New Owners coming in from Germany to tour the USA in a Cadillac

Started by Rod Dahlgren #19496, July 17, 2022, 05:36:34 PM

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Rod Dahlgren #19496

Last month I was asked to find a Cadillac Convertible for this family to do this dream vacation. I found a pretty nice 1976 Eldorado convertible for them. I have checked it over and replaced tires brakes and other safety items. They will arrive in San Francisco this week, pick up the car and begin their experience going south towards San Diego then east across the southern states. Plan is to end up in Miami, Florida where they will ship the car back to Germany.
Last time I did this was for the daughter of a friend in Austria. I found a 1972 Cadillac Fleetwood or them. That car did have a radiator problem in Arizona, but I made contact with a CLC member there and got them into a shop that helped. We all know that a road trip in any car could be fine, or maybe not! Hoping for the best for this family of 4!   
Did You Drive Your Cadillac Today?

quadfins

I am currently in the San Luis Obispo area, if they need a contact.

Will provide phone # upon request or by PM.

Jim
Jim Eccleston
1961 Coupe de Ville
BATILAC
Senior Crown
DeCou Driving Award x 4

Standardoftheworld

Jay Zerrin. 
Sin City Nv
1961 Cadillac S&S Victoria Hearse
1969 Coupe

Rod Dahlgren #19496

Bruno and his family plan this basic route: Napa Valley – S.F. – Yosemite – L.A. – Grand Canyon – Tombstone – Alamogardo – Carlsbad – San Antonio – Galveston – New Orleans – Tallahasse – Daytona Beach – Miami/Fort Lauderdale

Thanks to all!
Did You Drive Your Cadillac Today?

Big Fins

I'm in the directory if need be for the east coast of Florida trip.
Current:
1976 Eldorado Convertible in Crystal Blue FireMist with white interior and top.
1969 Fleetwood Brougham in Chalice Gold FireMist with matching interior and top.

Past and much missed:
1977 Brougham de Elegance
1976 Eldorado Convertible
1972 Fleetwood Brougham
1971 Sedan de Ville
1970 de Ville Convertible
1969 Sedan de Ville
1959 Sedan deVille

Carfreak

There is a very nice museum they should hopefully take time to visit on their trip, Tallahassee Automobile Museum.  It's not just cars but also vintage pianos, musical instruments, boat motors, other misc.  We visited it after leaving Orlando CLC Reunion last Fall. IMG_1032.JPG 

https://tacm.com/






Rod Dahlgren #19496

Well, I have a report from the Eldorado Travelers! Seems they did not know that when the trunk is full of luggage, the rear glass would shatter if you put down the top. They are in Las Vegas now and tell me the A/C is not working. It is a converted system with 134 and original compressor and hoses. I did give them a spare temp-overheat fuse, but they dont know what to do with it. They told me the passenger side window will not roll up- but did not know if the window lockout switch was on or off...
They are having a great time and are getting many waves and thumbs up. AND of course learning what amount of gas a 500 C.I. Cadillac V8 can consume!
Did You Drive Your Cadillac Today?

Rod Dahlgren #19496

Quote from: Standardoftheworld on July 18, 2022, 02:52:40 AMI am in Vegas should they need any help out this way .

Thanks Jay, I sent them an email message. Seems the European phone connection is not working. I think it works sometimes depending on where they are. Plan was to see Death Valley and then on to Las Vegas today, 7/28.
Did You Drive Your Cadillac Today?

The Tassie Devil(le)

Quote from: Rod Dahlgren #19496 on July 28, 2022, 09:47:01 PMWell, I have a report from the Eldorado Travelers! Seems they did not know that when the trunk is full of luggage, the rear glass would shatter if you put down the top.
What a pity.   Sounds like they didn't read the Owners Manual, which states the precautions when operating the roof.

But, it could prove a valuable lesson, as well as getting a new top replaced by a place in America that is used to working with these cars.

When you are talking to them, mention about the rain gutter, and having that replaced at the same time.   Then they will be set for a really long time.

Bruce. >:D

PS.   Tell them about the top latches and what happens if they don't operate them correctly.
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Big Fins

Also mention that it would be wise to secure an American, throw-away phone for their duration. I wouldn't trust a European system to operate in an emergency here in the States.
Current:
1976 Eldorado Convertible in Crystal Blue FireMist with white interior and top.
1969 Fleetwood Brougham in Chalice Gold FireMist with matching interior and top.

Past and much missed:
1977 Brougham de Elegance
1976 Eldorado Convertible
1972 Fleetwood Brougham
1971 Sedan de Ville
1970 de Ville Convertible
1969 Sedan de Ville
1959 Sedan deVille

Rod Dahlgren #19496

Quote from: Big Fins on July 31, 2022, 04:09:58 PMAlso mention that it would be wise to secure an American, throw-away phone for their duration. I wouldn't trust a European system to operate in an emergency here in the States.

Hadn't thought about the phone idea. I'll tell them. I get email reports now and then. They did get into Las Vegas after having some kind of back window repair done in the L.A. area. $1000 bucks was the cost of that lesson! And then heading out for a drive through Death Valley, the A/C went out! I had told them the compressor may or may not live after the 134 conversion. Well it did not make it.. Actually, what they were not aware of is the compressor seized up and burned the belt until it broke--- They did not know it until they made contact with a name given me by one of the Cadillac guys. Hood opened and belts missing! Only a burned out piece stuck in the compressor drive pully! DANG! I really needed them here longer so I could teach them about cars!  I made the typical mistake, I ASSUMED they knew about checking out a old car as you are on a road trip! This is the fourth time I helped out visitors make a trip like this. Only other time there was a problem was when the 19-year old daughter and her 20 year old friend came to make the trip in a 72 Cadillac. SHE felt it was running too hot as they were in Arizona, I contacted one of the Cadillac Club members that recommended a radiator shop. A few hours later they were on the way.     
Did You Drive Your Cadillac Today?

The Tassie Devil(le)

Boy, what a mess.

Sounds like the car they purchased really wasn't up to any trip of any length in any weather.

I wonder if the A/C thermal Fuse had been bypassed, because it should have blown if the Compressor got too hot.   If it did, then it could be that the A/C "Idler" bearing seized.   And with the belt gone, no Power Steering.

As outsiders, we can only do so much.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

jwwseville60

The romantic idea of buying an old Caddy and cruising the USA in fierce summer heat is a work of purified folly. Especially for non-old car people.They dont get it, and we've all been through that scenario with friends who dont know a lug nut from a walnut.

And using a R134 compressor with a low pressure factory system is fraught with issues. You need to replace most of the system if not all.

They should have rented an escalade instead. Then shipped the Eldo home after towing it for local use on a trailer behind them. Best of everything.
Germans may not understand that America is not as organized and proficient as Germany with its excellent network of smooth roads and competent service facilities.

That said, I wish them supreme luck, fast cruising and good adventure!
1960 Eldorado Seville in Copper
1964 Eldorado Turquoise
1963 De Ville Station Wagon Vista roof, silver blue
1959 Sedan Deville flat top, tan
1947 Caddy Sedanette Series 62
1959 Lincoln Continental MKIV
1956 Lincoln Premiere coupe
1948 Packard Woody wagon
1949 Buick Woody Roadmaster
1953 Hudson Super Wasp

Standardoftheworld

Quote from: Rod Dahlgren #19496 on July 28, 2022, 09:52:45 PMThanks Jay, I sent them an email message. Seems the European phone connection is not working. I think it works sometimes depending on where they are. Plan was to see Death Valley and then on to Las Vegas today, 7/28.

I've been busy with work and working on the 69'd power windows since getting the seat operable, did they continue on their journey ?
Jay Zerrin. 
Sin City Nv
1961 Cadillac S&S Victoria Hearse
1969 Coupe

winger888

There is no such thing like a "European phone system" anymore. The GSM 4/5G is the same all over the world. If their phones are not working it most likley depends on the plan they have with their provider or there is no reception in the middle of nowhere.

I have a plan that includes roaming and data in North America. No problem at all.

These guys are just not prepared and simply naive.
76 Eldorado Bicentennial
79 Lincoln Town Car Collectors Series

79 Eldorado

I think some people from Europe are shocked at how large the US is. Many US states are close in size to an entire country there. They were planning to drive so it should have become obvious but maybe in the age of phone GPS the route wasn't closely checked before the trip.

The phone thing is interesting. I have a European SIM card which, starting around the time the US eliminated 3G, stopped working. It's a 4G LTE capable phone and the setting is set to use 4G LTE when possible. I switched the SIM to my second phone which is also android and has the same settings and same capabilities. The European SIM works in that other phone and to be thorough I tried my US sim in the phone which didn't like the European sim anymore... The US sim worked perfectly in both. Switched back thinking maybe the Euro-sim wasn't making contact despite no issues for over a year. No luck still didn't work. The provider for both sim cards is even the same company. I can say it's not my service contract based on the swap.

Many people now have WhatsApp and if they have it they could use that for free anywhere they have wifi. Since the US eliminated 3G it's very difficult getting a signal where I am. A forum member more knowledgeable than I am commented that for 5G to work in the US as well as 3G we would need 3x the number of towers. I live in a small town but it's not remote. If I walk 2 blocks away from my house I lose service. If I'm on main street in the most active area of the town I have no service. Forget about using a phone while driving. With 3G none of what I mentioned was a challenge.

Scott

Rod Dahlgren #19496

UPDATE! After more than 3000 miles touring the west, they were entering San Antonio Texas, WHEN, they were rear ended by a guy texting while his car was on cruise control.
NOW the car is too damaged to continue! The other person was given a citation and insurance is involved. The German family is shook up and three of them have some neck pain. INSURANCE offered them $700 each for their trouble! I told them NO, 700 is not OK! They need to find some help but I dont know what to do from here.
They need to rent a car to get to Florida where they return home of 18, August. The Cadillac was to arrive at the export terminal about the same date.
I think the Eldorado can be driven, short distance-- I have not seen it, but gas tank filler is crushed and air suspension will not hold air.
What a disaster! 
Did You Drive Your Cadillac Today?

The Tassie Devil(le)

What horrible news.

Hopefully they will not suffer from health problems in the future, but they need to really get some legal assistance before doing anything else.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

79 Eldorado

What a terrible turn of events. They also have a timeline looming. The parts would be easier to source in the USA. I recall from threads on the forum some of the tanks aren't even available though. They're in a good state to find corrosion free parts though. They just bought it so value should be clear. Should they get the other person's insurance to pay for it and maybe look for another car?

Is the transport paid for with the car identified and paperwork complete?

What a mess,
Scott
PS: I do have friends in San Antonio but I don't know that they could help with a classic Cadillac.

KOKNEYELDO

Just hire an attorney now, or they should contact their own insurance company (assuming they had Travel Insurance)!

Photos of both cars and a complete police report are a must!

Do not accept any offers!

Here is a photo of an Eldo (when I was looking for parts) that was totaled, where I understand the owner was not injured.

Present cars:

1975 Cadillac Eldorado convertible
1957 Ford Thunderbird
2007 Jeep Commander Overland
2018 Audi A3

Come On You Blues!