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Prior to early October, you might have thought of Ed Swain, a resident of Orlando, Fla., as an old car dreamer. He had been fantasizing about finding a well-preserved 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible for a while, but he was not involved in the old-car hobby and had no real idea about how to find such a car.
One of Swain’s co-workers had seen a Dana Mecum Auction televised on The Discovery Channel’s HD Theatre. He told Ed about the Mecum sale coming up in St. Charles, Ill. Ed went on his computer and found a 1976 Eldorado ragtoop pictured on Mecum's Website. He called Mecum Auction Co.’s office in Marengo, Ill., and said that he was interested in placing a phone bid on the car. John Kraman took the call and encouraged Swain to attend the auction in person.
Swain was successful in buying the car for $21,500. As Ed was looking over his acquisition, a gentleman came up to him in the parking lot of the Pheasant Run Resort, where the auction was held. The man introduced himself as the Eldorado’s second owner. He also knew its first owner. (Dana Mecum was actually its last owner.) The man had the car’s original bill of sale and documentation at home. He promised to mail this material to Swain.
Ed told OLD CARS WEEKLY that he had envied this particular Cadillac model since he was 10 years old. His neighbors owned one and he used to pretend he was drag racing it up and down the street with his go kart.
After driving his Eldorado the first time, Ed said, "It feels like a rolling sofa, it's so huge!" He added, "This was my very first classic car auction and, all in all, it was a great experience. It was a little nerve-wracking and tense during the bidding, but the Mecum Auctions staff made it a very satisfying experience."
At first, Swain couldn't decide whether he should just drive the car back to Orlando or ship it home. After talking with several people, he decided to go with the services of a professional transporter. He contacted the representatives from Reliable Carriers at their auction space and made the necessary arrangements.
Swain has now become a hobbyist and says he can't wait until the Mecum Auction comes to Kissimmee, Fla., in January 2010. He’ll be there, possibly looking for another car.

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