Faded Glory – 1964 Cadillac Sedan de Ville

While I’ve never owned a floaty boat of a car like a Cadillac, Lincoln, or Chrysler, I’ve long been curious about the other side of the fence. Nobody expects taut suspension and easy parking in this genre, but mid-century luxury cars evoke a certain style and a period when people aspired to American luxury, instead of the current day British, German and Japanese leaders. And as leaders, Cadillac offered some futuristic equipment including power seats, locks, and mirrors, fully automatic heating and air conditioning, front cornering lamps, and dual speed wipers. Luxury features included a 340hp engine, optional wood interior veneers, and leather or wool seats. They also had the (relatively) stark look of mid-1960s GM cars, with cleaner, less ornate styling as also seen in cars like the contemporary Buick Riviera and Oldsmobile Toronado. Today’s 1964 Sedan de Ville is available for $3300 in South Lake Tahoe, CA.

1964 Cadillac Sedan deVille from above

Being a 1964, this car seems to have the cleanest styling of the 1961-1964 cars. There’s actually something unusual about this in that mostly the earlier version of a car is the cleanest and hews most closely to the designer’s vision, but in this case the earlier cars are more fiddly-looking, and the mid-1960s influence has reversed that. For example, notice the center bar of the grill continues around the corners of the car and down the sides. The side panel sculpturing was completely eliminated, and the fins were also trimmed down.

1964 Cadillac Sedan deVille left rear

This particular car has been in the South Lake Tahoe area for at least the last 30 years, so you can expect relatively little rust since the roads are not salted in winter. And while there are some minor dents, there is no visible perforation on the body. It generally looks quite straight, although the tailpipe is a little wonky and will need sorting. Seller says everything is pretty much original.

1964 Cadillac Sedan deVille right front

Another great thing about this period of American sedans is the pillarless styling. Roll down the windows and you’ll see what this does for the look – it’s much like a convertible with the top up, and also recalls pre-war phaetons. The long, low styling is also a warning – make sure your garage will accommodate a car that’s 18 1/2 feet long!

1964 Cadillac Sedan deVille interior

As you can see, the interior has some needs – from the picture of the back seat on the listing, you can see moisture damage to the rear seats. The front seats are covered with a nasty bench seat cover, so the first thing you might want to do is source some kind of improvement. However, the interior looks complete, and the often-cracked steering wheel is in decent shape. Can you picture some big lights, a flat black hood and raised suspension on this? Or would you stick to the stock look? Try this car out and change up your rally experiences!

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