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My 1973 Cadillac, Huggy Bear


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I don't agree, but in any case, there's plenty more ready-made music.  All the production team has to do (all, he says....) is agree on a style.  Blaxploitation?  Big-band?  The world is our lobster.  Or perhaps Barracuda ;)

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I never said they weren't!  Just, not American rozzers, which is the plan.  American rozzers need to drive American cars.  Proper ones, big, RWD, V8s.  So do American Mafiosi.  Why d'you think the second question people ask me is how many bodies I can fit in the trunk?  There's a Hollywood stereotype I have to play up to here!

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Just a thought at this stage, but IF this glorious hunk of Seventies were to appear with a For Sale tag, would anyone here be seriously-interested enough to ask the price?  It's not going to be Shite money but there would be a significant discount in operation.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, I've had a little score.

Mike, the owner of the green Lincoln I've mentioned (and I think pictured) before, decided to go for a new set of tyres.  He very obligingly gave me notice, and I suggested he might not want to "recycle" the old set of Cooper whitewalls without running them past me first.  So he did better than that, he picked out the two best and brought them over for me!  Very kind, and no charge.  They're 225/75/15s whereas the Cadillac wears 235/75/15s, but hey, close enough.

Today I went to a little local show and a local mobile tyre fitter was there with his van, being a trade stand.  I sneaked over and suggested he might like to do a "demo" by stripping the bias-belted whitewall off my spare, and slipping one of these lovely radials on instead (I happened to still have them in the trunk).  So he did.  And balanced it, and charged me.... nothing!  Well done, A590 Tyres!

Now, should a flat occur, at least I'm putting the same type of tyre on, if not the same size.

Of course, a spare Cadillac steel wheel would be a good thing, as I could then have him fit the other 225!

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Today being lovely, I thought I'd make a start on the roof lining.  It's torn at the seams, and hanging down in various places, so it really needs a bit of TLC.  So I started removing the various bits and bobs that are screwed through it here and there, such as the sun visors.  It's not that easy!  (Is it ever?)  There are trim rails I need to remove, or at least dislocate, running the length of the side window apertures both sides, above the windows.  Can I figure out how to detach them?  Guess!

So I've locked up and I'll come back to it tomorrow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You'll be pleased to know I figured out how to get all the dress rails out.  Once I had them out I decided they would benefit from a coat of paint, so, er, they've had several.  Ford Tibetan Gold isn't a very good match for Laredo Tan, but it'll do inside.

And... sewing has commenced!  I measured the length and width that the roof lining has to cover (inside the car, single-handed) and went looking for something suitable.  The measurements are slightly smaller than a double bed.  So I bought a lovely new white towelling mattress protector, for a whole tenner, and have spent most of my free daylight this week sewing it into place.  I'm about halfway through.  With the original lining still up there, I'm feeling for the sprung ribs and sewing the new lining around them, so that it hides the old lining and keeps it more or less in place.  It's bloody hard work!

But it's going to look pretty good when I've done (don't look at the actual stitching though!) and it'll give me half a page in CCB! ;)

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I can only imagine what contortions you are going through!   Do these have a traditional supported headlining?   My Grand Prix had a sort of single piece thing held in by the trim rails.  It was long gone and all that was left was some kind of foamy flock coating that periodically snowed brown crumbs on me.

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Oh it's bad.  I have pics, but not on this computer. 

It's a vinyl lining, stitched to a bunch of sprung ribs that are across the roof, then glued around the edges and held in/disguised by the dress rails.  There seems to be quite a bit of tension on it, as a few of the seams have pulled apart and the liner is hanging down in places.  So something had to be done.  A new liner (if you can get the right colour, which isn't a certainty) is going to cost the wrong side of a hundred quid from an American supplier, plus shipping and duty.  So for a tenner, some headaches and some muscle strain, I'll settle for the version I'm doing now.

My stitching is rubbish though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well... as cars do, Huggy has let me down.

Took him to work this morning and found when I parked up that he was pushing out water.  It was too dark to check so I left it until I was ready to go home.  Nothing in the radiator, expansion bottle full to the top, no rusty streaks (encouraging).  So I poured in three litres of water, letting it bleed down, then took him over the road to Martin, who poured in another 7 litres and examined the likely sources of a leak.  No sign, everything appeared fine, so I set off home.  By the time I got here, lots of hissing, nothing in the rad again but air pressure (not present while Martin was testing it) and more brown water pouring out, apparently from the expansion bottle's overflow pipe.

So I've ordered a new thermostat, a pair of hoses and a set of belts (which I knew it needed anyway). 

 

Naturally, this happens on the very weekend I want to drive him 100 miles each way to a toy fair where I was planning to meet up with some other Tank owners, including our own Herr Junk.  Good thing I've still got the Giffer Rover to use!

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Yes, doesn't it?  That's why I was looking minutely for rusty streaks anywhere in the engine bay, but there aren't any.  The oil is also clean, so the head gaskets are probably ok.  It's a bit of a mystery.  Anyway... let's see how it goes on with the new bits, when they arrive.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well the new bits arrived, and on Wednesday I took Huggy down to see Martin.  Went in today to check on progress and Martin tells me the radiator is blocked.  He's going to take it off and see if he can pressure-flush it and the block to clear them out.

There isn't a radiator-repair shop for some distance. :(  Like, Carlisle.

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Hmm, familiar story.

Mine was blocked too back when the engine was rebuilt. Luckily I got mine sent away and reconditioned though.

 

They don't seem expensive for new ones.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/cadillac,1973,deville,7.7l+472cid+v8,1025402,cooling+system,radiator,2172

Of course there's post from US on top which sometimes isnt cheap.

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