By on July 16, 2013

03 - 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinThe brain-melting Colorado yard must have a couple thousand pre-1970 cars scattered about its several square miles of land on the Colorado High Plains just east of Pikes Peak. That means I’ll never run out of Junkyard Finds there! While most of my Brain-Melting Junkyard posts have featured non-Big-Three products, there’s some pretty good stuff made by The General among the Kaisers and Willys (Willyses?). Today we’ll look at a sunbleached but solid-looking ’62 Cadillac.
13 - 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car has been sitting for a decade of two. Every winter, it hides beneath the snow. Every summer, the High Plains sun applies jillions-o-joules.
10 - 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinThe four-door hardtop Cadillacs of this era aren’t as desirable as the coupes and convertibles, so it’s likely that this car is worth more in parts than as a restoration candidate.
14 - 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille Down On the Junkyard - Pictures courtesy of Murilee MartinBut you never know what will happen to the values of cars like this; perhaps its value will be much higher in another decade.

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54 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille...”

  • avatar

    This thing has been exposed to the elements for over 50 years. Some surface and edge rusting, but otherwise visually solid. Most impressive, the chrome still shines, nary a rust point. The Sedan DeVille script is solid, still attached 50+ years later, and no rust at the attachment point.

    The legends tell of a time, when General Motors manufactured world class cars, instead of world class marketing lies. Where their cars were built to last, not built to last 37 months. This Sedan DeVille is like the Eldorado of legend.

    ***as seen from the perspective of a child of the 80’s, with a late 70’s Grand Prix which required my dad to open the hood and use a screwdriver to start, an ’88 Caprice that was rusting by ’94, my ’88 Sierra with no functional guages for 4 years, and my ’03 Bonneville that catastrophically failed at 6,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar

      A how I fondly remember the hammer to the solinoid starting routine for my 84′ escort:)

    • 0 avatar

      Well, that, and the sunny, dry climate here in Colorado helps a lot. But the climate here takes different tolls on cars – you see a lot of faded paint, and tons of warped dashboards (including my ’03 Buick) – the sun is brutal.

      I doubt this Caddy would have held up as well if it had been driven a lot in the upper Midwest.

  • avatar

    “This thing has been exposed to the elements for over 60 years”

    Not quite; as described, it’s a ’62 making it 51 years old.

  • avatar

    what is it that is so interesting, so compelling, about watching a car rust in place? i cannot explain it but i am transfixed every time the brain melting colorado yard comes into view. i do not even want to save them all but i just want to watch.

    better than tv…………

  • avatar

    It is such a pity that it will not be worth the money needed to resurrect its former glory. Such a cool looking thing, nicer than the much hyped coupe if you ask me.

    That trunk is pure excess, much longer than it needs to be just because it looked good. And to show the world that Cadillac could build it like that because they felt like doing it.

  • avatar

    I would love to restore this car 4 doors, hardtop and all, but time isn’t something I’m flush with, unfortunately.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    So Murilee, if you’re up for a little road trip to SE Colorado (not the most scenic place in the world, I can direct you to an old ranch that has a number of 1930s and 1940s cars just sitting out there, plus some equally vintage trucks (unless someone’s removed them since I was last there 43 years ago, which seems unlikely.

    Head on south to Pueblo and then take a left on US 50 east. Go through La Junta and the next town is a place called Hasty (pop. 90 in 1970). When you get to Hasty, there’s one intersection in the middle of town (such as it is). Turn left (north). You’ll be on a wide gravel road. Follow that road to the end, or at least until it crosses the Fort Lyon irrigation canal, which will be on your left. Right before the crossing is the entrance to the old H-bar-box ranch, which is where all the goodies are.

    The ranch was sold in the early 1980s, by the son of the people who originally homesteaded it in the early 1900s, the Baldwins. He had spent a ton of money putting his mom in long-term nursing care, and sold the ranch to pay the debt. The house may still be there, along with the barn, the corrals . . . and the family auto graveyard.

    Could be an interesting trip!

    • 0 avatar

      Have you checked the satellite view of this area to see if they are still there? I checked both using Google and Bing, and can’t find anything (besides a few cows & rolls of hay) in the area that indicates any collections of vehicles being stored outdoors.

      Fourty-three years is a long time. Many of the rural places I am familiar with in eastern WA and OR have changed so much over that same time period that I can barely recognize them from my youth (new roads, intersections, and all of the old navigational landmarks, primarly old houses and gas stations, have been razed).

    • 0 avatar

      The price of scrap cleared a lot of old rust buckets. Makes a drive in the country a lot less interesting for this car nut.

      East and far East Texas, NW Louisiana, SW Arkansas, SE Oklahoma, is nearly empty. Everybody says the same thing, ‘Scrappers got em’. That, and a lot of counties and parishes have new nuisance laws_ put them behind a blind fence or in a garage or lose them. Guy in Florida lost his cars, his place, and went to jail for not cleaning up his collection.

      Areas that are a long way from a seaport haven’t suffered from the depredation from scrappers. Too far to ship too make it worthwhile.

      Here in SW Oregon, we had some loss of cars, but there is still some amazing stuff out there.

    • 0 avatar

      Are you the Bruce mentioned in this comment? (I think it’s from your cousin.)

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Lesna

      Are you the Bruce mentioned in this comment? Francis Baldwin was your uncle?

    • 0 avatar
      The Butler

      Excellent directions. I found it on google maps. Here’s a great photo.

  • avatar

    This is one of my favorite Cadillacs. Compared to it’s mid-50s through ’61 predecessors this one seems almost understated. I was at an classic car show, Sunday and was admiring a near perfect Cadillac identical to this one. I had my 85 year old father with me who had one like this and even he remarked, “I don’t remember them being so big, how did we ever drive them?” The only thing I can think of was that there were so many fewer cars then, that you didn’t get in each others way as much.

    Good find.

    • 0 avatar

      “how did we ever drive them?”

      I wonder how they ever parked them as well.

      The homes on my street were built during the post-war boom. Mine was probably one of the last, ca. 1949 (I bought it 50 years later). A handful were built with garages; of a size that would nicely accomodate a Mini Clubman. If you needed also to store a lawnmower, a ladder, and a workbench, you might have enough room to open the door on one side of the car, and perhaps the rear.

      I have to laugh imagining anyone from earlier eras (1940s-1970s) actually fitting a full-size domestic sled into their garage…assuming the driver of such a beast could successfully navigate the tight turn from the driveway into the garage opening.

      • 0 avatar

        My grandfather built a bump-out in his garage to accommodate his ’56 Cadillac. I suppose he wasn’t the only one

        • 0 avatar

          Luckily my grandmother’s house was off an age that it had a carraige house, not a garage (actually have pictures of my great grandmother riding in a horse drawn sled, in the harsh winters of south carolina, guess things have warmed up bit), so anyways from the 72′ eldorado all the way the giant Olds bubble wagons of the 90’s they all fit nicely, two of them at a time even, advatages and disadvatages of buying a house built in the 1890’s.

          • 0 avatar

            “…the harsh winters of south carolina, guess things have warmed up bit”… Yes, we’re much closer to the sun then we were back then

        • 0 avatar

          Actually my grandmother extended the garage with a 56 Cadillac by driving through the back wall (she thought it was in reverse). It needed to be done anyway because the 59 Caddy would never have fit. I recently drove by the old homestead and could not believe how narrow the garage was.

          My grand father was a locomotive engineer who’s only extravagance was buying 2 year old Cadillacs. My first memories are riding in the front of a 56 Cadillac sitting on the folding center armrest as a child seat…Ray Lahood would have had a stroke!!!

      • 0 avatar

        It’s funny, my house was built in 1938, and the garage is (underneath the house) plenty large to accommodate something like this. It’s the full length of the house in the basement. You’d have to drive in and out carefully because of the width, but it would fit and you could open the doors to get out. I could park a Suburban in there if it weren’t so tall. I think I must have a sort of oddity to have such a large garage (original size).

      • 0 avatar

        Definitely would not fit in my garage (a 1951 add-on to a 1948 house); I can squeeze a Nissan Maxima in there, but not much else beyond, well, a ladder and a lawn mower.

    • 0 avatar

      One of mine too. Look at those clean lines. So elegant.

  • avatar

    Agree with Morbo, it does look pretty solid. Especially that chrome! So in this case, it’s the interior that will break the bank.
    I still prefer the lines of my 69, but the interior of these has it beat, by a long shot.

  • avatar

    July 13th I traveled US 24 between Limon CO and Colorado Springs. I may have glimpsed this Junkyard from the highway. At the time I was driving my 2004 F150 Heritage and towing a 1967 Mustang, I swear the Stang shuddered in a “but for the grace of god” sort of way…

  • avatar

    It’s complete. What are folks asking for a ’62 Cadillac that’s running and in the same shape? What does a motor or transmission rebuild cost, if it’s needed?
    I remember working for a museum that actively campaigned for car donations, and the family of a 90 yo woman turned her metallic rose Cadillac(same model as this)in when she could no longer drive. What a sweet car it was.

    • 0 avatar

      MM is just making the point that it likely cost more to restore than what it is worth. I argue that it depends on what your purpose is. Are you Gas Monkey Garage and you have two crazy Australians who want a 1960s Cadillac (non-convertible) to blast across the USA in? This car is likely the perfect starting point.

      Do you want to restore it to original condition and flip it expecting to make money? This is not the body style you are looking for… it is worth more as a parts car for a more desirable model (that is if anything interchanges.)

      • 0 avatar

        No! No! And maybe?

        Here is what you do with 4-dr Hdtp with the straight lines of this model. You turn it into a Deville Speedster. A car with only the front seat(s), and no top.

        What is a Deville Speedster? A Phantom. What is a phantom? A car the OEM never built.

        How do you do it.

        Take a car that has the lines(straight) that allows you to cut the roof off and then about 22″-24″ out of the car and put it back together. Cars with diminishing curves, example; 59′-60′ Buick, are nearly impossible to do, this model Cadillac 4-dr hdtp(61′-62′)is perfect for the job.

        You take part of the front doors and cut just behind the wing window a few inches. Cut the back door a few inches back from the hinges and put the two doors together. Amount removed from doors has to equal the amount cut from pan and frame.

        Now some would leave the rear axle and wheel housing/opening in place, but it doesn’t look right. I move the axles, frame axle hoop, and wheel housing and opening, back about 12″-14″. Balances out the car visually. A lot more work, but worth it if you take pride in your builds and workmanship.

        If you want a removable hardtop, this Caddy has the right roof. A bit involved, but gives you some options for all weather use and is a sophisticated way to finish the job and add significant value to the build.

        Another way to go with the roof, is to find a donor convertible, grab its windshield and trim with top mount, the top, mounts and body trim, and shorten the roof the appropriate amount, and you have a convertible speedster.

        Want to chop the windshield and top, it can be done, but you better know what your doing. I don’t usually chop the roof, as I have a tall upper body and have issues with roof clearance, as it is. If it is a spec build, I might chop it just for the looks.

        When I finish my 61′ Olds Speedster, I may post it here if there is any interest, or put it on a website/blog to be created for the shop.

        By the way, 4-dr hdtp’s are the only good way to do these speedsters. 4-drs are cheaper to buy and the four doors make it a lot easier to do then the two doors. There are other significant reasons in terms of body line mergers and body panel realestate. For years, I thought I had to do it with a 2-dr Hdtp, then it dawned on me that it really wouldn’t work that well.

        The 61′-62′ Cadillacs are one of the cars on my list of possible speedsters. I really want to do a 56′ Chrysler or a 60′ Pontiac. So many of the fifties early sixties GM and Chysler cars would look outrageous as speedsters. Not to many Fords lend themselves to the look. The car has to have a certain panache too pull it off, and while I like Fords, most just don’t have that verve with their middle of the road, safe stylings.

        Phantoms rule the custom world.

        Now get out your torches… and build something.

  • avatar

    Never cared for the 62s, they seemed a bit too Chevy-like for me.

    As for 4dr values, ordinary four door cars will never be worth anything except as parts donors for their 2dr kin. Actually, except for true classics, like Duesenbergs, or the original Bugattis, most of today’s “collector” cars will be worth LESS money in a few years than they are now.

    Values of run-of-the-mill collector cars all seem to follow a similar trajectory. The cars hit the streets and depreciated quickly until they were just old, used heaps. At this point the kids who lusted after these cars in their youth, but were too young/poor to buy one when they were new, start bidding up the prices of survivors, or nicely restored versions. Prices remain high while the collector demographic for the car in question remain in their peak earning years. As the current owners advance into senility, and then the graveyard, and the cars in question pass out of living memory, the prices fall again until they hit some floor and that’s were they remain, more or less for decades to come. It happened with the Model Ts and As and it’s currently happening with the “muscle” cars.

    • 0 avatar

      I generally agree with you. But, there are some common mass produced exceptions that retain considerable collector value for essentially esthetic reasons long after their original demographic is gone. Fords from Model T’s to WWII – esp. business coupes. Mercury lead sleds. Pre-WWII pickups and panel trucks. Some late 1930’s Lincolns. There are others.

    • 0 avatar

      I still laugh at the idea of people 20 years from now lusting over a mint 1999 civic si the way people admire muscle cars today but I could see it happening. The trend you point out does make sense. Cars are sold. They depreciate. Later people who grew up admiring them want the car they couldn’t afford new or they previously owned one and sold it, then want “their” old car” back. Suddenly good examples become rare and prices skyrocket. Then the people who are attached to those cars die off or lose interest and sell and cause prices to fall again. Better start hoarding mint 1990s hondas! When I was a kid I was obsessed with the New Edge Mustang. You can probably guess where I went with that years later when I got the money to actually buy a car…

      • 0 avatar

        I agree that my analysis as presented above is overly simplistic. I doubt the prices of original Shelby Mustangs will every come down. Prices for garden variety Mustangs? They’re already moving down.

        Every decade provides some cars that will attract collectors at some point. Exotics, like Ferraris, and super high-end cars, like the Rolls, will always attract collectors, irrespective of what decade they were manufactured.

        The seventies are generally considered to be the low point of the American car market, yet there are people who collect 70s cars. 70s Corvettes, although the least desirable of the Corvettes, are nonetheless collectable. Non-rusty Datsun 240/260s will always be worth something. I once saw a restored Ford Granada that was stuffed with a stroker small block. Hell, who wouldn’t want a Buick Grand National?

        The problem with collecting cars from the mid-80s on will be how to deal with deal electronics once the replacement supply of said electronics dry up. The only way to keep those cars going will be to refit them with a similar system made for a current production car, or hack something together in the basement…if you have the skills. Civic Si? You never know.

  • avatar

    That picture of the rear chrome surround is awesome. Love how you can see the fields and rows of other cars in the chrome!

  • avatar

    I believe that people coming of age now in this coupe-less era will seek out these old 4 doors in the future.

    I prefer 2doors myself, but this model looks much better in 4door.

  • avatar

    I enjoy your “Junkyard Find” series as I grew up in Colorado. My dad and I used to make a day out of visiting junk yards for parts. One of my favorites was a few miles east of Florence, Colorado on Hwy 115. Lot of very old wrecks and as a kid and up and coming car freak I was in heaven.

  • avatar

    i wonder what it’s the torsional stifness of a 4 dr hard top. can’t figure out how it must be to drive this thing!

  • avatar

    Torsional body stiffness isn’t as much of an issue as floaty handling. The car is a body-on-frame design, but it was true the hardtop design allowed the windows to rattle a bit more over time that a post sedan would.

    I liked the ’62-’63 design. You could see the trend towards smaller tailfins, while still keeping some of the jet-age exuberance of the times. The design took another continued step away from excess in the ’64 and ’65 model year, where the fins were smaller yet. In that series, the windshield frame ended up with straight not curved sides, and the fins below the belt line went away

    These cars were approaching the eventual decontenting of the Cadillac marque, but there was still extensive use of chrome-plated die cast interior trim pieces, as opposed to the chrome-plated plastic or fake woodgrain vinyl parts that followed by the late sixties and early seventies.

    For that reason, I’d like to have one because it wouldn’t be too hard to bring the appearance back once a good paint job was applied. At least you had some good metal in the interior to work with.

    Drivetrains were pretty solid, if a bit thirsty..but gas was $.32 per gallon even when the car was 10 years old.

  • avatar

    Even if it’s not worth a thorugh restoration, you can still make it presentable without breaking the bank. Some generic vinyl seatcovers and door panel covering from Bubba’s Auto Upholstery, a thorough sanding, a backyard paint job with a rented spray gun and all the chrome and glass carefully masked off, make sure the brakes work, change all the fluids, and there you go.

  • avatar

    What really impresses me is the length of that trunk lid. Compare that to today’s Taurus.

  • avatar

    Hmm 1962 Kennedy Moon Race & rocket fins? While at a hotel in California “Just think how much you’ll be missing me, cause you won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.”

    Scan DeVille with lasers then do a 3 D Print. Tie the additive to a donkey with Carter placards and pull her with a blow horn announcing “Each of us will have to use less oil and be prepared to pay more for it.” The trunk may be left open with cardboard standees of Stalin & Krushchev waving and toasting in Russian “No Soviet troops in Korea or Vietnam, welcome to the predator tap.”

  • avatar

    I don’t think my whitewalls have ever looked as bright as the ones on this car that has sat for decade in snow, rain, sun and dust. Life just isn’t fair about some things.

  • avatar

    Hello! Murilee,

    Is this Caddy available?

    If so, did you get a good enough look at the rockers and floor to see if they are rotten. Is the dash complete? Does it still have an engine/trans?

    Would like to know where it is, as it could be the next Speedster.

    A 1,400 mile pull to my shop in SW Oregon, but if the car is solid and the price is right, I will go get her.

    Any help with contact info for the owner would be appreciated.

    Regards …Tre.

  • avatar

    Ah yes. This is the car (not this one specifically), that I learned to drive on! My dad had always wanted a Cadillac. He bought one in 1975, when you could get them for a song. (probably some Bowie tune).

    I took my road test on it in ’77 and passed, but blew the seals out of the tranny, or something, don’t quite remember. Dad sold it a few days later to some guy for a demo derby. Too bad, she was a great cruiser.

    As a keepsake I pried the emblem off the passenger side of the dashboard, and still have it.

  • avatar

    There was a version of this car called the “Park Avenue”. It had a shorter trunk, and in my opinion it was better proportioned.

    • 0 avatar

      @ Brandloyalty,

      There wasn’t a separate model called the ‘Park Ave’ until 1991. The Park Avenue was first introduced as a trim level of the Electra 225 in 1977. So you would be referring to an Electra 225 in the in the era of this Cadillac.

  • avatar

    1962 was the year I fell for Cadillacs. I was all of six. Chick, my dad’s friend, bought a white Fleetwood Sixty Special with the white and black interior. I can still recall sitting in that car and thinking it was the pinnacle of motordom. Nearly 51 years have passed and I still love Cadillacs even though they’ve let me down several times over the years.

  • avatar

    Was there a rusty Don Draper in this car?

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