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I have just run into the opportunity to purchase a 1926 Cadillac that is in the the middle of a restoration. It it a four door sedan, aluminum bodied, that has a partition window, and a V8. I am not going to see it until tomorrow so I don't the condition of it, but from what I am told it in pretty good condition. Could anyone tell me what it may be from the what I know about it. The owner says it was driven into the shop before it was disassembled. I think it is for a very good price but I know very little about Cadillacs. Please help me Cadillac guys!!

Edited by addicted to cars (see edit history)
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I went and took a look at it and here are the pictures. It is not an aluminum body as the owner stated, but it does appear to have a partition window. It is in fairly good condition, but it is difficult to tell if it is complete with everything piled inside the car. Th owner wants 5 grand. Is it worth that? Dont know why it is pink. Maybe an early Mary Kay Cadillac.;)








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Looking at that car, you're at least $50-70,000 away from having a really nice $35,000 car, if you restore it to first-rate condition. So cross it off your list if you're looking to come out ahead financially when it's done. Buy someone else's finished car and enjoy immediately.

HOWEVER, and this is a big deal for us car guys, you don't do it for the money, you do it for love. If this is a car you can love, that will keep you motivated through the project, through the mounting expenses involved in things you can't do yourself (machine work, chrome, upholstery, etc), then I'd say this car could be a desirable, rare Full Classic and obviously I'm partial to Cadillacs. It'll cruise at 40 MPH and I've found that my big '29 sedan attracts every bit as much attention as the sporty roadsters and phaetons at shows. On tours when the weather turns, nothing's better than roll-up windows and a functional heater! Everyone wants to ride in my back seat on those occasions. Nickel Cads are less desirable than the later models, but they're very high-quality machines overall.

What is he asking for this car? Given the condition, the unknown completeness (parts for this car are going to be quite difficult to source), and the questionable quality of any work already done (meaning you'll have to do it over again), I'd say this car should be priced at $2000-3000.

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I may be biased because a 314B 4p phaeton was my first car. I liked the styling better than earlier and later V8 Cadillacs because they look less bulky. A new set of bearings for the fork-and-blade conrod big ends cost 80 pounds when I rebuilt and overhauled it for road use. That was expensive then, and it might be more economical to have them make again now by CNC. If everything has been well serviced you should not expect trouble. Bob Craddock's 314phaeton has done over half a million miles unless my memory is faulty. Original owner was the grandfather of Jazz musician Graham Fitzgibbon. The new Zealanders who used earlier Cadllac V8s on contract mail and passenger runs to tight schedule across desert or arid areas of the Middle East after the first world war found them most reliable with heavy loading. The brakes are ample. There are two things you can do to make them more efficient without damaging the authenticity. Mine was so flexible that I could drive in Melbourne traffic in the early 1960s without changing gear. 40mph cruising was not my experience. 50-60 was no effort. They are just a very nice car to drive. A major undertaker at Ballarat, Henry Evans, had seven Rolls Royces for his business, and one 314 Cadillac. He was quoted as saying that the Rolls were a little more distinguished, but he preferred to drive the Cadillac. The engine photo indicates it is a 314 A or B. Photos of the radiator shell and dashboard would determine which. Remember at that time, they introduced nitrocellulose laquer because Charles Kettering asked himself why it took so long to paint a car. Kettering asked a day visitor to Cadillac what other colour he might prefer his Cadillac to be. When he returned to it, it had been repainted. If you are able to approach refurbishment and repair as if it is a modern car you will have an attractive car that goes well. In the 60s or 70s, Tom Reece had a technical article in Antique Automobile titled something like " Inspect: Repair or Replace As Necessary". And do not forget to crack-test the conrods, and check the conrod bolts for stretch.

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Purchasing and restoring this will be a significant challenge. Plan on about 3-5 years part time (minimum of about 3 thousand hours). You should have a space dedicated to it for that length of time. When purchasing it look for hard to find parts like: 1) interior trim parts like door pulls, window cranks and their eschusions, interior courtesy lights and switches, 2) exterior door handles and their mounting eschusions, 3) Hood latches and hinge, 4) tail and head lights, 5) Running board sheet metal and its trim, 6) Engine parts and special electrical loom peices for the ignition, 7) Instrument panel and gauges, 8) fenders and fender mounting hardware, 9) Radiator, radiator shell, mascot/motometer. Check for wood rotting where it meets the frame. Anything that you see bad or missing is a price negotiating point.

If this is your first total restoration project, put together a budget that will conform to your situation and focus on mechanical aspects like engine and drive line running to ensure you have a viable working auto. Get mechanically sound before dealing with the cosmetics. A significant restoration tool are photos (preferably a video) of a complete unrestored sample of your model car. Email me for other ideas. IMHO $3-4K is the current value, not $5K.

Chris Wantuck


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