Author Topic: 1957 Coupe de Ville  (Read 207 times)

Offline cappy102

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1957 Coupe de Ville
« on: October 14, 2017, 04:44:48 PM »
Recently I bought my Grandfather’s 1957 Coupe de Ville. The car was purchased new in 1956 from a California dealership (Ted Schuman, Merced CA) and nearly all the paperwork is intact, including the original dealer report of sale.

The car has been sitting since 1995, so there is much work to do. The brake booster was rebuilt this last summer by Ed Strain in Florida. At present I’m getting the parts to rebuild the carburetor, then the master cylinder, and we’ll see what’s next.

Paint has suffered from neglect, but the car has always been garaged, so there is not much rust. Took a clay bar and some polish to a section of the trunk lid, and it really came out well, so hoping to keep original paint (top is #24 Tahoe Blue; body is #20 Orion Blue).

There are questions re: the upholstery. Trim number on the data plate is 42. This is listed as Medium Blue leather with Sahara cloth panels. Haven’t been able to find any lists of swatches for the cloth, but the leather is definitely Medium Blue Metallic.
Exhaust and fuel tank have been replaced, as well as brake shoes. Two wheel cylinders and a set of new brake shoes came with the car, so once I pull the wheels, I’ll know what’s going on there.
Glass is pretty good…one small stone chip in windshield and a cracked vent window.

Have invested a lot of time detailing the engine bay…very unsanitary. It looks like a battery exploded at some point, so there is damage from that. Most of the weather stripping is still soft and pliable, but solid rubber bits are disintegrating.

This car is not running yet. Soon, I hope.
1957 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

Offline cappy102

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Re: 1957 Coupe de Ville-More Pix
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2017, 04:46:27 PM »
Here are some more photos of my project. Interior cleaning/detailing hasn't started yet, so this is how she looks at her worst. Upholstery in back is decent. Up front, it's pretty rough, especially on driver side. Once I get started spiffing up the interior, I'll post some side-by-sides for comparison.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 04:49:37 PM by cappy102 »
1957 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: 1957 Coupe de Ville
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2017, 06:25:44 PM »
Looking at your seat belt routing, I feel the need to point out that the way they are sited, in the event of a crash, your waist will be thrust forward around 6 inches, or even more, as the curved part of the webbing straightens out, lifting up the bottom of the seat back to form a straight line.

Seat belts are a good addition, and save lives, but it is best that they are fitted correctly, and have a direct line through the seat base to the mounting points.

Plus, without seat back restraint clips, the pressure of the seat back hinging forward, will exert even greater pressure on the spine, bending the torso even closer to the steering wheel, dashboard and windscreen, and even more pressure as the torsos of the rear passengers push on the back of the front seat.

Bruce. >:D
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 06:29:34 PM by The Tassie Devil(le) »
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Offline cappy102

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Re: 1957 Coupe de Ville
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 08:40:36 PM »
Thanks for your comments, Bruce.

Yes, the seat belts have been bugging me. They came with the car, and I have no idea who installed them. This project is on my list.

As you know, for some, there is an obsession with originality...(I realize that most shows do not discount for seat belts) I wonder about the restraint clips you mention. Nevertheless, the fact that these seats move forward with little effort is one other thing that's been tripping my safety warning light.

I'm getting close to refurbing the interior, just not quite yet. Breaks from the engine room are always welcome, and I have been anxious to tackle the cabin projects. Still, my first goal is to get the car running. If that goes well, the trans and running gear need testing. If that goes well, a real road test. If that goes well...

1957 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

Offline Mike Josephic CLC #3877

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Re: 1957 Coupe de Ville
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2017, 12:11:07 AM »
Hi Mark:

The interior looks pretty good for an original car!  It's a shame about the
wear on the drivers side front -- but that's to be expected.  Perhaps you can
just pay attention to the front since the rear looks very nice.

A good source for original patterns for upholstery is SMS on the west coast.
You can get free samples and see how well it matches yours:

Another is the old standby, which is who supplied all of my interior, trunk
rugs, etc. for my 1955.  Again, contact them for free samples.  They are
down in North Carolina:

You'll find that original type fabrics are quite expensive, so consider having
a pro at an upholstery shop redo your seat(s).  It's worth the money.  Mine
was all professionally done.  It's all leather in an Eldorado and was expensive.

As far as cleaning fabric, there are many, many kinds of cleaners out there. 
I like a product made by STP Corporation called "Tuff-Stuff".  It is a spray
foam, doesn't hurt the color (it's colorfast) and easy to use.  Being a foam,
it also doesn't soak the seats.   Makes life easier.

Good luck,


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Offline 57shark82

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Re: 1957 Coupe de Ville
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2017, 11:16:13 AM »

Nice 57!

CLC Member #30850

1957 Cadillac Series 62 "The Shark"
1940 Chevrolet Master Deluxe Coupe "Scarlett"

Former Babies

 1941 Ford 1 ton truck
 1954 Buick Special 48D 2 Door "Betty Buick"
 1955 Packard Clipper Super
 1962 VW Beetle
 1962 Dodge 880
 1966 Mercury Montclair 4 Door "Mr. Merc"
 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 396
 1968 Plymouth Barracuda notchback 318
 1977 Lincoln Continental MKV

Offline cappy102

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Re: 1957 Coupe de Ville
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2017, 12:34:56 PM »
Thanks, Mike...

At this point, I'm trying to get all the information for this trim code, as there have been some discrepancies. Trim code is listed as #42 on the data plate, but SMS has a different fabric for that code (at least the swatch photo looks different). The leather is right (metallic med blue). I requested swatches for the cloth, leather, vinyl and trunk fabric, so we'll see what transpires.

The trunk liner is a sort of tan/beige. I pulled up a small section where the adhesive had let loose, and have no reason to think that this isn't the original liner, although it seems odd that it doesn't continue the medium blue theme of the rest of the upholstery.

Although I've done plenty of sewing, I have not had any upholstery experience, and would never attempt a complex job like this. Since so much of the interior is in good shape, I'm reluctant to have the entire cabin redone, and cost is a consideration as well. Methinks a thorough cleaning and a few stitches here and there should work for now.

I appreciate the tips and links!
1957 Cadillac Coupe De Ville