Photo’s & Article By: Bob & Jo’Anne Schilling
Let me start off by saying that I was fortunate enough to be a car crazy teenager in the 1950’s. Back then, most cars were 6 cylinders. But Fords had a V8 and that’s what we were interested in at that time. I owned three 1949 Fords (two coupes and one 2 door coach). In those days when we broke them, we didn’t fix them. Just took them to wreckers, got our $15.00 if it had a rad and a battery. Those cars were cheap then and readily available.
Now fast forward to 2015. Jo’Anne and I were at a car show in St. Jacobs. I was visiting with friends when Jo’Anne returned and informed me that there was a nice shoebox (ford coupe) for sale on the other side of the field. I asked her what color it was, and she said ‘green’. I said, “I don’t think I’ll even go and look at it”. But she insisted and as soon as I saw the car I said to myself – “I will own this coupe before I leave here today”. I met the owner, discussed the price, and the rest is history.
This little coupe has power steering, power brakes, power windows, power doors, power trunk, power antenna, tilt column and air conditioning. It needed to be freshened up and I have done that over the past three years. The car looks good, runs good, drives good, and I am now back in the mid 50’s.
Somewhere between three 1949 Fords in the 50’s, there was a 1947 Cadillac Model 62 Coupe Fast Back. You should have heard the hue and cry from my parents when I brought this Leviathan home. But you know, although it was only 6 volts, I owned it three winters and it never failed to start. Mind you, this car would pass anything but the next gas station. But fuel was cheap in those days and teenagers never worried about the cost of anything that went into their cars. Thus, my interest in a 47 Cadillac.
Now fast forward to 1995. I was at Charlotte Motor Speedway and lo and behold there was a 1947 Caddy Convertible for sale. The price at that time was out of my tax bracket as Jo’Anne and I then I believe had five special interest cars. I had to pass on this car and I moaned for months. In 2000 I bought a model of the Cadillac, showed it Jo’Anne and she showed little interest. When we got home from Florida that year there was a copy of the Roundup Car Mag that I subscribed to and on the front page there was the 47. I called the dealer and asked him why he had the car back. He told me that just after we were talking in Charlotte in 1995, that he sold the car to a chap from Georgia. Apparently, he was so paranoid he was afraid to drive it, leave it parked or take it to shows. He brought the car back to Daryl Lawrence and traded it in on two street rods. I told Daryl that I was still really interested and that I had a trade-in. My trade-in was a 1958 Pontiac Parisienne Convertible. He told me he would only consider it if it had a big block engine. I told him it was a 348 cu.in. Tri-power V8. He said, “let’s talk”. I had just my Pontiac for sale in Old Autos and I took the copy with me. When we got there and Jo’Anne saw the car she changed her whole attitude. She said, “we need it”. I balked a bit at the price, but she asked me who was going to give me my $58,000. asking price for the Pontiac back in Canada. I said probably no one and she said, there’s your answer.
There was another 1947 Caddy Convertible there in metallic raspberry with a fawn leather interior and a Caddy 500 power train. I really like it. Jo’Anne insisted on the black one and being a good husband (not hen pecked but obedient) I bought the black one. You know, she was absolutely right. The black when shiny and clean really shows well.
The car was modified and came with a Chevy 305 cu. in. HO motor out of a 1987 Camaro with a 200R transmission. The engine was carbureted. It ran well and was a gas miser. BUT…it really didn’t have enough under its tail when I pulled out onto a major highway. A friend of mind had a tuned port fuel injection the same year as my V8. It was installed, and it made all the difference in the world. It will never be a race car. It is just a cruiser, but I have no fear when I pull onto a highway of being in anybody’s way. The cars sit on its original chassis including the front knee action shocks. Additions I have made are new rugs, new wheels, and a DVD player. This car has fuel injected V8, 350 hydromatic transmission, power steering, power front disc brakes, power windows (doors) and power antenna. The beauty of this car is that it drives just like it looks.
We have had this vehicle out to B.C. twice (shipped of course). We have attended a number of shows and cruise nights and it is always a hit. I have had several offers to sell the car and even though the money was right, I am only 80 years old and I’m not done with it.