Welcome to My Wheels, Tariq. We love your Sedan Deville! How did you come across it?
I was searching for an original 1966 Cadillac as I know these cars very well — I already have a 1966 Custom Coupé Deville. I wanted another one but totally original, so I asked my friend Eric Varah, who was living in the UAE two years ago and is now back home in the US, to find me one and he got this gorgeous car, which belonged to the Georgia Cadillac/LaSalle club president.
We remember Eric well — we featured his blue 1979 Trans Am on these very pages (issue 507). He sure has an eye for a clean car…
He really does. He knows what to look for when it comes to classic American cars and he sure found me a top-quality Caddy.
This car has 63K original documented miles, immaculate original paint, pristine original vinyl top, and mint condition original interior. I love the elegant colour combination: Tuxedo black and Strathmore white. An example of how clean and well kept this car is the fact none of the cigarette lighters have ever been lit, and the ash trays are pristine. It was everything I was looking for so I bought it and had it shipped it to the UAE. I have had it since last June but I remember the day it arrived here. It was in such good shape that I was taken by surprise.
It is 50 years old now but it looks brand new. How do you maintain it?
I have lots of experience with this model as I have been working on my Coupé Deville myself and have learnt a lot about it. Cadillac’s slogan was ‘The Standard of the World’ and these cars were made to the best quality, especially in the Sixties. The Caddy is very reliable and although classic cars in general need more attention and maintenance, I haven’t faced any big issues with either of mine.
Long may that continue. It has won many awards over the years — how proud do you feel to own this car?
Exceptionally proud. It has such a rich history and the documentation that came with it is unbelievable. I have the original build sheet, sales brochure, warranty book with protect-o-plate, options booklet, owner’s manual and even the tyre warranty. The condition of the car makes you appreciate it more; the two owners before me took great care of it.
You’re also doing your bit to preserve this classic. What is it like to drive?
It’s almost six-metres long and can be a bit tricky at times but it is very comfortable. It’s twice as big as my very first car, a 2001 Honda City. My father bought me that one when I started university and I insisted it be a manual because they are more fun to drive.
The steering in the Caddy needs very little effort but you have to be extra careful in tight places and when parking. In the Sixties, most cars didn’t have a right side mirror — I guess designers didn’t want a little thing like safety to get in the way of their styling. I usually drive my cars in winter and often participate in car shows.
The 429 cubic inch big block has a four barrel carburettor, and it makes 340 horsepower and 650Nm of torque at 3,000rpm.
What other interesting cars have you had?
I had a 2008 Chevrolet CR8, again with a manual gearbox. It was a really powerful car but I wanted more out of it so I modified the engine to produce around 700 horsepower — 300 more than stock! I sold it after I got married as it didn’t fit with my new lifestyle. My hell-raising days are over!
Now you’re enjoying cruising in the Caddy, which has a massive 7.0-litre V8 under that long bonnet. What is the power like?
The 429 cubic inch big block has a four barrel carburettor, and it makes 340 horsepower and 650Nm of torque at 3,000rpm. This engine was designed to have lots of low-end torque to be able to move this 2,041kg car.
It has such a smooth, buttery ride and you can barely hear the engine running. It truly is a luxurious experience and even though I have tested many new cars, I would say this is the best one I have driven. It also turns more heads than most exotic cars! People always smile when they see this car — even if they aren’t petrolheads. It gets a lot of attention on the roads, in fact at times it can get a little dangerous as other drivers like to get up close to take pics of the car or to give me the thumbs up — but then they start to weave into my lane! Many times I have missed my exit as there are too many drivers taking snaps of my car.
I enjoy the attention it gets but wish people would be a bit more careful while they’re driving.
We hope you are all reading this out there! Final question, what is your dream car?
That’s tough! I like classics and exotics so I would choose a 1960 Cadillac Brougham (they are very rare, only 101 were made and they were handcrafted in Pininfarina, Italy) or maybe a Koenigsegg One:1.