1968 Cadillac 4-door hardtop: ideal parade car

  • Mar. 27, 2014 3:00 p.m.

Pipestone Flyer

    Eric Jensen writes from Simcoe, Ontario:  “Hi Bill:  My most enjoyable car has been my 1968 Cadillac Sedan de Ville 4-door hardtop.  It had always been my ambition to own a classic car.  At last it came to pass through a wandering story.

    “An older couple had originally purchased this car in 1968.  Sadly, they each died shortly after their trip to their Florida home.  Apparently, the car was put in storage for a period of time, after which a young couple purchased the car.  Later, the wife decided she preferred a different model for her own use.  The husband put it up for sale and I purchased this dream in one day.

    “The car came with all the original documents, all the original sales advertisements, some family photos, and some Florida sand on the front carpet.  This car has a 472 cubic inch engine (375 horsepower) which easily floats the car safely down the roadways.  After 45 years, we have only 67,000 miles on the odometer, and the car has no problems or concerns.  My youngest son is 46 years old and still being single drives it on every opportunity to any location.

    “During the summer and fall, our Shrine Club participates in local parades.  I enjoy driving the car donned with our Club recognitions and Canadian flags.  We enjoy the many smiles from the spectators and with the odd one calling out:  ‘What is it?’  This helps to assist our ‘Hospitals for Children’ located thus far in Canada, the USA, and Mexico.  We appreciate being part of this worthy enjoyment.”

    In the same year Eric Jensen’s car was built, General Motors was celebrating its 60th anniversary, having come into being in 1908 thanks to the work of flamboyant entrepreneur Billy Durant.  At first, Buick and Oldsmobile were the main nameplates in the new company.  Meanwhile, in that same year, Cadillac earned international recognition by winning the coveted Dewar Trophy in England by demonstrating its precision engineering with interchangeable parts.  Three 1908 Cadillacs were shipped to England, disassembled with their parts scrambled, then reassembled and driven away, running just as well as when they rolled out of the factory.  Billy Durant pulled Cadillac into the corporate structure the following year.

    The Cadillac Automobile Company started in 1902 and the car was named after the French explorer Le Sieur Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who had first set foot on the future site of Detroit in 1701.       

    I’m always looking for more stories.  Email billtsherk@sympatico.ca or write Bill Sherk, 25 John St., P.O. Box 255, Leamington, Ont. N8H 3W2.  Everyone whose story is published in this column will receive a free autographed copy of my latest book:  “OLD CAR DETECTIVE FAVOURITE STORIES, 1925 to 1965.”