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1937 Cadillac 70 lowering the top


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As some of you know,  I purchased a driver quality 1937 Cadillac 70 Series Fleetwood convertible sedan last year. The time has finally come when I want to think about putting the top down.  The question here is does anyone have instructions or know how to do it? My concern is the top assembly is composed of a bunch of brittle looking (and rare) die cast parts that, if broken,  would be horrible to replace.  One thought I have is taking the car down to Larder's Upholstery (about 45 minutes away) and just pay him a couple hours of labor to show me how it works. Any advice would be appreciated.  

20210405_184746.jpg

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It probably isn't any different from any other GM convertible sedan of the period. It is always helpful to have a buddy to help you out. Just move things gently and slowly and don't let it ever hang by itself without being supported by a person and you should be fine. I always start by releasing the windshield header and then just tilting it back. Sometimes it helps to stand in the back seat area to help fold it into the well. The back half should just fold that way. It's the front half that might take some looking and investigating as you fold. I bet there's a joint somewhere above the front side windows that folds inward rather than back. Also look for additional latches--if it doesn't seem to want to move, look for some kind of latch or turnbuckle that might help hold things in place, or a thumb screw of some kind. 

 

It shouldn't be difficult, and after you see how it folds it'll be a piece of cake. Just go slowly, don't put any pressure on the top frame, and if it starts to bind or hang, pull it back up and look for a hidden latch or source of the binding. 

 

Regular folks managed this back when it was new, you as a conscientious hobbyist will easily be able to figure it out. Just take your time!

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AJ has experience with Cadillac tops. Drive the car 55 mph with the top unlatched, and let the wind do the work for you. Worked for him on our V-16 Cadillac........should work ok for a V-8 also.

Be sure ALL doors are open all the way............sometimes they need the clearance to roll backwards. 

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I suspect that this top mechanism is the same as my 1937 Roadmaster 80C. I could not initially figure it out. I called a friend who owned one and had him explain it to me. Since mine had apparently not been down in about 50 years, I also applied some solvent to all of the pivot points, slightly loosened the nuts on the pivot points that had nuts on them, and then waited until the next day to lower the top. You have to unsnap/unzip the rear window before you fold the top back. 

 

In addition to the three attachment points at the windshield frame, you have some more stuff to do before you can fold the top. You need to remove the "B" pillars, which are attached at both thetop and bottom with large wing nuts. There are also removable sections of the top frame that go over the rear windows and are attached by one wing nut on each side. You have to remove those wing unts and pivot the front edge of those frame sections down to remove them. (They are attached at the rear by two pins). After you pivot them down, you can pull them out. Until you remove those sections, you will never fold the rest of the foldable frame back. This photo shows one side's worth of the pieces you have to remove before you can fold the top frame.   

DSC_0889.JPG

Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, edinmass said:

AJ has experience with Cadillac tops. Drive the car 55 mph with the top unlatched, and let the wind do the work for you. Worked for him on our V-16 Cadillac........should work ok for a V-8 also.

Be sure ALL doors are open all the way............sometimes they need the clearance to roll backwards. 


You are a funny boy. Stupid me to think a 7 figure car would roll of the trailer with the top up but not latched.  I learned the hard way.

 

As for the convertible sedan, I’m guessing that is a careful two man job.

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I also forgot to mention, look carefully for all of the snaps on the top. After you think you have unsnapped all of them, you will probably find a few you missed. 

 

Also, I folded mine down by myself, but it would be easier with two people. As I recall, I started in the front seat, moved a bit side to side, and eventually ended up standing in the rear floor to fold it all the way back. 

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:


You are a funny boy. Stupid me to think a 7 figure car would roll of the trailer with the top up but not latched.  I learned the hard way.

 

As for the convertible sedan, I’m guessing that is a careful two man job.


 

My only regret was I wasn’t there to see it! 😜
 

On the positive side......it wasn’t your car.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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