Doesn’t this give you the willies? This is when those 1974 five-mile bumpers suddenly look good.
Posted by wooriegi
I almost bought the Lincoln version with 4 doors until I realized that it wouldn’t fit into my garage as it was too long. (and I could fit my 16 ft runabout and trailer into the garage) These cars were HUGE, but they rode like the living room.
They are huge by today’s standards, but my parents’ ’65 Continental was a dream to drive, surprisingly nimble and easy to handle, powerful, not at all over-sized, or so at least I thought then. And, it fit into our 20′ deep garage, no problem.
I can’t be sure but that looks like it may be a 1998+ Chrysler Concorde in front of the Cadillac.
I considered buying one but even that was too long for my garage. Now, if I didn’t
have a beer fridge in it, there would have been enough space…!!
1966 Cadillac…gorgeous, and (surprise) only about one foot longer than the 1998 Concorde!
My past automobile ownership includes two Karmann-Ghias. While both had the older bumpers with overrides, they were all subject to damage on the unprotected “nose.”
i’m always both honored and horrified when paul picks one my contributions to the cohort. you can actually see my thumb at the top of the picture!
this caddy is no garage queen. i’ve seen it out on the curb before. the picture makes the parking look like the front car is on top of the bumper but there is probably six inches of space there. the mind blowing thing to me is that it’s at least six inches from the curb. nobody does that with a car they care about here. side view mirrors are the most common casualty of parking on new york streets. and for those of you that are still under the impression that new york is a high crime city, i’d like to point out that this convertible is not sporting “the club”or other security device.
Where in New York was this street scene? I have seen cobblestones still used in and around Soho and Brooklyn Heights (including Cobble Hill, naturally), but not anywhere else.
harrison st. in tribeca. they redid the cobblestone about three years ago.
Since it is my favorite Caddy year and body style, I will have to keep my eyes open for this car next time that I am in the area.
A slightly older cousin of this car that I found in Stockholm proves that they can survive tight city street parking unscathed:
for those interested who might be interested. this is what the block looked in 1972 with some curbside classics.
Amazing in the transformation in NYC since then. Boy how I wish I had bought property there in those dark days!
Not to mention it is parked with the top down! Although that is a good way to avoid break-in damage to the top I suppose.
Re the 1972 photo, I wonder would the vacant land there be making way a construction project? Otherwise it seems incredible that there should be that much vacant land on the island even back then.
Harrison Street as it looks today, lined with late 1700s/early 1800s Federal-style houses, is mostly the product of a 1970s urban renewal project. Many of the houses were moved there when basically everything along Washington Street (the old market area) was torn down and the houses, which had been altered into market buildings decades before, were “restored” to something approximating their original condition. An enormous, horrifically ugly concrete residential tower was constructed next door to them. So the whole thing is essentially an urban fabrication. There’s some more info about Harrison Street’s history here:
That Caddy has please don’t back into me or steal me written all over it. It’s vulnerable on many levels.
Now compare that this ’84 Coupe de Ville that Tom K. shot awhile back. You can see how the passenger side taillight took a hit all the way to the sheetmetal and popped right back. I know what you’re thinking — he must have replaced that taillight and probably the bumper too — but trust me they are designed to pop right out.
One is like a princess the other is Christine’s daughter. Go ahead and hit me I can grown my own bumpers.
No one is going to mess with a car like that. Can you imagine the focus group answers to the question “what does the owner of this Cadillac look like?”
I didn’t know bumper filler even disappears in Ohio.
But car stealing is another problem. last year, I saw a person offering $300 to buy his stolen tempo back in Detroit. Tempo, how far the thieves fall!
Purty Caddy. Must have taken a mighty big shoehorn to get that boat into that spot 😀 !
This sort of thing was my biggest challenge in living with a 68 Newport in the late 90s – the rest of the world is smaller. The car barely fit in my garage, and it was the rare parallel parking space that was long enough to accommodate if there were cars ahead and behind. My hat is off to this Caddy driver, whose parking skills appear quite good.
My ’72 Detla 88 convertible just barely fits in my one-car apartment garage. With the rear bumper touching the back wall, I have about 6-8 inches of space between the front bumper and the garage door.
Just wondering, I havn’t seen Tom Klockau posting or leaving replies here in a while. Does anyone know why?
He and former CC’er Richard Bennett are now running a site called The Brougham Society on facebook.
Well damn, I so loved his writing style (and his old soul for loving those big broughams :>) Does this mean he won’t be contributing here anymore?
Ugh. I simply couldn’t have a vintage car! The stress!!
I doubt it would have fit if it had some of those 5-mph bumpers. Some of those things would make handy picnic tables.
That invaluable ’98 Concorde needs to pull forward about 3 feet and let one of the last true American luxury cars wheel out of that space.
Does anyone remember the Honda commercial from about 25 years ago where a daughter asks her elderly Mom who came to visit if she had trouble finding a parking space? Mom replied she parked “right out front”, and the video shows her in an early ’70s Cadillac “contact parking” that boat in a tight space.
Not sure what that had to do with a Honda, but it was kind of funny. Unless it’s your car that gets scuffed up.
I once owned a Chevy Nova but fear of possible damage while parking in San Francisco had me trade it for a Ford Fiesta.
It’s my experience that no matter how much room you leave when parking, people are thoughtless clods and will mindless ding a car like this Caddy.
I think the modern cars with painted bumpers are more vulnerable to the chromed steel on the Caddy, especially the one in front of that pointed beak!
I feel the same way. I think chrome bumpers, even with designs that made the headlights and such more vulnerable, acted like sacrificial appendages. Chrome holds up much better than paint in your average low speed scrape and in the event it’s actually bent or severely gouged you either replace it or replate it, rather than repaint it which often results in a shade mismatch with painted bumpers.
Ah, this brings back memories my 1966 Catalina. One good thing about parallel-parking one of these old Yank Tanks is the way the sharp-edged styling allows you to see exactly where your bumpers are. On top of that, there’s that easy one-finger power steering that these old GM cars had. However… this having been said, parallel parking a big car is something of an art form. I’ll never forget the time three people that I didn’t know applauded me (yes, literal hand-clapping) after a particularly graceful parking job…
I agree with Actually Mike. I can park a ’71 Electra 225 with aplomb and yet anything newer with disappearing corners is awful to park. I’ll be just fine until my depth perception goes to hell…
The ’66 Cadillac is one of my favorite models, so elegant!
I agree that chrome bumpers were far superior to the painted plastic bumper covers we have today.
nice car, always liked the 1965-70 Cadillac’s a lot, 1968 is my overall favorite year because it was the last year of the stacked headlights and the first year of the 472 high compression V8 engine, what year was it when the Cadillac’s interiors and quality was starting to be cheapened out?
Without knowing anything about Cadillac back then, my guess is, about 1967, judging by annual inflation trends. No surprise; the US had to finance the Great Society, Vietnam War, & Space Race, to Make the World a Better Place.
During inflationary periods, manufacturers have a choice: maintain quality & raise prices, losing sales, or cheapen product to maintain sales volume & keep factories running. Nowadays, there’s the Made In China/Mexico option as well.
The 1969-70 models were cheaper in some respects. The steering wheel and steering column, for example, were black, regardless of the color of the interior.
On the other hand, power disc brakes and variable-ratio power steering joined the standard-equipment roster, while the 472 cubic-inch V-8 (introduced for the 1968 model year) was an improvement over its predecessor.
So GM giveth, and GM taketh away.
The 1971 models were when the de-contenting REALLY became noticeable. Body rigidity and overall workmanship, in particular, were worse than before.
Anyone here remember the commercial for 21st Century insurance a few years back? The one with the guy driving a ’61 Caddy convertible, bashing his way in between two Miatas?
I do remember that one. Made me wince a little every time I saw it!
That was the FIRST thing I thought of when I saw this.
CC Effect – saw a ’66 Sedan Deville just today, and it was parked on the street.
(The above is sort of cheating. I see that particular ’66 nearly every day, as it lives in my neighborhood and is *always* street parked. The showroom-shiny ’79 Continental Town Coupe gets the garage!)
I’m quite familiar with the challenges of parking a big car in a parallel spot, as that’s all we have in my neighborhood and I drive a Crown Vic. You get used to it eventually, and know your limitations. But something like the featured ragtop would make me nervous regardless! Yes, chrome bumpers are unaffected by little shunts, so someone “touch parking” isn’t really going to do any damage unless they give it a really good lick – but scrapes on the corners are also a real possibility and do far more damage.
From personal experience, I’d say those bumpers would do just fine at parking speeds.
My ’65 Chrysler has a dime sized spot of white paint on the corner of the front bumper. Leaving the gas pumps, a guy in a subcompact misjudged the turn and put a 4 foot long crease in his door and rear quarter.
I figure having the top up isn’t really going to stop or even slow a determined thief, and leaving it down makes it look like your not going to be gone long. Just remember to put anything loose in the trunk.
When I do park in front of my apartment in the city, I also follow the less than 6″ rule. I get a theoretical buffer because my street has a bike lane, not that that would stop anyone from being clipped by a really bad driver (none of those in NYC…come on!), but it does put a 4 foot gap between parking spaces and traffic. When I have the Buick I try to park driver’s side in since there’s no passenger mirror!
I’ve been able to get the Buick into almost any space. At 18.5 feet (222 in) it’s just short enough to get there, and the visibility is so good that I’ve accomplished a miracle or two. The 3 extra inches in length on the ’93 Fleetwood Brougham, plus the higher trunk lid, make it much more challenging to parallel park.
I used to squeeze into spots like this with at work where employees would leave about 1 ft too short of a parking space between both the front and rear of their cars. I was on the later shift and would see all this wasted parking space, and when the street was full you had to park about 2 blocks away. I had more then one complaint about parking “too close” to their car, even though at one end of their car they would have about 8 feet of free space to easily pull out. End of parking space hogs rant.
’65-’66 are my favorite years for Cadillac styling, and big GM cars in general.
As far as parallel parking is concerned, have you seen how big a modern “mini van” is? The very common extended cab F-150 is even longer.
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