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Is the 1941 Cadillac Series 61 a Full Classic now?


Matt Harwood
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The most recent issue of "The Classic Car" (Winter 2021) shows a nice 1941 Cadillac Series 61 sedan as a first prize winner at the Upper Midwest Region Grand Classic. I didn't realize these were Full Classics now--were they added with the Buick 70 Series Roadmasters? The list on the website is updated as of 11/2020 and doesn't list the Cadillac 61, but perhaps that has changed? It'd be nice if they'd keep the website up to date.

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It’s my understanding they were added along with the later LaSalles. More junk cars that have no business being in the CCCA..........it’s way too late to save the exclusivity of the club..........hell, why don’t they let in a Ford T........

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4 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

The most recent issue of "The Classic Car" (Winter 2021) shows a nice 1941 Cadillac Series 61 sedan as a first prize winner at the Upper Midwest Region Grand Classic. I didn't realize these were Full Classics now--were they added with the Buick 70 Series Roadmasters? The list on the website is updated as of 11/2020 and doesn't list the Cadillac 61, but perhaps that has changed? It'd be nice if they'd keep the website up to date.

I have noted other discrepancies from the CCCA website list of Approved Classics. If that list isn’t the authoritative final document, someone at the leadership level needs to reflect on the issue and fix it.  I have some experience at website relevance of larger organizations. I’m guessing it is not the webmaster‘s fault. They only change content when directed to do so.

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The series 70 Buick Roadmaster cars were added as full classics when I was a member of the CCCA Board and on the selection committee. The Roadmaster shares the same engine, trans, trim( grille, lamps etc) as the series 90 Limited , Bodies ( at least in 1940 and 41) on the open cars are the same as series 62 Cadillac.  Only really thing different was the chassis. A lot of research was done when considering the Roadmaster to be a classic . At the time the series 61 Cadillac being a "full " classic ( as opposed to perhaps a 60% one??) was discussed at length , several times over a period of years its status was brought up and every time it was denied classic status. Great cars, but not up to level . Now they are. Hummmm wonder what changed ? the cars didn't .

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50 minutes ago, Walt G said:

"full " classic ( as opposed to perhaps a 60% one??)

 

I got a good chuck out of that one. Been laughing at the term since they spent a lot of money to copyright it. I fail to understand why they didn't just use CCCA Classic.

 

In any event, I know the vote to accept the series 61 Cadillacs and LaSalles was NOT unanimous. I think the rule passed by one vote.

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Yes West,  My last few lines says it all - All this was discussed years ago, facts and period material proven what was and what wasn't at length. What changed? My guess is that membership in CCCA needs a boost and that the thought was perhaps if those cars were deemed 'rolling finery' then people that owned them would join and add to the declining membership . Now lets see if it works. There are other ways to boost membership and pay the $ to join, need some creative thinking . Hope that happens before it is to late.

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So I guess I should start lobbying for my '41 Century to become a Full Classic. If they let the 70 Series Roadmaster in on the assumption that since the Series 62 Cadillac was a Full Classic and the Buick used the same bodies and was more powerful, now that the Series 61 is on the list I guess the Century should be, too.

 

The CCCA has certainly lost its way. Feh.

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Pretty sad.  I generally don’t buy the “slippery slope” argument but it clearly applies in this case.   The original sin was the Cadillac series 62.  Presumably because people want an easy tour car. Once that opened the door, it allowed others to lobby for similar cars, each farther and farther from the original intention of the founders.  
 

I have said this before, Classic Era Car Club of America.  

 

Mecum just sold a 1940 60 special for $14k.  If you want to join the activities of the club, you can do so with a sub $20k car already.  I don’t believe this will add to the membership, but will alienate the membership that has the “real” classics.  
 

https://www.mecum.com/lots/FL0122-485956/1940-cadillac-series-60/

 

Edited by Cadillac Fan (see edit history)
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My lawn mower cost almost 30k.........John Deere 33hp. Makes a nice little Caddy look cheap.

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Whether or not one views it as a "sin," the CCCA is now trying to draw and redraw a line somewhere in a gray zone.  Tough job.  Since the Cadillac 61 is essentially the "41 LaSalle,", it brings in the later LaSalles.  I don't see how the Packard 120 will be far behind.  Then the LaSalles not using Cadillac engines.  The Buick Century.  Lincoln Zephyr.  Which Hudsons?  Olds 98?

 

Postwar expansions?  If the 46-7 Packard 356 and the Lincoln Continental are OK, why not the 48-50 Packard Custom 8?  Then the clamor for the V8 Cadillac starts.  Imperial with hemi?

 

In my opinion, the CCCA would see more membership from considering its practices and events, rather than expanding the car list indefinitely.  Most events are not very compatible with limited time or budget.

 

Kudos to CCCA for holding the line on highly modified cars.

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When I was still a CCCA member, to the discussion regarding broadening the cars receiving "Full Classic" Status, I suggested rather than compromise, they should create a separate classification: "Worthy Contemporaries".   It would be the list of cars with 85%-99% of the qualities and content of the 'Classics'.  As such, they might participate in tours and be displayed but not included in the judging or awards.   I never heard that stone splash into the water in that bottomless well...

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Sure, one can buy a “Full Classic” for 20k or less, then find out that to go on a Caravan with the club, a week’s tour will cost half of that.  CCCA didn’t used to be friendly to families with kids, either, don’t know if that’s changed.  My last experiences with the club haven’t been encouraging.  I registered, admittedly just under deadline, for the Grand Classic at Gettysburg a few years ago, when the list of cars came out in magazine mine wasn’t listed.  Talked to editor of magazine, thinking maybe car could be mentioned in next issue, I was basically told who gives a wratsass since it was just a production Pierce….

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I just joined the CCCA. As an younger member (just turned 40), and the owner of a Packard 120, I hope they DON'T make the 120 a full classic. To me, owning a full CCCA classic is an old car bucket list item; something to save up for and ponder, then start the hunt when I'm ready.


I love my 120, but I understand it's not the same!

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5 hours ago, trimacar said:

Sure, one can buy a “Full Classic” for 20k or less, then find out that to go on a Caravan with the club, a week’s tour will cost half of that.  CCCA didn’t used to be friendly to families with kids, either, don’t know if that’s changed.  My last experiences with the club haven’t been encouraging.  I registered, admittedly just under deadline, for the Grand Classic at Gettysburg a few years ago, when the list of cars came out in magazine mine wasn’t listed.  Talked to editor of magazine, thinking maybe car could be mentioned in next issue, I was basically told who gives a wratsass since it was just a production Pierce….

 

The most recent annual meeting down in Florida was a good example. Sure, beautiful setting and beautiful cars, but the hotel was $1800 a night! Even with the rather generous subsidy that our region pays to send a representative to the annual meeting, it would have only covered one night--no airfare, no meals, no activities, no field trips, just one night's sleep at The Breakers. And the annual meeting is supposed to be the event that brings in leadership from all the regions to discuss new ideas and moving the club forward. It should be accessible, don't you think?

 

But no, it was just another rich people farkfest. I'm curious how long they spent scratching their heads at the board meeting in the ballroom at The Breakers wondering why those gosh-darned young people just aren't showing up to CCCA events now that they're letting the "cheap" cars in.

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Matt......95 percent of the people paid 315 a night.........special rate that sold out fast. Since a family class hotel in town is 200 a night, the Breakers was a bargain at 315. That said, everything today is expensive and getting worse. Salaries aren’t keeping up with inflation. My area here is ridiculous. Then again, so is Disney World. I can fly to Cleveland for 80 bucks round trip..........so I’m inclined to take my time off away from Florida. Like the AACA annual meeting, round trip direct tickets were 39 bucks...........hell, now the rental car and hotels will be the only real expense, and we can control that fairly easy. 

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7 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Matt......95 percent of the people paid 315 a night.........special rate that sold out fast. Since a family class hotel in town is 200 a night, the Breakers was a bargain at 315. That said, everything today is expensive and getting worse. Salaries aren’t keeping up with inflation. My area here is ridiculous. Then again, so is Disney World. I can fly to Cleveland for 80 bucks round trip..........so I’m inclined to take my time off away from Florida. Like the AACA annual meeting, round trip direct tickets were 39 bucks...........hell, now the rental car and hotels will be the only real expense, and we can control that fairly easy. 

Ed, Even at $315 per night, that is not going to attract too many younger folks. As you know, for the past year, I have owned a car that qualifies as a CCCA Full Classic. Nothing that I have heard about the CCCA makes me think there is any reason for me to join the club.  Expanding the list of cars in a misguided attempt to attract more membership, is only going to alienate the existing members, without attracting any substantial increase in new members. Continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result has never worked out too well for any organization.     

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I agree that even at 315 a night the event gets beyond people quickly.  A few nights there, getting there, meals, parking and so forth…and a few thousand just to start.  I understand that the Classic car club should be exclusive,but did you know there were over a MILLION cars produced which could be classified as Classics, and that was before the year and model watering down of requirements.  Not conjecture, was an article in their own magazine.

 

If the CCCA wants to survive, it needs to make events accessible and affordable.  It won’t, though, it’s an uppity club which won’t change its ways, even at the risk of becoming a footnote in the history of failed clubs.It’s just a matter of time…in my opinion…

 

 

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Yup.....315 a night isn’t going to get the under thirty crowd...........I get it. I also think they let way too many crappy cars in the club since 1984.........and it’s isn’t helping in any way. So many things are changing in the hobby...........hell, a good tow rig is INSANELY expensive today. It’s going to make the smaller and earlier cars become much more attractive. Something you can haul with a F150 is going to be much easier to deal with than a C-12 Packard seven passenger. It will all work itself out........biggest short term problem is that the hobby is changing faster than us old dinosaurs can adapt. And many don’t want to experience change. 

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My best friend, an early car affecionado, (spelling), says never buy a car you can’t push by yourself.  A lot of truth in that.  If you don’t want to drive them to get to a tour or show, then, as Ed states, big bucks for a proper tow rig.  And, cost goes higher as car gets heavier and harder to push….

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On 1/17/2022 at 8:05 PM, trimacar said:

My best friend, an early car affecionado, (spelling), says never buy a car you can’t push by yourself.  A lot of truth in that.  

David that is the sales slogan for a local dealer here in CT who specializes in LBCs - Little British Cars. 😁

Following this thread as a fan of Classics and have a few friends who have them.  AJ recently sent a suggestion my way and my first thought was "Oh my, it's big.  Where can I put this thing where it would fit" 😁😁 Then of course the sorting process.. 

FWIW I think the expansion strategy is very short sighted for many reasons. Most old schoolers (no argument, I get it) likely wont accept many of these cars so where does that leave the hapless new owner/member after a couple of lonely outings with the club?  Likely a one termer.  Everyone loses together at least.

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On 1/17/2022 at 11:16 AM, bryankazmer said:

In my opinion, the CCCA would see more membership from considering its practices and events, rather than expanding the car list indefinitely.  Most events are not very compatible with limited time or budget.

 

 

Yup. That's it in a nutshell. Every car they add to the list does absolutely nothing in regard to increasing membership. Registration fees for tours is astronomical, as David Coco pointed out. It's okay to have an exclusive club, just don't complain that your membership is dwindling.

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On 1/17/2022 at 5:14 PM, Matt Harwood said:

The most recent annual meeting down in Florida was a good example. Sure, beautiful setting and beautiful cars, but the hotel was $1800 a night!

For someone from Canada, that works out to $2255 a night at the current exchange rate!!  

 

I am also assuming that figure does NOT include taxes.

 

Craig

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/17/2022 at 7:14 PM, Matt Harwood said:

 

The most recent annual meeting down in Florida was a good example. Sure, beautiful setting and beautiful cars, but the hotel was $1800 a night! Even with the rather generous subsidy that our region pays to send a representative to the annual meeting, it would have only covered one night--no airfare, no meals, no activities, no field trips, just one night's sleep at The Breakers. And the annual meeting is supposed to be the event that brings in leadership from all the regions to discuss new ideas and moving the club forward. It should be accessible, don't you think?

 

But no, it was just another rich people farkfest. I'm curious how long they spent scratching their heads at the board meeting in the ballroom at The Breakers wondering why those gosh-darned young people just aren't showing up to CCCA events now that they're letting the "cheap" cars in.

Exactly why I've not joined. As a younger collector(50s) and by a stroke of luck, the owner a fairly rare and "actual" full classic, my research and many invites to join have yet to unearth any real benefits of being a member. I'm still a working man and even if I could afford to go to one of these overpriced events I still wouldn't due to having a real hard time justifying it. Sadly for the club, this will translate to my children who will also see no value in the club as they get older and inherit my collection. I suspect there are A LOT of others like me in the same boat. Pricing club events for the top elite only and then adding low end cars just to try and collect dues tells me the leaders are clueless and the club is circling the bowl.

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So what Cadillacs are eligible for CCCA? Last time I looked the formatting on the website was a bit funny so I couldn’t tell what was and wasn’t supposed to be there

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I suppose that I will irritate those negative folks, with facts, but here are a few:

 

1. The posted rate for that hotel was about $1800 per night and the hotel was sold out .........

but for CCCA members the actual rate was $325. Not sure how many car clubs get that

nice deal for their members. The only people who paid more simply didn't bother to register timely.

2. The folks that arranged for the other events that occurred during that event, like a great boat trip,

visits to great private collections, did so for free. Last time I checked, travel agents and tour guides

usually charge for their services.

3. Yes the tours cost money. The club usually works hard to get discount rates (see above). Many

people don't have that much vacation time, so when they do go on a tour they like to stay in at least middle

range places. It also costs a lot to go to Disney World or wherever else you chose to go. But, for some reason

some folks expect CCCA tour rates to be as they were in 1970.

4. I am not an official or officer of the club. I am a dues paying member. About 15 years ago my wife and I did

our first tour. We knew no one and came home with 25 new friends. In the years since, we have gone on many

tours visiting places that we would never have seen and being guests at incredible collections and other

impossible to get in places. These tours were carefully planned by others, working for free, so that we could

enjoy wonderful trips.

 

If being negative, expecting something for nothing is your thing please do not join. If you love cars (any cars),

treasure friendships and love to visit beautiful places in this country.........please join. We will welcome you

with open arms.

 

Johnny

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As far as the annual meet goes............A tourist class hotel in my town in West Palm Beach is 299 a night, and they are sold out for months ahead of time..........thats a Hampden Inn folks.............this area in Florida is VERY EXPENSIVE......that said, 325 for the Breakers is FREE. Try Orlando and the Disney World........you will drop 2k a day per person for a good time and decent hotel. There are areas of Florida that are affordable............but if you want to see world class collections and visit Mar-A-Lago, it's not going to be cheap. People complain about the Gilmore Museum being in the middle of nowhere. I think it's a great place.......fantastic driving roads, easy in and out of Detroit flights for cheap money......hotels are very reasonable.....it's all in your attitude. Pebble is insane......but with some good information, it can be done for less money than you think. I now have my Pebble routine down...........and I don't vary from it. Same restaurants, same place to stay, ect.......... if you think things are expensive in the last year......wait for the next four years, you haven't seen anything yet. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Well, my 1939 LaSalle 4 Door Sedan is now a CCCA Classic. Does that mean it just doubled in value??

 

1592197467_LaSalleoutforaspin.jpg.784b79f44d2bef5bd0260ba6a55c2cad.jpg

On 1/10/2022 at 5:35 PM, edinmass said:

More junk cars that have no business being in the CCCA..

I do take exception to Ed's comment as it is a great driving car but figured his point was probably meant as "the more common cars" which I would agree with.

 

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On 4/9/2022 at 8:37 AM, edinmass said:

People complain about the Gilmore Museum being in the middle of nowhere. I think it's a great place.......fantastic driving roads, easy in and out of Detroit flights for cheap money

Yes, there have been some grumbling /comments here regarding CCCA and the cost to partake in events  - are you welcomed and to what extent. Both views great and not so great I understand. I was a member for over 4 decades , in that time I contributed to the club magazine on a regular basis ( nearly all issues) I did attend events , especially after I was elected to the national board twice ( I also helped start one of the regions, acted as the mediary with a federal historic site to have a CCCA annual regional meet at the location etc) . When a health issue arose I was asked to resign by the then CCCA President because I could not attend some meetings in person . That told me you need to be healthy to belong to CCCA.

Regarding the Gilmore Museum complex. I think it is wonderful , but as I stated elsewhere it is pretty remote to get to. The Detroit airport is 140 miles east so is at least a 2 hour drive +  and the scenery although interesting  is a flat plan and can become a bit monotonous.  You can fly into Kalamazoo /Battle Creek airport from Detroit ( 1 hour +) but no matter what you need to rent a car to get to the Gilmore complex. This is not a complaint nor a put down just fact. Been there done that several times.

Current CCCA President is a friend as are some of the board members but each administration changes its attitude and decorum, it is bound to and that is fact. It is what it is , I hope all who attend CCCA events have a wonderful time like I once did.

Edited by Walt G (see edit history)
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