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CAR #2: 1977 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
This is the "Coup De'VILE" I picked up for $200!
425 cubic inches of gas-guzzling GM-big-block, packing a dismal 195 Horsepower- the very definition of pathetic!
(AMC's 360 small block was pushing 220HP in 1977!)
Immediately after our first demo derby, Harry and I decided we'd be doing another as soon as it could be arranged. Our
jobs with New Jersey's auto inspection facilities meant we get to see a lot of local clunkers attempting to remain legally
on the road, and we're in a good position to make offers when these cars don't pass inspection. We figured we didn't
need to hunt for cars...they'd come to us.
On a lark, tho, I grabbed a local Auto Ads magazine on August 13th and while flipping through it, found three cars that
seemed good candidates. All were big GMs, all were under $500, all within an hour's drive. The first I called was the
biggest and the description was right up our alley- '77 Coupe DeVille, 425 V8, Runs excellent, needs resto, $400/bo'.
I called and left a message, then the owner called and left me a message, stating the price was now just $200! We're
I went to see it the next day, and on August 19, 2001, I bought it. Our second car is another GM two-door. With
most of the derby entries being four-doors, I was hopeful we'd continue to find coupes whenever we needed another
car. On that note, after leaving the seller's house, I spotted another '77 Coupe DeVille, dark green, looking abandoned but
complete, and judging by the long-expired inspection sticker, not having seen use in 5 years or so. The owner couldn't
be found, so I left a note expressing interest. Finger's crossed!
When I first saw this car, it ran great- quiet and smooth. It even has a brand-new exhaust system! The only obvious issue
right now is a fading brake pedal and brake line leakage. The engine compartment was relatively clean, complete and
un-butchered- obviously, it was maintained fairly well. The body had taken it's hits and rust, but had been patched
well-enough along the way. The interior was hurting, needing work on the front seats, dash and door panels.
These two pics of the car were taken 8 to 10 years ago, when she was in MUCH better shape. The owner gave the pics
to me with the car.
8/25/2001: The car is home, after a 42-mile flatbed tow. I decided driving it with a known brake line leak was
simply stupid. I took a longer look under the car and found good reason to make this a demo car- the rear frame rails
are rotted thru in several areas, severely. All qualms I had about the wrongness of thrashing this car are GONE. Now,
she'll go into storage until the next derby event we can get to.
Send me your every thought!
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