Douglas B

Barbershop Bargain

Always listen to your barber. This is good advice regarding anyone using sharp instruments close to your head. It also turned out to be good advice when looking for old cars.

In 1983, I owned a 1960 Cadillac Coupe de Ville that was my daily driver. Fresh out of college, it offered high style on a budget. I could only afford one car and was very happy to have such a striking car. My barber liked my Cadillac and she often commented on the way it looked. She called me one day to ask if I was interested in another Cadillac with big fins. She said it was owned by friends who wanted to send it to a new home. All she knew was that it was pink (wood rose) with a white top, had two doors and the tail-lights were bullet-shaped and in the fins. I knew she was describing a 1959 Cadillac, the icon for all finned cars and immediately arranged to go see the car.

When I arrived in my 1960 Coupe de Ville, it made a good impression. The car for sale was a 1959 Coupe de Ville in excellent original condition but with a bad starter. The asking price was $1,000. I did not even have an extra $100 at the time but I knew this was a car I had to own. I offered $900, due to the starter and gave a $50 deposit to hold the car until I could get to my bank. The next day, I convinced my credit union to loan me $850 and hold the title of the Cadillac with monthly payments of $100. Then, I bought a new starter and took the $850 to complete the sale. I crawled under the car and installed the new starter and drove home. All the car needed was a complete detailing to look almost perfect. The next month, I added new wide-white tires and had a dream car at the age of 23. Later, I sold the 1960 Cadillac and for five years, the 1959 was my daily driver. It was my wedding car and I took it in parades and to car shows. At traffic lights, people would run up and shout 'I love your car!'. I saw it turn 100,000 miles and it proved to be completely dependable.

Five years later, the collector car market was going up like a rocket. It was time to buy a house and I sold the 1959 Coupe de Ville for $9,000, in essentially the same condition as when it was purchased. It provided the down payment for my first house and the seed money that has led to my 9 car collection, 25 years down the road. My current home and collector cars are all directly linked to that 1959 Cadillac. It is clear now that listening to my barber was one of the best things I ever did.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    sophia port townsend October 9, 2014 at 00:17
    this supper inspiring to thanks for story

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