Back to Blasts

1985 Cadillac Seville Elegante
SOLD 06/3/2006

June 3, 2006 - The Seville is gone - through no fault of its own, really.  Working under the hood, I accidentally knocked it into neutral with the parking brake off.  On a sloping driveway.  With the driver's door open and a fence post beside the driveway.  After I quit saying bad words and jumping up and down, I had to remove the top door hinge to get the door shut.  The interior panel was ruined and the door kinked.  I was able to get it all back together with door hinges from the junkyard, but I was so disgusted with myself afterwards I pretty much gave the car away to a needy neighbor. 
March 12, 2006 - I took the Seville on a 300+-mile road trip today.  Yesterday, I rotated the tires, found a nail in one tire and discovered that they were over-inflated by 15 pounds - which explains the rather harsh ride. With no nail and proper inflation, the car rides much smoother.  However, about 90 miles into the trip, I happen to look in the rear view mirror and saw white clouds rolling behind the car.  Turns out that the heater flow valve (at left) had broken apart and was dumping coolant down the back of the engine.  Luckily, I had my tools, and a plastic funnel that contributed its bottom end to make a connector tube between the hoses.  I was very nervous, as the car overheated briefly, but with everything topped off, she finished the trip with no further problems.  And got 27.8 mpg along the way!
March 6, 2006 - I finally remembered the camera AND had a decent day.  As you can see, the Seville is exceptionally clean inside and out.  That's all original leather and carpet.  Note that even luggage rides in style - the trunk lid and hinges are also covered in carpet.  Yes, that's a factory woven mat in the trunk with the Cadillac logo.  The engine compartment is pretty crowded even with a small V8.  Hard to imagine that the earliest versions had the 350 diesel!  I still have scars from changing out the spark plugs a couple of weeks ago.
March 5, 2006 - Another session with Mike got the rear filler panels contoured and ready for paint.  The pieces looks great.  As he said, fixing the original parts resulted in a much better fit.  The new rear sections are two pieces instead of one, so there would be a split at the bumper line.  I did use the center piece, as that was completely missing.  Still, I think if there is a next time for a job like this, Mike won't be so eager to repair.  He's spent a good couple of hours filling, shaping, and grinding to get these parts right.  Everything is in primer now, and we'll get paint on it later this week or early next week.  
February 26, 2006 - Close to 2500 miles on the Seville now - the Studebaker didn't want to start for our car club Winter Blast tour to North Carolina (See the Studebaker page for that story), so I ended up taking the Seville.  The car got a lot of admiring looks, and of course, ran perfectly.  I have to say I'm glad the Studebaker didn't make it - we stayed in a hotel right on the ocean, and the Seville was covered in salt this morning when we left.  No big deal to wash off, but I paid more than twice as much for the new chrome on the Stude as I did for the entire Seville.  I changed oil and filter this afternoon - it's due, and she certainly has been earning her keep!  Still have to get the plastic finished and painted - maybe next weekend.
February 19, 2006 - The Seville looks good except for her plastic bumper fillers - as you can see from the left photo, they were cracking apart.  I bought new fiberglass replacements, but Mike convinced me to try fixing the old rear pieces to keep the best fit.  He used Corvette body epoxy to fill the cracks and holes, then ground it down and used regular filler to build up the contour.  We still have to glaze, prime and paint, but the shape looks good.
February 13, 2006 - Just over a month now, and the Seville has over 1600 trouble-free and very enjoyable miles added to her odometer.  Mileage has stayed at 20 mpg mixed, though I think a recent change of the 57K spark plugs may have bumped that up a little.  I got new plastic for the front and rear - it has to be painted yet, but that will take care of the exterior issues.  The oil is still like new at close to 3,000 miles and more than a year since the last change, which speaks well for the engine.  Still haven't gotten new photos, obviously.  Maybe this weekend!
January 17, 2006 - Been a busy week - I've put over 600 miles on the Seville and gotten a consistent 20 mpg in mixed driving.  That is amazing for a luxury car - she will probably do 25-26 on the highway.  It is a pleasure to drive.  The stereo is a Bose unit that was rebuilt just a year ago, and the suspension is firm without being harsh.  It's fun discovering the options - both front seats have power backrest recline, and the rear view mirror automatically changes to night setting when headlight glare in it.  The climate control system works great, and even the fuel computer seems to be accurate.  The original owner provided a folder of receipts going back more than 15 years - recent work includes not only the radio, but the climate control computer and fan, water pump, and exhaust.  I'll try to get more photos of the car this weekend.
January 9, 2006 - As expected, the Seville passed state inspection with nary a problem.  With the inspection done, I drove her to work today.  What a ride!  It runs and handles like a new car, and the interior is beautiful tan leather.  She looks OK outside, but the plastic bumper fillers front and rear are going bad.  This is a typical problem for most 1980s cars - luckily, replacements are available for about $200 for both front and rear sets.  I found and installed a nice grille for the original owner about a year ago, and also found a driver's armrest to replace the torn original about 5 months ago.  It's in the trunk, ready for me to get the time to put it in.  Looks like I did some favors for myself!
January 8, 2006 - Just what I needed!  Car number 119 in the Stein 'family' tree.  You'd think a Lincoln Mark III was enough decadence for anyone, but in my defense, this 1985 Cadillac Seville Elegante was just too good to pass up.  Riiight, you say.  OK - say someone offers you a one-family, mostly garage-kept car that you have known for 10 years, dealer-maintained by a doting lady owner, that offers every conceivable luxury option, unique styling, and good gas mileage for $420.  You gonna say no? 

True, the Caddy was in less-than-perfect order when it finally came to me.  The original owner gave it to her daughter as a knock-around car last year, only to have it spend eight months sitting unwanted and deteriorating in the driveway.  The battery went stone dead, and the trunk was left partially open, which allowed water and leaves to come in.  The tires went down, and the state inspection expired.  Then the car wouldn't run without the jumper cables when we finally got it started.  The alternator light was on, pegging the cause of the electrical problem.  So they dropped the price $80 to cover the cost of a new alternator! 

I got the car home Friday, and took care of the electrical problems yesterday. I ordered a showroom sales folder off of eBay, and made a trip to Pick N Pull to see what was around. There was a matching Seville there with a good front right bumper filler, even painted the right color!   Today was spent cleaning it up and getting it ready for inspection.  Drying out the trunk will take a while - it had water pooled in it, as well as a lot of leaves and pine needles.  The headlight bulbs were all going bad, and a couple of other lights were out.  And the windshield wipers were petrified.  However, that was the extent of work required.  The Michelin radials have a lot of life left in them, and most of the brake and exhaust system parts have been replaced within the past two years. She should pass with no problems, as the Seville only has about 600 miles on the 2004 inspection!

Back to Home