Curbside Classic: 1963 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible – What’s A Caddy Like You Doing In A Place Like This?

(first posted 1/6/2014)    Finding this CC was all due to a battery failure. Not to get too deep into it, but I wear a cochlear implant, as I lost my “factory” hearing back in 1996. It uses rechargeable batteries, and when it goes out, I can’t hear. Really. You could fire a shotgun behind me, and I wouldn’t hear it. I’d probably feel the vibrations in the ground, but I wouldn’t hear it. So you can thank my forgetting a spare battery for this fine Caddy.

I was over at my folks, and we decided to go see Lincoln (sorry, no Continentals in this flick; good, nonetheless). About ten minutes after we got to the theater, my battery went flat. I normally carry a spare at all times, but for some reason, I didn’t grab it when I left my place. So, I borrowed my parents’ car, left them in the theater to get seats, and dashed back home for a spare. But as I was slowing to make a turn, I spotted this Cadillac at the K-Mart. Movie or no movie, I had to stop!

The 1963-64 Cadillacs were beautiful cars. I share Laurence Jones’ love of them, and always have time to check one out. But few are seen at shows. What makes this find all the more remarkable was that it was taken in December, in the Midwest! We had a rare run of nice weather at that time, so obviously this ’63’s owner took advantage. It was about 55° when these photos were taken.

Dusk was rapidly approaching too, so I must apologize for the shadowy interior pics. White with a black interior is about my least favorite color combination on a car, but the 1963 Cadillac would still look mighty fine in near any color combination!

Judging from the lack of stainless steel rocker trim and the upholstery style, this one is a Sixty-Two convertible. The 62 was the entry-level Cadillac, with the drop-top version starting at $5590. 17,600 were sold, and it was the only convertible Cadillac save the Eldorado, which sported a much higher $6609 sticker.

Despite being less dear than a de Ville hardtop sedan (the de Ville would not gain a convertible model until ’64, when the Sixty-Two convertible was dropped) or the top-trim Eldorado Biarritz, the Sixty-Two was still a plush vehicle, with standard power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, and, of course, the mighty 325-hp 390 V8.

So the Sixty-Two was not exactly a skinflint’s dream; a ’63 Biscayne two-door sedan was $2429 with a V8; even the tony ’63 Impala convertible was a mere $3024 with V8 power. No, back then a Cadillac was still a Cadillac–even the standard model. Maybe with less gadgets, but still a fine car. And those power windows were just something else to break…

It seems like the Sixty-Two and later Calais are the Rodney Dangerfield of classic Cadillacs: No respect. Everyone wants a Coupe de Ville or Fleetwood. I don’t think that’s fair. Actually, I am of the opinion that any Sixty-Two was a great deal. It was much less than a de Ville or Fleetwood, yet still wore the stunning Bill Mitchell-designed coachwork that grabbed you by the head with two hands and said LOOK AT ME!

I mean, come on, how can you not love the lines on these things? Smooth flanks, nice fins, imposing grille, proven powerplant and every gadget known to mankind–if not standard, then certainly available for a bit more. I would rather have had one with a red interior, though.

This one certainly grabbed my attention on Blackhawk Road. And after my little detour, I got my battery and made it back to the theater in no time. A good movie, despite the lack of cars. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I found a Cadillac while on my way to go see Lincoln.