1953 factory price

Started by july76, September 24, 2016, 04:09:20 PM

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july76


John Gunnell's Standard of the World book claims that the factory price for a '53 4-d sedan was 3,666
and 4,201 with the shipping fees a really different amount written on the build sheet of my series 62.
It would be great to see a period bill to clear that





Dan LeBlanc

Here are my two
Dan LeBlanc
1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car

july76

#2

If I am right here we are two invoices, the first invoice would be from Cadillac, an the other issued when
the car was eventually purchased by a dealer.  Between the two documents there is a $488 disparity
in the car bareback price, without factory options and tax as EOH.  I suppose that the %30 discount
applied to the "fair market value" or suggested was what made the difference. In this case as we aren't
talking about the same car, we can't know the dealer's comission but one thing is clear that the %
discount varied greatly according to the needs of driving sales at a certain point or zone... For this we
should have also a sales receipt. I suppose the dealer's invoice amount is the same as the factory's
invoice so the range of profile for the dealer was inside the sticker price. However I wonder whence 
came the $3666 amount of the Gunnell's book, the discounted fair value plus the tax? In other hand
when I ordered my build sheet to GM they I only received the dealer's invoice and not the factory's
invoice in which it must reflect the date of manufacture. Maybe the documents preserved depend on
each individual vehicle...



Dan LeBlanc

The two I posted are for two separate cars.

One shipped to GM Canada (Series 62) and one shipped to Rickenbaugh in Denver.
Dan LeBlanc
1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car

july76


Yes I know "...In this case as we aren't  talking about the same car...". Do you have too any sales receipt
from that year?

P W Allen CLC# 20193

Here's the original dealer invoice for my 53 coupe.
Paul
53 Coupe
Twin Turbine

jdemerson

At least in 1952, Cadillacs were often shipped from factory to distributor with an invoice there. The distributor might sell the car or typically ship to an area dealership that was not a Cadillac distributor, and that invoice tended to be higher. Then the dealership sold the car to the buyer. So I believe there could have been three different prices (whereas today there is wholesale, suggested retail, and actual selling price).

If I am misunderstanding the way things worked in the 50s, someone can correct me. But I think the factory invoice that I got from GM was the price to the New York City distributor (in my case, where the car was eventually sold by a Boston area dealership). My Cadillac invoice does NOT indicate the dealership that actually sold the car to a customer.  Comments?

John Emerson
Middlebury, Vermont
CLC member #26790
1952 Series 6219X
http://bit.ly/21AGnvn

m-mman

Paul your car is interesting.
It was sold new in December of 1953. Weren't the 1954s introduced by that time?  If the 1954s were out by that time, then your 1953 would have represented a year old car and I would have expected to see it discounted somewhat. 
$5000 for a car that is already a year old (or will become one within a month) is a lot of money.

I will have to consult my old KBBs but the $1500 trade in allowance on a 4/5 year old Lincoln seems generous and that may be where the discount on the Cad is hiding.
1929 341B Town Sedan
1971 Miller-Meteor Lifeliner ambulance
Other non-Cadillac cars
Near Los Angeles, California

CLC #29634

P W Allen CLC# 20193

Yes, it was most likely that it was a leftover 53 after the 54's came out. I believe back then, the new models were introduced around October/November. As for price, it's whatever the buyer agrees to pay. It was probably a lot less money than a new 54.
Paul
53 Coupe
Twin Turbine

m-mman

#9
Ok, I looked the values up in a Sept-October 1953 Kelley Blue Book.

A USED 1953 series 62 coupe had a (retail) value of $5340 (with P/S) . . . . Your buyer paid $4909 (deduct tax & license) a $431 difference. So it looks like he did pay a 'used car' price on a 'year old' car. (without the P/S the Cad was valued at $5150 almost exactly what he paid)

The 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan coupe had a used RETAIL value of $1120.  A wholesale value (aka trade in) of $825. Your Cad dealer gave your buyer $1500(?) This meant that they overpaid between $380 and $675 for the trade. A value they would have to make up (hide) in the sales price of the new car. But they did not seem to do that. Maybe he was just desperate to get get rid of that particular car for some reason?

Since my figures are from a month ahead of your deal, the values for both the 49 and the 53 could only have gone down. I dont understand where the dealer's profit is in this deal. He sold the Cad cheap and paid too much for the Lincoln. . . . He must have made something on the financing and perhaps the lube book but it could not have been that much.

As a comparison If back in 1949 your buyer had selected a new 49 Cad series 62 coupe (the fastback most similar to the Lincoln) come trade in time in 1953, it would have had a retail of $1860 and a trade in value of $1450. But in your case the buyer got just as much for his Lincoln. really strange.

A 49 Packard buyer found his car worth between $600 and $900 in 1953 :-(

Interesting. I love examining old contracts and analyzing the deals.
Thanks for posting yours
1929 341B Town Sedan
1971 Miller-Meteor Lifeliner ambulance
Other non-Cadillac cars
Near Los Angeles, California

CLC #29634

m-mman

#10
Oh, and since the OP was asking about the price of a sedan. The 1953 KBB lists a 'average delivered price for a new car. While not defined exactly I suspect this represents the suggested retail price without options.

For a series 62 coupe it shows $3571 the exact price shown on Paul's contract (without options)
A CDV shows $3995
sedan shows $3662
convertible was $4144
60 special was $4341
An Eldorado was $7750
Fleetwood 75s were $5408 and $5621
1929 341B Town Sedan
1971 Miller-Meteor Lifeliner ambulance
Other non-Cadillac cars
Near Los Angeles, California

CLC #29634

july76


m-mman interesting analysis on a purchase invoice. Just one thing, what it means "P/S"?

m-mman

Power steering. It was a significant option in 1953 so the Kelley Blue Book made an extra allowance for it in valuation.

I didnt mention it in my original analysis but they also gave an extra allowance for Hydramatic in the Fleetwood 75 cars.  The KBB says that Hydramatic was optional on the F75s but standard on the other Cads. (I havent checked)
Anybody ever seen a 1953 F75 with a manual trans?
1929 341B Town Sedan
1971 Miller-Meteor Lifeliner ambulance
Other non-Cadillac cars
Near Los Angeles, California

CLC #29634

july76


The '53 Series 75 oddly came with power windows as standard but with power steering as an option.
Unless proven otherwise I think that the chances to locate a limo with manual trans is nearly reduced
to zero. If I'm right the Hydramatic was announced as standard in April '53 so in the same way, taking
into account the great improvement at reasonable cost not many Series 62 ie were sold with manual
trans. With regard to invoices, take a look at this contract, not the usual sales invoice...


m-mman

#14
Something that modern reviewers of old auto sales contracts commonly miss is the LENGTH of the contract.

In this situation Elvis bought a used 1955 F75 on New Years day 1956.
Side note: Elvis bought many more used Cads than new Cads. Which means that his name does not appear as an original owner as often as one would think.

An expensive car at $6000 to be sure, but notice that is nearly the same price of the 'year old/new' 53 coupe we analyzed. That 53 was NOT cheap!

But notice that Elvis financed his $5700 over just 12 months(!)
Today I dont think anyone finances a car LESS than 3 years (36 months) 5 and 6 year contracts are quite common. A long contract lowers the monthly payment BUT the payments do not match the depreciation rate of the car. If you keep and pay off your 5-6 year contract and you love the car everything is fine, HOWEVER . . . . If after 3-4 years it gets stolen, or totaled in a wreck or you just decide to trade it in on another car then YOU have to come up with additional cash to pay off the bank.  (insurance company pay outs are based on the value of the car not the amount owed on the contract)

This is because the car lost value faster than the total of your payments. This mathematical trap has caused severe financial stress for those folks who think they can 'drive a new car for cheap'. 

During the 1950s the government had laws on the books that limited the length of time that a car could be financed to between 12 to 24 months (it changed over time) They did this to resist a repeat of the 1929 depression that was caused by too many people buying too much on credit.

So the numbers may seem simple on these old contracts but think about paying off any brand new car in just 12 to 18 months. . . .
1929 341B Town Sedan
1971 Miller-Meteor Lifeliner ambulance
Other non-Cadillac cars
Near Los Angeles, California

CLC #29634

july76

#15
 Yes depreciation of cars is the eternal issue that politicians seem to not understand when they say,
at least in my country, that the average current fleet is old (more than 15 years) and to encourage
the purchase of new vehicles they approve ridiculous state aids. The average family income in the
US of 1955 according to the US Department of Commerce was $4400 so a 12-month contract was
really a struggle. Anyway depreciation was not an issue with Elvis cars, this one ie reached in
Bonhams $170000 some years ago.

kav

I only have the receipt from Cadillac Motor Car Division . Delivered to the dealer mine says $2933.49 with options U.S Royal white walls , left hand outside mirror , windscreen washer , vanity mirror , oil filter , chrome wheel discs and something listed as AF which cost $2.07 , could be number plate frames . The classic car data base lists the base price at $3354 .
1953 series 62
nicknamed  SERENA

Jay Friedman

#17
To respond to m-mman and july76's wondering about 1953 Series 75 limos with a manual transmission:

Some years ago Matt Larsen, who at the time was the Tech Editor of the Self Starter, in doing research on  1953s carried out the monumental task of reviewing all 100,000 + build sheets for that year in the Cadillac archives.  Among many other things, he found that 11 of the 2,200 Series 75s built that year had a manual transmission.  If my calculations are correct this works out to 0.5 percent.  A few years ago someone posted on this web site that he had owned one of those 11 cars, but I don't remember the details.
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210, since 1984
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."