: '73 Coupe Deville (good first Caddy?)
I recently found a 1973 Coupe Deville. It has a great body, but the interior needs a little work. I love big cars, and nothing pimps like a Cadillac. It has the 472 engine. I was wondering if one might be worth $800? I'm pretty sure the engine will need rebuilding, but I can do that myself. This will be my first Cadillac. I'm knowledgeable about mechanical stuff, and I figured since this car has a carburetor, points ignition, etc., that it would likely be easy to work on. Any input?
01-18-07, 02:15 AM
Well you found the right combination, if a car is going to need work anywhere, better the drivetrain than the body. I own a '70 Sedan Deville with 472 once you rebuild the drivetrain it will be rock solid for a long time. You might consider going to HEI ignition when you do the rebuild its bolt in and very simple. Plus it makes it smoother, more powerful, and more efficient. I suspect one of the reasons that you can get that Coupe for such a low price (aside from the fact that it may need a rebuild and no one can get much for old Cadillacs anyway) is that god help them the 71-73 Cadillacs had a face only a mother could love. They are still awesome cars though, and yes quite easy to work on.
01-18-07, 12:19 PM
I think that the 73 deville is a great first Cadillac. My first Caddy was a 71 Sedan Deville. I now have a 76 Coupe Deville. They handle and ride beautifully and give every bit of the "magic carpet ride" that Cadillacs are known for. The 472 is one of the smothest GM engines and while not everone loves it, the Rochester Quadrajet is a relaible carburetor that is friendly to backyard mechanics.
On the body, most of these cars rot at the bottom of the front fenders, underneath the dual chrome strips. They also have a tendency to rust at the bottom corners of the rear window. If your prospective car is not rusting in these palces, it is probably a good one. I would also check the fit of the doors. If they don't close properly, it could be a sign of an accident.
If the interior is cloth, you will probably be able to find the material at SMS auto fabrics. They own a lot of new old stock cloth and reproduce many of the brocades for these cars.
And to you, eldorado 99, I really like the "faces" on 71-73 caddies, particularly the 71, with its aluminum grille and the winged crests between the headlights. 71 also has a really nice brushed aluminum on the dash and door panels. The other nice thing about a pre-74 deville is the lack of those filler panels.
Thanks for the replies. I absolutely LOVE the front-end treatment of the 71-73 Cadillacs. They look mean, or something... But there is a spot of rust at the bottom of the rear window, but it's actually in a place that would allow me to fix it without taking the rear window out. I am pretty sure the drivetrain will need a rebuild, but the TH400 transmission is as common a transmission as you can find, besides a TH350 or something. The interior is red leather, and it needs repair. The only thing I don't like about the car is the color. It's gray outside with red interior. I was thinking about painting it white, which I think looks good with red leather. Anyway, thanks. I'm gonna get it if everything works out.
01-18-07, 02:04 PM
I have a bit of a soft spot for the 71-73 actually, I just don't think I would buy one, at least not until I had one of every other generation first. I really think they make great hearses actually, something about the front end (while somewhat ugly to me) reminds me of Igor or something creepy and morbid like that.
It's a crazy story how I found this '73. I originally decided I wanted a 500 Cadillac engine for my 1962 Chevrolet truck. So I located a man who runs a cadillac junkyard, and he said he had a '75 Coupe with a good a 500 engine for $600. I got there and the valve covers and intake were gone off the 500, and the car was ruined. So he told me to look around the yard to see if there was anything else I might want. I came across the '73, and it had a 472. Not only was the body good, but the drivetrain was complete. He loves cadillacs and I told him to make me a deal. I assured him I wouldn't send the car to the crusher, and his eyes lit up. He told me $800 and I almost stroked out! Just too nice a car to crush. I still don't have an engine for my truck!!
01-18-07, 05:25 PM
I also have a soft spot for the 73's. My father had a white coupe with green leather when I was little. That was his last Caddy before he started driving Lincoln's:cookoo: . I always wanted to get that exact car, but never found one.