The Whale Series – Cadillac Couple

In the last few years (maybe with increasing wisdom age) I’ve started to see the appeal in pre-70s Cadillacs. They seem to have been built before a time where the accountants held the reins at GM, before the badge-engineering phase, and when Cadillacs were something you aspired to instead of laughed at from the wheel of your Euro-mobile. In the last few years they’ve regained some of their appeal, but to find a rusty-but-trusty candidate you really have to reach back into the sixties. Which, as I found, is pretty hard to do since anything that’s not just a project is at the higher end of the price range of cars I like to feature. Both the cars featured today are late 60s cars, a design period which is often overshadowed by the more garish Cadillacs of the 50s and early 60s, but these have their own sort of understated, simpler elegance.

First in this two-fer is this 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham in St. Petersburg, FL. I normally stay away from eastern cars just because the likelihood of rust is that much greater, and sure enough, this one has a few spots here and there. But on this car you still get the elegant stacked headlights and pillarless bodystyle. It does need a bit of work to revive it, as it’s been stored for 6 years, but the seller implies through his comments on the brakes that the car is driveable. Clearly, you’d want to look into the quality of his restoration, but since he did it himself he should be able to comment on the work done. For a Cadillac of the period, these have minimal chrome and a really tidy design.

1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham

Second is this 1967 Cadillac Eldorado in Fullerton, CA, which I appreciate for the same reasons mentioned for the Olds Toronado. This car was based on the same platform, had sub-9-second 0-60 acceleration, and got favorable reviews on its handling when it came out. Honestly, I’d be pretty careful piloting this nose-heavy car through a corner the first time out, but that’s not really what Cadillacs are for anyway. Check out the knife-edge styling, clean without too much chrome adornment, and the red/white coloring, while not to everyone’s taste, is stunning and just about right for this car. My own choice, as with the car above, would be black on black, if for nothing else than to make it look smaller.

1967 Cadillac Eldorado

Having never driven one of these older boats, I’d be interested in hearing from you what it’s like. The closest I’ve ever come is a ’72 Mustang or a ’95 Crown Vic rental in Hawaii, but I’d imagine this is a whole different feeling. Let me know!

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4 Responses to “The Whale Series – Cadillac Couple”

  1. Aaron Says:

    About 10 years ago a friend of mine almost bought a black-on-black 68 Cadillac executive limo. That car redefined Land Yacht. It had the excesses you’d expect: dual air conditioner units, wet bar, roll-up screen, electric EVERYTHING, and the big 502 motor. I think it was 23 feet long, which was probably also how far it would travel on a gallon of gas.

  2. Chris Keen Says:

    Wet bar and a/c, both items that would be fantastic to have handy while working on the car. All you’d need is wireless and you could plan out your next repair.

  3. Jeff B. Says:

    Oh dear…Driving impressions? My parents had a similar Oldsmobile back in the day – and it was crazy to drive. I think it’s what scarred me into my love of small cars! While straight-line acceleration was indeed impressive for it’s SIZE, God forbid you need to make a sharp turn. The term “wallow” was invented as a descriptive term for these cars. It felt like you were about to bounce off the road, hubcaps a-flyin’. Comfortable to cruise in – so perhaps good for a cross country stint on major highways. I just got cold sweats thinking about driving one of these on some of CA’s twisty mountain roads! Yikes!

  4. lgbpop Says:

    Just came across this, nice write-up. Driving either of these today will make you think of Novocaine, yet for their day they were considered an improvement over the Caddies produced just five years before. The contemporary Chrysler products actually did handle well, in comparison. The unnerving thing about these barges is they were FAST. Not like an AMX, but faster than you’d expect for their sheer mass. Surely almost too fast for the brakes they relied upon for stopping.

    An interesting aside, while I’m reminiscing…during the mid- to late-Sixties, the head of the Buick Division was intent upon moving his marque’s prestige factor into Lincoln’s altitude, which necessitated going head-to-head with Cadillac while doing so. For several years, Buick’s Electra 225 was a nicer car than the Sedan de Ville. By 1970, GM Corporate laid down the law and Buick was told to know its place, which ended an interesting time in Flint. My great-aunt owned a ’69 4-dr sedan (not a hardtop, but the one with the thin B-pillars) and it was just plain elegant.

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