Hammer Time: Rediscovering My Inner Jersey
114 car dealers. Each of them was looking for an incredibly good offer among the 150 vehicles auctioned on a Monday morning near the Arctic.
Even if it’s apparently a bad deal. Doesn’t matter this time of year.
It’s officially tax season… which means cars that couldn’t even get a $500 down payment during the post-Christmas drought will soon be repossessed for good by the debt-happy subprime public. A $1,200 down payment as the first financial tombstone of 2014 will be followed by a long series of incidental charges and a note that will hopefully turn into play money (now known as asset-backed securities). he becomes a run-down financier.
Everything is high. But surprisingly not as high as in previous years. Orphan brands are mostly cheap. Minivans are cheap, and everything from old luxury coupes to younger sedans can be had for decent money if they’re not sporty or popular.
Speaking of popular. Let me show you something.
This 1980 Cadillac Seville is the king of swing and purveyor of all things cool.
I don’t even know if I can do this vehicle justice with these photos. Like many vintage cars that are out of style but well maintained, this Seville has “it”.
Painting is a perfect complement to the design. Unlike the wretched vinyl roofs, two-tone medicine blue, and Malaise-era engines that made this car a rolling joke, this Seville looks like one of the few exceptions to GM’s rule of mediocrity.
For starters, it’s a smokeless 80′ model. Which means you ended up with a decent engine. The Cadillac 6.0-liter V8 that produces…well…let’s just say it’s the best of the worst.
The black interior and low seating position are designed for future short drivers of these models. You know. Those who were busy listening to UTFO and the Breakin’ soundtrack instead of Snoopy and that couple of guys.
It’s all original. I still don’t know if it’s real wood or fake wood. Let’s call it Cadillac lumber and move on.
Everything still works on this vehicle. Automatic temperature control. Radio. The instant mpg calculator that rarely exceeds 25 mpg. Everything is there. In fact, I was getting about 28 mpg on this thing. But I don’t know if it was because the team had imperial calculations between 1980 and today.
93,000 miles. Original. Well, it’s a repaint and I have some threads to work on (cough! cough!). When I saw it, I knew I would never see anything like it again. Time passes and the unpopular rides of yesteryear find their way to the extreme, borderline psychopath of car owners. I know my countrymen well enough to realize that come hell or high water, I would have to buy these things.
So I did the usual. I hid in the back in my leather jacket and jeans against the cold concrete wall. I saw my friend, the auctioneer, who knew me when I was an auctioneer. He started at 3k. I made eye contact. I put two fingers in my U2 leather jacket. And I quickly put them back in my pocket while my friend moaned: “Habada da two thousand! twenty-one! I have money! twenty-one! Habadagive 21!
But no one believed him. I made the offer within three seconds of his descending cadence from $3,000 to $2,000, down to what was usually a great opening offer. Most opening bids fall around $2,000 to $3,000 at auction before rising back up to where the salable range is.
This time, there would be no raise. After about five seconds of one-finger low-ball signals (for $1,000) and the words $1,500 uttered from the auctioneer’s mouth…the hammer fell. He had bought one of the last pseudo-luxury Mohicans for $2,000 plus a $155 auction.
It was a robbery? Probably not! I bought it because I want to enjoy the experience of owning it and then sell it to someone who will love it a little more than you. One of the first rules of the automotive industry is “never fall in love.” So I’m going to play with it for a few weeks and then let it go to an enthusiast who will put this baby stroller to the test.
Oh, another thing. Cadillac may have spoiled their brand throughout the 1980s. From that Seville to the Allante, Cadillac was completely neutralized during that time and I have no fondness for bean counters and CEO Howdy Dowdy who guided them to through the Reagan era.
However, this Fisher Body Seville, with an engine solely (and ultimately) attributed to the Cadillac division, represents a high note on the low mark.
This stripped down Seville drives like one of those old floaty Cadillacs from the 1970s. It’s one hell of a ride. Easy to handle and a beauty to behold in the flesh.
I am selling it for $2500.
Source : thetruthaboutcars.com