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View Full Version : 68 Cadillac Hearse in Colorado


Blake Sherwin
12-11-2017, 11:44 AM
https://cosprings.craigslist.org/cto/d/1968-cadillac-hearse-ambulance/6402142730.html

Found this hearse/ambulance yesterday on my searches. Sounds and looks decent with the exception of the ugly decals. Pics are really low res though. I asked him for more pics and he sent me some more recent higher res pics, two of which show a small section of rust damage on each side (and I see bubbling around it, so there may be more under the paint)

If anyone is interested I can upload and post the better pics in this thread. I'm not really super interested in this one yet, but its a cheap 68 which I dont see often.

Here is his response to my email:

-------------
Hello,
Yes, it’s mechanically sound. I drove it in a parade at the end of October, then moved it several times up until about a month ago.
The windshield is cracked, does not leak, but is not cracked in front of the drivers view.
I can definitely remove the decals/vinyl graphics, however not sure what the paint would look after they’re removed. I’m guessing there will be discoloration, but nothing horrible.
Lastly, the pics below show the only rust spots (one minor spot on each side). I’ve included a couple of recent profile pics as well

Kurt Arends
12-11-2017, 11:51 AM
This combination looks to be a much better deal at $3000 that that '75'/76 hearse w/ no title that you are looking at for $4000. Anything '70 or older should be worth more than a coach from the '70s in comparable condition. A combination, such as this one, should be worth more than an end-loading hearse in comparable condition.

Blake Sherwin
12-11-2017, 12:21 PM
I'll keep that in mind. I'm just unsure on the cost of repairing the rust damage. I can post those pictures later

John ED Renstrom
12-11-2017, 01:41 PM
no matter what pictures lie. you can't tell with out looking at it and guessing what the repairs would cost are just a guess. this one has one of the rare body styles a landau combination. now to be honest with you anything you get you can expect to put at least a grand in it to make it a dependable car. that's just belts, hoses and a tune up. if it doesn't need tires today it will tomorrow. the old saying of pay up front or pay when you get it comes to play. if you can't go look at the car ask one of the members living there to do it for you. or you take your chances of just how old that pictures is. this is a decent price for this style car at this age. it should resell for this amount at any time. MM had the rust on the bottom off the doors problem and they all had the rust on the bottom of the front fenders problem.

Blake Sherwin
12-11-2017, 03:06 PM
no matter what pictures lie. you can't tell with out looking at it and guessing what the repairs would cost are just a guess. this one has one of the rare body styles a landau combination. now to be honest with you anything you get you can expect to put at least a grand in it to make it a dependable car. that's just belts, hoses and a tune up. if it doesn't need tires today it will tomorrow. the old saying of pay up front or pay when you get it comes to play. if you can't go look at the car ask one of the members living there to do it for you. or you take your chances of just how old that pictures is. this is a decent price for this style car at this age. it should resell for this amount at any time. MM had the rust on the bottom off the doors problem and they all had the rust on the bottom of the front fenders problem.

Thats a good idea, is there anyone in the Colorado Springs area who would be willing to take a look at this for me and give me opinions?

Blake Sherwin
12-11-2017, 05:58 PM
Rust pics:

https://i.imgur.com/La8XaT3.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/foojQGF.jpg

It seems like a pretty minor amount of rusting but I have no idea what the average cost is for a body shop to restore these sections, so this is really the only thing that has me hesitant. I have tried to get ballpark quotes before but no one will ever give me a "theoreticaly quote" without physically seeing it, even with pics. I understand there are variables that wildly affect these things but it would be nice to get some baseline info.

Only thing I have really been able to find is via google and that was:

"New metal panels can cost around $60 each, and are suitable for repairing large sections of rusted metal. When the entire body panel of a vehicle must be replaced, a new part can be anywhere from $200 to $2,000. The cost of welding the new piece of metal into place can add an additional $45 to $250 to the final bill."

Kurt Arends
12-11-2017, 06:45 PM
Wow! Where is that body shop?? Sign me up on that program!

Blake Sherwin
12-11-2017, 07:40 PM
Wow! Where is that body shop?? Sign me up on that program!

I know right? I mean im not a mechanic but that pricing sounded pretty optimistic.

Is there anyone here in Colorado? It would be awesome if someone was able to check it out and test drive it. Id even be willing to pay for your gas costs via paypal

John ED Renstrom
12-11-2017, 10:24 PM
Too many things to go into. The rust there is caused by water getting to the panel. If you don't fix that problem putting in a patch is only temporary. Water is most likely getting in from the seam under the molding on top of the panel. But could be comming threw the wheel well. Both sides are a little strange with no other rust on the car. But that happens. The re pair will add little to your repaint. The case boils down to Which car do you get excited about. Both as will them all need some fixing.

Blake Sherwin
12-12-2017, 12:59 PM
Too many things to go into. The rust there is caused by water getting to the panel. If you don't fix that problem putting in a patch is only temporary. Water is most likely getting in from the seam under the molding on top of the panel. But could be comming threw the wheel well. Both sides are a little strange with no other rust on the car. But that happens. The re pair will add little to your repaint. The case boils down to Which car do you get excited about. Both as will them all need some fixing.

Yeah, 68 is my ideal year so this one does seem better to me. I have a friend in Colorado Springs, so I am trying to arrange for him to go look at it and ride in it and make sure it all checks out. If so I am strongly considering this.

The 75 has someone else interested so I doubt the seller is going to fix the issues it had, but in any case, 68 is what I really want

Blake Sherwin
12-13-2017, 09:15 AM
Luckily my friend in Colorado knows a mechanic and is going to go out there this Friday and take a look. Going to give him a list of things to check out. Hes showing it to someone else today, so keeping my fingers crossed that he doesnt sell it.

John ED Renstrom
12-13-2017, 11:49 AM
keep in mind you either pay up front or you bay as you go in a older car. if your looking for one ready to go in the 2 to 5 grand range you can look a long time. as I said before they stopped using it for some reason. find that gt it fixed and you get a serviceable car out of it. but you going to have to expect to dump a grand in it right away to have a dependable driver. all one needs to know is general condition pieces all there or what is missing. a dime size rust hole is as much to fix as a hubcap size if you do it correctly. bad curtains will run you 500 to replace. expect some problems. rebuilding a engine is cheaper then painting the car. rebuilding a transmission is like putting tires on. a car that is all there runs and stops, no body damage good glass good glass that goes up and down like it should will bring 5 gran on the open market. if it's the car your want a man might add a grand or two to get it. this is the same if the car is 10 years old or 30. after 30 they can be rougher and still bring the money

Blake Sherwin
12-13-2017, 12:21 PM
Thanks for the advice. He just showed it to someone else. Hes going to let me know in a few hours if he sells it. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Blake Sherwin
12-14-2017, 06:00 PM
I had the seller drive it to Firestone for an inspection today. He scanned and sent me the report and it surprisingly wasnt all that bad. Heres the summary:

- Oil leaks in valve covers and down real main seal
- Trans leak at lines - pan
- Right rear brake shoe cracking
- Recommended new tires - 13 and 8 years old
- Carburator leaking, recommended rebuild

Estimated cost $537

Other notes:

- Window cracked on passenger side
- Surface rust on frame
- Various bushings cracking from age

I dont think that sounds too terrible. Still having my friend look tomorrow and I'm 95% sure im going to be buying it tomorrow and making shipping arrangements.

First order will be to restore the body and paint though. I will be taking good care of it. Not using it for shenanigans like some people do.

John ED Renstrom
12-14-2017, 09:39 PM
wish you good luck, nothing like finding the one you want

Philip Scanio
12-14-2017, 09:54 PM
Best wishes. You probably won't get much sleep tonight but that is the thrill of it all.

Blake Sherwin
12-15-2017, 01:17 PM
Best wishes. You probably won't get much sleep tonight but that is the thrill of it all.

Thanks, yeah my buddy is there now taking a look, sent me a pic of the rear (only side that wasnt pictured in the ad) and it looks fine. Waiting for him to report back before I pay

Blake Sherwin
12-18-2017, 11:30 AM
Its official. I bought this car for 3k. It should be delivered Wednesday. Had him remove all the decals and skulls off it. Will be taking it for rust restoration and repainting hopefully Wednesday.

Thanks for all the help and advice! I intend to take very good care of this now that its been rescued from the haunted house biz

Noah Dorsey
12-18-2017, 02:42 PM
Yay! That's exciting . Congrats on your new pro-car, hope to see it at a future PCS meet =)

John ED Renstrom
12-18-2017, 09:43 PM
careful they are like potato chips. you start with one and then the next thing you know you have a handful

Blake Sherwin
12-19-2017, 01:12 PM
careful they are like potato chips. you start with one and then the next thing you know you have a handful

Nice analogy. I told me my a few years ago that we could always have "his and hearse"

Blake Sherwin
12-20-2017, 12:44 PM
Putting $1300 into it this week:

- Replace Quadrajet Carb
- Replace Accelerator Pump and gaskets (pump was only performing 25%)
- Rear Brake shoe service
- Clean/degrease engine
- Cooling system test
- Transmission and oil leak dye test

I noticed brakes were really stiff. Had to really mash the pedal to get it to stop. Want to make sure brakes are in top shape before I drive this much of anywhere.

Then next will be tires and paint

Nicholas Studer
12-20-2017, 04:43 PM
...- Replace Quadrajet Carb...- Rear Brake shoe service...

Congrats on the purchase! Have you joined the PCS yet? Keep in mind:

1. You may be better off rebuilding your carburator than replacing. Value wise for resale, originality, etc. plus the actual cost vs a replacement... I've personally used a local shop and one listed in the recommended vendors subforum here and was happy both times.

2. The brakes on your car are Commercial Chassis. It is far heavier than a standard car. Be wary of the mechanic working on your car clearly understanding what you need. I recommend in particular that you double check all the part numbers in particular.

Blake Sherwin
12-20-2017, 05:26 PM
Well im now 1800 in on repairs. I was called back and told that the brake drums are seeping fluid onto the pads and I think he said the linkages needed replaces or "set to 0", honestly not sure what that means. Also coolant was good to 25 ABOVE 0, so having him flush the coolant system. That brings everything up to 1800. So I will have 500 left when im all done, so im still in decent shape.

Any of this sound right?

So its 500 for the brake work and coolant work, friends are saying thats too much, but im really not sure. Either way I need to get it done, so im inclined to pay because stopping is pretty important.

Daniel Scully
12-20-2017, 08:58 PM
Well im now 1800 in on repairs. I was called back and told that the brake drums are seeping fluid onto the pads and I think he said the linkages needed replaces or "set to 0", honestly not sure what that means. Also coolant was good to 25 ABOVE 0, so having him flush the coolant system. That brings everything up to 1800. So I will have 500 left when im all done, so im still in decent shape.

Any of this sound right?

So its 500 for the brake work and coolant work, friends are saying thats too much, but im really not sure. Either way I need to get it done, so im inclined to pay because stopping is pretty important.

For one no way for brakes drums to leak . Wheel cylinders , brake hoses, brake calipers, wheel seals, axle seals can leak. Do not replace the carburetor or any part of the brake system if it can be rebuilt. Most of the components in the brake system can be rebuilt , takes longer but you get the correct part back. Sounds like a possible bad brake booster again it can be rebuilt. If in doubt of the shop have it towed to another shop and get a second opinion. You need to find a shop that has history / knowledge of older cars. Get a itemized estimate list of the repairs that are needed. Linkage replaced and set to O. Sounds like something a hack would say to a soccer mom. :my2cents:

John ED Renstrom
12-20-2017, 09:22 PM
Be sure and pick up your old parts. The car will work best with the things that came with it. But not vary many shops can overhaul a carburator so if you get the origional one back you can send it to one of the venders to be rebuilt. If you are having work done labor charges will be the big hit. As I don't live were you do I can't comment on what that are charging.but were I live you run it into the door and you lose 100 bucks. But the experanced shop most likely a independent one not a chain store or dealership will give you the best bang for your buck. No me I find it vary strange that the people you had look it over did not find all these problems?

Blake Sherwin
12-20-2017, 11:14 PM
I will ask for an itemized report. I had gotten input from a co-worker who has had several project cars and he said 500 didnt sound too bad. But then again this is different from what he would have been working on.

Its possible i am remembering a bit of this wrong too.

I went in with an 8800 budget. After this i will be invested about 4800 into this for the car and the repairs, and i dont feel thats too bad for what i have, provided all is well once it returns.

After revising my budget and taking a deep breath i ok'd the repairs. I will have a few guys look the report over after and confirm whether i got screwed or not.

Some lessons cost money i suppose. But the important thing is that this stuff is getting done.

Budget will allow for new tires, my calcarcover, and paint may have to wait unless i get a cheapo job, but that idea really makes me cringe. I am going to try that rustoleum/acetone mix on the crinkle though, and take some goo gone to the remaining skull vinyl the previous owner couldnt get off.

Paul Steinberg
12-20-2017, 11:47 PM
If they haven't replaced the carburetor yet, tell them to take it off, and give it to you to have rebuilt, even if they have to push the car outside until it comes back. If they have already bought a replacement, then get the old one back, even if you have to pay the core fee. Every off the shelf carburetor that I have seen in the past 60+ years has always been a mix of different year parts, and even though they look pretty, and work ok, they won't work very well for very long.
I sent a carburetor out to be rebuilt that was rebuilt by another shop for the owner of the car. This carburetor had only 300 miles on it, when it failed. When I asked the people that rebuilt it for me, what was wrong, they replied, what wasn't wrong would be a better question. It took them additional time to make everything correct. The same car, had a brake problem, after another shop worked on it. The shop that I brought it to, couldn't figure out what was wrong, until they asked me to look at it. I had them pull all the brake shoes off, and I brought them home to further examine them. It turned out that even though they were relined by Bendix, a reputable company, that the shoes were a mix of 2 different year parts that were not compatible, even though they would mount to the backing plate.
Today, you can't trust rebuilders to get it right, unless they understand old cars, and most don't. This is why I have created the "Recommended Vendors" list. This list contains the names of vendors that I have personally vetted, and researched, to make sure that they are the best of the best.
Paul

Richard Vyse
12-21-2017, 06:49 AM
Well im now 1800 in on repairs. I was called back and told that the brake drums are seeping fluid onto the pads and I think he said the linkages needed replaces or "set to 0", honestly not sure what that means. Also coolant was good to 25 ABOVE 0, so having him flush the coolant system. That brings everything up to 1800. So I will have 500 left when im all done, so im still in decent shape.

Any of this sound right?

So its 500 for the brake work and coolant work, friends are saying thats too much, but im really not sure. Either way I need to get it done, so im inclined to pay because stopping is pretty important.

Oh my friend you are just beginning. There seems to always be something else that will require attention. That's the beauty of owning one of these things. :eek:

Russell Street
12-21-2017, 09:16 AM
Putting $1300 into it this week:

- Replace Quadrajet Carb
- Replace Accelerator Pump and gaskets (pump was only performing 25%)
- Rear Brake shoe service
- Clean/degrease engine
- Cooling system test
- Transmission and oil leak dye test

I noticed brakes were really stiff. Had to really mash the pedal to get it to stop. Want to make sure brakes are in top shape before I drive this much of anywhere.

Then next will be tires and paint

I had the Quadrajet on our "64 rebuilt by a very reputable firm for $350, it runs like new.
If that second item is the fuel pump, that too can be rebuilt.

John ED Renstrom
12-21-2017, 11:58 AM
we all pay for our education in some way. one source of parts is Rockauto.com they will list Commercial chassis parts most of the time they will price out to stocking dealer price with there fright. that saves you about 35% on parts. but or course you have to order them your self and then have someone put them on. the American classic tires from Coker seam to work for most people as does the extended load from Hankok.

but why did it quit you? you're maybe addressing problems that needed taken care of, just not at this time. but once done of course will or should not need done as long as you own the car. defiantly get the mechanical things taken care of first. then the body. mean time a little clean up goes a long way to making things look a lot better. lets you decide on what needs done and what can wait. if it's still the original lacquer with a little elbow grease it will shine till there is no more paint on the car. believe it or not if the car looks good you get a better repair job from the mechanic.

Blake Sherwin
12-21-2017, 12:00 PM
I asked for the old carb back. Thanks for the advice, I will look at the recommended vendors thread. I was told by the previous owner that the hearsecon founder, Zach has a 68 windshield I might be able to buy. Its the only lead I have so far, so i'm going to try contacting him. Windshield in my 68 was apparently shot at by some kids with BB guns at some point. passenger side windshield is pretty rough.

John ED Renstrom
12-21-2017, 12:15 PM
they are available new should run you around 500 installed.

Blake Sherwin
12-21-2017, 12:29 PM
they are available new should run you around 500 installed.

Oh really? for some reason I thought I heard some time ago that Windshields ran really expensive and you could only get them from other hearses. Do you have a link to where I can inquire about a new one? or are you talking custom made?

Blake Sherwin
12-21-2017, 02:25 PM
recommended vendors subforum

I searched high and low and could not find this, where is this subforum?

Daniel Scully
12-21-2017, 08:30 PM
Oh really? for some reason I thought I heard some time ago that Windshields ran really expensive and you could only get them from other hearses. Do you have a link to where I can inquire about a new one? or are you talking custom made?

There info= 1-800-848-1351 or visit http://www.pilkingtonclassics.com/

65-70 is the same windshield. PT#DW-678 I saw a post on another site saying they where unavailable (must be true its on the internet :rolleyes:) .I called and they had 17 on hand as of last month and are not exactly a fast mover. At that time they where 375.00 + 150.00 crate and ship charge.

Daniel Scully
12-21-2017, 08:32 PM
I searched high and low and could not find this, where is this subforum?

Here= http://professionalcarsociety.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=26

John ED Renstrom
12-21-2017, 09:15 PM
using that part number Dan posted. drop down to your locale automotive glass store and see if they can get you threw there channels. it will save you the shipping cost. if not these guys will ship three in a box for the same price and they can be different glass.

Nicholas Studer
12-21-2017, 09:22 PM
...Have you joined the PCS yet?...

I searched high and low and could not find this, where is this subforum?

Here= http://professionalcarsociety.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=26

You must be a PCS member to see some content on these forums. PCS membership has multiple benefits, and it’s just the right thing to do to sustain outlets like this for sharing knowledge.

Blake Sherwin
12-22-2017, 09:37 AM
You must be a PCS member to see some content on these forums. PCS membership has multiple benefits, and it’s just the right thing to do to sustain outlets like this for sharing knowledge.

That explains it, ok. Didnt realize some stuff was restricted. I will certainly look into membership. This forum has been a huge help and I would definitely like to give back

Blake Sherwin
12-22-2017, 10:09 AM
Alright, I am now a site supporter. Still says I dont have access. I suppose that needs to be manually granted.

Blake Sherwin
12-29-2017, 12:37 PM
Finally got it back today and got new tires. Took it on the highway and it ran great! Drove it to work today so I can go get the new title (VIN inspection) and get a paint quote.

Nicholas Studer
12-29-2017, 12:56 PM
Alright, I am now a site supporter. Still says I dont have access. I suppose that needs to be manually granted.

This forum is run as a “booster club” for the Society. Being a PCS member is a separate thing. I’ll send you the link.

Paul Steinberg
12-29-2017, 12:57 PM
Alright, I am now a site supporter. Still says I dont have access. I suppose that needs to be manually granted.

Try it again. I tweaked the settings to allow Site Supporters and Super Site Supporters to view, and post to the threads. Posts are subject to moderator approval.
Thanks