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Need advice on finding a classic

I am in love with Cadillac Eldorado’s from the 70’s; convertibles of course. If I can’t have a boat, I want a land yacht. Here is my situation. I am in grad school, so funds are somewhat limited. I am new to the restoration game, but feel competent doing minor to moderate repairs, and have mechanic friends and body shop people and even an upholsterer on my side. I am looking for something that runs, with working engine and transmission that don’t need work, just servicing. I want to make this into an intown daily driver, at least on weekends, but moreso just look forward to having a project other than research that I can get excited about. Trouble is, where in the heck do a find a car like this? I don’t mind it looking ugly, in fact that will help with price. Anyone know of someone that has one, or have advice on where to look? I have tried craigslist, hemmings, ebay. (I am in Athens, GA btw.) Thanks for any input.

Sorry to say this…but this is NOT a good idea.

Yes you can probably find one cheap…but you’ll spend more money keeping it running then what you paid for it.

The uglier it looks the more it’s going to cost you to keep it running.

Wait til you’re out of grad school and have a job that can afford this habit.

Grad school wasnt a good idea. Maybe this isnt either, but poor judgement aside…

Here’s your car. Go buy it. Then be prepared to spend several grand to get it running. But if you don’t have $5k set aside for the purchase plus repairs, then forget it.

(1969 pink Caddy convertible, not runnning, $2,000 OBO, Snellville Georgia)

Since it’s not running and the owner needs to sell it quick, try offering $1000 and let him counter up to $1500. Plead your poverty as a grad student.

Heck, if I lived in Snellville, I’d probably buy it myself. :wink:

I absolutely positively agree with Mike on this one. This is a bad idea. Nothing about the classic Caddys of the '70s will be cheap, and anything affordable will not be reliable… and maybe not even safe.

The definitive Caddy of the '70s is the '76 Caddy Eldorado Barritz. My sister had one way back then. Dripping with gorgeousness. And that white leather interior with red piping and 500CID engine were sights to behold. Unless you win the lottery, good luck finding one in running condition.

Just looking at the pics, no way! I would take a couple hundred to haul it off for him.

I had a 66 Fleetwood for two years of college. I bought it for $50 it for 2 years and sold it for $100. I won’t even fit in my garage I have now. It was a complete rust bucket. The doors flapped in the wind. Big 429 V8…about 8mpg. Had a nice 6-body trunk. But road beautifully.

I agree with the others here that are saying an Eldorado is a bad idea. They were expensive to fix back in the day when everything was cheaper. Those days are long gone.

You think the owner would really pay you $1000 to take it away? Not running, an AAMCO transmission that will need to be replaced, a convertible sitting outside down south? I’d have it fully fumigated to get rid of spiders, mice, snakes, cockroaches etc. before hauling it home myself.

I’ve had two rounds of graduate school and my advice is not to fall in love with a car while you are in graduate school. My late father’s advice was “there will always be cars”. When you are out of graduate school, you will have the time and hopefully the money to have your dream car. When I was in graduate school, my coursework and assistantship duties kept me so busy I didn’t have time to worry about a car. I had AMOCO motor club card and there was an AMOCO station just off campus. I didn’t do any of the work on the car. If it wouldn’t start, I called the motor club.
Even after you are out of graduate school, go for the boat instead of the land yacht. The earth is 3/4 water and 1/4 land. Therefore, a man should spend 3/4 of his time fishing. That requires a boat, not a car.
When I was in graduate school, we lived in married student housing. It wasn’t luxurious, but I didn’t have to worry about upkeep. I could walk out the door of the building, jump on a bus and be on campus in 5 minutes–no parking worry. I had fellow graduate students that lived in more luxurious apartments off-campus that had swimming pools. These students were in the same program I was in. These students had to drive in and hunt for a parking place every day. I finished the program a year before these other students did. It was worth the sacrifice of driving a common car and not living off campus in an apartment with a swimming pool.

Once you get it going the cost of fuel alone will create shock and awe.

Once you get it going the cost of fuel alone will create shock and awe. That’s true @rattlegas and add in the fact that the fuel tank is huge…22-24 gallon I think. That’s an average of $80 a fill-up in “today’s” money.

I doubt that you will have time for this project in graduate school. If you don’t have a car now, get a small sedan that is around 5 years old.

A home remodel theory is estimate your cost and multiply by 3 , restoring a car to any standard multiply by 10.

Just my opinion but I don’t know why anyone would have wanted one when it was new let alone old. I guess I’ve never been a Caddy fan.

You would be far better off to just buy a reasonably straight car that runs well. It will cost a lot less in the long run and there are older Cadillacs on eBay for reasonable prices.

You also state you have friends in the mechanic, body shop, and interior fields on your side. That is only going to go so far before someone gets very disgruntled.

There is one in Florida advertised at $12,500 that looks from the photos to need a little tlc but would be a better starting point than the $2,500 car. But you’d have to check it out for yourself or find someone to do the inspection. How far does $10K go for restoring a caddy of this era?

Here’s a good grad school research project: look into the project car you want once you graduate. Join web communities, car clubs, etc. Then when you have the money and time you’ll be ready. A junky Eldo is a bad idea, even after you have the money and time.

@‌ Bing
I wouldn’t take that thing home, straight to the junk yard where it belongs. And yes he would have to pay me, but I would do it for a couple hundred not $1000.

22~24 gallon gas tank is huge? Compared to what, a Mini Cooper?
Look on and look at the capacity of a lot of cars; 19~20 is about average from what I’ve seen. When you start talking about 30+ gallon truck tanks, THOSE are huge, 22~24 gallons is a bit above average