AUGUST 2015: A LONG SEARCH FOR A GIANT 1966 CADDY CONVERTIBLE FINALLY PAYS OFF

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Cadillac is a name that has always been associated with the finer things in life.

 

Somebody with “Cadillac tastes” was a person who liked upscale products, including their automotive choices.

 

This philosophy was particularly true in a bygone era when Caddies were bought by people who wanted to celebrate their success in life with one of Detroit’s most expensive rides.

 

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Russell Wilton was always a big Caddy fan and is old enough to remember the large Cadillacs from the 60s, including the 1966 models. He started a serious search for one many years ago and eventually his 14 year hunt was successful. Russell was very specific when it came to his version of the big convertible: it had to be red with a white interior, top and top cover.  Those features lengthened the search because Russell also wanted his Caddy to be in excellent condition, a tall order for a car that will celebrate its 50th birthday next year.

 

Most of the 1966 Cadillac convertibles had served their purpose as a very cool form of transportation and gone to the big wrecking yard in the sky by the time Russell began his search. The new cyber-world of the ‘Net opened up the entire planet to Russell and he finally found his dream car via his computer. The car was stored in a Florida dealership’s garage for 21 years until the 2008 recession made the car expendable for its owner. He had to sell the car and Russell wanted to buy the car, so he seized the opportunity to buy the car.

 

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It was a big surprise to Russell to finally find his dream car, but that is the strength of our new highly connected world for the car hobby.Russell’s car is fully loaded, with tilt, cruise, a/c and a solid 429 engine under its massive hood. Russell said his car is nearly 20 feet long he loves the big car feel on the road. His wife Holly said it “rides like a couch in their living room” on the highway and they like to hit the open road in their Caddy.

 

Most of the trips in the big ‘vert are to car shows because Russell really enjoys the atmosphere at the shows and attention his Caddy receives from a curious public. In Russell’s words, “they are made to drive” and he is more than happy to spend time behind the wheel of the big convertible.  Russell keeps a steady 60-65 mph (100-105 km/h) pace on the highway and the 49-year-old Caddy is very comfortable at those speeds. Russell and Holly like to travel in groups with other car show enthusiasts to events because the social aspect of the car hobby is important to them.

 

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It turned out Russell was only the second owner of the Caddy and he already knows who will be the third owner of the big convertible: he willed it to his daughter.

 

Talk about a great heirloom.

 

Jim Sutherland

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