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Everything posted by quadfins

  1. Yes. I received my 5,000 mile tag in June. Jim
  2. I typically get two standard questions - "How much is it worth"? and "What kind of gas mileage does it get?" I assume that the first question is a result of the overinflated selling prices seen on the TV auction shows. Many people seem to assume that any old car in prime condition MUST sell for multiple six figures. The second question seems to come from a need to sympathize over gas prices - as if the car is my daily driver and I am approaching bankrupty by being forced to drive it. But I perceive the questions to be generally in the spirit of starting a conversation, so I quickly shift the focus toward the standard features, optional equipment, and drivability. Being a history teacher, I try to put it in the context of the times, and it is gratifying to see the light bulb of understanding suddenly blink on. Jim Eccleston 1961 Coupe de Ville BATILAC
  3. I sure enjoyed that. It brought back fond memories, as I grew up about 6 blocks from where it was filmed, and my sister still lives right there. I used to roll oranges onto Hollywood Blvd and watch the busses squash them. Great fun for a 6-year-old! One next door neighbor had a 1950 Plymouth, the other ones had a 1960 Eldorado. The man across the street had a '64 Falcon with a paxton supercharger, and my dad had a red '65 Mustang coupe, and I had the red convertible. The main difference that I see is, now the palm trees are taller. Jim
  4. Wind and rain are picking up here in eastern Virginia, along the Chesapeake Bay. We had light rain all day, but very moderate until now. Worst is supposed to arrive about 3 AM. Schools in the region are closed tomorrow - don't know yet about Tuesday. Cars are safely in the garage, and we are high enough to avoid flooding, but we may be trapped by some low-lying roads. Short of a tree falling on the house, we should do OK. Power has flickered a few times, and the computer reset once already. May lose electricity if the wind gets stronger. So far, those summer storms were worse. Jim
  5. Yes, in 2 or 3 places, depending on the year: 1 On the front fenders, behind the wheel wells and just above the rockers, there are cloisonne' badges with "Fleetwood" and small crowns. (1961 & 1962) 2 On the back of the trunk lid, above the bumper on the right (passenger) side, chrome block letter spell out "FLEETWOOD". (1961 & 1962) 3 In 1962, on the dash panel in front of the passenger, above the glove box, another cloisonne' insert with "Fleetwood" replaces the standard Cadillac Crest ornament that is attached over the radio speaker. There is a metal tag screwed onto the front seat passenger-side trim that says "Interior by Fleetwood" - this is on all models. The sill plates themselves say "Cadillac". Of course, there are a LOT of other differences with the interior appointments and exterior trim. But these are the only locations that specifically say Fleetwood. Strange, too, on de Villes and Fleetwoods, the only locations that say "Cadillac" are on the valve covers and on one of the dash chrome pieces, below the radio. From the outside, other drivers would never see these. I guess the styling spoke for itself and required no clarification for the masses. You just saw the crest and "V", and knew it was a Cadillac. Jim
  6. In 1959 and 1960, Cadillac offered (among many other models) the: Eldorado Brougham - super luxury 4-door sedan, bodies hand crafted in Italy. Eldorado Seville - deluxe upscale-trimmed 2 door hardtop coupe. Eldorado Biarritz - deluxe upscale-trimmed 2 door convertible. These had special tri-power engines with gold painted air cleaners and valve covers. For 1961, the Brougham and Seville were discontinued, leaving the convertible Biarritz as the only remaining Eldorado trim model. The special engine was discontinued. The Eldorado continued to be the upscale-trimmed convertible through the 1966 model year. In 1967, the name was transferred to the new front wheel drive personal luxury coupe, and the convertibles were renamed back into the de Ville line. In 1961, the year you are asking about, the main differences between a Series 62 convertible and an Eldorado Biarritz were mainly the upholstery materials and pattern, and an additional polished stainless steel trim along the beltline. Power vent windows and whitewall tires were also standard equipment. Jim
  7. Not in Richmond, but not too far away, in Poquoson, near Hampton: Spencer McCarty - Street Rod Transmissions (757) 766-3510 Don't let the name throw you off. He diagnosed my 1961 internal hydramatic problem without even looking at it. A couple days with him and it has run perfectly ever since. Reasonable and honest!!! Worth a call and the effort to get it to him. Jim
  8. While "Q" was vacationing in Bermuda, "Z" inadvertantly installed the smoke-screen generator in the wrong location. Jim
  9. This sounds like what many Marque clubs do. I know that in the Cadillac-LaSalle club grand nationals, all of the components are tested for operational ability. It is not just a beauty contest. Jim
  10. Did it have an ejection seat in case, you know... things don't work out?
  11. Cars I hate (ed) - Corvairs, especially early models. The yellow coupe that the teenage next door neighbor girl drove, when I was about 6 years old, left a negative impression, mainly due to the black, sooty rear end. I always wondered what was wrong with such a car. Then Ralph Nader confirmed my point of view. Cars I love - Corvairs, especially early models. Strange how our opinions can change as we get older and wiser. I can spend hours now, inpecting every detail of a Corvair, and appreciating the uniqueness of the concept. I also like the variety of body styles, each offering something special. I love it when a Corvair Club caravans to a show that I am attending - so much to see!!! I test drove a '61 Flattop in 1997, and was very close to buying it, but the owner wanted too much, and I ended up buying my Cadillac for half the price. I would sure love to have them both now, as 'bookends" for GM's 1961 offerings. And another one that I utterly despised back in the early 1970's. Every day, as I rode my bike to elementary and junior high school, I would pedal past this horrible ugly car, and wonder who would EVER drive such a monstrosity? Now, I would dearly love to have that 1959 Chevrolet El Camino parked on my driveway. It seems, too that there are a lot of cars that I did NOT like "then", that I appreciate and desire now. But it only seems to work one way - there are none that I liked then, that I don't like now. Ah, but for a larger garage. Jim
  12. Hi Steve, Vivie and I were eating breakfast Sunday, when suddenly she jumped up and ran off. I wondered what was happening, until I saw her rushing to you. It was all so spontaneous, and she is very fond of you. This is certainly due to the kindness you have shown to her (and us) over the years. She can recognize you from far off and is eager to say hi. She told me many times, during the drive home, how much she enjoyed the show. Please accept my sincere thanks! Jim
  13. Vivian and I had a wonderful time, from the moment of our (delayed) arrival Thursday, up until departure this morning. I especially appreciate your making the rain hold off until AFTER the show, and making the hail stay away entirely. Vivian enjoyed the Kids Judging program, and loves the way she is always welcomed at AACA events. Great way to attract the next generation! See you next year, Jim
  14. Maybe I ought to change the license plates from "BATILAC" to "ECLIPSE". But, then again, it might be mistaken for some teen vampire movie... Wayne, it was. as always, a pleasure to see you again. We had a great time at the show, and Vivian enjoyed the Kids Judging program. But best of all was the friendship you showed to us. Vivie is really hooked on the AACA shows, now. Hope you get home safe. jim
  15. Thanks for the replies. We're packing the car now, so I guess we'll find out in about 8 hours. See you there! Jim
  16. My daughter Vivian will be accompanying me to the Charlotte show. We are looking forward to the kids activities, as she enjoyed participating at Blacksburg, last year. She was delighted with the opportunity to sit in Murphy, and I was wondering if that will be available again thie coming weekend. Jim
  17. Not today, but yesterday I drove the '66 Mustang fastback to Starbucks, where I sipped a coffee and read Hardy Boys to my daughter. We then drove it to the animal shelter, where we spent the next several hours cleaning cages and feeding the animals. After driving the Mustang home, I pulled the '61 Cadillac out of the garage and took some photos for a restoration article that I am writing. I would have driven the Cadillac today, but my daughter wanted to go to Sonic for lunch, and we have a "No Eating in the Classic Cars" rule. Rain and nastiness are in the fore4cast, so the Cad will have to wait a few more days for her turn on the road. Jim
  18. More odd facts from my unscientific research: Basic Group A was ordered on 36% of 1961 cars, and included: heater radio E-Z-Eye tinted glass White sidewall tires Basic Group B was ordered on 51% of 1961 cars, and included: all items of Basic Group A, plus air conditioning Equipment Group 2, ordered on 28% of cars, had Dor-Guards and Guidematic. Equipment Group 3, ordered on 11% of cars added fog lights to EG 2. Of course, these options could be ordered individually, too.
  19. According to the statistical research that I have done, you will have trouble finding some of these options, and more difficulty with multiples. For example, all de Villes and most Series 62 have power windows, and Guidematic is fairly common. But cruise control, power trunk, & power vents ended up on only about 5% of cars. AC on 55%. I've seen more power trunks and door locks on Fleetwoods and de Ville 4-doors. Even eldorados and Fleetwoods did not come standard with AC, CC, pdl, pt or fog lights.Your best bet might be to find an example with as much on it as possible, and then find and add the rest. It will take some hunting and grunting, and lots of blood and scraped knuckles, but it can be done. Jim
  20. I would not have the sledgehammer, for the reasons mentioned above, and also since it encourages disrepect for old cars. However, I might put it on display with some sort of sign or placard soliciting restoration tips. Maybe as a sort of DPC or HPOF? Jim
  21. Well, I'm open-minded, and have always been taught to share... Jim
  22. To be quite honest, I first thought that the woman in the picture was my wife. Until I saw that her hair was too long. Hmmmm. Jim
  23. My Old-Car experiences are like a kaleidoscope - each individual occurrence interacting with the others to create an ever-changing but attractive picture. And like a kaleidoscope, there are too many individual events to really describe. But I'll mention four that stand out the most… <O:p</O:p I grew up in <ST1:pSouthern California</ST1:p, but my Mom was from Arizona</ST1:p. Every Christmas and summer, we would go to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:pTucson</ST1:p</st1:City> to visit my grandparents. At that time period - late '60s/early '70s - there was an exterminating company named Truly Nolen. Their advertising gimmick was to have obsolete cars, painted in their colors, and with a giant termite mounted on each roof, parked at seemingly every street corner in <st1:City><ST1:pTucson</ST1:p</st1:City>. They must have scoured the junkyards, because I remember a huge variety of cars, from wooden-wheeled jalopies to cigar shaped <st1:City><ST1:pHudsons</ST1:p</st1:City>. Sometimes we would stop and I would peer inside and inspect the cars. Although I really did not learn anything specific, it did raise my awareness of old cars, and sparked my interest. I always enjoyed being on the alert for Truly Nolen cars. <O:p</O:p Next, back home in <st1:City><ST1:pHollywood </ST1:p</st1:City>(this was about 1967), we had two neighbors whose cars became of particular interest to me. Mrs. Alber, next door, was the typical dowager who drove only to church on Sunday, or the occasional expedition to the grocery store. Sometimes I was invited to accompany her. As she would raise the garage door, revealed to me was her absolutely pristine 1950 <st1:City><ST1:pPlymouth</ST1:p</st1:City> sedan. If I remember right, it only had about 12,000 miles on it. The thing that always caught my interest was the mysterious third pedal on the floor, and how she used her left leg while driving (I had never seen a manual transmission clutch pedal - of course, I was only 6 years old). I also remember the cloth upholstery, which seemed so old-fashioned compared to our cars with "modern" vinyl upholstery. <O:p</O:p The other neighbor, Don Graham, lived across the street. He and his wife had no children, so I was "adopted" as their surrogate. He was a courier for a delivery firm, and drove extensively throughout the <st1:City><ST1:pL.A.</ST1:p</st1:City> area. He was also building a stone wall in his back yard. The result was that he had a car that was designed to cruise, and on weekends he liked to drive it to <st1:City><ST1:pPalm Springs</ST1:p</st1:City>, where he would load the trunk with rounded river rocks to add to his wall. I would often be invited to "help", such as a 6-year-old can do, but I suppose it was mostly for the company. I remember he would open his garage and start up his car. It was a deep maroon, with white upholstery. I was in awe of the smooth rumble it made - a deep reverberation that evoked raw power. No other car in our neighborhood sounded like it. That car would really fly, and it seemed as if we made the trip from <st1:City><ST1:pHollywood</ST1:p</st1:City> to <st1:City><ST1:pPalm Springs</ST1:p</st1:City> in about an hour, although I know it could not have been that fast. At the time I did not know it, but my dad later explained to me that it was a '64 or '65 (I forget, now) Falcon 2 door, with a V-8 and supercharger. I wish that I was more attuned to cars at the time, in order to have paid more attention and ask better questions. <O:p</O:p Finally, for the purpose of this story, I will mention one more (although there are MANY others). In 1965, my dad bought a new Mustang. For Christmas, 1965, I was installed in my own matching Mustang pedal car. I still have the photos of both the cars. Dad kept the "Red Bomb" for 4 years. Within a few months of trading it in, he developed seller's remorse, and regretted letting it go, especially when he would see it driving around the neighborhood. He often mentioned what a mistake it had been to let it go. <O:p</O:p When it came time for me to get a car, he steered me into a '66 Mustang (I wanted the '61 Chevy…) However, having "settled" for the Turquoise '66 Mustang fastback, I learned from his mistake, and have had that car since my senior year in high school in 1979 until the present. Today, in fact, I took my daughter for a spin in it, resulting in the usual One-Man Car Show at every stoplight and parking lot. She plans to drive it during her senior year. I hope the car and I both make it… <O:p</O:p Thanks for reading my tale. Jim
  24. For years, I would pass by a carport in northern Virginia, and see the unique fins of a '59 Buick leering back at me. One day I was bold enough to stop and inquire. It was her departed husband's, she said, and she had given it to her daughter. Said daughter seemed to have no interest, and every year the tires got flatter, and the rust got thicker. I have not been by in years, but I expect that it is either still there, or at the crusher, by now. Tragic. Jim
  25. And some of us drive hundreds of miles to meets, to compete against them. Jim
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