1963 Cadillac 390 with automatic - Interest?

Started by BJM, December 31, 2008, 08:24:23 AM

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I was checking the local CraigsList and someone is selling a 63 Cadillac V8 and automatic transmission. I emailed him and offered him $50.  I presently have no cars - I am researching and planning to buy my next set of projects in the next 1-4 years. So, I have been selling my spare remaining parts on ebay with some success.

If I end up getting this engine and transmission could I sell individual parts off them for seed money on ebay or this forum? Or (more interesting to me) could I rebuild both and sell as rebuilt restored units to enthusiasts or would I get no interest in the rebuilt motor and transmission.  I say "could I" because obviously anyone can do anything - but my question is - is there any interest in me doing this or would it be a waste of time and money? (Based on the forums more educated posters and collectors)   

(I assume the motor isn't toast, just worn out)  I am a mechanic by trade and believe I can rebuild at least the engine and probably the transmission. BUT if I can part these out and sell engine parts and such, maybe I can help CLC members and put more seed money in my projects budget.  By the way I just sold some remaining 49 Buick parts that I was going tothrowout for $200. 63 Pontiac parts for $100.

So should I purchase a $50 engine and trans to part out or rebuild as a fun winter project? 

If I rebuild, you know I will have at least $2000 in the engine and $350 in the transmission so would anyone pay that for a rebuilt 63 Cadillac engine?

David King (kz78hy)

My 2 cents...........

To buy a rebuilt powertrain comes down the amount of confidence the buyer has in you.  Since I do not know your level of ability, I would prefer to buy a complete unit undone and take care of getting it rebuilt myself.

That's  how I would evaluate this.

I did not mean to offend, or assume you lack ability.

David King
CLC 22014  (life)
1958 Eldorado Brougham 615
1959 Eldorado Brougham 56- sold
1960 Eldorado Brougham 83- sold
1998 Deville d'Elegance
1955 Eldorado #277
1964 Studebaker Commander
2012 Volt
CLCMRC benefactor 197

Director and Founder, Eldorado Brougham Chapter
Past President, Motor City Region

Rare Parts brand suspension parts Retailer via Keep'em Running Automotive



You don't offend me at all. I totally understand because that's how I am. People tell me "I heard the motor was "gone through". I think: Yea, whatever!  I want to rebuild all of my own engines, and farm out the transmissions. BUT if I take photos and offer the blueprints and parts lists, etc, then I would feel like someone would buy the engine. I am a freak about precision and carefulness.

Now the tranny is a different story. If I could get the rebuild kit for $125 then I might rebuild it and feel confident about it. I would need a 63 Cadillac rebuild manual.

But no, I totally understand your position and am not offended.


Wasn't there someone on here a few weeks back with a 63 with a chevy 350 engine who planned on converting back to the 390 and jetaway?
Rob Wirsing


I"m sure you know the 63 390 is a one year only animal, and that may limit your available market base.
J. Newton

Mike Welch

Quote from: r8odecay on December 31, 2008, 09:50:25 PM
I"m sure you know the 63 390 is a one year only animal, and that may limit your available market base.
Thats true, it will also replace a 64 429 with a hydramatic. On the other hand i imagine there are a few 63 owners looking for one.
Mike Welch
The Original 63 & 64 Cadillac Community
Serving 63 & 64 Enthusiasts SINCE 2000


Yes I remember it's one year status - it's the new generation of V8 plus I believe the TH400 replaced this transmission in 1964, so that should be the last year for that transmission.  I am unfamiliar with that transmission, but I have rebuilt a 429 from a 64 CoupeDeville.  I think at $50 for the pair, I can play around with the transmission and if I screw up so what.  If the motor can yield $50 in ebay or forum parts sales, then I am even.

Between projects I am refinishing an old library school desk, restoring a Kayak, so I am kind of bored!  :)

Of course, if I could sell parts for anything over $50 then it goes to project seed money.

Walter Youshock

Actually, the old "Jetaway" was carried over to '64 on the base 62, "75" and "86" series cars.  The Turbo-Hydramatic came on the DeVilles, Fleetwood 60s and Eldorados.

Wonder why they did that?
CLC #11959 (Life)
1957 Coupe deVille
1991 Brougham