We’re being quite literal with this “We’d Buy That” feature car. Indeed, we almost did buy this car a few weeks ago. However, we couldn’t part with our own 1955 Cadillac coupe to buy this ’55 Coupe deVille that we’ve long admired, so we’re sharing this gem with you, now listed on our Old Cars Marketplace classifieds:
Meet “Sophi,” a 1955 Cadillac Coupe deVille with as pure of a past as you can hope to find in a collector car — or even a Victorian-era debutante, for that matter. She’s exactly how experienced, finicky hobbyists like to find an old car: original paint, original interior, low miles, unique status and fussy previous owners who were limited in number.
Sophi was special-ordered by Pierre La Vine of Los Angeles with an all-leather Eldorado interior. The body was to be painted Wedgewood Green Light with a Pecos Beige roof to match the special-order tan leather interior; he further optioned her with Autronic-Eye, E-Z-Eye tinted glass, a heater, fog lamps and a radio. She was built on April 27, 1955, and delivered to Pierre on May 12 of that year. Pierre owned the special Cadillac until his passing in 1999, at which time she only had 17,000 miles. The ’55 Cadillac was always cherished by Pierre, who kept it in his modest one-car garage and only occasionally drove her and even then, only when the sky was absolutely clear. His wife and daughter sometimes rode with him, but were always kindly asked not to touch anything.
After Pierre’s passing, Sophi the 1955 Cadillac was sold to an admiring neighbor, who had enjoyed watching her glide through their Blythe Avenue neighborhood. The second owner kept her for just a couple years before Cadillac fanatic Jonathan Cody saw her for sale and flew from Wisconsin to LA to buy her. He said it was love at first sight. While there to pick up Sophi, Jonathan met with Pierre’s widow who verified and expounded on the unique Cadillac’s history.
Since buying this 1955 Cadillac in 2002 and immediately christening her with her name, Jonathan has thoroughly enjoyed Sophi some 30,000 miles. Jonathan’s trips in her include a tour down Route 66 and a stop at the first-ever Elvis Presley Motor Classic in 2010 where Sophi was awarded “Best Original” and photographed in front of Graceland. She’salso been to numerous other car shows, mostly in Wisconsin. Although Jonathan and his wife Lauren are well-known Cadillac & LaSalle Club members, Sophi has never made a CLC Grand National appearance.
Today, Sophi sports 48,000 honest miles on her original four-barrel 331-cid V-8 and is always kept ready for her next road trip. Her only changes from original are wide whitewall radials, a Petronix ignition and a CD player hidden in the glovebox with a multi-disc changer in the trunk. The few deviations from original finishes are her repainted air cleaner and valve covers.
As one should expect in such a well-maintained and beloved original, Sophia’s paint is thin in some areas from polishing, her original chrome has some haze and there is some wear to her original interior (notably seam separation where the driver’s left shoulder meets the seat back). She may have a few other blemishes, yet she stands very tall as a testament to Cadillac build quality during the car maker’s postwar peak.
Jonathan and Lauren surprised many with their decision to part with Sophi, and they tell me it’s because another ‘50s Cadillac caught their fancy. That gives another lucky soul a rare chance at a survivor Cadillac that needs little more than another loving owner who appreciates a stellar unique 1955 Cadillac.
You can check out more photos of Sophi on Jonathan and Lauren's website at www.codysclassiccars.com
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