What real American cars should be like...
- Original A/C went out, replaced with up to date R134a type... works great now.
- Analog clock doesn't work anymore.
- Steering wheel (rim-blow type) has contact issues (will only work from certain positions) from all the years of the expanding/contracting material. Caused the wood-trim insert to crack and fall out.
- General maintenance (brakes, radiator, lights etc..)
I have not owned this car very long, and have only racked up 350 miles on it. However I do know its history. Being a 40 year old car, it is not a daily driver and is meticulously maintained. This car is on its way to a complete restoration.
The model is the sedan DeVille. I think this is a good car to review because it was maintained and driven but never restored, it has clearly stood the test of time. It's the epitome of American full-size vehicles. These cars are indestructible, and a prime example of the type of build quality car manufacturers will never be able to recreate unfortunately. Almost everything still works on the car and is original, including the power locks, windows, steering. The only thing that has stopped working over the years was the analog clock (typical!).. easy fix.
The 472 motor moves this car a lot faster than you would think. Mine needs a tune up but overall runs fine and starts every time. Had it on the highway up to speeds of 90 mph and the caddy just laughs at it, it feels smooth and has a ton of power to still pass people by barely hitting the gas pedal.
Gas is another thing, it's a 7.7L motor with 10.5:1 compression ratio. I run 91 octane gas and it seems to be fine. Its gas mileage is about 8-10 MPG city. Haven't taken it on a highway trip yet. Got a little costly in the summer of 2008 when gas was hitting record prices and premium was selling at about $1.50/liter (well over $5/gallon) But it's not a car you drive daily so this should not be an issue to classic car enthusiasts.
Space inside is a lot different than modern cars. Although the car is very big compared to a modern sedan, the interior is designed a lot different. In 1969 there was absolutely no concern for larger people, I think this car was designed for someone under 6 foot and under 200lbs (driving). More than enough room in the rear for anyone and any size. But up front it's a different story. This car has shoulder belts but I don't use them. It rubs your neck and since it's a real hardtop there isn't a b-pillar... basically no need for the shoulder belt.
Everything else is top notch, the build quality is ridiculous. The lines of the car are perfect and even the rear window is vee'd to match the line running down the middle. It's a rare window and cool to see in person. The amount of steel in this car is unbelievable. The body metal has to be double the thickness versus cars today... this means no dents. The weight of the hood is insane, and you can really feel how solid this car as soon as you open the door (it's pretty heavy too).
I get looks everywhere I go in this car, it's unusual to see on the road and most full-size American cars disappeared with the oil embargo. I'm really happy to own this piece of history and will not be selling it anytime soon. Oh if you want to get into vintage Cadillac's this is a good car to start with, they have everything you can want and these models are much cheaper to buy used compared to earlier years. The hardest part is finding one.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th January, 2009