Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Cadillac is almost a century old, and the seller claims that through all those years it has not been restored, only maintained. Let’s see if this classic’s price will restore your faith in the Cadillac brand.
In his song “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain injected one of his favourite partygoer lines as part of the chorus: “Here we are now, entertain us.” That’s a cheeky demand, but it makes total sense. If you’re throwing a party, you’re going to be expected to make it a good time for your guests.
In a similar vein, the seller of yesterday’s 2004 Audi S4 Avant asked $US15,000 ($21,191) for the car, and that was with a broken a/c compressor and a sometimes broken sunroof switch. Many of you felt it incumbent upon the seller to fix those failings, given the expectation that the car should command a strong price. The seller hadn’t, and you weren’t having it, which resulted in the car losing in a 72 per cent No Dice loss.
That Audi’s mechanical issues, minor as they are, were especially egregious considering that conveniences such as air-conditioning or power accessories are a given in almost any modern car. This has been the case for so long that some of us may not even remember when such niceties were not provided as standard equipment. Fewer still will have been around long enough to have known a time when they were not available at all.
Packard was the first automaker to offer factory-installed air-con, debuting the feature with its 1940 models. The company offered the first powered window winders as well, bringing that feature to market the following year.
Considering it is 16 years older than either of those innovations, you can expect today’s 1924 Cadillac V-63 Sedan to provide neither of those conveniences. That’s not to say this wasn’t intended to be a luxury automobile. It’s just that the idea of what comprised luxury was a very different thing back then.
What this classic — and classy — Caddy does have as a bona fide element of its upper-crust status is a 5.1 litre V8 nestled under its dog house hood. Cadillac pioneered the use of V8 engines in 1914, and by 1924 began offering its true V8 rather than just two four-cylinders joined at the crankshaft. That was by way of an innovative split-plane crank that replaced the previous generation’s single-plane component. This led to the 61kW L-head V8 being one of the smoothest on the market.
The 1924 model year also saw the introduction of front-wheel brakes, making the car surer and safer on the road with the more powerful engine.
This V-63 Sedan is claimed in its ad to be a well-preserved survivor, having never been restored. The elegant Fisher-designed body wraps around a five-seat interior and is topped with a full landau roof with faux convertible bars on the rearmost pillars.
The ad notes that the fabric top appears to have been replaced at some point in the car’s life. The original paint would have been lacquer-based, and if this car has escaped any resprays over its near-century of existence then that’s what it’s wearing at present. It’s an elegant black, which I think in most people’s minds is appropriate for pretty much any fine automobile of this era.
That’s all complemented by two-piece wheels with real wooden spokes and amazing wide-whitewall Firestone tires. Generous running boards connect the arching fenders, making a perfect platform for your next bank robbery getaway. The Caddy wears antique registration and appears to have a clean title.
The interior is awash in burgundy velour and solid brass trim. The footboard for the rear-seat passengers is intact, as is the wood trim that caps the doorsills and pillars. Wood also serves as the medium for the four-spoke steering wheel which carries levers for spark advance and fuel flow. Aside from some droopy door pockets and a bit of wear on the side of the front bench, it all seems to be in solid shape. Privacy shades offer an additional bit of luxury and decadence, but if you were to roll around in this Caddy today, I’m sure you’d want to be seen.
Of course, when this V-63 was new, most luxury-car buyers weren’t planning on driving themselves. In that era, one of the most conspicuous expressions of wealth was to be driven, and many cars were designed to separate the rich from the poor with a physical barrier between driver and passengers. We see that today primarily in limousines, but at the time this Caddy was new, the well-to-do would frequently employ a chauffeur, even without the barrier, as driving was often risky, dirty work.
Now that I think about it, “chauffeur” totally sounds like a word that Snoop Dog made up. Not only that, but I’m sure that most of us would much rather drive this Caddy than just sit in the back seat passively derogating the mediocrity of the suburban landscape it passes through.
For anyone to do that, however, there’s the small matter of the car’s $US18,000 ($25,429) asking price. What do you think, is this nonagenarian Caddy worth that kind of money? Or, for that much would you expect restored, not just maintained?
H/T to steveone for the hookup!