Purchasing a Classic by Michael and Frank Butler
It all started at the All American Motoring Show at Flemington race course.
While displaying our 52 Caddie there, Peter Ratcliff, the club secretary
informed us that a 53 Cadillac Coupe deVille was for sale in Sydney.
My Dad, Frank Butler, a big enthusiast keen to follow up leads with early
Caddies, phoned and made enquiries about the car. Photos arrived a few days
later in the mail. A 1953 sedan advertised in Unique Cars was also for sale
in Queensland. After a number of enquiries, Dad went up to Queensland and
Sydney to have a look at both cars. Dad fell in love with the Coupe
After discussing it through with Mum, Dad paid a deposit and on April 30th,
we were off to Sydney. Dad and I left Melbourne at 9 am and arrived in
Sydney 7 pm on Friday night.
Anton, the person we purchased the car from kindly picked us up from the
bus depot and brought us back to collect the car. After a coffee and chat
we viewed the Caddie sitting quietly in the driveway. On Friday night, our
good friend Brian, put us up for the night while Anton kindly offered to
guide us over. Brian is restoring a beautiful ivory 1952 Cadillac
Saturday morning we found a few small problems with the car. We fixed them
and it was looking to be a short stay as the afternoon was approaching. By
1 pm we said thanks and goodbye as we had a 1030 km/600 mile trip to enjoy.
On leaving Sydney we struck heavy rain as anyone who owns a fifties
Cadillac knows what vacuum wipers are all about! Along the way we caught up
with a friend whoís customising a 1952 Cadillac Coupe deVille with a 454 and
dropped drastically. We pulled into Batemans Bay for the night where my
uncle owns a house.
Leaving 4 am Sunday morning, the road was all ours... motor purring, bright
12 volt headlights shining, all 4 windows down, forest all around us. It
was awesome. Around 10 am we stopped for lunch and fuel in a small town
near the border. While Dad ordered lunch I filled the car up and then moved
slowly into a car park. A young couple in the shop thought I was leaving,
left their meal and ran out to get a closer look.
By now I guess a description and some history on the car would be nice.
Imported from America in April 1996 by Anton, the car was purchased from a
man called Rodger Sessions, who lives in Long Beach near Los Angeles in
California. The condition of this car is amazing for its age. Itís dead straight, has
original blue paint with a white roof, original interior, LHD, a real clean
unrestored example of American muscle. Itís also fitted with a Buick
dynaflow transmission, which the last 28,600 Cadillacs for 1953 were fitted with
after the hydramatic transmission plant caught fire in August
We arrived home safely in Melbourne at 5 pm Sunday with 9 hours sleep for
the weekend. The drive down was great and I might add, a trouble free trip.
A big thank you to Anton for running us around, and who went out of his way
to make sure we didnít have any problems on the way home. Anton filled the
trunk/boot with jack, torch, oils/funnel and wheel brace - now thatís
hospitality folks! Also thanks to Brian for breakfast and putting us up for
We appreciate everything... thanks guys. Until next time,
Michael and Frank Butler