Back to the Demo Derby Main Page

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 in business!!!
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!

Top of page Back to the Demo Derby Main Page