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I was really an idiot

i finally went ahead and bought that 1962 Caddy Sedan DeVille that I’ve had my eye on. That alone, does not make me an idiot. What I did this past weekend does. I was driving the Caddy in my housing development, which has a speed limit of 25 mph, that i scruplously adhere to. Someone was driving behind me obviously wanted me to go faster, since he was about a foot from my rear bumper and was grimacing. We stopped at the red light at the entrance to my development, and when the light changed, we both turned left onto the slightly larger road (2 lanes in each direction). About 2 blocks further on, i stopped for another light, and this guy pulls up next to me and is giving me dirty looks. I got mad, pulled the shift lever towards me and pulled it all the way down into low gear (I’ll show this guy a Cadillac is not a car to scorn… beep beep, beep beep, his horn went beep, beep, beep). Well, i must have been a good person recently, because a small voice in my head whispered “you just put it in reverse, genius”. i quickly corrected my error, the light turned green, and I left the guy in a cloud of tire smoke. That could have turned out so differently. For those of a younger generation, while the government mandated a shift quadrant of PRNDL sometime, IIRC, in the sixties, GM cars equipped with various hydramatic transmissions had a quadrant of PNDLR. Hopefully some of you caught the song reference above.

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Hey buddy, how can I get this car out of second gear?

What was the other guy driving? A 1962 Caddy, while a cool and desirable car, has about the same performance as a modern family sedan or SUV.


Some Asian transportation appliance. I really cant tell them apart. the Caddy has plenty of power for me.

Ohhh 180 hp or so in a 4500 lb car? Tire smoke with limited acceleration…

But a smooth, quiet ride. and I can steer it with one finger.

And stop it with that giant anchor you bought from the marine supply store?

We had a 1964 Series 62 hardtop Cadillac with the 429 ci engine. It was rated at 340 hp. The 390 ci engine was rated at 325 hp. The 429 had 480 lb-ft torque. It was a beast off the line, but faded over 70. I didn’t like driving that fast, though. The front end got squirrelly.

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i doubt if this car will ever see more than 45mph ( at least with me).

A little Nash Rambler

Oh yeah remember that song. I looked at a little pink Nash Rambler but they wanted $500 for it which was out of my budget. I forgot about those non-standard shift patterns.

A fellow driving a Lexus sports-style car was honking behind me the other day while we were both driving in the right hand turn lane in commute traffic, intending to turn onto the upcoming expressway. Apparently he wanted me to speed up, so of course I slowed down. Honking means there’s some sort of emergency situation right? Not gonna speed up if there’s an emergency. Anyway he shifts to the through traffic lane long enough to pass me, glaring the whole time, seeming to be shouting some naughty words at me, but of course I can’t hear what he’s saying. Then he merges back into the right hand turn lane & he immediately has to slam on his brakes b/c there’s a line of 20 cars waiting to turn right … lol … there I was right behind him …he wouldn’t look in his rear view mirror … lol …


Ahh, fond memories. I had a 1961 Sedan many years ago. Funny thing about those cars, they always rode like a dream no matter how bad a shape they were in. Mine was dark grey with brocade interior. That Cadillac always felt small to me compared to other years I’ve owned.

I’ve also had a 66, 67, and 70. I was always unimpressed with the 429 engine, I preferred the 390 or the 472.

The “true” PNDLR Hydramatic transmission you have was a nice unit. I had a 64 Olds PNDLR “Slim-jim” Roto-Hydramatic that was a lousy excuse for a transmission.

Show us a pic of your new ride?

If it’s nice out tomorrow I’ll take it out and take a pic. I don’t keep it at home, there’s a place near my house that has 50 garage spaces for folks to keep their collector cars. You had a 64 slim Jim? Someday I’ll tell the story of my experiences with them. I’ve rebuilt 11 of them. Easily the worst transmission ever built.


Aha yes the little Nash Rambler and the Cadillac. I am reminded of another song line " I dropped it down in racing and it blew up!"

If you’re an idiot, I guess a fair number of the regular responders here are idiots, too.

I know I am sometimes. Ask my wife.

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I’m also guilty as charged :raised_hand:

Did something similar during my drive test. I thought I was shifting to second gear. So rev matched, clutch down, shifter went left and down and then the transmission went grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Why wouldn’t they put first gear in that position for all cars and trucks? Perhaps it wasn’t as loud as I thought…I still passed my driving test

I still recall my first ride in my uncle’s '58 Desoto. It was truly huge–both inside and out–in comparison with our '55 Plymouth. While demonstrating its power to me and my family, my uncle also decided to demonstrate the ease of its power steering. He directed my cousin to find a thread that could be ripped from a seam on the boy’s clothing, and he then tied that thread to the steering wheel and proceeded to show us that he could steer the car with that thread.

Isn’t it amazing that, in those days, people thought that totally-effortless power steering was a good thing? Luckily we survived that episode, but afterwards–in private–my father cursed his brother-in-law for putting all of us in danger with that stunt.