2nd Nov 2008, 22:26


I live in new Orleans & now have the family car. Soo cool, but how do I find a mechanic I can trust?

It's been garaged in Detroit since my grandfather bought it, & I just had it shipped down here. I love this car, & want to treat it right. Any advice?

How do I even get it properly insured? It's really in incredibly good shape, still have the original 8-track that came with it! (yeah, it still plays)



9th Jul 2009, 02:41

I didn't care much for the taillights on the 1977 models, but I thought the 1978-79's were the best looking of the 1977-92 rear wheel drive full size Cadillac's. I wish they would've kept making the 425 motor for the 1980 up Caddies or replaced it with the Oldsmobile 350 motor.

8th Feb 2010, 08:02

I just bought a 1979 Cadillac Phaeton two door coupe. Western saddle firemist paint. Dark brown roof. 35,000 miles excellent shape. Never seen one before. Once I did I fell in love. 78 year old guy had it. At first he didn't want to sell it. Must have got tired of me bothering him, and finally sold it.

17th Mar 2010, 22:33

I am planning to buy one in the very near future, I always loved its look. The one I am planning to buy has 126k miles, is that too much?

18th Mar 2010, 13:07

If you like it, buy it is my thoughts. I have paid twice the new price on my old cars lately; still cheaper than paying 40k or more new today.

16th Apr 2010, 01:26

Hello all, original poster back again for an update (almost two years later.)

Had it repainted in 2008, original color of course. New paint looks beautiful, switched the original bright saddle color pinstripe for a champagne metallic. Looks much better IMO, plus the car used in 'Goodfellas' had the same thing done.

Trans went out in Nov. '09, rebuilt, better than new. Can't blame the car, the last rebuild done in '95 wasn't the best job.

I had the air conditioning serviced & charged, but then the relay box under the dash went out, so now I have to find a replacement for that. (small part, just hard to find)

Original heater core went bad in early spring 2010, have yet to replace it, just bypassed for now until I get around to replacing it.

So other than heat & air, for now I have all the little bugs worked out, & am really enjoying my Phaeton. It's a blast to drive and I take it out every chance I get. As of now, the odometer is at 220,400 m.i. & still running strong. Any mechanic who's looked at it still can't believe it has that many miles under it's belt.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, but just wanted to jot down some updates.

29th Dec 2010, 18:13

Hey all, I'm hoping to buy a '79 Phaeton for $800. It's the Cottilion White model with immaculate white leather and the dark blue roof. NO RUST! My question is this:

I've got a '78 and have owned many '77-'79 Caddies, but the odometer, as far as I can remember rolls over at 99,999, so how do you know the true mileage? I live in Canada, but would that make a difference?

13th May 2013, 16:17

I'm about to buy a 79 Phaeton... It's a bit trashed. But the people who own it are old family friends, and they are very poor. I am excited about getting it, even though it's gonna be a ton of work. Not keeping it stock.. Painting it black. Aftermarket rims and a lot of attitude. Wish me luck.

17th May 2013, 18:47

I can only imagine what the car will look like after you're done.

18th May 2013, 16:08

I myself would keep the car bone stock and numbers matching.

19th May 2013, 11:26

Just as a fair warning, big rims, black paint, and tinted windows does attract negative attention, especially in the inner cities. If the rims are expensive enough, there are people who will try to steal them and even take the whole car, just to get to the rims.

Also remember, such a vehicle will also attract negative attention from law enforcement, as heavily modified vehicles have a notoriously bad reputation due to the movies. Be prepared to face more pretextual stops than the average person...

19th May 2013, 11:42

What is really impressive and crowd appealing is a high end stock restoration. Not dropping the car, black rattle can or even satin black paint jobs and hideous rims. I have restored cars for decades. What I do like is restification with better safety. Braking and handling. You can easily spend more on paint and body than buying the car. But a beautiful factory color and correct interior is a showstopper.

20th May 2013, 15:52

I have always found it more attractive to keep a car factory stock. I never saw the appeal in customizing a car. However it is in many cases a lot cheaper to go aftermarket than trying to get factory correct; OEM and NOS parts can be inflated thousands of times their value. I read once years ago it would cost something like $100,000 to re-build a Chevy Cavalier using OEM parts.

21st May 2013, 17:43

Try eBay and buy used as well as junk yards. I even have upgraded rims and sold my previous ones as an example. Try Craigslist for parts as well. If you are savvy, it's better than building a Frankenstein car. Some of this and some of that.

23rd May 2013, 10:52

Yes, a junkyard will have a lot of the stuff anybody would need. There are even some professional junkyards that specialize in getting people parts.

Watch out though, people have been junking (crushing) these old cars lately as the price of steel has gone up. Many owners see it as more profitable to just scrap it for whatever it's worth unfortunately.

27th May 2013, 06:40

The only way I would buy a car like this is as a mint used example. Maybe pay up to 9-10 grand for one. Otherwise I would buy a more desirable collectible model. A 2 door GM, Ford or Mopar. Costs way too much to restore models like this unless you just want a driver.

I bought a surprisingly cheap, low mileage, nice limousine once from a funeral home. Had a lot of fun with it one summer and flipped. I considered renting it out til I found out what insurance ran a year. Cars like this, you have to be careful buying, as they can break the budget, and then end up a loss.

6th Dec 2014, 18:57

I have the same car with 26,000 miles, same stereo system, Phaeton. Just bought it and drove it from Pennsylvania. Great car, bring it to a Cadillac dealer my man. Nobody's better.

25th Jan 2018, 17:15

No rust, nice interior, 800 dollars, don't even think about the mileage.

27th Jan 2018, 18:03

As a current reader I found the comment useful. The comments are now directed to a far broader audience. Pros and cons, opinions etc, irregardless if a car is kept or not. We have had over 70 at last count. Some have been actually purchased a second time (not the exact car, but identical at a higher premium). So you can actually make a redirected or revisited decision again.

28th Jan 2018, 16:12

This site is useful for information based on ACTUAL EXPERIENCE with a particular year/make/model. Least helpful is someone's opinion on a particular issue that is not based on any meaningful experience.

This would include someone's opinion on what should be paid for a particular car. Really, someone goes on a website to get advice on what they should pay for a car, from complete strangers who have not seen the car, know nothing at all about it, and may not have any knowledge of market value whatsoever?

29th Jan 2018, 11:53

I have brought that very comment up myself. Absolutely no real world background or experience. Some people are unhappy in their lives as well and like to down vehicles, no matter how much the vehicles may offer. It’s up to you to sort through and look for ones useful. Even when pumping gas and I see a car I may buy adjacent, I ask how it has been service wise. Or in dealer service waiting areas. Coworkers, friends etc. There are some good comments on here that give impressions behind the wheel. Just look for consistencies in issues etc.

16th Nov 2018, 02:55

Nice car, but I can't seem to find an exterior passenger door handle. Anyone know where I can find one?

16th Nov 2018, 21:33

Try CTC Auto Ranch in Denton Texas. Many used parts available for GM cars from that era.