Paint or Patina? 1966 Cadillac Coupe Deville – SOLD!

Sep 2020 | Classifinds, Free For All Friday

September 10th Update – The good ones priced right go quickly and this very straight and original ’66 Cadillac Coupe De Ville we featured just one week earlier is our latest example. The private seller deleted their Craigslist ad earlier this week, so we’re calling this one “Sold!”

With its sheer length and subdued tail fins, mid-sixties Cadillacs have a substantial presence best viewed in person.  While we like a stock version as much as the next enthusiast, this straight 1966 Coupe De Ville two-door hardtop listed just listed recently on Craigslist in Fairfield, New Jersey caught our eye as the next caretaker could go in several different directions with this Caddy.   With an asking price of $5,000, a glimpse of the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his De Ville priced $2,400 less than the #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $7,400. 

Cadillac redesigned its third generation De Ville for the 1965 model year.  Now named with a capital “D”, DeVille denoted Cadillac’s mainstream model, falling between the Calais (which replaced the Series 62) and the Sixty Special and Eldorado. Despite a complete redesign, the new DeVille rode on the same 129.5-inch wheelbase. Stylists canted the tailfins slightly downward while sharp, distinct body lines replaced the rounded look. Also new were a straight rear bumper and vertical lamp clusters. The headlight pairs switched from horizontal to vertical, thus permitting a wider grille. Curved frameless side windows appeared, and convertibles acquired tempered glass backlights. New standard features included lamps for luggage, glove, and rear passenger compartments combined with front and rear safety belts. Power was still supplied by the 340 horsepower 429 cubic inch V8. Perimeter frame construction allowed repositioning the engine six inches forward in the frame, thus lowering the transmission hump and increasing interior room.  A padded vinyl roof was a $121 extra-cost option on the hardtop model. All four DeVille models had small “Tiffany-like” script nameplates on the ends of their rear fenders just above the chrome side molding.

In 1966 changes included a somewhat coarser mesh for the radiator grille insert, which was now divided by a thick, bright metal horizontal center bar housing rectangular parking lamps at the outer ends. Separate rectangular side marker lamps replaced the integral grille extension designs. There was generally less chrome on all Cadillac models for 1966. “De Ville” scripts were still above the rear tip of the horizontal body rub moldings. Cadillac crests and V-shaped moldings, front and rear, were identifiers. Cadillac “firsts” for 1966 included variable-ratio power steering and optional front seats with carbon cloth heating pads built into the cushions and seatbacks. Comfort and convenience innovations included headrests, reclining seats, and an AM/FM stereo system. Automatic level control was also available. Engineering improvements made to the perimeter frame increased ride and handling ease. Newly designed piston and oil rings and a new engine mounting system and patented quiet exhaust also became standard equipment.

These mid-sixties DeVilles just look so cool with an air ride suspension.  Here’s a video of what’s possible with the Coupe De Ville we’re featuring here:

So, at $5,000 this Coupe De Ville is at a three-way crossroads. Option One is to drive is to polish up the paint, fix the driver’s bucket seat, replace the padded vinyl top, and enjoy the car as is.  Option Two is to go full restoration on what appears to be a very straight and rust-free example.  Finally, there’s Option Three:  add an air ride suspension, treat it to some modern rims, a fresh paint job, and enjoy cruising, windows down, in this refreshed beast with five of your friends. Whichever path you choose, good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1966 Caddy Coup Deville Garage kept since new, 100% all original. Runs great . Interior is all original and in excellent shape, Minor tare in drivers seat , carpets are excellent . NEW – Brakes , Brake lines , fuel tank and sending unit , cap rotor , spark plugs , brand new white wall tires , every thing works on interior , all power windows work, new battery. Chrome is in great shape . very minor rust on body , needs a paint job rust on trunk is from being in storage. but paint is all original no body work was done, body is very straight. vinyl top need to be replaced , call for appt to see. its a great find for the right person. Im asking $5,000 Please only serious people that are interested in a true classic.

So which path would you take with this Coupe De Ville?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Paint or Patina? 1966 Cadillac Coupe Deville – SOLD!

    The first thing I would do is get that vinyl top off and replace. It because there can be problems under there. Then if I wasn’t sure about the paint and maybe someone later wanting original I would do a wrap in the current color fix the seat and enjoy.


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