If you’ve never had the pleasure of driving a mid-1960s Cadillac Coupe DeVille, do whatever is necessary to get yourself behind the wheel of one. It’s not that the cars were strong performers, it’s more that they had a ride quality unlike anything else on the road, before or since.
Drive one, and you’ll long for the crisp steering response of a early-1980s Buick LeSabre, with blown shocks and bad tie rod ends. You’ll never again complain about fuel economy in a modern automobile, either, since a 1960’s Cadillac can make even a Camaro ZL1 seem like a fuel-sipping economy car.
You will get noticed in the Cadillac, since anything in motion with the size and mass of a shopping plaza tends to draw stares. If your Cadillac is a Coupe De Ville convertible with a giant blower poking through the hood, “under-the-radar” is simply not an option.
Big Muscle host Mike Musto came across this particular 1964 Cadillac at a car show in Alameda, California, and we’d be the first to admit it’s hard to just pass by. Owned by Ron Dean, the car makes 650 horsepower from its force-fed, 468 cubic-inch V-8 engine, and there’s nothing leisurely about that.
The rest of the Dean’s car is equally subtle, from the ghost flames in the paint, to the suspension drop and the side-exit exhausts. Musto calls it a giant carnival ride, and the only thing we can think of to add to that is a “giant comfortable carnival ride.”
We’ve driven enough vintage Coupe DeVilles to know that they’re not our cup of meat, but we think Dean is onto something here. If we lived in the shadow of the Pacific Ocean and had the time, money and garage space to build a cruiser, we’d likely be calling Mr. Dean for some build advice.