Author Topic: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado  (Read 812 times)

Offline 67_Eldo

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For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« on: December 13, 2017, 04:06:50 PM »
My depression is your Holiday gain!

The 1967 Eldorado I've been worrying about for the past 1.5 years has finally (temporarily?) pushed me to the limit. The Eldorado has been my subject in the auto-body-repair class I've been taking this semester. In the year before class began, I spent $30k+ on mechanical items, so the car runs great. As the body-shop investigations probed more deeply, I disassembled more of the car to get a more accurate look. As I did this, I discovered more rust. Once I pulled the vinyl top off, I realized that we had major-league issues. But I persevered!

In the last class of the semester (Dec. 12, 2017), the instructors and I were taking a look at the driver's side door. The inside frame of the door had rust on the lower-rear tip (see the pic), but nobody thought it would be difficult to straighten out. Then one of the instructors probed the area underneath the door hinge (see the pic) with his pocket knife. To me, it looks like small spots of surface rust. When the knife blade slid on through one of the little spots, he suggested that a rusty top was no longer my most serious problem.

This was a shock because the driver's door doesn't sag and the alignment seems OK. But both instructors were of the opinion that I should not bring this car to class anymore because working on it would be a waste of time. Not something the student wanted to hear!

So I can either put it back together and drive it for a few years (in their opinion) or I can give up the fight now and sell it. At this point, after stewing over the issues for what seems to have been forever, and still facing another few months of reassembling it (in a tiny, cramped garage), I'm going put it out there for a week and see if anyone wants a great-running Eldorado with a "doomed," semi-disassembled body.

I'm asking a holiday special, low, low $5k. Ho ho ho? The car is in Kansas City, KS.

I've got 46 pictures at the moment to attach, so the pics will be spread out over a few messages. The first pic is of the car before I started auto-body class. I'll put pictures of the two main bills in the first groups so you can get a good idea of what's been done.

Here are additional descriptive bullet points that cover some odds and ends.

* There's a new $300 Rostra cruise control that works but is currently disconnected. When I had the speedometer rebuilt (~$150), I had the speedo cable shortened to accommodate the new speed sensor. But the reworked cable didn't mesh with the speed sensor. So I pulled out the sensor and hooked it directly to the speedo. I was going to get back to the cruise control once the rust issues were sorted out. Needless to say, .

* $800 in recovered rear seat and dash. I say "recovered" instead of reupholstered because in the cases of both the seats and the dash, the original material is still present underneath the new material.

* Bruce Coe's switch-pitch controller is installed and works fine.

* The dashboard and the driver's side ductwork is still disconnected. I was going to put the dash back together once the speedo situation was sorted but see above.

* There's a significant amount of new wiring you can see in the dash pics. I also printed up a makeshift 3D "shelf" to hold a few switches while I experimented with various electronic options. For example, I've added a remotely controlled "junction block" up by the battery (see the pics) to power any new electrical gadgets that I'd be tempted to attach. That allows me to preserve the original Eldorado wiring without overloading the old switches or fuses. There's even a (bare) little green LED that tells me when Bruce's switch-pitch box is working. :-)

* This car was originally a California car. But by the time I got it, the A.I.R. pump and half of the plumbing was gone. As part of the $26k repair effort, what was left of the old system was tidily sealed up. The cylinder heads are still unmodified California heads.

* The black patches on the most recent top pics consist of POR15-saturated fiberglas. One of the auto-body instructors thinks POR15 + fiberglas is the way to go if you can't weld in new metal.

* The light-grey patch on the driver's side door covers good ol' body filler that is (as of this writing) less than 24 hours old. It still requires sanding and shaping.

* The light green "nose" on the front of the driver's side fender was added because I wanted the structure of the grille trim to match the passenger side. I have 3D printed LED light housings that directly replace those chrome piece because I wanted to experiment with LED running lights that you see on all the new Cadillacs. (While, of course, the new Cadillacs try to emulate the attitude of the majestic 1967 Eldorado.) At some point in the distant past, a driver's side front fender from a 1968 - 1970 Eldo made its way to this car. To match the 1967 look, the body people at that time simply put putty over the lenses of the turn signals. Since the 68 -70 turn signals had a different internal structure than the simple 67 nose pieces, the chrome trim attaches differently as well. So I bought a 67 nose piece from DBaer's CadillacVille and provisionally fitted it.

* At the moment, the car has 68370 miles on it.

* The power steering complains a bit when the car is cold.

* The exhaust system has a leak and should be replaced. It isn't bad as it is and is obviously the least of my worries.

* This is a disc-brake car and the (completely redone) brakes are fantastic! However, the rotor on the passenger-side has a groove in it and probably won't be a good candidate for turning, when that eventuality arises. But I figure that concern would be at least 30k miles in the future.

* Right now the temperature gauge is out and the fuel gauge is flaky. I haven't been in a hurry to give those items priority over rust repair because I have a brand-new cooling system and a brand-new fuel system! I also have an instrument cluster out of a 1967 DeVille that I was going to use to replace the Eldo's, fabricating a new section for the DeVille cluster to cover the area encompassed by the extended 1967 Eldorado cluster. But, again, I have bigger fish to fry!

That's more than enough for now. I'll add more as I think of it.

This holiday offer will end at noon, December 20, 2017. By that time I'll have re-energized myself enough to keep on patchin', assemblin', and truckin'!

Thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 04:26:19 PM by 67_Eldo »

Offline 67_Eldo

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 04:10:19 PM »
More 1967 Eldorado pics.

Offline 67_Eldo

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 04:12:59 PM »
More Eldorado pics.

Offline 67_Eldo

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 04:15:36 PM »
More Eldorado pics!

Offline 67_Eldo

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 04:19:27 PM »
More Eldorado pics!

Whew!

Offline Bobby B

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 05:20:26 PM »
My depression.......
In the year before class began, I spent $30k+ on mechanical items, so the car runs great.

 :o :o :o
            Bobby
1947 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe
1968 Mustang Convertible
1973 Mustang Convertible
1969 Jaguar E-Type Roadster
1971 Datsun 240Z
1979 H-D FLH

Offline BJM

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 05:45:44 PM »
I am not sure what that means, spent $30,000 mechanical on a 68K original miles car.  $30,000 should cover all the mechanicals, suspension, tires and brakes.  You state the brakes are all brand new but one of the rotors has a groove in it?   Exhaust leaks, fuel gauge not working, PS Pump making noises.   

Good luck with the sale. But I suspect in the week you are offering the car, you will end up keeping it.  I have been were you are at.  Hang in there. 

Why not get a new rust free door to replace the rotted door?  I have had quite a few 67 Eldorados and I never had these rust issues.  Evidently you have a California car. Not sure how it got so bad.  Especially with just 68,000 miles. 
Bryan J Moran
CLC # 12994
Des Moines, Iowa
1968 Cadillac Eldorado

Offline 67_Eldo

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2017, 06:20:49 PM »
I am not sure what that means, spent $30,000 mechanical on a 68K original miles car.  $30,000 should cover all the mechanicals, suspension, tires and brakes.
You'd think.

I posted two bills above that account for $28k of it. Have you ever ridden in a car that's had an $1100 tune up, for example?

It's been quite a ride, so to speak. It may only have 68k miles, but it also has 50 years of human interventions involving -- from what I've been able to dig up -- time spent in Louisiana (not long) and Denver (at least 10 years in a garage at a museum).

That does remind me that it has four new 235/75R-15 Michelin Defender LTX M/S XL tires, mounted on sand-blasted, re-welded, painted wheels. I also have four more Eldorado wheels. There are two sets of hubcaps. One is a banged-up set of the originals. The other is a nice set of generic non-Eldorado Cadillac hubcaps. I put the current spider caps on there because I was tired of looking at the wheel centers.

All the original parts come with the car. For example, I have the air-ride parts (compressor and air shocks) that came with the car. The rear suspension currently uses two spring-augmented booster shocks, Toronado-style, in lieu of the air shocks. Of course, all of the bushings, shocks, brakes, metal bits in the rear suspension (with the exception of the leaf springs) are new.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 06:41:20 PM by 67_Eldo »

Offline Bobby B

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 06:45:48 PM »
I posted two bills above that account for $28k of it. Have you ever ridden in a car that's had an $1100 tune up, for example?

10-15K usually covers an engine out of body service on an Exotic car, which involves cam/timing belt changes that are usually complicated for someone not in the know. An $1100.00 tune-up on a no frills, non-computer controlled, old school vehicle? That's awfully expensive in my book. I think you might want to jump in an go further with the car at this point, or I have a feeling that you're going to be taking a HUGE loss. Good Luck. I'll be in your shoes one day with my own car. ::)
                                                            Bobby
1947 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe
1968 Mustang Convertible
1973 Mustang Convertible
1969 Jaguar E-Type Roadster
1971 Datsun 240Z
1979 H-D FLH

Offline 67_Eldo

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2017, 06:54:24 PM »
An $1100.00 tune-up on a no frills, non-computer controlled, old school vehicle? That's awfully expensive in my book.
Believe me, I'm with you. When I first took it in, I told them that I'd budgeted $5k for big stuff that I couldn't do in my driveway at home (replace engine oil seals, check the brakes, and tighten the suspension a bit). When I actually took it to the shop on appointment day, the transmission went out. So I boosted my "budget" to $8k. I figured they'd have it for a month. Maybe two.

ELEVEN months later, their tab had run to $26k. And until the transmission was working again, I couldn't simply go in and say "I'm taking my car now." A perfect storm of problems. Their plea was that the 67 Eldorado is an extraordinarily difficult car to get parts for. Harder than the exotic vintage Lamborghinis and Ferraris they'd worked on.

On the other hand, even though the mixture is a tad rich, I've never driven a Q-Jet equipped car with a carb that behaves this well. :-)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 06:59:29 PM by 67_Eldo »

Offline Barry M Wheeler #2189

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 08:43:59 AM »
If anyone ever wanted to know what he was getting into before he bought, this is the car to buy. As I've noticed a couple of "parts cars" on Craigslist recently, I was wondering how you were getting along. As for advice, I'd say pull the ad and hug your wife and start eating that stuff that college kids eat all the time to save money three times a day. You've simply got too much invested to throw it away.

You've learned enough to know what to do on some of this stuff, so make as much room as you can in your garage and start in again. Whatever you decide, best of luck. BW.
Barry M. Wheeler #2189

1979 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham
1981 Cadillac Seville
1991 Cadillac Seville
2016 Cadillac ATS

Offline James Landi

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2017, 09:16:54 AM »
Your body and Frame guy sounds like a real "Debbie Downer" andf has discourage you--- up here in Maine, these technicians daily cut and wield, and are great at keeping rust at bay-- perhaps you need to find a new shop.....   James

Offline TMoore - NTCLC

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2017, 09:43:52 AM »
I like these Eldorados, and I like white cars - frankly, I like your car.

Just glancing through the receipts, it appears that you were paying around 110.00 per hour for labor, and that, by far, is what blew the budget on this (I see well over 15K in labor - probably much more).

I have seen far worse rust wise, and you have made a lot of the progress there - even if you cannot take it back into class to work on it, you should be able to get it into a paintable condition.  Keep it - finish up what you can afford to do, and  drive and enjoy it.

Offline 67_Eldo

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2017, 10:09:00 AM »
Thanks for the encouragement, guys! Even now, in it's chewed up, unwashed, half-assembled state, people pull up next to me at intersections and say "Cool car, Man!" It starts immediately and runs like a top. You can only hear the exhaust leak at idle, so it is smooth and quiet going down the highway. I even have variable control of the flow through my heater core (in these cold winter months) thanks to a new Vintage Air hot-water valve. Of course, while I'm going down the highway, I'm worried about how, exactly, the rear window remains attached to the car. :-)

There is a black 67 Eldorado in Florida that has been "customized" and currently is without an engine. The body looks pretty good, but there aren't many photos and it is located in rust-prone south Florida. I tried to find out more about the car but the guy hasn't responded. I'm not going to buy and ship a car that is 1500 miles away based on a few poor Craigslist photos, particularly after what I've been through with this one.

Once I finish with the POR15 + fiberglass patches, I'll probably put it back together (starting with the quarter-panel windows and their new motors) just to minimize the blasts of cold air as I roll through the winter.

Offline 67_Eldo

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 10:21:59 AM »
Your body and Frame guy sounds like a real "Debbie Downer"
The top-dog instructor -- the classic crusty fellow with the heart of gold -- keeps asking me (with his Southern drawl) "Do you LOVE this car? I mean really LOOOOOOOVE this car? 'Cause you better!" After he repeats that for the fifth time, it starts to dim your enthusiasm. :-)

I appreciate the instructors' position. Their job is to instill "practical" habits in the minds of their students. The last thing they want to see is somebody spending time on projects they classify as "lost causes." It's strictly dollar and sense. If I had a 67 442 that had these problems, I'm sure they'd have no qualms about urging me to continue. But a 67 Eldo can't command the selling price of a 67 442, so the urgency is lost.

Offline BJM

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2017, 02:16:34 PM »
Unless you are at McPherson College's restoration program, which you clearly are not, no body shop program ever wants to see a restoration project.  They are probably very unhappy you ever brought that in. 

I went to Linn State Technical College in Linn, Missouri from 1996-1998. I was in the "Mechanical" side not body side.  I tried to get the body program to work on my 1963 Pontiac Gran Prix OR my 1966 Olds Toronado and I was shot down - hard!

I don't know who patches with fiberglass and POR-15 in a reputable body shop program.  That's amateur stuff in my book, no offense. 

You have no choice but to keep it.   And yes, the major cost of your mechanical is 1. shop labor and 2. upsale on the parts.  If they got a part for $40, I guarantee you they charged you $75 for the "part".  So about 60 to 65% of your mechanical bill is labor and related. 

Keep it, chip away at it. AND - that shop that charged you $30,000 should FIX the exhaust leak under warranty.  They won't but they should. 
Bryan J Moran
CLC # 12994
Des Moines, Iowa
1968 Cadillac Eldorado

Offline BJM

  • Posts: 328
Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2017, 02:17:35 PM »
What is a "Rostra" cruise control?
Bryan J Moran
CLC # 12994
Des Moines, Iowa
1968 Cadillac Eldorado

Offline 67_Eldo

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2017, 05:57:29 PM »
Rostra makes a "universal" cruise control. It works well. The key is to get every last little bit of slack out of the cruise-control linkage. Any slack at all and the speed sensor will "hunt."

http://www.rostra.com/universal-aftermarket-cruise-control-by-rostra.php

The guys who presented me with the $26k bill are McPherson grads. I obviously helped them pay off their student loans. Originally I thought that was a good thing. Now I'm not so sure.

No local body shop wants to replace the sheet metal on the top for anything less than $7-8k. All but two places said they wouldn't touch it no matter what they might quote me! I considered replacing the sheet-metal skin myself but a) I'm not a good welder, and b) I couldn't find a donor top that looked good enough to justify the effort. I've been looking in vain for a sheet-metal solution for three months.

So it is POR-15 time. I'm tired of agonizing over it while driving around with no quarter-panel windows.

It is galling that the previous owner obviously discovered the vinyl top problem too. But instead of replacing some metal and treating the rest, his bodywork people made no attempt to treat the rust at all. They just plopped a thick layer of Bondo over the rusting metal (particularly around the rear window) and yanked on some black vinyl. That's why it wasn't crunchy when I first checked the car out. If I had brought a magnet, I might have discovered the truth before it was too late. At least I'm not going to do that to future owners (if there are any)!

Offline Jeff Rose CLC #28373

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2017, 06:50:20 PM »
I would suggest you hold off for now. If in 6 months you still feel this way then sell it. Don't jump into, or out of, anything now. Just wait.
Just my thoughts
Jeff
Jeff
CLC #28373
1970 Coupe DeVille
1955 Series 62

Offline James Landi

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Re: For Sale: 1967 Cadillac Eldorado
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2017, 07:36:23 AM »
I owned a 67 Eldorado from 1976-1985.  It was produced  very early in the model year---it had 78k miles when I purchased it.   As a daily driver, it was simply a joy, and I always tried to keep it shined up, because it was beautiful when clean and shiny.  Mine was a dark blue with a matching vinyl top and interior.  When I purchased it, the top already was beginning to show signs of rust beneath the vinyl, but I kept the vinyl well preserved with Armorall vinyl waxes that kept the water beading in the rain.  It ran exceedingly well, however, even as a younger man, I always "babied" it--- never ran it hard-- and never put the pedal to the metal-- aside from a water pump, ac service, alternator and front wheel bearings (all high mileage related) the air shock pump was a pain-- I got good at fixing it... by way of summary, I took care of a very aging high mileage car that never saw indoor storage, and it gave me great service and a special pride of ownership-- with the rust that was under the surface of the roof.  Never got into engine internals, ran it up to near 200K... gave it away to a friend in '85. 

 

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