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Author Topic: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?  (Read 2058 times)

Offline J.C.

  • Posts: 157
  • CLC Number: 18146
  • Name: John Houlsby
Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« on: October 28, 2016, 10:43:52 AM »
Hi, Guys, I'm thinking of buying this '70 DeVille.  All the trim, paint, body, and interior look very good, but I'm wondering what you think of the engine compartment and underbody.  I took these pictures from my first look at the car.  This classic car buying thing is something I'm just now jumping into, so I want to do it right...

Are there any specific problems I should look for with a '70 DeVille?  Any specific aspects of the car I should be paying attention to?  Input would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

J.C.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 10:45:59 AM by J.C. »
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Offline 35-709

  • Posts: 5363
  • The most valuable antique is an old friend.
  • CLC Number: 4719
  • Name: G. Newcombe
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2016, 01:41:50 PM »
It looks to be in nice mechanical condition but a personal inspection and drive are important.  I might add, beware of any freshly undercoated car.  I would definitely want to see it on a lift or at least jacked up and on jackstands so I could crawl underneath for a close inspection.  As complex mechanically as they may have seemed back the day,  or may seem to the uninitiated today, they really are not and mechanical parts are readily available for them on the aftermarket or from some on these forums.

I would be as much concerned about the body, especially around the back window, any bubbling under the vinyl top, or in the paint on a car without the vinyl top, around the rear window is trouble.  The other common rust areas, but not as troublesome as the back window, are normal for most cars --- the area behind the front wheels and the lower quarters behind the rear wheels.
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Offline J.C.

  • Posts: 157
  • CLC Number: 18146
  • Name: John Houlsby
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2016, 01:45:58 PM »
I might add, beware of any freshly undercoated car.

Does this car appear to be "freshly undercoated?"  Anyway, thanks!
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Offline 66 Eldo

  • Posts: 294
  • Name: P. Kats
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2016, 01:50:32 PM »
+ 1 on everything mentioned above. If it has a vinyl top look for rust bubbles and soft spots under the vinyl.

I would poke at the floor and frame with a screwdriver or a pick to uncover any soft rust spots if any hiding beneath the fresh undercoat. It looks like the frame had some rust "scale" which many have and its not the end all, but makes sense why the seller undercoated it to  look better or protect. BTW, I can't see if it is missing the muffler or it is out of the camera shot.

Under the hood all appears to be there and not modified. Newer replacement parts I notice are: brake master cylinder, alternator, heater control valve, A/C converted to 134a, (do the heat and A/C work?). I also see a flushing tee on the heater hose indicatin the cooling system has had some service which is a good thing.

70s are great cars.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 01:53:14 PM by 66 Eldo »

Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

  • Posts: 7039
  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2016, 02:58:42 PM »
From pictures alone it is difficult to ascertain when the undercoat had been applied. The few bare areas that can be seen don't appear very crusty so that's a positive sign, for what it's worth. 
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Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2016, 09:01:11 PM »
Drove my 1970 DeVille today and it really drives like a modern car only rides better.  Accordingly, it should drive well, if not could be problems.  main thing is no rust bubbles under vinyl top as others wrote.  When I bought mine I made sure top was rust free underneath and after a short road trip bought the car.  It was a SDV, so not expensive.
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1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
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Offline chrisntam

  • Posts: 3472
  • Dallas, Texas
  • CLC Number: 29206
  • Name: Chris Jessen
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2016, 09:25:11 PM »
Is it a convertible?  It appears to be missing the strut bars in the engine compartment, though they were deleted on 'verts.

The big vac diaphragm thingy behind the air cleaner should be silver, not black, it has been painted, with that said is the rest of the engine compartment freshly painted?  Looks like no cruise control, seems like the heater control valve is new.

I too suggest an in person inspection or have a knowledgeable person do it for you.

Take a refrigerator magnet on the lower front fenders and back quarter panels to see if there is bondo.

Buy the best car you can afford, you'll be money ahead.

$10k for a good paint job.
$5k for an engine rebuild
$8k for an interior

Other mechanical stuff really adds up.

Doesn't look like a stock alternator and has it been converted to 134a?

The under body looks good to me, look specifically at the body mounts - where the body mounts to the frame.  My car came from New York, the body and under body are in good shape (was undercoated) but the areas around the body mounts look a bit more rusty than I would like, especially the one under the radiator.

Looks like add'l wiring was added when the alternator was changed.  It is in a non-stock plastic wire loom.

Post more pics so we can have a better look.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 09:53:00 PM by chrisntam »
1970 Deville Convertible 
Dallas, Texas

Offline chrisntam

  • Posts: 3472
  • Dallas, Texas
  • CLC Number: 29206
  • Name: Chris Jessen
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2016, 10:10:04 PM »
Definitely post some pics of both the interior and exterior and trunk, we may see things you may overlook.......
1970 Deville Convertible 
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Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2016, 11:58:35 AM »
The inner fenders have the button plugs where braces would normally be and only convertibles have those, so presume that this is convertible.  Make sure all the windows line up with top and rubber seals, that is always one of the signs of a good convertible. 

The a/c fitting look like it is still r12, or an illegal r134 conversion.  Make sure a/c works, by feeling for a temperature difference between the two metal tubes leaving back of compressor (one should like 140'F and the other more like 40'F).  If you don't have that, you don't have air conditioning.   One reason a/c often does not work in the 1965-70 Cadillacs is mice make a home in evap casing by entering thru drain hole.  This is expensive to take apart (most laborious on 1969 and 1970, because under dash work is required too) and clean out unless you do it yourself.  Plus it requires that you remove the charge from compressor and re-charge after to do it. 

If you buy this or any 1970 Cadillac, it is unlikely that you will not have a few things to attend to anyway.  It is very rare to buy a perfect car at a good price.
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Offline J.C.

  • Posts: 157
  • CLC Number: 18146
  • Name: John Houlsby
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2016, 09:07:13 AM »
Just wanted to THANK everybody for providing insights about this car!  Though this car is in pretty good shape, it's not exactly what I wanted and so I've decided to pass on it.  Here's a link to the ad for the car:

http://www.hollywoodmotorsusa.com/1970-Cadillac-DeVille/Used-ClassicCar/WestBabylon-NY/8317654/Details.aspx

There was a small amount of surface rust and I did find some pieces falling off in some of the wheel wells.  The doors opened and closed very solid, the convertible top mechanism works very well, and the car starts, handles, and drives very well.  The previous owner added a big sound system and there's a box that takes up the whole floor where a passenger sitting behind the driver would put his or her feet.  Right through the Cadillac crest in the dash, the guy drilled a hole and put in an indicator light for what might've been an alarm system.    And there where one or two other holes in the dash.

Anyway, thanks again for writing everyone, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

  • Posts: 7039
  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2016, 03:14:04 PM »
I think you made the right decision to pass - especially at the price. Aside of the condition issues, the car had a lot of alterations done.
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

Offline chrisntam

  • Posts: 3472
  • Dallas, Texas
  • CLC Number: 29206
  • Name: Chris Jessen
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2016, 10:27:27 PM »
Glad to see you passed on it, too many issues with that one.

Get this one!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1970-Cadillac-DeVille-WHITE-LEATHER-/262698478873?forcerrptr=true&hash=item3d2a0cad19:g:74oAAOSw7XZXhuF2&item=262698478873

Though it's in New York....

I happen to like the green exterior, but not a fan of the white interior.

1970 Deville Convertible 
Dallas, Texas

Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2016, 11:39:51 PM »
Yes the price for the white Caddy was too much because of the modifications and a black interior is not great on a convertible.

The green Caddy has a terrible upholstery job.  You can see it is short cut a mile away.  Be careful there too.

It is very difficult to find a nice 1965-70 era DVC in good shape well sorted for a good price.  I have not see one (good price and excellent condition) in years.  Seen a lot of bad ones and some nice ones that are priced accordingly.

Now is the time to be looking.  Don't wait until April or May.
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1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

Offline J.C.

  • Posts: 157
  • CLC Number: 18146
  • Name: John Houlsby
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2016, 02:25:45 PM »
 I'll pass on the green one, too.  I have the name of the seller in Patterson, NY and I called him and left voicemail twice and I eMailed him.  He never replied.  Either he's not a motivated seller or he's already sold the car.
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Offline cadillacmike68

  • Posts: 3438
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  • Name: M Santos
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2016, 10:41:55 PM »
Just wanted to THANK everybody for providing insights about this car!  Though this car is in pretty good shape, it's not exactly what I wanted and so I've decided to pass on it.  Here's a link to the ad for the car:

http://www.hollywoodmotorsusa.com/1970-Cadillac-DeVille/Used-ClassicCar/WestBabylon-NY/8317654/Details.aspx

There was a small amount of surface rust and I did find some pieces falling off in some of the wheel wells.  The doors opened and closed very solid, the convertible top mechanism works very well, and the car starts, handles, and drives very well. The previous owner added a big sound system and there's a box that takes up the whole floor where a passenger sitting behind the driver would put his or her feet. Right through the Cadillac crest in the dash, the guy drilled a hole and put in an indicator light for what might've been an alarm system.    And there where one or two other holes in the dash.

Anyway, thanks again for writing everyone, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Now that was foolish.

At least I put my amps and sub in the trunk  up out of the way. You can't even see the amps with the toolbox and spare fluids box, but the subwoofer, even though its behind the spare tire is visible.
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6651
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2016, 08:37:50 AM »
Keep looking and be selective.  The right one will come up.

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

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Offline Scot Minesinger

  • Posts: 6004
Re: Thinking of buying this '70 DeVille! Opinions?
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2016, 08:40:36 AM »
Further to Mike's comment:  Those audio people can do a lot of damage and cut prefect original interiors in the most sinful way.  I worked on a 1972 Eldorado convertible that was a major butcher job.  I asked how the shop did the work and they said that they lowered the top and used a back hoe to remove the dash.  Just kidding but it seemed like, so many tabs broken - fixed what I could. 

I sent my radio to MN and had it rebuilt with Bluetooth and to modern standards without any sub woofers amps and etc., and replaced original speakers with like and the system sounds great, easy to hear with top down cruising at 70mph.  You cannot tell my radio form an original.
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

 

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