Yesterday I had the honor to film the line up of cars heading to St Mary’s in Bayside for the annual East Coast Car Association Toys for Tots run. Check out the video below to see some pretty cool classic cars and motorcycles.
As promised, here is the story of my new daily driver; the car I now call Bebe which is short for Better Beater. It has replaced the ’01 SLS I was driving on a daily basis and always called my Beater.
My beloved Beater had rolled up something in excess of 70 K on the odometer and I was aware that I would be looking to replace the car in a year or so. One night in early June I was passing the time by perusing the internet looking under the heading of 2003 STS. I was hoping to find something out there with 50 K or less miles. I was secretly hoping to find one around 40 K but it was looking grim as the ads I was viewing were constantly touting the “low mileage” cars with 124 K or even more. Since I don’t consider anything over 100 K low mileage on that vintage Northstar, I was skimming over a lot of ads. Then I saw an ad claiming an ’03 STS with 22 thousand miles. At first I went right by the ad because I miss read the ad as 122 K. Then I went back and looked at the ad carefully. Initially convinced it was a misprint I studied the two dozen or so pictures included in the ad. I started to dare to think the ad just might be on the level. I emailed the owner of the car asking if the car was still available and for some additional information.
What followed was three days of long distance Q&A eventually leading to an equally long distance negotiating session and finally and agreed on selling price. Oh, did I mention that the car was located in Wilmington NC and I live in southern New Hampshire? This meant the car and I were separated by almost a thousand miles. The seller was a small used car dealer and assured me that the state of North Carolina had a temporary registration program that would allow me to legally drive the car home; all I had to do was get there.
Without going into the specifics, I am not a fan of flying so my trip was going to be somewhat of a challenge. I determined that the least costly way would be by bus. The longest bus trips I had taken in the past were generally less than one hundred miles and based on that I thought I knew what to expect. A word of advise, if anyone reading this has the opportunity to take a cross country bus trip – – DON’T.
Long story short, I survived the grueling twenty eight hour cross country excursion and arrived in Wilmington NC within ten minutes or so of the stated arrival time. I was picked up by Chuck, the seller, and after a quick stop at a branch of my bank went to see the car. It was stunning to say the least. After looking things over and some entertaining exchange of “car talk” I was the proud owner of a 2003 Cadillac STS with precisely 22,341 miles on the clock. What I consider to be the find of the year.
I spent a total of seventeen hours on the road and made it home much more relaxed and refreshed than after the bus ordeal. After careful scrutiny I have found the car needs some work to the suspension – after all, everything is thirteen years old under there. The parts have come in and I take it in for the needed repairs after the 4th of July and look forward to many years of delightful daily driving in my “new” old STS.
As an aside; this is my fourth Seville of this vintage. I’ve had, in order a ’98, an ’02, an ’01 and now this ’03. Anyone that has driven these cars in winter conditions – New Hampshire remember – can tell you that these vehicles whether by design or pure chance offer one of the most stable and confidence inspiring driving experiences on snow covered roads. I owned the ’02 when I was working and I had a forty mile commute, one way and would choose the STS to take to work in bad weather rather than my four wheel drive pick up; which was no slouch on snow covered roads but the STS was better.
Finally I would say to anyone searching for their “dream car”, be persistent, don’t get discouraged keep looking. When the time comes be prepared to take advantage of the situation and remember – don’t go by bus.
Cadillac came out with a new concept car last night. I watched the unveiling and it was nice to see a new Cadillac even though it will never be built. I don’t understand the logic in making concept cars though. If you are going to make one why not make 100 and call them a special limited edition and see if they sell. Cadillac could charge a million dollars a car and recoup all the time spent on designing the concept.
Anyway the car looks nice, I like the headlights as I am tired of getting blinded by all the new LED headlights out there. The thought of a Cadillac having a hatchback is so foreign to me I still have to think about it. Guess it would be good for carrying golf clubs? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Cadillac Unveils Escala Concept, Previewing Future Design Direction
• CONCEPT SHOWCASES FUTURE DESIGN AND TECHNICAL SYSTEMS IN DEVELOPMENT
• FLAGSHIP SEDAN IS A CONCEPT FOR A MORE EXPRESSIVE, EXPANSIVE COMPANION TO THE RECENTLY LAUNCHED CT6
• DUAL-THEME INTERIOR INCLUDES CURVED OLED DISPLAYS, NEXT-GEN CONNECTIVITY DESIGNS, INGENIOUS DETAILS
The Escala Concept debuts in California tonight, introducing the next evolution of Cadillac design and previewing the craftsmanship and technology being developed for many future models. Following a series of private previews, Escala will be displayed this weekend at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The Escala Concept previews the design and technical ideas driving the next phase of Cadillac’s ongoing expansion.
“Escala is a concept with two clear objectives,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Global Cadillac. “First, Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models. Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.”
Cadillac has released a new slate of models bristling with expressive design and exhilarating performance, driver’s cars taking Cadillac into a new chapter of its storied 114-year history.
“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance,” de Nysschen said. “Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”
Escala — Spanish for “scale”— is a concept for a larger, more elite and expressive companion to the recently launched 2016 Cadillac CT6, the brand’s remarkable new range-topping prestige sedan. Escala is also the third in a series of concepts Cadillac has debuted at Pebble Beach in recent years, following the Ciel convertible (2011) and Elmiraj coupe (2013).
Escala is designed to be both a driver’s car and an indulgent flagship sedan. The large 4-door sedan features an expansive liftback design emphasizing the car’s considerable scale and versatility. At 210.5 inches in overall length, Escala is roughly 6 inches longer than today’s CT6.
Escala features a new and evolved face of Cadillac design that will begin appearing on production models soon. This includes a new expression of Cadillac’s vertical lighting, a brand signature since 1948. Organic light emitting diode (OLED) lighting elements are thinner and set deep within the fascia, creating a sinister look, day and night.
The concept’s details invite closer inspection, including a three-dimensional precision pattern in the grille design and 22-inch wheels with two layers of spokes.
“This concept shares how Cadillac will bring forward a new experience that is uniquely American, and unmistakably Cadillac,” says Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Global Design. “Escala is an expressive symbol of reward and an exhilarating driving experience. On the interior, we pushed further. It’s about precision and ingenuity in craftsmanship, and the artistic integration of technology.”
Escala features a “dual personality” interior crafted with distinctly different zones: The front is about intensely focused modern technology, while the rear delivers relaxation.
“My brief to the designers was to create a car you desperately want to drive, and also one in which you want to be driven,” Smith said. “So rather than a single design, this interior consists of two themes. It was an opportunity for our designers to break the rules a little bit, exactly what Cadillac should do from time to time.”
An array of three curved OLED screens is a prominent feature in the front of the cabin. The very thin, curved displays are layered in front of the driver, with the back sides wrapped in hand-stitched leather embossed with the Cadillac script. The array of screens consolidate the traditional “cluster” of driving gauges with the “center stack” into one integrated unit.
Escala includes new designs for connectivity and control, providing a prototype for the user experience in development for future production models. The system features a central control module that enables the driver to execute tactile commands across the spectrum of connectivity functions, in addition to voice and gesture control technology. Inside the controller sits a new edition of Cadillac’s “flying Goddess” icon, a nod to the brand’s illustrious heritage.
Like all Cadillac models today, the interior is assembled using hand cut-and-sewn techniques. However, Escala presents several new and unique touches, blending overt luxury with covert technology. Escala makes broad use of hand-tailored fabric on the door trim and seating areas. Inspired by suiting material used by Cadillac’s partners in the fashion industry, the fabric provides a new level of hand-applied craftsmanship and color, unique in today’s auto interior landscape.
The Escala Concept utilizes Cadillac’s new RWD-centric large luxury car architecture, featuring one of the world’s most advanced body structures, which debuted on the new CT6. The mixed-material construction enables unprecedented agility and efficiency.
Escala uses a new 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, a prototype of a new system in development for future Cadillac models. The advanced engine utilizes Active Fuel Management technology, enabling fuel-saving 4-cylinder operation.
Cadillac Escala Concept Basic Specifications
Model Escala Concept
Body Style 4-door expressive flagship sedan, with lift-back rear opening
Height 57.3 in / 1455 mm
Width 76.7 in / 1948 mm
Length 210.5 in / 5347 mm
Wheelbase 127.1 in / 3228 mm
Engine 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8
Yesterday I took a ride down to Tucson to check out some cars at an auction and almost bought a 2001 Cadillac Deville. I have ben saving some stuff up for a donation to an animal rescue down there and figured I could kill two birds with one stone. When I got to the auction after the hour and 1/2 drive I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of drivable cars. I was expecting more junk than anything.
While there was a lot of SUV’s that I could of choose from there was only 1 or 2 that I would take home if the price was right. It was a different story when I got to one of the charity cars that was being auctioned off. Among all the junky looking cars was a 2001 Cadillac Deville that looked more like it just came out of the showroom then it did a 15 year old car.
The car was a beautiful silver with a little flake and a pinstrip that looked like it was done yesterday. The only thing cosmetic that the car needed was a new tail light cover.
The guy looking at it in front of me was a mechanic and while I was standing there he started it and drove it 2 or 3 feet in each direction. Only thing he had to say was the air condition needed some freon. It was nice that I didn’t have to test it at all and could sit back and watch him go around the car.
I was going to drive down again this morning but decided to bid online instead. I limited my bid to $1800 figuring that any more than that I could get one similar and know the history of the car. It ended up selling for $1850.
I really just wanted to get the auction experience down since they run these auctions up here in Phoenix. The next one is next weekend and I bet I will be at that one live if I see something in the catalog that gets my interest.
Beautiful Cadillac For Sale from our friend Joe! I met Joe a couple of years ago at Barrett-Jackson.
1983 Cadillac Fleetwood D’Elegance Brougham Sedan $10,500
In near perfect condition, interior is spotless.
Power windows, Power door locks, 8 way power seats, Power radio/CB antenna,
Power trunk release, Power trunk pulldown, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, Cruise,
Rear window defog, heated mirrors, Symphony AM/FM radio with integrated CB radio, intermittent delay wipers, illuminated entry, illuminated vanity mirrors, original floor mats, limo style wheel covers, level ride, backseat opera lights, automatic light control with auto dimming.
Briar Mist paint with burgundy vinyl top and button velour interior. Vinyl top is spectacular.
Car originally from Texas and has been in Arizona since 1985. There is no rust on this car. Undercarriage is clean. Motor runs strong and transmission shifts smoothly.
42,000 miles is original and car runs great. I have the Car Fax for verification. I also have a photo gallery that can be emailed to you and references from Midway Chevrolet (Phx, AZ) and Classic Cars of AZ that are extremely familiar with the car and its history.
Paint is new and was redone in 2014. Color is original. Sides of car are great. There is no peeling anywhere and no color fading on vinyl top. Filler panels have been changed to ABS plastic fillers and were painted correctly. Chrome is in great condition.
Everything works, and car is driven only on sunny weekends.
This can be a daily driver or put away as a classic Cadillac. It shows very well and is truly a classic 30-year-old Caddy.
Joe: 602-550-7025 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This Weeks Cool Cadillac Video
Once again I was on with Bruce and Mike for a weekly discussion about Cadillac. This week we had a lot of fun talking about the 250k custom Escalade.
I also talked about a cool solar flashlight I got at the Barrett-Jackson show from Hybridlight.com Good bunch of guys that I have actually met twice now at shows. You can see a demo video below.
RockAuto has just listed their promo’s on the forum. Promotions and Rebates are all over on many products. They have been nice to supply our members with deals over the years. Good friend of the club.