DE SOTO

1925 Cadillac .. Kinda Weird .. Need some info

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9 minutes ago, gwells said:

That was a relative comparison.

 

Do you claim that '36-38 Buick sedans are as desirable or more desirable than '36-38 Buick open cars?

 

Nah, I don't think that is what GregLaR means.

 

However, he did hit it on the spot when it comes to late '30s Buicks being very collectible, mainly the beautiful '38 models. Just about the most beautiful-looking front end out of all '38 cars must be the Buick with Cadillac right alongside. I find the '37 Oldsmobile front to be stunning as well but the '38 Olds front? Yuck.

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, GregLaR said:

I'm just curious, if closed sedans are so undesirable, why are the '36-'38 Buick sedans so collectible? 

It is not that 20's cars are uncollectable, but they tend to be huge in garage floor footprint and the parts supply is not all that good (aka everything and I do mean everything you need tends be a re-invention of the wheel) and that tends to equate to expense that more often than not outweighs the cost of what the car is worth the day you decide it needs a new home.    While there are plenty of difficult parts on a 36-38 Buick they are largely steel construction and there are still plenty of new mechanical parts available, as well as used parts.    I put 80K miles on my 1941 Cadillac 60 Special from 1979 (when I bought it at age 14) until 2015, when I sold it - other than it being a heavy car to work on (all be it a lot lighter than any part on a 20's car), I absolutely had no issue finding anything mechanical = I could pick up the phone and it was in a box to me hours later (the 41 Buick Super was the same way, as have been the 50s cars and ...).

 

Again, there is nothing wrong with optimism, but I could take you to garage after garage in town where cars were bought on false hope and years latter the project is still stalled or ....

 

As a sidnote:  I was in a friends garage over Christmas and they offered me a set of 1925 Cadillac headlights (which I bought) that are stunning originals - they had been there as long as I can ever remember (I maybe saw them there the first time in 1971). 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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I have friends in LA that drive Model A's and if they need a modern car they have a 1935 Phaeton - they say A's are perfect for LA. 

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The potential  buyer for this Cadillac may not be in the US.   My brother just sold a 1924 Buick Brougham to a buyer in New Delhi, India.   The Buick is in need of a full restoration which includes major wood work.  The sales price is not much more than what has been mentioned for this Cadillac. Cost of restoration apparently is more cost effective in India to make it worth buying and shipping the Buick there.   

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Folks,

 

There were a few posts that went way off topic in this discussion resulting in the discussion being reported to the moderators. I have removed quite a few posts. I have attempted to bring it back on topic, although I have left some posts that are probably still a bit off topic. I will attempt to tie in a bit of the remaining off topic posts back into the topic, but apologize in advance if I fail to do that successfully. I don't know much about Cadillacs of this era. I do know 1936-1938 Buicks. There is an active touring club for 1936-1938 (and other straight 8 era) Buicks which makes Buick sedans of that era a bit more desirable than sedans in general. While lots of people tend to prefer two door cars, the 36-38 Buick Club tends to have more sedans because it is easy to take friends along for the ride in a four door sedan.

 

I own a 1937 Buick Century four door sedan. I am restoring a 1938 Buick Century four door Sedan currently. This car will cost much more to restore than it is worth. I bought the car for $1,000. I paid more for another car just to get a better body for the 1938 Buick project. Based on my experience, there is no way for even a home restorer to restore this Cadillac for less than the car will be worth when it is restored. It will be a labor of love. Unless there are a lot of rare parts not visible in the photos, I would not personally think it was worth $4,000, but some folks who have expressed the thought that it is worth that are folks that I am sure know more about Cadillacs of that era than I do.

 

I would suggest that there will be a small number of serious potential buyers. As described, I get the idea that the original owner would like to see it restored. I suggest that finding someone who loves that car and wants to restore it might be more important than finding who will pay the most money for it. If a potential restorer makes an offer of any amount of cash that the owner can live with, I would suggest he sell it with the gentleman's agreement to give him a ride in it after it has been restored. If the current owner wants to hold out for the top dollar because he just can't bear to lose his investment, it is likely that his estate will sell the car after he is no longer around. At that time, it will likely sell for less rather than more that a potential restorer might offer now. 

 

In addition to my comments above, if you want to help them sell the car, it is vitally important to take good quality photos that show the car and all parts that have been removed from the car but which are included in the sale. The current photos just are not sufficient to attract the best offer or even give a fair representation of the car's condition.

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If this car, or any of its era, is to stay in the USA/Canada where labor costs are what they are, the structural wood needs to be pretty darn good if the car is to be refurbished or restored.  Looking at the photo of the top structure, I'd want to do a thorough examination of the structural wood.  As regards completeness, years ago this sedan may have served as a parts car for an open car (happened a lot), so an inventory of what's missing or broken would be essential.

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3 hours ago, gwells said:

Do you claim that '36-38 Buick sedans are as desirable or more desirable than '36-38 Buick open cars?

 

How in the world did you come up with this statement from my one-sentence question?

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Because what I said was this:

 

"It is a four-door sedan, probably the least desirable of all body styles available on this marque that year."

 

And I feel that applies across the board, regardless of marque or year.

If you disagree, please give examples where today's market values four-door sedans higher or equal to other body styles.

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Again, I made no mention of value. 

What I disagree with is your reinterpretation of my question.

It seems many are quick to condemn 4 door sedans to the ash heap, when presented here.

 

I merely asked, why sedans are not considered worthy of restoration when the hugely popular '36-'38 Buick sedans clearly disprove this thinking?

I would guess that most here who have restored their Buick sedans, in the end, could have purchased an example for less money. So could it be that they are restoring those sedans as a labor of love rather than as a marketing strategy?

 

I know it's a personal taste thing, but I prefer a closed 4 door sedan over the open cars. I am in agreement with Richelieumotor Car that the '38 Buick is probably the finest looking car form the era. I owned a '36 Buick sedan and loved it. I also owned a '38 Oldsmobile sedan and RichelieuMC is right again, I felt that front end was better suited to a transport truck. :lol:

 

I see DE SOTO's friend's Cadillac as others may see that abandoned '38 Buick Century. 

It is not an open car.

It is not a Duesenberg.

It is not a Ferrari. 

It is what it is. A beautiful and somewhat unique car that has survived for 94 years and deserves a nice restoration by someone who can appreciate it.

If value is the only reason to do this, none of us would be here, right?

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Posted (edited)

First, Greg in Canada, no pot metal problems with the V63 (1924-'25), Cadillacs. These are truly GREAT cars. More heavily built and rugged than the Cadillacs that followed for quite some years. Of the 314 (1926-'27), Cadillacs, the later cars used more pot metal.  All 314s share the same pot metal problems in the automatic timing chain tensioner, which theV63 simply does not use at all.  Unlike the '27, however, the '26 uses the same rugged bronze levers and gears for timing and hand throttle controls as the V63s. And, unlike the robust distributors in the V63s, in the 314s, not only the cups, but also the pot metal flyweights will fail, breaking the cup from impact. No need to go any further than Classic and Exotic Services for any parts and rebuild needed. Stutz, Duesenberg, Olds 8 used this distributor, therefore the need justified a top notch solution which V63s do not need.

 

At some point I might like to write further about the pinnacle of engineering and production embodied in V63 Cadillacs. For the moment, though, ideally, I would love to see one more person actually enjoy learning to love a V63. This could possibly be a candidate. The interior is apparently not completely trashed, and depending on the next owners location, some things could be put off indefinitely. For example, the top. Semi permanent sun roof as is 😎. This could be an entry level car worth learning the game on. Yes, even though I could use a few things, I would much rather see this car saved and inducted into the Cadillac & LaSalle Club. If I were still the able middle age guy I used to be, spending much of my Winters in California, I would love to help get this car up and running. And speaking of brakes, good chance it can still stop well if the brakes have not been dismantled or fiddled with. These are rod actuated front and rear, and with the large drums, are quite good for the mid '20s.

 

Look : we have had to make assumptions here from the standpoint of a prudent prospective purchaser, based on very scant information and evidence. On the other hand, if we look at the best case scenario, it could be an opportunity for a local enthusiastic younger person. In that case, the 3 responses starting with Friartuck, through CarlLaFong and John Mereness could happily be the way to go.

  

I would like to go on, but that will have to wait. My arthritic old thumbs need rest, and so do I. Just past 12:30 here on the West Coast.

 

DE SOTO, let me leave you with some pictures of and from my unrestored, original 1927 Cadillac sedan running just a few miles from you.The parking spot reserved for me only 😏, is at the local AACA meeting for the Santa Barbara area. I would love to tell you about the time I took the Old San Marcos road down from the Cold Spring Tavern in this old thing at dusk, Easter three years ago. If you or the owner would like to call me, I don't think it will be a waste of your time.   -  Carl, 206-790-6912. Might take several tries, I am going to sleep late, or leave message.

 

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Edited by C Carl
A little clean up after proof reading (see edit history)
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I hope my comments won't be too far off topic, but here goes.

In regards to the braking ability of most pre-1930 automobiles? People fear mechanical brakes because they do not understand them. Basic physics, weight of vehicle, two wheel brakes or four wheel brakes, and the relative footprint and condition of the tires dictate maximum braking ability and stopping distances at what speeds. Size and material types of the drums and shoes or bands have some lesser effects, and mostly affect the required amount of pedal pressure needed to make a stop. The most common problem with mechanical brakes is that most people do not understand the relationship of the various levers, cams, and other mechanical components of the system. PROPERLY adjusted, mechanical brakes can work very well. 

As an example, when I bought the 1915 Studebaker I used to have, the service brake could not stop the car from 20 mph in less than about a hundred yards (YIKES and DOUBLE YIKES!). A quick examination of the brake linkages revealed that their adjustment was atrocious, in part due to an incorrect brake rod that was a bit too short. A quick modification to the short rod, and a hour of adjustment, and the car would lock both rear wheels with only light pressure on the pedal. With only two wheel brakes on that car, it wasn't going to make you feel like it had four wheel power assisted disc brakes. But from 20 mph, it would stop in only slightly more than twenty feet. Definitely something I could live with.

(As a clarification? Both those stopping distance tests were going on a very slight down hill. If I had gone the other direction? One could have just pushed in the clutch and stopped in somewhat over fifty feet.)

 

As for the Cadillac in question? If I were ten to twenty years younger, not nearly as broke as I now am, and didn't have a half dozen projects already that need restoring (two of which I am working on!)? I would love to give $4000 for that Cadillac. But as things are right now, I won't live long enough to do more than half the project cars I now have. But then I always was a bit crazy and a sucker for large '20s sedans.

 

For whatever it is worth? I hope a good home can be found for this car.

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GregLaR,

 

From my perspective, in the collector car market, like in virtually all collectible arenas, value arises almost exclusively from supply versus demand considerations.

 

High demand combined with low supply results in high value. And conversely, low demand combined with high supply results in low value. The changing values of collector cars over the years come about because of changes in these two factors. For collector cars, it's the demand side that changes the most over time. The supply side is reasonably stable.

 

Claiming a four-door sedan is less desirable is just another way of saying there is less demand for four-door sedans in the marketplace, with no other nuances implied.

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On ‎1‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 2:42 PM, John_S_in_Penna said:

.  I think it is accurate to say that the

number of projects available FAR exceeds the number of people

with the ability and bank account to restore them.

When walking the Hershey swap meet or for that mater any swap meet you see thousands of parts for sale. I often wonder how many of these parts for sale will ever find a car to go on and what will happen to the rest of them 20 or so years from now. Or are my early cars going to follow the Beany Baby market and cost of an early car be much more reasonable to restore for the Millennial generation.

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On ‎1‎/‎5‎/‎2019 at 10:47 AM, CarlLaFong said:

So many look at a car, like this one, and start thinking of astronomical restoration costs. This could be a car not to restore. If it is solid and complete, it is a good candidate to "fix up". Get it running and safe, toss some Mexican blankets on the seats, repair the body as much as time and talent allows, rent a compressor and get a Harbor Freight gun and shoot some tractor paint on it and drive it

I'm kind of with you on that one. 

 

Make it run, drive it, enjoy it, and become attached to it, and in the interim, gather 'nicer' parts at swap meets, etc., over time, along the way.  And even get the seats reupholstered one at a time, and at each succeeding car show, the progress will get noticed.  That way, it can gradually be improved/restored while being a nice driver at the same time.

 

Craig

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Posted (edited)
On ‎1‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 7:42 AM, Joe in Canada said:

When walking the Hershey swap meet or for that mater any swap meet you see thousands of parts for sale. I often wonder how many of these parts for sale will ever find a car to go on and what will happen to the rest of them 20 or so years from now. Or are my early cars going to follow the Beany Baby market and cost of an early car be much more reasonable to restore for the Millennial generation.

 

Its not just the parts at swap meets, but rather all the hundreds of tons of parts that the owners don't bother to haul to swap meets because they probably won't sell.  The swap meet parts are for the most part the shiny bits and bobs that people figure will sell.  Often at home is a much larger stash of old car parts, as often as not all the heavy, dirty , large and awkward stuff. These parts will sometimes sell to friends and others that know about them, however few people drag a bunch of 1920's / 30's, non-Ford mechanical parts out more than once or twice. 

 When the owner ultimately leaves the hobby one way or another , these parts are frequently scrapped as no one other than the person who collected or dismantled the parts cars knows what they fit.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Wow C Carl, your Cadillac is the same color combo as mine. I wish my car looked like yours but it's been sitting under a tarp since before WW2 so who knows if the car will still hold together if I try and move it. Mine is a big 7 passenger limo with a divider window. 26 model as I recall. I have the title somewhere to confirm but I do believe it's a 26.

 

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On 1/5/2019 at 2:36 PM, MCHinson said:

............if you want to help them sell the car, it is vitally important to take good quality photos that show the car and all parts that have been removed from the car but which are included in the sale. The current photos just are not sufficient to attract the best offer or even give a fair representation of the car's condition.

 

We are at a point here where we ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS CAR. There is a possibility that the existing interior can and actually SHOULD be used as is and preserved. Looking across the front seat, even the drivers side MAY still be totally intact  !! Well then, IS IT ? AND WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE INTERIOR ? All hardware seems to be present WHERE YOU CAN KINDA' SEE IT. What about the structural wood ? What about the wood spokes ? AND HOW WELL DID IT RUN ; HOW RECENTLY ?

 

DE SOTO has been here on AACA forums for a good long time. From reading his postings, I see that he is experienced, and a strong and able gentleman. A true credit to our wonderful group, he is giving of his valuable time to find a purpose for this Rip Van Winkle soon to be a centenarian. Project, or donor to the V63 gene pool, hopefully the former. DE SOTO is about the age - HAPPY BIRTHDAY DE SOTO, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU !!  - a child of mine would have been if Trudi had had her way with (sorry - I was just interrupted by some guy who needed my credit card number in order to lower my interest rate -  I'm back now) me over 1/2 century ago. Someone his age, or, better yet, the age of a child of his if he started a family at the same age as my dear still great close friend Trudi did. I have a hunch that somewhere in the span of that age bracket, lurks a would-be delighted, ambitious candidate to hone his skills on this. These are unusually well made, well designed cars. The V8 engine really came into its own with the V63. The world's first inherently balanced V8. It is also a beefed up iteration of the Leland V8 after having had 10 years of production and evolution. I believe over 160,000 V8 Cads had been built before this milestone car got the fork and blade V8 dead nuts right. The huge brakes even have an effective primitive mechanical ABS system in which the outside front brake will not actuate if the brakes are applied in a turn ! Let's see : did I mention that I love V63 Cadillacs? 

 

With the active Southern California AACA, and contributions from us here, I would hope a really able, worthy next owner is within reach. BUT WE ARE DEAD IN THE WATER until DE SOTO has some spare time after his special day today.  Eagerly waiting,   -  Cadillac Carl 

 

 

P.S. Your big 7 passenger limo is DEFINITELY a 1926, by the built-in the fenders battery and tool boxes. Please give me a call regarding the car.  Thanks,  -  CC. 206-790-6912 

 

 

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On 1/5/2019 at 11:24 AM, John_Mereness said:

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Thanks, John, for the photo of what once was. I do not have any Cadillac sales brochures, but I don't think this is a plain 5-Pass. Sedan. With the canted oval windows and landau bars, it would have been "The New 5-Passenger Landau for $3835" they were advertising when it came out. It might be possible to clean it up and offer it at the new price some day[down or up from there depending on condition/mechanicals/wood]. They did have very good engines.

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