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Dave's Doodlings: Cadillac
Dave Rauch

Dear God, I must be getting old -- I've just gone and bought another car. It's a C-c-c-c-c-c- adillac. This I think is a keeper, and will probably replace a Volvo or two. Okay. The redeeming thing about it is thats it's a classic of sorts; one of the first Seville models, a rear wheel drive 1978 car with only 70K on the odometer. I got it for a good price and it really doesn't need much done to it. After having it detailed and the driver's seat leather stitched back up, it's a real clean car.

I was amazed to find several parallels with Volvos as standard equipment on it. Four wheel disc brakes, no cup holders -- I guess Cadillac owners don't drive with coffee cups in their hands -- front and rear sway bars, remote manual side mirrors, electric windows and door locks, etc. The typical domestic stuff that's different is the automatic headlight dimming system, and a light system hooked to a vacuum source that is green when light throttle is applied and yellow when accelerating, the object being to keep the light green for best gas mileage -- not easy to do with a 350 V8. So far driving short trips around these mountains I've only managed about 12 MPG.

One thing I don't like is that the instrumentation is nil except for the gas gauge. There's an idiot lite to tell you it's too hot (probably too late), one for the charging rate, and one for oil pressure. Apparently Cadillac owners don't want to be bothered with information that they have no clue about as to their meanings.

Driving impressions: The car handles quite well and stays pretty flat, but throwing it into a turn at the limit of tire adhesion -- which with pretty radial white sidewalls and a 4000 pound car comes easily enough -- brings howls of protest although the car seems well balanced. A good set of wheels and tires would do wonders for it. Cruising around in a stately manner is more to its liking, with the ever-present green and yellow lights blinking at you. I may just tape the damned things over and stare at the gas gauge instead!

There's something inately satisfying, though, about looking down the hood through the Cadillac crest like you've arrived, that this is the ultimate in luxury automobiles, then a sharp turn comes up and reality sets in.

I have to replace the A/C compressor and convert the system over to R134 next, then it's ready for anything. Anybody need an '85 Volvo 760 turbo or '70 144 with 560,000 miles? I'm going cruising in my Cadillac.

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