Entry Level: 1965 Cadillac Calais Four Door Hardtop Air Ride – Sold!
American designers of the 1960s had the luxury of making their full-size offerings long and wide. Fast forward to today and when these land yachts get converted to air ride suspension, the proportions are even more apparent such as this 70K original mile, rust-free 1965 Cadillac Calais four-door hardtop available on Craigslist in Pedricktown, New Jersey. The private seller is currently asking $9,700 for his Calais, which a check of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms he has his slammed sedan priced between the #3 “Good” appraisal of $11,900 and the #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $5,100. Despite the low original miles and what appears to be a rust-free condition, the non-working air conditioning and cracked dash should leave you with a bit of negotiating power. If you are serious about buying this air-ride equipped hardtop, you can start the conversation by texting Kyle at (856) 278-2757.
In 1965, the Calais replaced Cadillac’s long-running Series 62 as the entry-level model. Already trending downward by the mid-sixties, Cadillac canted the Calais’ tail fins slightly downward. Newly introduced perimeter frame construction allowed positioning of the engine forward in the frame, which lowered the transmission hump in the interior to provide even more room. The Calais was available as either a two- or four-door hardtop as well as a “formal-roof” four-door sedan, which combined frameless, hardtop-like windows with a pillar acting as divider.
In typical GM fashion, the primary differences between the Calais and the De Ville were trim levels and standard equipment. While the De Ville was delivered with such amenities as power windows and two-way power seats as standard equipment, hand-cranked windows and manual seat adjusters were standard on the Calais, with power windows a $119 option that this example appears to feature. Air conditioning, as this example also features, was a $495 option that more than 90% of Cadillac buyers ordered. Standard equipment included power brakes, power steering, automatic transmission, cornering lights, dual back-up lights, windshield washers and dual-speed wipers, full wheel covers, remote-controlled outside rearview mirror, visor vanity mirror, lamps for glove and rear passenger compartments and front and rear seat belts. Unlike the De Ville, the Calais did not offer leather seating areas and vinyl roof trim was not offered initially. The 340 horsepower 429 cubic inch V8 connected to a TuboHydramatic 400 automatic transmission was the only powertrain offered.
We can only imagine the fun you can have cruising with this beast while your shotgun passenger plays with the air ride controller. We like that after installing the air ride suspension, the current caretaker showed restraint and left the balance of the exterior stock. Fix the air conditioning, and replace the carpet before spring comes and you’ll coddle you and five of your family or friends in glorious land yacht comfort that is simply no longer available. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1965 Calais with just over 70k original miles in very good condition. No rust at all. Fenders, rockers, trunk, and floor all rock solid. The car was repainted years ago. It looks ok but is not perfect. Blue interior in great shape. Headliner is perfect. Dash has a crack. Seats have been recovered. Could use a carpet. Car is on airbags. Two Viair compressors and tanks, Accuair VU4 controller. Motor runs great, just did the timing chain, water pump and larger alternator. AC doesn’t work at this time. Brakes are good. Car runs drives and stops great. Only looking to sell because I found something else I’m interested in. No trades, cash only.“
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