sip fuel.