Highway Heaven
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.

 ImageMy 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 deVille.

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 convertible.

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 who’s 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. It’s dead straight, has original blue paint with a white roof, original interior, LHD, a real clean unrestored example of American muscle. It’s 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 1953.

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 didn’t have any problems on the way home. Anton filled the trunk/boot with jack, torch, oils/funnel and wheel brace - now that’s hospitality folks! Also thanks to Brian for breakfast and putting us up for the night.

We appreciate everything... thanks guys. Until next time,
Michael and Frank Butler