1953 CADILLAC COUPE de VILLE

Graeme’s restored Series 62 Caddy is a gob-smacking showpiece of extravagant post-war design.

The main reasons you and Gwen bought this car? 
We simply loved the look and it had undergone a complete, body-off restoration.

When did you buy it? 
Winter of 2013. But we had seen it at Americana in 2009, and spotted it pulling a crowd in New Plymouth. That was the first time the car had been on show since its restoration. We then saw that it advertised for sale in Foxton four years later. We thought hard about it but were indecisive until one day, we had a nightcap on the verandah, and said right, we’re gonna do it. We booked a motel in Taupo, grabbed the Weetbix and milk, and were there the next day. 

Anything unusual about your car’s history? 
The previous owner went to Australia to buy another car, saw this in the garage, and came back with the two of them. 

How often do you use it? 
Every week or two. More so now that we only have two big American cars (rather than four). 

Your longest trip in this car to date? 
Auckland to Mount Maunganui.

Have you made further improvements to it? 
No, it’s just been a matter of routine servicing really, although the brakes have been fettled for better feel.

Who carries out the majority of servicing work? 
West Auckland Engineering.

Do you have long-term intentions with this car? 
Yes, we’ve been through countless American cars because we enjoy them so much but intend to keep this one.

Have you owned other models from this marque? 
Eight others, mostly late-50s and early-60s cars, beginning with a 1961 Cadillac Coupe that we bought in Takapuna after going there to look at a Valiant. It had previously been owned by a baker in Whangarei.

Do you currently own any other special-interest vehicles? 
1957 Lincoln Premier.

What was the first car you drove, and where did you drive it? 
A 1938 Morris Eight, around Auckland.

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1953 CADILLAC COUPE de VILLE

YEARS PRODUCED 1949-53

FIRST REGISTERED Unknown

ENGINE 5400cc (331 cu. in) V8

POWER 142kW (190bhp)

TRANSMISSION 4-spd Hydramatic

DRIVETRAIN rear-wheel drive

WEIGHT 2200kg est.

LENGTH 5.61m

WHEELBASE 3200mm

WHEELS 15-inch steel

COLOUR Off-white

UPHOLSTERY Red tuck and roll leather

OWNERS Graeme and Gwen, Auckland

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