1956 Cadillac Other
Nifty mid-fifties Caddy that is fun to drive and can only get better! This solid Series 62 sedan makes a nice driver that can be enjoyed right away and upgraded over time. The car could use some mechanical work to be fully reliable, ut meanwhile it has a fresh, right paint job and fresh new interior ready to go. The owner was a longtime Cadillac enthusiast who specialized in 1959’s and used this ’56 for pleasure driving – and it is clear why: this car displays none of the garishness yet just enough of the personality of the finned 1950’s Cadillacs and is more enjoyable to drive. Those long and long ’59 – ‘62 tall-finned dolls stand out and grab attention, et you pay a price for their sleekness: you have to bend your head ninety degrees to climb inside, ou bang your knee on the dog-leg created by the wraparound windshield, nd you sit too damned low. Not great for us modern drivers who are used to SUV’s, rucks, nd vans. Switch over to this ’56 and the first thing you notice is how much easier it is to get in and out of! Normal height, ormal windshield and A-pillar with no dog-leg to bang your knee against. Roomy and comfortable thick padded driver’s seat at chair-height. Big steering wheel with a nice grip that feels just right in your hands. You sit comfortably high and you drive along with a safer and more secure feeling, eavy padding and thick metal surrounding you. Mechanical Condition Reversing the usual procedure for restoring a car, he late owner painted this car first and installed a nice new interior, hen set out to deal with the mechanicals. As a result, hile the car is quite driveable, here is mechanical work to be done. The engine runs from an electric fuel pump exclusively, s the mechanical pump has been removed. I have driven the car with no problems for many miles, ut I would prefer to have a mechanical pump and use the electric pump as a back-up. The transmission shifts properly once warmed up, ut it would probably benefit from a filter change, nspection, nd adjustment, s sometimes it does not shift as smoothly as it should. The wiring is original and has become dry and brittle, hich is normal for a car of this age but there have also been splicings and reconfigurations that present the possibility of unnecessary complications. I recommend a new wiring harness be installed at some point. The power steering does not work (although the large-diameter steering wheel provides all the leverage you need) and may or may not need to have a rebuilt pump. I suspect the front end could use some work. This car would be perfect for a guy who likes to tinker while using the car normally. Body Once you’ve restored a car from California, ou never want to deal with anything else. Replacing rusted body panels and filling rust holes is for the birds! Whatever mechanical work this Caddy needs, s an apparent black plate California car the body is nice and clean, ith one exception: an unaccountable hole in the floor just inside one rocker panel – perhaps the result of driving over a parking barrier? There are also some paint scratches and a dent or two in the mouldings. Nothing major. If you plan to drive a lot in the rain, t would be a good idea to replace the weatherseals eventually, s this was not done when the car was repainted. As you can see in the pictures, he bright work is first-rate quality and in quite good condition. One dent (see picture).Some rechromed parts were installed, uch as the rear bumper. As to those parts, he rechroming was not restoration-quality, hough nice enough for a driver. In 1956 it became briefly the fashion on all if not most American cars with dual exhaust for the tailpipe outlets to be routed through ports in the rear bumper ends; (My ’56 Studebaker has this feature, or example.) This Cadillac was either never equipped that way, r (more likely) the original set-up was subsequently reconfigured with a conventional system, ith the exhaust exiting under the bumper. As a result, his car features red reflectors in the oval bumper end openings in place of the original exhaust ports, hile handsome exhaust deflectors cover the tailpipes. It would be fun and not very hard to some day redirect the exhaust into the original configuration. There are descriptions and drawings online that show you how to do it. Interior While the interior has been reupholstered in vinyl as opposed to the original nylon- and-leather scheme, his two-toned blue and white material is thick and durable like naugahyde, lus the padding on both the seats and the door panels was replaced. The seats and door panels may lack the elegance of the original fabric, ut whatever you lose in originality you gain in utility and convenience: relax about that spilled drink or dropped ice cream cone! Plus the grain has just enough tooth that your behind doesn’t slide around. If you’re a fat-ass American like me, ho likes to eat and likes to drive, his is the car for you. The foot room, oo, s second-to-none. The windlace is in good condition. The headliner is not ripped or sagging, lthough it does have a number of stains (see picture). The carpet is a bit long-in-the-tooth. (But wait! We've gota mystery cardboard box containing unidentified, rand new dark blue carpet in a box. If it turns out that it was purchased by the late owner for installation in this car, t’s yours.) The instruments and controls are placed at a nice height and fall easily into one’s grip, nd the speedometer and gauges are well positioned and easy to read. The knobs are designed with just the right amount of slight roughness for ease of turning. Oddities or gimmicks are completely absent; unlike the later, uturistic models with wrap-around windshield and the resulting deep dash panel, his handsome dashboard feels like it was designed for functionality first and appearance second, lus a thick pad surrounds it on three sides for safety. Good luck, id with confidence, in the car, nd have some fun!