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Vladimir Ivanovich Kirillov
Grand Master
Username: soviet

Post Number: 1236
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Wednesday, 21 November, 2018 - 06:24 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

So I have two of my cars above parked together under the carport at my evil country lair and I have noticed something weird. Yes I do get visitors. Think you will be lonely in outback Queensland, then think again and try the Simpson Desert or something west of Birdsville.

Most people just look at the Roll Royce. They ask questions about it. They rarely ask about the Cadillac.

Both cars are classy and in pretty good condition appearance wise. In fact the Cadillac does not even have over 76,000 miles on it from new. The acrylic lacquer paint work is original except for the boot/trunk lid which I repainted in its original Phonecian Ivory. The boot lid was not original as it was black underneath the top coat and I have no idea what type of paint it had on it but I suspect is was CIA secret service stuff because the paint stripper to get it back to bare metal just would not look at it - that paint was diamond hard. The car was originally owned by a Vietnam Vet in California.

I bought the Cadillac in New Mexico and imported it. It cost $2,800 USD 8 years ago. I have not seen this model being offered for under $10,000 USD in the last year or two so its increased almost three fold in value in the USA. Of course with freight, insurance, government fleecement and crazy Australian Design Rules that required all the seat belts to be removed and Australian Seat Belts to be fitted (yes what were they thinking) it cost me around $16,000 AUD to get on the road here. It is Left Hand Drive and I would never convert it to Right Hand Drive as that requires complete butchery and the right hand side exhaust manifold needs to be cut and shut for the right hand steering box to fit. I know because I used to help convert them when they were new and they grew on me. A very swanky car indeed from my American friends regardless of the fact that I enjoy baiting Americans like all Russians do. Certainly, in the Soviet Union in 1976 nobody but nobody had a 1976 Fleetwood and that these cars sold new in America for just under $11,000 USD shows something about the Americans that they should be very proud about. A 1976 Lada or Volga or even say a 1980 Chaika - err let's not go there. The rockets worked though!

The Rolls on the other hand I got for a song for $10,000 but only because the vendor had been driven crazy by idiots offering him silly prices to buy for $5,000. Some blokes are just downright rude and ungentlemanly in OZ. He wanted ten, I had a look under it and over it and could see its faults but I was damn quick to lay a deposit and paid him the balance the next day when the bank opened. That was after I had travelled 2,000 kilometres down south to look at a white Spur that was a complete pig and being sold by a con man who thought I would be his mug and after David our most Gracious Moderator saved me from another con man with a snobby accent who had a Black Spur that was also a wallet croaking trap in Sydney.

Now here is the crazy bit. Parts for Cadillacs are often cheaper stateside for less than Toyota parts here. Parts for the Rolls Royce are much dearer and both the cat and rooster are kicked when FS sends me a price on anything for the Spirit. I don't even think of contacting a RR dealer considering 20 years ago I got a price of $6,000 AUD for a rear window for an S3 Bentley from Rolls Royce in Perth. Do not take that as any criticism of FS or the foxy pup owed by the owner of FS. FS is essential to keeping what Crewe made on the road and they do a jolly good job of it although pics of hurt and terminal RR/B require me to call my shrink.

The price of Spirits and Spurs in Australia has dropped to insane lows and to crazy low prices considering their new price here. Only CoPart shows cheaper prices and gosh do I wish I had the loot to buy a cheap house with a large garage in Indiana to take advantage of what Omar introduced me to. Check out Copart USA if you really want do get deranged or sob into a cheap glass of wine. It's ghastly.

Why does the Rolls Royce Spirit steal the show from the Cadillac?

Is it the grill? Is it the stigma? - you know if you own a Rolls Royce you MUST be rich and stinkingly so which sadly I am not.

Just wondering if anybody knows why people just drool and gush over the Purple Spirit and tend to ignore the Cadillac almost totally. However, when I used to drive the Cadillac it was definitely a head turner and the both the younger and much older ladies used to comment that it was a really nice car.

Of course if the interior of the Cadillac is plush the interior of the Rolls Royce is super opulent and RR did not use plastic chrome for door handle surrounds. Nope Crewe used brass chromed so that's quality. As for the Rolls Royce leather is there anything as decadent and neat as the seats of a Rolls Royce? I regard myself as very, very lucky to be able to own both a Camargue and a Spirit. I would most certainly buy another Cadillac Fleetwood from 1976 or 1975. As for the Rolls Royce Spirit would I buy another one? No way. If I was young again and cashed up I would buy five Spirits and five Spurs and live in a rusty bus outback to pay for them. I am really shocked by their quality and if you told me 30 years ago I would own two cars build by Crewe I would have known that you were completely mad!

I should also add that the Cadillac's braking system is dead simple compared to the Rolls Royce's brake system. Apart from that my only beef with the Cadillac is the electronic computerised fuel injection system know to have burnt a number of US mansions to the ground. It's going over the fence with a shotgun blast as soon as I get cashed up, not the car just the computer. Oh I also don't like the automatic handbrake release (vacuum) but that hideous idea is an easy disablement fix. Do I really need the autotronic eye that dips the headlights automatically? No, and nor do I need the Twilight Sentinel that switches the lights on automatically at dusk and on at dawn. I also could live without the fibre optic tell tales that inform you your light bulb was blown front or back.

I really do appreciate any input negative or positive as I, as you probably all know like to use other custodians' brains to think about things even if totally different or opposite to my point of view.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 2676
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Friday, 23 November, 2018 - 09:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Vladimir,

Given that virtually no driver in the United States these days ever dips their high beams when driving straight at you these days I have always wishe dthat the autronic eye had been further developed and became a standard piece of safety equipment. Alas . . .

The fiber optic brake light indicators at the top center of the rear window and and the "lights are on," "high beams are on," "turn signal is on" triple fiber optics on the top of each front fender have been Cadillac staples for nearly as long as I've been alive, and a simpler version just for turn signal for much longer. I love both of these features and actually use them regularly to check whether a bulb has gone out or I've left the turn signal on (without looking at the dash). I often catch the fact that I've not yet dimmed the high beams because the blue light on the fender is on.

But, back to your question regarding attention getting: Rarity and status symbol cachet. Cadillacs, by comparison to Rolls-Royces, are dirt common and always have been since even before WWII, and certainly afterward. Early classic era Cadillacs are another story altogether, and can give RRs of that era a run for their money in every sense. But Crewe has to have been one of the world's largest successes in creating cachet around a brand. At least for SY era cars, while the quality of the materials used is in a completely different realm than Cadillac's were, they are not, in my opinion, "the better car" if you consider a car, any car, being a reliable transportation appliance as its primary duty - and I do. Crewe indulged in an amount of boutique engineering that was staggering, and not always any improvement over what other makers were doing, while at the same time rejecting advances that other makers had accepted long before and that were, unquestionably, better (e.g., fuel injection - at least good fuel injection, and there was plenty of that by the mid to late 1970s). I consider Crewe to have done with its cars much like what DeBeers pulled off with diamonds, which are not in actuality rare in any meaningful sense, but by controlling the number going to market. While RR could never have mass produced like many makers did, they could certainly have made a lot more cars than they did had restricting availability, and heightening exclusivity, not been a central part of their marketing plan. It remains so to this day.

Contrast what today's RR and Bentley are doing, respectively, compared to what was done when both were run by Crewe. Bentley has lost a huge amount of its exclusivity and has become very well known as a "bling car." Rolls-Royce remains extremely exclusive and production numbers remain artificially low. You know that they could crank out more if that were desired, but it would directly go against RR marketing throughout the entire life of the marque.

People are intrigued, really intrigued, by the rare, even more by the rare and expensive, and even more by the rare and expensive thing that has worldwide status symbol weight. The Flying Lady has to be one of the most recognizable brand identifiers in the history of the world. There is almost nowhere, even places that have never had a RR come within hundreds of miles, where she's not instantly recognized. The same cannot be said of the wreath and crest (or their variations) in parts of the world where Cadillac has never been marketed.

Brian
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Vladimir Ivanovich Kirillov
Grand Master
Username: soviet

Post Number: 1242
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Friday, 23 November, 2018 - 07:31 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Like always Brian you get me thinking about things that I never thought about before.

I can imagine the Crewe engineer who designed the Shadow and Spirit/Spur braking system having hilarious chuckles over the complexity of the whole affair.

Something like this "well chaps, what we have here is something that is so out of this world that not only will the Australian outback mechanics not be able to fix it, they will never be even remotely capable of ever understanding how it works in the first place.

But we will put a warning sign on the accumulators so the don't get their heads blown off!"

One thing I will probably never work out is how to protect my Camargue radiator grill from emus, kangaroos, cows, horses and wild pigs. All of these lovely critters walk by my country lair very regularly.

As for low beams somebody was not concentrating because the headlights on a lot of late model cars are way too bright.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 2677
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Saturday, 24 November, 2018 - 02:02 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Vladimir,

With regard to headlights and their now often blinding brightness even on low beam, the majority of that comes directly as a result of HID/Xenon bulb technology. Some places are now making these illegal - which I support.

They're blinding even on low beam and on high beam it's almost impossible to describe - particularly the "like a flashbulb just went off" after effect that lasts for a few seconds.

Brian
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Omar M. Shams
Grand Master
Username: omar

Post Number: 1743
Registered: 4-2009
Posted on Monday, 26 November, 2018 - 01:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I have several Cadillacs, only one Rolls-Royce and a clutch of Bentleys.
I see the Cadillacs as nothing but GM cars. The Crewe cars are in a league of their own. Way superior in my opinion. Gadgets and gimmicks dont make a car. Look at the 300SL Gullwing... what gimmicks does it have other than the doors? nothing... yet I would have one of those over all my cars put together. It is not about the kit that's on your car - its about what the car does for you....
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Vladimir Ivanovich Kirillov
Grand Master
Username: soviet

Post Number: 1253
Registered: 2-2013
Posted on Monday, 26 November, 2018 - 09:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Omar of Dubai has spoken." its about what the car does for you "

I think that may indeed be an essential truth.

I know I am drawn heavily to shape. However, I much value quality. It was not until I owned a Rolls Royce and had the opportunity to not just pull it apart but to closely examine the quality materials that my appreciation of this marque was greatly increased.

I now have a Rolls Royce addiction and it is a daily battle not to surf the internet gathering Intel on present market prices and lusting after different Rolls Royces from the two I have.

Unfortunately or fortunately I have no handbrake (partner) apart from PussNasty to control my perhaps foolish and insatiable addiction.

I bought the Cadillac when I was essentially homeless as I always liked the shape and I knew the 500 ci (8.2 litre engine) was a monstrous beast that can be made to crank out over 1000 HP.

Then I bought my property and bought the Jaguar 420G and the Camargue.

I have a 1958 Jaguar Mark 1 with overdrive complete but needing a basket case restoration sitting right smack bang in my front yard.

And now I have the Purple Spirit undercover next to
the Cadillac.

Where will the madness stop?

At the moment I am collecting more rock from the mountain to build a stone cottage then mansion to suit the cars and I am doing this in 44C (110F) whilst having daily brawls with Roger the Rapist Rooster at my outback nirvana lair with zero intentions of even selling the Lada Niva.

Perhaps insanity and myself have always been on the same page.
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 2678
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Monday, 26 November, 2018 - 10:10 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Vlacimir,

It appears that insanity and yourself remain on the same page. And I say that as someone who has been in the same circumstance.

That being said, even though I love to cruise Craigslist looking at Cadillacs, particularly those from 1972 and earlier or 1989 through 1992, and lusting after Crewe cars, particularly of the Cloud and Shadow eras, I know that as life circumstances have changed I am already "in over my head" as far as what I am able to keep up with on the automotive front. I lose all interest in acquiring something else "of the same class" when I realize that I am either just keeping up with, or in some cases am actively neglecting, what I already have. My time for the Shadow II and Wraith II have become much more limited over the last several years as I have had to spend far more time related to caregiving for my mother, who has dementia. I still have not, however, been able to bring myself to sell off the RRs, though I probably should. Part of that, though, is because I found the market very soft when I tried, repeatedly, to sell off the Shadow II. The fact that it's a RHD to LHD conversion, with all the modifications that entails, makes it all but unsaleable on the "RR collector/afficionado" market.

At least they're both currently garaged and out of the elements. That was not true for the Shadow for a period of about 2 years, but that could not be helped, either.

Brian
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richard george yeaman
Grand Master
Username: richyrich

Post Number: 1031
Registered: 4-2012
Posted on Monday, 26 November, 2018 - 10:51 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Vladimir, Brian, my wife Margaret says that we are all mad!!!!! and I must say that I agree with her.

Richard.
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Randy Roberson
Grand Master
Username: wascator

Post Number: 826
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, 04 December, 2018 - 05:38 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Go back about 10’years to Cadillac Land and find metal chromed parts and little to no plastic. I think large American cars were relative bargains. Was a Crewe product worth 2-3 times a Cadillac’s price? I find plenty of sharp edges working on my Shadow, and some places with finish and detail no better than common cars. Yes they have their moments though.

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