By on January 7, 2016


Would you visit a hotel that rents its rooms by the hour to see a 36-year-old Cadillac with a wrench sticking straight out of the carb?

That old-school Caddy — a 1979 Cadillac Deville D’Elegance — had pretty much popped straight out of Craigslist while I was eating some hashbrowns at a nearby Waffle House. About an hour after I first saw it, I bought it for $500. TTAC compatriot W. Christian “Mental” Ward even helped me drive it off to my dealership.

It was pretty beat up, but the Caddy could still maybe, kinda, sorta play the part of a “Goodfellas” Cadillac if you were far enough away from it. Maybe 50 feet. Maybe 150 feet with a really old pair of eyeglasses.

Between seeing a nice thick solid line of fuel sputtering out of the Cadillac’s tailpipe off Highway 278 and watching its body bounce like a pinata at a kid’s birthday party, I decided to do something.

I decided to write for TTAC again.


A few days later, I was at a shoot for the hit show “Halt And Catch Fire.” They needed an SUV that wasn’t white, red, or black. Picky, picky! But hey, my Jeep was gifted a ’90s-era forest green shade from the factory, so apparently that was the perfect Clinton-era color for them.

I parked the Jeep along with the Caddy, ate some free buffet food, and typed up my first article of 2015 while observing everyone casually ignore my two vehicles for 10 hours straight. The next day was more of the same, so I wrote the draft for “Where Have All The Clinton Era Cars Gone?” while glancing at my wife who was already on her second Dean Koontz novel.

Over the last six months, there have been two tons of surprises beyond the old cars and the new industry trends, which I often get to see firsthand. My favorite article to write didn’t hit the clicks I’d expected it to, but nearly everything else I wrote did incredibly well. Since I have only written about 20 articles in 2015, I figure why not just post them below and let the readers decide. Besides, I’m sick at the present moment and can type about as well as I can tap dance.

I’ll give it a few themes to make your browsing easier.


At The Auction

Hammer Time: Can A 1994 Dodge Viper Bite You In The Ass?

The Ultimate Fit: Aston Martin Van Damn!

Hammer Time: Is Scion The New Geo?

Your Car Stinks

Careless Criticisms

New Or Used? The $25,000 Question

The Warren Buffet Way To Buy And Sell Cars

Chevrolet Cruze: Success or Failure?


The Front Lines

Hammer Time: Why Cheap Cars Don’t Sell

Why Would Anyone Ever Recommend The Dodge Journey

Is America’s Last $15,000 Midsize Sedan Worth It?

If you don’t want to go through that list, just click here and read away. I’ll even throw in a bonus. For one weekend only, I’ll actually have the time to read and respond to all the readers here. We’re in the thick of ‘tax season’ at the auctions and the prices are too high for me to do my usual rounds. So if you ever wanted to ask me, “Where’s the cheapest place I can buy a Suzuki Kizashi?” — this is your chance. The answer to that question can likely be found here.

All the best!


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28 Comments on “Hammer Time: From Old Caddys to VW Crusher Fodder, Steve Lang’s Best of 2015...”

  • avatar

    There are 20 – 30 year old Lincolns and Cadillacs around here that look like new.

    They are HUGE pieces of rolling art compared to today’s soul-less, V8-less, Front Wheel Drive econoboxes.

    My mother’s 2009 Crystal-Red AWD V6 STS is getting long in the tooth now.

    The beauty of it is that very few people have one – so she gets compliments on it. Problem is – the warranty extension is between $3000 – $5000 (depending on deductible) and as the car is now many years old, I’m getting her to decide between a new CTS, XTS or CT6. She thinks the CT6 looks “better” than the XTS – although I’ve explained to her it’s basically a stretched XTS with a rear-seat luxury package (reclining seats).

    It seems to me that it would be cheaper and more rewarding to get any of the 3 cars over renewing the STS warranty simply because all of them are more spacious (even the CTS) and would come with brand-spanking-new warranties.

    As much as I’d love her to keep it, the problem is a string of “GM quality issues”

    #1 seat plastic parts that break
    #2 check engine light which may be O2 sensor related or filter related coming on infrequently.
    #3 some electrical problems infrequently.

    Repairing old Caddy’s is expensive.


    • 0 avatar

      You didn’t really tell your mom the CT6 was a stretched XTS, did you?

      The XTS is an Impala with a ten-grades-nicer interior. FWD, transverse, short hood/long overhang.

      The CT6 is much more like a stretched CTS. RWD, longitudinal, long hood/short overhang.

      • 0 avatar

        CT6 has pretty much no comparison in the GM stable. Right now it’s the only vehicle on the Omega platform.

        “Repairing old Caddy’s is expensive.”

        Repairing NEW Caddy’s is expensive too. My Uncle did 35 years as a Cadillac tech…the horror stories he told.

    • 0 avatar

      20 Year old Cadillacs were mostly FWD, unless youre talking about the Catera.

      As was the Lincoln Continental.

      But… A 20 year old Lincoln Town Car is absurdly good looking, Id love a 1996 Cartier in like-new condition. Everything inside and out was….perfect. Id take it over any Town Car before or since. Its the one Panther I love without question (okay, the Grand Marquis LSE with floor shift was, um… ok, i guess but I wouldnt own it for long probably).

      A 1996/7/8 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC is a helluva car, too, for far different reasons than its big 4 door brother.

      Its a shame that most of the 90-97 Town Cars I see now are worn out hoopties with more miles than the space shuttle. Im sure good ones still exist in south Florida, Arizona, etc.

      Some Marks still look okay, some are beat to death.

    • 0 avatar

      Why don’t you put your mom in a 300C or a HELLCAT?

  • avatar

    Love me some malaise era Caddys…

    (language warning)

    “Donnie you wanna kill me what that draft?!”

    Donnie Brasco was chock full of fun of car talk.

    Lefty: “So you like the Deville?”
    Donnie: “Fughedabout.”
    Lefty: “Yeah, I got the Fleetwood brougham”
    Donnie: “With the velour?”
    Lefty: “Fughedabout it”

    Lefty “Ain’t no way you can say to me a Lincoln is better than a Cadillac.”

    Other guy: “A Lincoln is better. It’s a better automobile. – Forget about it”

    Lefty: “A Cadillac’s got more acceleration. It’s got more power. It’s got better handling… It’s got more legroom for your legs. It’s got more power…”

  • avatar

    If you can buy a running 1979 Cadillac DeVille for $500 then what would a running ’81 L62 8-6-4 DeVille be worth?

  • avatar

    Steve, I went to read the ‘used or new’ article, and TTAC told me I wasn’t allowed to edit the article. A couple of other ones do the same thing. Looks like the links are accidentally pointing to a page that your admin status allows you to see but won’t let us plebs look at.

  • avatar

    Happy New Year’s Steve ! .

    FWIW , 42 isn’t old ~ I was working hard and fast @ 42 and wish I was still that young .

    I can’t seem to discern the link to the $500 Caddy article and I really want to read it as I love those cars .


    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Hey Nate! That one I started but went through 200+ distractions over the last several weeks. So I thought I would offer a brief synopsis here.

      Old Cadillacs are like old boats. The day you buy ’em and the day you sell ’em are the two best days of your ownership experience.

      Hope you had a fantastic new year! All the best!

  • avatar

    I’ll take a 79 Town Car over a 79 Deville any day. Nothing say, “F*** You! I got mine!”, like a town car from the 70s.

    • 0 avatar

      Tough choice for me. I liked the 425 and downsized B-body so its Caddy for me, but if it were mid 70s Continental Town Car vs Cadillac Deville (?) than I would go stinkin’ Lincoln.

  • avatar

    The Chrysler 300 is perhaps the best big 3 made car.
    Fast even in v6 trip.
    good looking
    good value.

    (Eeewwww. 2 inches of snow. I cant head out. I need AWD.)

  • avatar

    Thank you, Steve for a great series of articles. Please keep them coming!

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