Crazy prices for virgin ’60s Cadillacs?

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A few weeks ago, we highlighted a few spectacular unrestored, low-mileage 1960s Cadillacs that were going up for auction at the 2019 Fall Auburn sale at the Auburn Auction Park in Auburn, Ind. We kept our eyes on the bidding and discussed these cars with fellow Cadillac fans, some of whom were at the sale. Following are the sold prices and our take-aways from the block prices.

If you’re looking for more results from the 2019 Fall Auburn auction, look to the pages of an upcoming issue of Old Cars with an October cover date.

 Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo - RM Sotheby's

1960 Cadillac Eldorado Seville: Sold @ $44,000 ($48,000 with 10% buyer’s premium)

Offered at the Fall Auburn auction was this spectacular unrestored 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Seville. Since no background on the car was offered before the sale, and the listing incorrectly advertised the car as having an older restoration, bidders probably didn’t know just how spectacular the car really is. Thankfully, Jeff Stork filled us in on the car’s history.

According Stork, the original owner of this spectacular 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Seville was Miss Carol Pierson of Flint, Mich. A wealthy heiress, Pierson did not drive and was chauffeur-driven in the Seville, a particularly rare occurrence with a two-door automobile. Pierson bought the car new from Superior Cadillac and when it came time to trade in the Seville during 1963, she didn’t like the value that the dealership put on her car so she donated it to the Flint Board of Education. The Seville was stored in the basement of the Sloan Museum in Flint until 1978 when the late John O’Sullivan purchased it. Stork lived across the street from O’Sullivan at that time and he said the car remained 100% original with just 36,000 miles at that time. The Seville also even remained on its air suspension with the original components when Stork first saw it, a noteworthy anecdote since Cadillacs so equipped often had to have the air suspension components replaced due to leaks, or cars were altogether retrofit with convention springs due to frustrating air leaks in the air suspension system.

Some time later, it entered the Ed Meurer collection and by auction time at Fall Auburn 2019, the Goodyear Double Eagle tires were gone and the mileage had crept up to 40,000 miles.

At the auction, bidding topped out at $44,000 ($48,000 with 10% buyer’s premium) — a bit more than a buck a mile — and the Seville sold at no reserve.

Old Cars Report Price Guide estimates a No. 1 Seville value of $70,000 and a No. 3 Seville value at $31,500. Since excellent, low-mileage originals can fetch No. 1 and No. 2 prices, we think the buyer got a bargain on this No. 3-condition virgin.

 Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo - RM Sotheby's

1962 Cadillac Coupe deVille: Sold @ $34,000 ($37,400 with 10% buyer’s commission)

No one restores a 1962 Cadillac Coupe deVille to No. 1 show car condition; maybe a 1962 Eldorado Biarritz, but never a Coupe deVille. And almost no one perfectly preserved any model of 1962 Cadillac — almost no one — which makes the 4500-mile 1962 Coupe deVille that sold at Fall Auburn 2019 a benchmark car.

The car had nary a sign of wear; the interior was crisp, under the hood was clean and authentic and the exterior was sharp. This car still looked like it had just been delivered to a Madison Avenue executive in 1962.

The final gavel price of the car was $34,000 — right about what the car is worth. Old Cars Report Price Guide estimates a No. 1 1962 Coupe deVille value at $34,000 and a No. 3 1962 Coupe deVille value at $12,850. Excellent, low-mileage originals are technically in No. 3 condition, but can fetch No. 1 and No. 2 prices. That said, a No. 1 price was not surprising for a survivor of this caliber. This car drove right up to the No. 1 mark and stopped with bidding at $34,000; once the 10% buyer’s premium was added, the car ultimately sold for $37,400. It was certainly well bought on the money by its next custodian.

 Photo - RM Sotheby's

Photo - RM Sotheby's

1965 Cadillac Calais hardtop sedan: Sold @ $27,000 ($29,700 with buyer’s commission)

Like 1962 Cadillacs, no one restores 1965 Cadillacs to No. 1 condition unless they are a Fleetwood Eldorado convertibles. The least likely 1965 Cadillac to be off-the-frame restored is the base Calais model, so you can be assured that this 4500-mile 1965 Calais four-door is probably the nicest Calais from that model year to be found on planet earth. That’s also why it fetched a record price at the 2019 Fall Auburn auction: 27,000 big ones ($29,700 with buyer’s premium).

Old Cars Report Price Guide estimates a No. 1 1965 Calais four-door hardtop value at $20,700 and a No. 3 ’65 Calais four-door hardtop value at $9,300. Excellent, low-mileage originals are technically in No. 3 condition, but can fetch No. 1 and No. 2 prices, and this car exceeded all of them.

What one lucky bidder bought was a time machine back to 1965, Cadillac style. Although Calais models were the base model, they could be optioned with the typical Caddy goodies of the day and this one had the more attractive options, notably air conditioning, power windows and power door locks. The price was also helped by the fact the car was presented as the more attractive hardtop sedan rather than the pillared Calais sedan. This car even rode on its original tires and presented like a babied time capsule that lived its life in the maternity ward.

We’ll probably never see a 1965 Calais four-door fetch this kind of price, but we’ll also never see another ’65 Calais in this remarkably preserved condition.

Angelo Van Bogart is the editor of Old Cars and author of "Cadillac: 100 Years of Innovation." He has been collecting finned Cadillacs since he was 16 years old and frequently judges at concours and national club events. He is a longtime member of the Cadillac & LaSalle Club, the Antique Automobile Club of America, the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club, the Minnesota Street Rod Assocation and many other clubs. He's also an active member of several Facebook groups.

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