1 2 3 ... 6
Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/7/19 10:30 p.m.

Some may remember that I have a 66 Cadillac with a lot of patina (crossing the line to trashy), a damaged engine and something wrong with the driveshaft. It’s got water intrusion, one of the doors won’t open and it’s degrading. 

 I bought a 472 to fix the engine problem but time has conspired against me. I have a lot of work to do to bring this thing back to functional vehicle level. 

So today I did an instant restoration. I found this one for sale in SLC for less than it would cost to get mine into this shape - and that’s not taking the time factor into account! Nobody knows when Grandpa bought it, but we know it was at least 40 and probably closer to 50 years ago. Garaged until 2016. 

The seller (grandson) wanted his garage back, but didn’t want the car to suffer the fate of so many old Cadillacs - airbags (or removed springs), big wheels, rattle can paint job. My Cadillac history got me adoption approval and I went to pick it up today. 

Through high altitude Utah, of course. No snow, just fog and wet roads and temperatures right at freezing. 

Got to SLC around 1:00 and met the Cadillac. The car fired immediately when cold. It’s not perfect, but it’s in pretty good shape and drives pretty well. More on that later. Well enough that I decided to bring it home. I probably could have picked it up for $20 after grandson decided it was going to a good home, but I paid him a reasonable amount and we both left happy. 

Since the car hadn’t seen much use other than weekly trips around the block for a few years, I figured the brakes and tires were not up to a mountain and interstate trip. So I brought a trailer that I borrowed from my friend Matt. The car loaded up easily, great-grandkid got a goodbye picture taken, the entire neighborhood showed up to wave goodbye.  Two blocks later, I stopped for diesel and had two people strike up conversations. Everybody loves an old Cadillac. 

There aren’t many vehicles that make the truck look small. The Cadillac has a bigger engine than the truck does...  

Weather was better in the mountains. Some wet roads in the Price area, but that’s it. This was a load check - it’s pretty country. The car was riding well.

A little too well. In the dark in the Utah desert, I lost a tire. The trailer was so stable I didn’t notice until I heard a weird noise reflecting off a bridge railing. Looks like I owe Matt a new wheel. 

20 miles later, I was home. More pictures tomorrow.


Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/7/19 10:34 p.m.

Fun fact. In 2002, I bought a $1000 1966 Cadillac (the first of three) from California on eBay. I had it shipped to a depot in SLC and picked it up with a trailer. Here it is on the way home.

Deja vu. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/7/19 10:43 p.m.

Cool car, great story!

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
12/7/19 11:09 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

The seller (grandson) wanted his garage back, but didn’t want the car to suffer the fate of so many old Cadillacs - airbags (or removed springs), big wheels, rattle can paint job. My Cadillac history got me adoption approval and I went to pick it up today. 

Thank you.  smiley  A wonderful car like that deserves to be saved.

codrus GRM+ Memberand UberDork
12/8/19 12:25 a.m.

The first time I towed my enclosed trailer to the track I lost a tire and didn't notice.  Someone pulled up next to me on the freeway and shouted through the window, so I pulled over and changed it.  The wheel was salvageable so it wasn't as bad as that photo, but after I got home I bought a TPMS system for the trailer from these guys:  https://www.tiretraker.com  I've been pretty happy with it.

...so was the weight of the Caddie within spec on the trailer? :)

mr2s2000elise Dork
12/8/19 12:38 a.m.

Congrats! Cool car. Around here they are all price too high 


I liked the tow truck in 2003, better 

Knurled. GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/8/19 1:47 a.m.

Oof, I have memories of coming up on a horse trailer that had a low tire turn into a tire fire, and they were trying to drag the trailer to safety instead of stopping right then and there and unloading their horses. 


Glad to see the beast made it home okay even despite that difficulty.  And now the problem is... you have TWO Caddies, and you still have one sitting there and an engine for it...

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/8/19 5:14 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I think you’re going to need a garage expansion to keep it indoors?

Feedyurhed UltraDork
12/8/19 5:45 a.m.

You have a Poppa bear.....the Cadillac (2) and lots of Baby bears (Miatas/Mg).....you still need a Momma bear. Good write up. Looking forward to updates.

Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
12/8/19 6:15 a.m.

Nice Cadillac. I love that color, I once had a 67 convertible in that same color. I always loved the 66.  In fact there's a 66 in my local you pull it if you need anything. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/8/19 8:57 a.m.

The car is 4500 lbs, so well within the abilities of the trailer. I went past some tire debris right before the rig gave a little wiggle on an 80 mph downhill with some heaves. At the time, I chalked it up to too much speed and pavement rowdiness but I suspect the tire took some FOD. 

The green car is going to be donate some parts to this one. It has fresh tires, so that’s the first step. I may also grab the carb and a few other bits, then sell it - which will move the car to the next life stage of cheapass lowrider. Alternately, there’s a 24h Lemons race at HPR in September... I also took a bunch of parts off the blue 66 before it left this world, so I have decent spares at the moment. Stampie, I’ll let you know.

Value on these has gone up a bit in the last 15 years. The sedans still aren’t worth as much as the coupes and the convertibles have an extra digit in the price tag, so they’re pretty good value for a classic. I like the 66 as they’re the last year of the 60’s interior styling, things took a turn for the worse in 1967 to my eyes - although I do like the 67 headlights.

As for the old T100 tow rig, it had a home brew turbo setup on it to drag stuff around. Still, the Dodge gets better fuel economy, has far more torque, can carry more people and more stuff, is more stable and quieter inside and doesn’t require driver sensitivity to avoid blowing the heads off with detonation.. So if you have romantic reasons for preferring the old Toyota, you’re welcome to it :)

RX8driver Reader
12/8/19 9:53 a.m.

Damn, it looks like the trunk is bigger than the truck's bed!

mr2s2000elise Dork
12/8/19 9:54 a.m.

My reasons for the T100 are pure romantic. I bought a new Tacoma /Toyota teuck then and couldn't afford the T100. 

locally there is 66 coupe, needs interior work. Asking $8600. I think the sedan looks better

wspohn Dork
12/8/19 3:44 p.m.

If you don't want to drive it, you could always sublet the trunk to a family of four or so........

Even mega-barges deserve to live - nice you saved it from an ignominious death.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/8/19 8:08 p.m.

So I guess this might be the build thread. Warning, novels will follow.

My justification for buying this thing is that I couldn't get my green Caddy into this shape for this price. That may very well be true - it might end up being close. But more importantly, I could not get my green Caddy into this shape immediately for this price. That poor car has been sitting for years and years waiting for me to get to work, and entropy has been winning. Janel wants a functioning Caddy and it makes me sad how badly the green one has rotted over the past 15 years or so. So the goal is to start thinning the herd and treat the keeper cars the way they deserve, and this Caddy will be one of the keeper cars. It's going to get parked inside and protected from the elements, for one.

Janel actually thanked me for going to get it. That's not usually the reaction when I drag a car home.

Here's what I know of the history. All genealogical references are relative to the seller.

Originally sold in Ogden, UT. When it was fairly new (more than 40 years ago), Grandpa traded an older Caddy for it. Grandpa kept it inside under a cotton cover and by the mid-80s, it was only taken out for Sunday drives. Grandpa also owned a body shop, and it was repainted a very long time ago. Long enough that nobody remembers.

Grandpa passed away in 2016. The family renewed the registration and the car followed the hearse. Then Uncle took it and parked it in his back yard where it started to degrade quickly. The family was not happy so the seller took it home and parked it his garage with the intent to restore it. He fired it up at least once a week and took it for a slow drive around a local golf club - no current registration.

That was not going to happen, so he put it up for sale. Here's where I enter the picture. He turned away a lot of people who weren't going to provide the right kind of home for the car. Now we're caught up.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/8/19 8:23 p.m.

So, what have we got here? It's not perfect. In fact, it actually has more rust than my green one. But for a 50+ year old, it's pretty clean. I'm keeping it on the trailer so I can trailer it to a VIN inspection this week - part of an interstate sale.

Since I haven't shown this side of the car in any photos so far...

There are small rust spots around the car. I do think this thing must have spent some time outside other than the three years since Uncle took the car, as it's lived its entire life in Ogden and that's not a high rust area unless you're hanging out near the salt. Bottom of the front fenders, the rear fin, etc. It will not degrade any further in my environment so this isn't something I need to address immediately. Underneath it looks perfectly clean.

The worst rust is in the front bumper. I have a nice clean one on the green car. My original blue car also left behind both front fenders, the front bumper and rear bumper when it left so this is an easy fix.

It's also a vinyl top, which of course has led to some corrosion. My blue car had one, my green car did not. They look longer with the vinyl.

So that's the ugly stuff, pictures of the worst part of the car. How about the good stuff?

The interior looks good. VERY blue. They all have cracked dashboards. Grandpa was an AAA member and the stickers tell you to buckle up.

Automatic climate control, self-dimming headlights, power windows, etc. It looks like almost the same spec as the green car other than the dimming headlight, although I thought there was also a central locking switch. I'll check later.

Also, 1966 luxury means that everyone gets their own lighter and ashtray. That's the armrest on the rear doors.

Found in the glovebox. Apparently Grandpa also had the service manual, but I have two of them for the 66 already. I'm looking forward to reading the maintenance book, actually.

This is interesting. First, here's the original buyer. But that "Protect-O-Plate" is reversed and has the owner information. So you can run it through a carbon copy machine? Or do you spray it and use it like a stamp - which explains the discoloration. Who knows?

Underhood, it looks pretty good. There was some extra grounding done (with red cables, sigh) but otherwise very stock. The valve covers are leaky, but I have about 8 of those and probably some spare cork gaskets so that's a simple fix.

The automatic HVAC is all pneumatically activated. I don't know what these hoses are made of, but I don't think I've seen a cracked one.

Last picture - this is the light sensor for the self-dimming headlights. There's a little window to let it see through the grille. Standard Of The World! None of my other cars have had this.

Slippery GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
12/8/19 9:02 p.m.

Very cool! Same exact interior color as my dad's '66. My dad's also had the self dimming headlights and cruise control. Also all 4 vent windows where powered on his!

I just watched "Once upon a time in Hollywood". Brad Pitt and DiCaprio ride on a very nice '66 coupe. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/8/19 9:14 p.m.

Powered vent windows! Now I feel left out.

slowbird Dork
12/8/19 10:02 p.m.

I love the interior color.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
12/8/19 10:46 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

This is interesting. First, here's the original buyer. But that "Protect-O-Plate" is reversed and has the owner information. So you can run it through a carbon copy machine? Or do you spray it and use it like a stamp - which explains the discoloration. Who knows?


I believe they ran them through a little machine that was similar to what was used to get carbon copies off a gas credit card back in the day.  This is from a Corvette forum:

The metal plate was put into a hand-operated gizmo that inked the Pop and then it was pressed onto the INFO section of the Service Dept. paperwork. This eliminated the time required to fill out the "Owner Info" section of that documentation. It sped up the processing time and reduced the manual effort required. The PoP always stayed attached to the warranty booklet...until it fell apart from MANY uses.

mr2s2000elise Dork
12/9/19 10:16 a.m.

That interior is pure art. I would just sit inside of this car in my garage and make vroom vroom noises . Man its pure art!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/9/19 10:23 a.m.

Thank you Stuart! What happened when you sold the car? Were you supposed to get a new Protect-O-Plate? Just how much time did the service department save with this?

The interior is what draws me to the '66 and earlier cars. The '67 models got an exterior restyle that adds some aggression (mostly by leaning the headlights and the grille into the breeze), but the interior lost some charm to my eyes.

Our green car has a green interior, but it's not as intense as this blue one. Looking at the color charts, I suspect it's actually turquoise. Janel's first comment when she looked inside was "wow, it's blue!".

The green car also had a big hole in one header so it sounded unmistakably like a giant V8. This one does not, it just quietly lub lub lubs in the background. She was a little disappointed, so I might have to do something about that.

ebelements Reader
12/9/19 3:11 p.m.

Killer buy!  Looking forward to your journey with the big blue beauty. Is this going to be a full-stock resto, or will there be mods and updates?

I've never owned(or seriously thought about owning) something pre-80s, but the late 50s-late 60s Caddies have always spoken to me for some reason. I think they're dripping with classic cool, and look great in just about every color combination, stock OR modified. Out of curiosity I jumped on CL to see what the old caddy market was like and saw this... now my head is swimming with thoughts of air ride and colormatched Detroit Steel Wheels. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/9/19 5:08 p.m.

You guys haven't seen this in the sun yet. I think I've identified the color as Cobalt Firemist with a Turquoise interior. Firemist is code for "metallic", I think. This thing lights up in sunlight, these foggy shots of mine do not do it justice. I probably won't be able to get a daytime picture for a couple of days, alas.

I can't get a VIN inspection at the state patrol for a couple of weeks. I think I'm going to cruise out to our local Cadillac dealer with the whale on the trailer and see if they'll do it for me.

ebelements, the plan is to drive and enjoy. I may put in a good stereo just so we can enjoy tunes. I'll fix broken things. But it's not really going to be a resto or a modification platform. Preservation is probably the best explanation. And I like your '60 find - those tailfins are so much more elegant than the '59.

One of the fun things about these cars is that they're a great way to teach perspective. This thing lays out the vanishing point for you.

ProDarwin UltimaDork
12/9/19 5:23 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

You guys haven't seen this in the sun yet.

This is pretty odd given your location.

Very cool car. 

1 2 3 ... 6

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners