: 1980 Coupe DeVille - should I?



caddieboy
12-04-06, 11:57 PM
On my way to work I walked by a house with a 1980 Coupe Deville in the drive. A guy came out of the house and I said "Nice Caddie!" He replied "Thanks, wanna buy it?" I thought I'd entertain him and asked about the car.

The Good
-Clean interior with nice seats
-Very solid body with only some minor surface rust in a few small spots.
-Swapped out the 6.0L for a 5.0L 307 (I consider it a pro because I don't mind the lower power and could stand to save on gas) with 80,000k on it (not sure it can be proven though, but if he intended to keep the car, I'm sure he wouldn't have put an old piece of crap in it.
-Chrome is clean

The Bad
-Brake lines needs replacing
-The following part I didn't understand and could use some help...
Exhaust needs work, the manifold comes down and needs to be clamped. Something to do with when the engine was swapped. He made it sound minor but I don't know.
-Minor cracks in dash
-Few surface rust spots
-No maintenance records

And finally, the price. $1200US as is.

Should I grab it and put some money into it? He said he's going to advertise it in the spring after fixing the major problems, and ask for $1200US plus whatever it ends up costing him in terms of tow, repair and advertising it in Autotrader. He's willing to sell it to me as is now if I'm interested.

I think it would be a good winter car. Cloth interior and 5.0L would be good in the cold.

1. What's a reasonable offer considering the unknowns, not being able to test drive etc?

2. How much would it cost to repair the major stuff like brake line and exhaust/manifold problem?

PS - I have parts off an '87 with a 307 at my disposal. All parts except the engine, including a rebuilt tranny.

brougham
12-05-06, 12:36 AM
Its definately not worth that much if you cant even drive it. The brake lines wont cost a lot to fix but it depends on whats wrong with them. Maybe for the exhaust he means that the new engine wont connect to the old y-pipe. It will probably cost around $1,000 to get it safetied too.

caddieboy
12-05-06, 12:53 AM
Its definately not worth that much if you cant even drive it. The brake lines wont cost a lot to fix but it depends on whats wrong with them. Maybe for the exhaust he means that the new engine wont connect to the old y-pipe. It will probably cost around $1,000 to get it safetied too.

Why would it cost so much to have safetied? As for the exhaust, he made it sound like it just need to be clamped.

If it's not worth $1200, how much would you say it's worth?

90Brougham350
12-05-06, 09:36 AM
$750 would be what I would offer. Brougham is right, if you can't drive it, there's a problem, and it's not a cheap fix either.

brougham
12-05-06, 12:12 PM
Usually thats around what it ends up costing to get safety check work done if it needs some front end work and brake stuff and it usually does. You dont know what its going to cost until somebody looks at it. If the exhaust is so easy to fix then why didnt he just do it? What else did he not do when he did that engine swap? Does it even run? Since you cant even drive it give him $500 for it. Unless its super nice and you really want it.

caddieboy
12-06-06, 01:04 PM
OK, I talked to him again and I understand what it is now. Basically he said a muffler shop just needs to weld the pipe to the manifold. He estimates it's a $40 job. The car runs, but is very noisy. But it can't be tested because of the brake lines needing replacement. I imagine the welding hasn't been taken care of because he can't drive it the way it is, and I think he just wants to unload it.

Supposing that's all that needs doing, what concerns shoudl I have with the engine swap? If any.

How might this change my offer? By the way, suddenly there's a friend who's going to take a look at it this Saturday. But if I go see him before then, he'll make a deal with me. I think I could get him down to $750.

How much to change the brake lines at a good shop? I know an honest place that won't do more work than is needed. And they do quality work at the going rate. I just can't get thorugh to them on the phone.

Rick186
12-06-06, 02:42 PM
Sounds like this guy is trying to play you like a 100lb catfish on the end of 8lb test on a flyrod.
Sure you want the car (been there, done that) but at this long distance and purely from what I've read on this thread, I'm getting VERY bad vibes.
BTW - I doubt there is "another guy" who is just itching to pay full boat and will come by on Saturday. But I could be wrong.
There are others on this BB who are far more knowledgeable than I about that model Cadillac.
Their words would mean more than anything I could say.
Good luck!:thumbsup:

caddieboy
12-06-06, 03:12 PM
Sounds like this guy is trying to play you like a 100lb catfish on the end of 8lb test on a flyrod.
Sure you want the car (been there, done that) but at this long distance and purely from what I've read on this thread, I'm getting VERY bad vibes.
BTW - I doubt there is "another guy" who is just itching to pay full boat and will come by on Saturday. But I could be wrong.
There are others on this BB who are far more knowledgeable than I about that model Cadillac.
Their words would mean more than anything I could say.
Good luck!:thumbsup:

Thanks for your warning. I don't get the same vibe. He's a very mild mannered and soft spoken guy. I think my interest just got him talking to a poker buddy or something along those lines. Even if there isn't another guy, I'm not really going to offer him more than I would like to pay.

I think if all it needs is the welding and brake lines, I could get a pretty decent winter car. I don't think he'll get full boat, and I think he understands the worth of the car.

I just need to figure out how much I want this car and if I'm up for whatever work might be needed. I want something low-maintenance for the winter, so I might be better off looking for something in better shape.

79caddy1
12-09-06, 10:25 AM
Anytime I have tried to buy anything, or made an offer, I was always told..."another guy", is interested, I better hurry up...Weeks later,,the car was still there....Thats the usualy "putting you in the corner" thingy.
just be careful!
I paid 1300 for my 79 deville, and it is very clean for except to rust spots the size of a quarter!
I think I did great, actually got a great deal.
But I have been down the road before that your going.

caddieboy
12-09-06, 10:41 AM
Anytime I have tried to buy anything, or made an offer, I was always told..."another guy", is interested, I better hurry up...Weeks later,,the car was still there....Thats the usualy "putting you in the corner" thingy.
just be careful!
I paid 1300 for my 79 deville, and it is very clean for except to rust spots the size of a quarter!
I think I did great, actually got a great deal.
But I have been down the road before that your going.

I've decided good opportunities will come again in time. Not even sure if this was a good opportunity. I'll just not rush and keep searching. I have to not get caught up in things and let the chips fall where they may. I paid premium for my dream car, and I don't regret it. But this is going to be a winter car to keep my dream car mint. I have to remember what a winter car is for. Something comfortable, reliable and good on the road.

Rick186
12-09-06, 01:48 PM
The reason I am leery about the "salesman" in this case is my experience, some years ago, when I had the hots for an older, wood, ChrisCraft.
The boat was in fair to good shape, the motors were the old flat-head Hercules base and I was really hot to buy.
The seller was an acquaintance so I didn't mess around and contacted a Marine Surveyor. He came up with what the boat was worth (less than asking price) and I offered the surveyor's price.
No go on the deal and I bought another boat from a friend.
Two months later, the fellow with the Chris called me and offered to meet my $$. Of course I said no, since i had another boat.
Then I learned thru the grapevine that the guy had dickered around with someone else and got his price. Then the buyer backed out after stringing Joe along for well over a month.
Joe ended up selling the boat for HALF of what I would have paid since, by that time, it was winter and nobody wanted to buy boats.
And the following summer there was significant freeze damage to the boat.
So Joe outsmarted himself, by many $$$$$.
That's my "frame of reference," and is why I had bad vibes about the fellow selling the Cadillac with considerable work needed.

caddieboy
12-10-06, 12:48 AM
The reason I am leery about the "salesman" in this case is my experience, some years ago, when I had the hots for an older, wood, ChrisCraft.
The boat was in fair to good shape, the motors were the old flat-head Hercules base and I was really hot to buy.
The seller was an acquaintance so I didn't mess around and contacted a Marine Surveyor. He came up with what the boat was worth (less than asking price) and I offered the surveyor's price.
No go on the deal and I bought another boat from a friend.
Two months later, the fellow with the Chris called me and offered to meet my $$. Of course I said no, since i had another boat.
Then I learned thru the grapevine that the guy had dickered around with someone else and got his price. Then the buyer backed out after stringing Joe along for well over a month.
Joe ended up selling the boat for HALF of what I would have paid since, by that time, it was winter and nobody wanted to buy boats.
And the following summer there was significant freeze damage to the boat.
So Joe outsmarted himself, by many $$$$$.
That's my "frame of reference," and is why I had bad vibes about the fellow selling the Cadillac with considerable work needed.

That's a great story. Funny how some people shoot themselves in the foot, eh?