: Looking at a 75 Coupe Deville or 80 Sedan Deville.
09-04-07, 09:05 PM
I'm looking at two different cars, a 75 Coupe Deville (good condition) and a 1980 Sedan Deville (MINT condition).
The 75 Coupe has around 70,000 miles and is in pretty nice shape. The paint is glossy for the most part, the interior is perfect, and it's very mechanically sound. The big issue on this car, for me, is some rust. The body fillers are rotted in spots, and that does not bother me. However, there is some obvious cancer beneath the opera windows below the vinyl top. Has anyone run into this problem before, and actually fixed it. This is a car, that if I bought it, I'd properly repair. But I'm wondering whether or not the problem is worse than it seems. Can a little bondo and some new vinyl fix it up... or will it require metal work. There is no rust below the top, except on the bottoms of the rear quarters, which also does not bother me.
The 80 Sedan Deville is an actual 20,000 mile mint condition, very well equipped car. I would have no issues with this, except that I'd rather have a coupe.
These are the only two cars I can find in my price range. Ideally, I'd find an 80 Coupe deville or Fleetwood Coupe, but in Upstate NY, that's not really something that comes along very often. I looked at a beautiful 83 a few weeks ago, but I got screwed out of it when the guy never bothered to show up and sell it to me. Besides, I want a real engine. Not a rocket ship, but not an HT4100 either.
I'm looking forward to hear people's different schools of thought on this. I'm not afriad to get in the 80 and just drive it, and I'm also not afriad to work on the 75 and get it perfect, because it only needs minor body work to be there. But I am wondering about the rust on the 75...
09-04-07, 10:22 PM
Rust doesn't get better unless it's all removed. Once you start diving into the body work, it could take you a lot of time and money to totally get the rust cleared up. Furthermore, you can bet if there's rust in one place, there's rust in several more. If it's under the opera windows, there's a good chance it's underneath the vinyl. Honestly, unless the 75 is a great deal, and you really want a coupe, save your money, another will come along in better shape.
09-04-07, 10:37 PM
The rust is under the vinyl. I am not scared of body work, and I've been through it pretty deeply, The car was undercoated new, and it shows underneath. The top can be removed, and it would when I painted it anyway. It's sunfaded and should be replaced. The rear quarters are rusty on the very bottom, where some water leaked in the trunk, and you can tell where, and its not rotted otherwise. I guess what I'm wondering is whether or not anyone knows of other places to look for rust on this car. I'm very familiar with GMs, but not with this particular car.
To answer the other question, yes, I DO really want a coupe, but I'm considering the 80 SDV, becuase I know the owner, and the history of the car. It has not been driven in 25 years. It has sat all this time, in a barn, the only damage to it being where a rodent found its way in and chewed up some of the insulation. I've gone through that one like crazy. That one's a real 20K mile time capsule car. It's not even dusty. But, it also has the wrong amount of doors.
09-04-07, 10:53 PM
Screw bodywork, that can be done. We're talking big body Cadillacs here, which means practicality has been tossed out the window miles ago. Buy the one that speaks to you!
09-05-07, 11:08 PM
I went and testdrove the 75 today. What a car. I had not driven one like that in probably about 10 years. I forgot how well they handled and drove for a 5000 pound tank.
When I got there, I took notes of all of what it needs, and it does need work. Nothing MAJOR, but combined, I could be looking at some money. But it's also 32 years old. Based on it's age, it's in great shape.
It has not run in a couple of weeks, the owner wondered if the battery would even be any good. I pumped the gas twice, and it started instantly. It was missing pretty good, and there was quite an exhaust leak up front. When I put the car in gear, it stalled :(
Once it warmed up, it ran fairly well, and the exhaust noise went away. The 500 was nice and quiet. No mechanical noises, and there were no fluids underneath the car anywhere. Great!. So I slapped a dealer plate from work on it and took it down the road. Stalled at a stop sign. So I gave it a little gas and left foot brake after I started it again, and got into it. By the time I got a mile down the road to the gas station (LOL) it was running better and quit stalling, and there was no more hesitation. I suspect it just hasnt run in a while, and what little gas was in it was probably crap.
The motor to me seemed to have the timing cranked a bit much, it just felt that way, and my suspicions were confirmed when I shut the car off and it momentarily dieseled. The idle also seemed a bit high, but the choke was open all the way and the throttle was on the bottom step. I'm guessing timing it properly would fix everything, and it probably could use a full tune up. Not a rocket ship, but ample power for a car of that size. I'd say it would keep up with my 84 Olds regency coupe with the olds 350 Rocket. Transmission is PERFECT. Shifts up and down exactly as it should.
The brakes are new, but rusty, so they sucked too.
On to the dumb problems. I turned the headlights on, and when I stepped on the highbeam switch, the lights altogether quit. Sweet! :( Parking lights stayed on. Fortunately, body electrical on vehicles is my day job, so I'm not to scared of that, and it was the middle of the day. The driver seatbelt latch is shot, and the passenger one you have to pull out very sloooooooooow or it locks up quick.
Normal crap like the radio doesnt work, antenna is stuck (up) bad window switch on the pass side (window does work, and they both go up and down fast from the driver side). Lock rods are shot, but the power locks work, and they work with the key. AC is not cold, and you can hear a small vacuum leak behind the climate control (unless it has the thing for the parking brake that my 80s caddy had)
It does not have cruise control (I just assumed any caddy would).
This was probably a fairly "low end" model.. No cruise, no lit vanity mirror, bench seat, etc.
I have now two other cars to look at, the 80 SDV, and another car that my landlord told me about today. I have to go hunt that down tomorrow. "OH, there's an old guy who has a farm around the corner, he has all sorts of neat stuff in his barn. He's had an I think blue, cadillac of some sort in there for at least the last 20 years, and I remember him saying it was rare and had a V6. I think it is a 2 door like you like." OH BOY!!! What if it were a 20K mile time capsule Fleetwood coupe, or even a nicely equipped Coupe deville! I'll keep you all posted.
PS, I appologize in advance for no pics of the 75, I took my camera but the batteries were dead