Driving Vintage Cars in Winter

Started by Mike Shawgo, November 07, 2007, 11:31:56 PM

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I have to go with John Morris (Lordy I wish he'd get rid of that picture!) and DavidinHartford.  Buy something that is already a rust bucket for the winter.
1935 Cadillac Sedan resto-mod "Big Red"
1973 Cadillac Caribou - Sold - but still in the family
1950 Jaguar Mark V Saloon resto-mod - Sold
1942 Cadillac 6269 - Sold
1968 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible
1935 Glenn Pray - Auburn Boattail Speedster, Gen. 2


Winter beater suggestions?

   1985 - 1987  Front drive DeVilles.    Cheap to buy,  front drive for the snow,  nobody is collecting them, and with their HT4100 engines they are disposable and undesirable.

   1986 -91 Sevilles and Eldorados.     Same reasons as above.

   1982 - 1985 any with the HT4100.      I just don't see these cars surviving into the next generation unless you drop a Chevy or Olds 5.0 engine in one.     The HT41 blundred engine will eventually self destruct.   Even today the Cadillac dealers don't want to see one drive up to the service entrance.    Find a cheap one on Ebay, put on a set of snow tires and enjoy the confort.    Try to keep off the guard rails.   

    I know, I know.   I agree that some of these 80s Cadillacs are really sharp looking.   Especially the 79-85 Eldorados.       But if they are to be collector cars in the far future, they will have to be trailered to shows.  And not just for protection, but because they don't run anymore.   Try going into a Cadillac service dept TODAY and try to get a ECM for a 1983 Eldorado.     When they stop laughing they'll refer you to a junkyard.

Dennis DiNorcia #19071

Unless you are in an area that gets snow all winter long, why can you just enjoy it during  the winter on dry days only. I have a 1989 Sedan DeVille that is my daily driver and a 1968 Road Runner in original excellent condition but only gets driven in dry weather. I will not drive the Road Runner in the rain or the snow because to me I would like to keep the car in an "as-new" condition as possible. Also these older cars are more prone to rust out even when taken care of properly. The newer cars, seem to be less prone to rust. I don't think I have ever seen a 2000 or 2001 or 2007 (whatever the make) car with rust. But as mentioned before, it is your choice. I live in the Northeast and I feel I drive my car enough times throughout the year that if I need to keep it in for a few months of bad weather, then I don't mind it. Just my opinion.

Perry G

My wife drove our 78 eldorado last winter when her 88 eldy wouldn't make it out of the driveway, She drove it two more days after that and the hell she got from others made her quit driving it. I told her "Hay,,it's YOURS,,, Do what you want with it". Needless to say I'm glad to see she did quit driving it, I don't haft to go to the car wash twice a week that way.


Quote from: Richard Sills - CLC #936 on November 09, 2007, 12:59:58 PM
In 1975, a family friend was ready to trade in a 1967 Coupe deVille that she had purchased new.  This car was in like-new condition with less than 30,000 miles on it.  It was Capri Aqua with a black vinyl roof, had been garage kept every night of its life, and regularly serviced by the Cadillac dealer.  My friend was offered a nominal trade-in value (about $700), and offered it to me for that price.  I really wanted the car, but had no garage to keep it in.  The car would have had to sit in my driveway.  Although I would have kept it clean and waxed, I lamented the fact that by sitting outdoors the car would eventually deteriorate to some degree.

So, I passed on the car, concerned that I could not provide as high a level of care as this car deserved.  As a result, my friend sold it to another friend who needed a car for his teenage daughter who was learning how to drive.  Within the next year, the car was involved in several major accidents, and within two years it was in the junkyard. 

The lesson I learned:  if you are a Cadillac enthusiast and find one that you want to drive, go ahead and do it!  Because you appreciate cars in general, and Cadillacs in particular, you will probably give that car a much better home than most people who are likely to wind up with it.


That is painful to watch, isn't it?

About ten years ago, a local priest passed away, and his 1969 Calais Coupe went up for sale.  I had nowhere to put the car at the time, which wound up being sold for $6000.  It was a 20,000 mile COMPLETELY original black coupe with a burgundy cloth interior.  Even the cadmium plating under the hood was NEW!  Within about a year, the car was used by the bar owner who bought it as a driver, and little by little was trashed.

TJ Hopland

I just got my 78 CDV back from where it had been stored and plan to drive it this winter.  Mice got in and left some evidence that they were there but so far I have not found and serious problems but Im afraid they may have been in the dash.  The vacuum hose harness for the climate control is hanging down under the dash.  Looks like more of the hood insulation is missing than before.  When it got dark on the way home I found out the headlights were not working so I had to do some creative stuff to get them on and get home.  I hope I dont find all my hood insulation packed around the headlight switch.

Its still for sale if anyone wants to 'save' it.
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
80 Eldo Diesel
90 CDV
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Chris Short CLC 18814

Heres my two cents..  Any Cadillac older than 1980 in any condition and any cadillac older than 1985 thats nice should not be driven in the winter..  Period.  The cold is ok but no salt..  If I saw a car that fit into those criteria above covered in salt someplace I'd track down the owner of that car so fast and give them the royal ride act...  I live in central wisconsin where everything is plasterd with salt and calcium.  Nothing lasts up here..  I have a neibor that about 8 years ago baught a perfect 79 Lincoln Mark from a lincoln collector..  Yes a collector.   A big beautiful car and he drove it year round..  Let it sit out..  He washed it in the summer but thats about it..  In 4 years it was trashed..  All around the padded top it was rusting and at the bottom of the doors...  It was a crying shame..  But it wasn't a Cadillac so I didn't say anything..  But still it was sad..  Old rust free cars don't last two minutes when you put them on the salt..  The paint under the car isn't like the day it was new to protect it..  Its thin and full of rock chips..  And undercoating the car will actualy speed up the rusting action.  You can think it, but don't do it..  ;)  Theres my opinion.. 
Chris Short
clc 18814

bill henry

now i have a little different opinion.9 years ago i bought a basket case 77 gmc 4wd pickup.i got a southern bed and cab and some new fenders and rebuilt and painted it. it looked sweet .then i took it to a local guy who makes his own undercoating out of a mix of grease oil and tar.then he touches it up every other year for free .i live north of pittsburg so you can imagine the winters here. that truck is not rusted out yet and it is my daily driver and i just sit back and laugh when the guys at work with the new ones talk about what it costs to get their fancy electronic 4wd fixed when it fails . i put in a heater core in about 3 hours a guy with a newer truck was told to trade it in before paying to have one put in . so get it take care of it and drive it man at least for a vintage truck. i will admit my 70cdv does not come out after october
Bill Henry

Chris Short CLC 18814

I guess ya can get away with driveing in the winter if your really on top of things and watch it close..  I know 2 guys here in town that have early 80s Chevys and they look like new to and they drive them year round..  Not sure what they're secret is..  But I know one of the guys baught his truck new..  I would never drive a cadillac in the winter thats older than 1985..  Theres millions of old Fords and other lesser vehicles that we all can let the salt destroy..  Drive whatever ya want, and any year that ya want..  But its just not worth destroying a nice Caddy..
    My winter beater is a 1989 Fleetwood..  Its got 300K and runs like a watch..  Just goes and goes..  Its a nice car in my mind but it doesn't hurt me to drive it in the winter..  Thats what this car is for..  And its got SO many miles theres no reason to ever want to save this car...  Its great in the snow..  And gets pretty good gas mileage to..  And it keeps my late model Caddy off 90% of the salt..

Chris Short