Most of you will remember my friend in Washington state, Jason Bagge. Several of his cars have graced these digital pages, including his 1976 Caprice Landau, 1972 Bonneville, 1978 Mercury Marquis and several others.
His current fleet includes a ruby red 1977 Dodge Royal Monaco Brougham, blue 454 V8 powered 1974 Monte Carlo and more recently, a triple black 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood. But his most recent acquisition is the focus of today’s article, this lovely 1978 Cadillac Sedan Deville in optional Autumn Haze Firemist.
As he related, “Can’t go wrong with a $600 rust free 1978 Cadillac. Fresh oil change and filter, fluid top off and she runs and drives great. 8-track sounds amazing. Still has all the manuals, paperwork and the Cadillac 8-track in plastic in the glove box. Trunk looks like new and even the opera lights work.”
“Wasn’t looking for a new project to tinker on, but I found this car again after 5 years. Almost bought this car back then but I didn’t. It was $3,000. Well-I found it again and it isn’t much different than it used to be-except the price!”
“I bought to fix it up and flip it but…uhhh…I don’t think so! It’s basically a new 1978 Cadillac. Air blows cold too. Runs AWESOME! Clicked on the cruise today and yep, it works great too. 34,418 miles as of this afternoon.”
But wait, you may be thinking. 30-odd thousand miles on a 42 year old, $600 Caddy? But Jason believes it to be true. And he’s revived dozens of ’70s land yachts over the past ten plus years.
“Lots of things I am looking at are pushing me to think it’s a 30,000 mile car. Not 130,000. There is just no way. Those seats, the arm rests, brake pedal, the space saver tire has never been removed with the jack. The trunk looks brand new. It runs like a brand new car. It got weather checked on the paint but the vinyl top is mint. Carpet has zero wear, everything works like new.”
In addition, what he thought was peeling plasti-wood on the radio was actually the original protective plastic. What should have been removed during delivery prep has survived to middle age.
But wait, there’s even more! He found out the history of this car, and it was sold new right there in Spokane.
“On December 9th 1977, Mr. David Green walked into Utter Cadillac in downtown Spokane and picked up his new 1978 Cadillac Sedan DeVille with 68 miles on it and parked it right at this house in this driveway. The ladies at this house were super cool to let me back it up there and take this picture. I brought the car back home-one last time.”
So, congratulations to Jason, for finding this cool old luxury car and having a ton of fun with it. He’s already testing color-matched spray paint on the replacement bumper fillers. With his skills, this car will look even better, very soon!
Tom, nice find. You should ask your friend Jason if they have a problem with acid rain in the area where the car lived. On your point wiht the mileage, Jason should look for old oil change stickers under the hood or on the inter door, that could tell you a lot about the mileage. Also if he is in good with the selling dealer he could ask a friendly service writter to run the vin to see when it was last in for service, again could confirm the mileage. The 425 used in 1977-1979 was bullet proof if properly maintained and the TH400 is unsurpased for relability. Nice solid car and does not appear to need any body work so a nice respray would make it real Broughamtastic….
PS did he say what happened to the power pod on the front passenger arm rest, looks like it was hit really hard…. 🙂 🙂
It’s mostly delaminated woodgrain. He got a replacement pod from an ’80s de Ville, and matched the woodgrain to the 78-style wood. I saw the post after I hit ‘publish’ on this article, ha ha.
No acid rain in Spokane. Don’t tell anyone, but we actually have really nice weather and environment here. 🙂
There’s nothing about this car that makes me think it is a 30K mile car instead of a 130K mile car, and I have less respect for GM than most. That being said, there are demolition derbies where $600 for a rust-free barge isn’t a bad way to get involved. I’d pull the bumper-filler panels and resell them first though. This was the second to last year for decent Cadillacs, so it might also make a decent beater unless the Pedocrats figure out how to make energy a luxury good.
CJinSD, could very well be 130K however, looking a the lack of ware on the carpet at the threshold of the driverside door at the side of the driver’s seat, the lack of ware on the plastic crome knobs, and last but not least, the lack of ware on the plastic wood grain above the horn pad lends itself to dig deeper as to the true mileage. All of the areas I noted above historically have shown excessive ware on 100K mileage cars of this vintage. Not saying that a well caring owner could put a lot of miles on the car and still limited the normal wear in these areas but it is really hard to do. Without more detailed photos of the engine compartment and a closer visual inspection it is hard to say.
However, I would disagee that this would be a good canidate for the “demolishion durby” as good solid examples of the tri-7’s are getting harder to find. These were very well built cars for the 1970’s as they were the first downsized cars but used the drive train and chassic components of the 1974-1976 full size cars that were designed to carry a 1,000 extra pounds from what the tri-7’s weighed. In other words under the downsized body was components from significantly larger and heaver cars. Just my thoughts.
That certainly looks like a 30k interior to me. The paint’s obviously baked, but seemingly-original vinyl top is in really good shape and even the bumper fillers (an infamous B-body weak point) aren’t totally gone.
I’m old enough that I struggle to see the downsized GM big cars as collectors items (or the gargantuan ’71-’76 models, for that matter), but do have some fondness for the ’77-’79s. They were definitely the best of the breed, both in terms of styling and engineering. With a divisional 350, Olds 403, or Cadillac 425 and Turbo 350/400 Hydramatic, these, along with the first generation Seville and ’79’-’80 E-body were the last truly special cars from the General. The ’80+ models were a definite downgrade, especially in terms of drivetrain and especially at Cadillac.
I have been around more 70’s cars-high mileage and low mileage cars-than you have ever seen in your life. Behind the wheel and up close. Unless you valeted back in the 70’s-I can guarantee it. This is not a 134,000 car. I know what to look for. The GM paints didn’t last and the fillers also went brittle quickly. But what do you know-lmao. In 2 weeks this won’t even look like the same car.
J, you are correct the 70’s firemist colors tended to fade with age, some colors worse then others especially if left in the elements. Likewise the fillers were never designed to last 40 years and I have seen extemely low mileage cars with fillers that just fell apart due to age. I have owned 30+ 1973-1978 Cadillacs over the last 40 years and I would say you are correct it is not a 134,000 mile car. Just a low mileage car that was not garaged. My 2cents worth.
I wish you could drive it! You would know right away. I have just started cleaning the interior that nobody did in years and it’s looking INSANE. The car runs like new. Super tight and very responsive. A mouse ate some the heat shield under the hood which is a bummer-but it also looks new. Once I clean the build up on the engine-it will also look like new. The trunk is the say way. The wear just is not there. Even the drivers side door armrest is perfect-only thing broken is that wood grain piece where the control go and they are known to break. it’s coming back together though. The car is going to look amazing.
Interesting how much nicer the dash was on these compared to the 98 Regency Tom showed us a few days ago. I wonder what the price difference between the 98 Regency and the SDV was in 78?
What a find ! .
Cheap too, I hope you make it nice again, there are plenty of beaters for the demolition derbies .
Be sure to service that TH400 tranny A.S.A.P. ! once they’re gone they get $pendy right quick .
What amazes me is that 8-track was still around in 1978 !
It was optional on many cars through 1982 or so….
Want it want it want it. Seriously. I would strip the 1970s smog junk, add a decent exhaust, lower the front an inch, widen the stock wheels an inch, bang those glorious wheel covers back on, and be the Cars and Coffee King.
Tom I think Jason must live on the north side somewhere. I’ve been looking at the houses, streets and other clues since you started posting Jason’t pictures and, having lived here since 1981 I have a pretty good take on the town. Amirite?
Could be, I don’t know Spokane. Never been further west than Des Moines, ha ha.
I live in Latah Creek right down the road on Inland Empire Way from Browne’s Addition. I used to live up north by Shadlle Center. Had to take to take a trip to Micheal’s today and I forgot how much I hate the Northside.
Deal and a half!
Nicely equipped too, I can believe the mileage, people don’t seem to understand that age doesn’t stop when the odometer does. The pedals, woodgrain and carpet all look nice as does the “crak-o-matic” steering wheel that these had. The paint took a beating but its a light metallic color from the 70’s, those never had a long life. Looks very well equipped except someone skipped the cliché wires that 95% of these had.