Cadillac Build Sheets

Started by Paul Zanetti, March 04, 2006, 01:00:56 AM

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Paul Zanetti

Around 20th Janury 2006, I sent in my check and letter to General Motors for the build sheet for my car. I have yet had no reply. Does anyone know what the response time is? Or does anyone have an email address for the GM dept that handles these enquiries. Much appreciation to anyone who can help.

John Tozer #7946


Opportune time to raise again the issue of the availability of these build sheets to the what seems to me an increasing number of overseas Club members.

You mention sending your check - bet it cost you about $20 for an international bank draft??? Then the service is lousy.

I still think that, if the Club wants a truly international profile, and since these build sheets are so important to any car collector or restorer, the Club could do more to act as go-between with the Historical Centre to allow credit card purchases of the sheets, and to speed up the service. The Club deals with other suppliers for badges, caps and shirts, why not do the same with the one item virtually EVERY member wants?


John Tozer

Yann Saunders, 12588

Its a single-handed, mostly volunteer operation, Paul.  And the guy who actually does the job was recently on leave [I know that for a fact because he stopped to visit me, 2 weeks ago, en route to Florida from Detroit].  

When you order a build sheet, you actually get a "package" with a whole buch of copies of literature relating to the year of your car. Personally, I found it both interesting and useful.  Trouble is, its hard for one man to keep up with the ever increasing number of requests, i.e. things are not about to get better.

Perhaps the club could get involved; try to determine precisely what Cadillac owners need.  I imagine the majority need only the actual build-sheet for their car, or the ledger page on which it appears (for later models).  These are on microfilm.  I guess if its possible to make a hard copy, it should be possible also to make a digital image that could be sent as an eMail attachment to those with an Internet connection. If that were to work, I guess the $50 fee would no longer be justified.  

So we are treading thin ice here.  We do NEED the service but in no way can we come to bear on GM Corporation to guarantee that service, or speed it up, or suggest a quicker system of digital copies for those with Internet connection.

For the time being, patience is the watchword.

Paul Zanetti

Dont misundertand. My enquiry was not a criticism - more a curiosity in regard to when I would expect the build sheet. I guess what prompted my question, was the nagging inner wonder, "I hope they got my check and my letter....". Its not uncommon for international letters to get lost in the nail, and as all I had was a postal address, no number or email, I wondered how I could even check if my payment and request arrived. As a former volunteer, non-paid editor of the Australian Cadillac La Salle Club magazine (La Cad), I am all too aware of the demands from members who impatiently ask, "Wheres my magazine???!!! I paid my $40 a year and its 2 days late!!!!!". Well....yeah I pay my $40 a year, too and my magazine is late as about volunteering to help?

So...thanks and acknowledgements to Greg Wallace and Matt Larson publicly and in advance for their generous volunteer work!


Regards from Down Under!


Paul Zanetti

In this day and age of instant communication and access via internet, why not an email scan of the build sheet, so the enquirer can then print it off their printer? Payment by credit car, and email delivery would bring the process out of the stone age.

Any others agree?


Paul Z
Down Under
1959 Eldorado owner TARGET=_blank>

Dave MacGregor #18998

I dont mean to hijack the thread, but speaking of build sheets.  How come the cut off year is 1970?  Why not anything newer like 1980 or something more recent than 1970?  Most of the cars of the 70s now are antiques including my 77.

Barry M. Wheeler #2189

Dave, I have said over and over on the forum, that Cadillac could care less about ANY car, except the one that just hit the curb. No, theyve already forgotten about that one. Its only a possible drain when there are warranty claims. What they are REALLY interested in is the one that is being sold tomorrow.!
When they were moving, Matt and friends, saved countless items from being thown away. The reason that sheets are not available from 1970 is that they were probably destroyed. The fact that we will pay $50 for sheets of paper is simply "found" money to Cadillac, but they will most likely not be interested in "improving" the process, as the amounts in question are a "drop in the bucket" as far as theyre concerned.
We tread on thin ice all the time, as the very next General Manager could care less about our cars, cut the funding for our back cover ad on the Self Starter, and the welcome party at our GN. A real, high powered bean-counter might find a line item of $10k for the welcome party, and say, "Were spending HOW much for this group of jerks each and every year? What a bunch of free-loaders! Fo-ged-a-boud-it!."

Fred Garfield 22310

That same GM attitude is reflected at the Cadillac dealers parts counters. I went in there exactly once with my 59 SDV and they literally sneered at my parts inquiry. The only friendly faces were the mechanics.

Bruce Reynolds # 18992

The same goes for ALL constructors of anything.

Once they have sold something, why bother to look back.

We know that they make lots of money on spare parts, but then, they have to keep an inventory of all the parts that go into making a product for ten years here in Australia, and once that supply runs out, they arent obliged to manufacture anymore of those parts.

Whilst the same vehicle is still on the assembly line, they need these parts to build them, but once the part is not required for the current production line, then they are STUCK with all these parts until the warranty periods have expired on the last cars that were built.

Inventory means space, and funds tied up till it is all gone, and then the space is taken up by another part.   And, dont forget the cost to the industry of the Spare Parts personnel and  buildings to house all these parts.

There is a case here where Holden stockpiled complete Chassis for the Holden One Tonner, and after production ceased, an aftermarket company building the Parrenti sports car on similar lines to the Corvette, found that the ideal base was the Holden One Tonner chassis.   Voilla, all the One Tonner chassis got snapped up and that left no more spare parts for the genuine One Tonner owner that needed a new chassis, even though it was only a few years old.   Holden had done what they were obliged to do, and constructed enough chassis to last an estimated ten years of bodyworks/replacements, but as usual, estimates are only estimates.

But, was Holden going to maker any more?  No, they had gotten rid of the pressing molds, and moved on.

Cadillac as a building organisation only wants to sell cars, and will use the older cars only when they want to help them sell new cars.

Plus, a lot of "Old car buyers" never buy new cars, and the only way to "encourage" them to buy new cars is to hinder the old car market and repair as much as possible.

The Tassie Devil(le),
60 CDV

Fred Garfield 22310

All excellent points, Bruce -- and a couple I hadnt thought of. Still, theres no excuse for rudeness at these dealerships. If McNevin Cadillacs object was to make certain I would never darken their doorway again, they succeeded beyond their wildest hallucinations.

John Wagner #22719

I had a very positive experience getting my build sheet & other info from GM.  My package arrived about a week after I sent in my letter & check.  I was probably helped by the fact that I live in the Detroit area.  What I found interesting is that it took almost 2 months for them to cash my check.


Brian Daum, 18809

I just have to tell about the time we visited a Cadillac dealer in Northern NJ while on vacation in the US. One of my favorite things to do is to visit a Cadillac dealer to look at the new cars and get a brochure or two.

We had rented a brand new Cadillac and parked in the customer parking area. The first thing I overheard was the sales manager say to another salesperson (trying to be funny) that he was thinking about calling the police when he saw us....And that day we were even freshly showered and shaven! Well, the next thing that happened was that my friend tried to start an conversation with another salesperson saying he was the owner of several Cadillac`s amongst them a few classic Cadillacs from the 50`s. This person`s reply was "SO WHAT?"

I got so perplexed that I didn`t even get pissed. Naturally we left the place. Every time I enter a Cadillac showroom no matter where in the US, I get the same unpolite brush-off when they learn that I am not buying a car today.

 Well, I might not in the future either with that kind of treatment.


Bill Gauch

Dont you know? If you wanted to be treated with respect and adoration by a car dealer, just dress like dress like a recent college grad. Of all the times I have gone to a dealership, the only times I have gotten attention was when I was with a college buddy who was looking for a car at the local Acura dealer. They were begging us to take a car or two for a test drive.

As for Cadillac dealers, I havent noticed any difference between GM, Ford, Toyota, or BMW. The only one who treated me different in a good way was the Hyundai dealer that happened to have a used BMW on the lot that we were looking at. The only one who treated me badly was the Honda dealer who took a deposit for a brand new car that they assured me they could get as soon as they could make a few calls. The next day, they called me to tell me that they in fact couldnt get me the car, but they would be willing to let me have a next model year for the same price. They, of course, assured me that the invoice cost would go up, but they didnt currently know what it would be. In addition to being unable to wait the extra month for the new models to show up, I knew they were a lying and wanted my deposit back.  They assured me I could come and get my check at any time. I showed up 15 minutes later and was told that the cashiers had gone home for the day and my check was already cashed and I would have to come back in 7 days when it cleared. I cant actually recall a time when I have been more angry and loud in a public place.

Anyway, its not just Cadillac dealers. I think many dealers/salespeople are just jerks, reguardless of their marquee.

denise 20352

> Plus, a lot of "Old car buyers" never buy new cars, and the only way to "encourage" them to buy new cars is to hinder the old car market and repair as much as possible.

   Do you suppose that they would prefer for you to have no choice but to buy their cars, rather than having to compete in the market?  That is the message that I get from them.

Dave MacGregor #189981

I am pretty satisfied with Vallee and Bowe Cadillac which is my local dealership.  They sometimes get a little "dumb" about looking up some of the parts for the 77 Eldorado, but thats only in part of not being familiar with that model and year anymore.  That doesnt stop them from smiling, admitting to their lack of knowledge, and then going all out to persue the part Im interested in.

Its also fun to visit Art Vallee Sr. now and then too just to talk and have a coffee.  Hes the very one who sold the car to my grandparents 29 years ago this very month!


Paul Zanetti

John....well, mines been a 6 week wait so far, and still no Build Sheets....but thats normal for Australia, waiting for stuff from the USA. Ill start panicking in 6 mths!!!

You guys in the US dont know how lucky you are, not having to wait forever for parts for your old parts....or pay horrific long distance air freight costs and import taxes.....

Brian Daum, 18809

Hey Bill,
That day I was dressed as if I just came off my yacht, with silk scarf around my neck, my LaCoste shirt and my $ 250 RayBan sunglasses.......

I think next time I enter a Cadillac Dealership I am gonna do the Billionaire in rags routine and see if I get any better service???


PS: I did buy a new car this year - but I not gonna say which make!


Great points Bruce. The only way we get any attention with our old cars is with dealerships with a conettion to the the past and to the hobby. I had a great experience with Betts Cadillac in DesMoins at the nationals last year. This second or third generation dealer is invovolved with the hobby and understands the problems that we deal with keeping these old cars running. Some dealers only want the new business, others apperciate the connection with the past. Here in Minnesota, almost a third of our club members also drive current Cadillacs and we have a working relationship with Key Cadillac in Edina Minnesota. Work on common interests and you will be surprised the kind of cooperation and support that can be generated.

Fred Garfield 22310

If I want to buy a new car in the future, Ill talk first to my banker and get basic figures, then call a new car broker with my bid and let all the dealers in the state compete through that broker for my business. I wont be talking to salesmen.

Ill probably never walk into a dealership again, unless I enter the garage to talk to the mechanics or detail guys.

Brian Daum, 18809

Hi Fred,
That`s pretty much what I did when I bought my new car recently. I set several dealerships up against each other, I told them "I want this and that, I don`t care who I buy it from, as long as it is from the cheapest". I was in the end so sick of their sneaky, dishonest car dealer bs, they tried every trick in the book to get my business.

Eventually one of the losing dealerships said that the winning one practically gave the car away!! I managed to get the car $ 9000 cheaper this way!

Next time I will do like you mentioned, e-mail every company, giving them a deadline to offer the cheapest and best equipped car. But they will probably be able to screw me anyhow.