Brent Mains absolutely loves his 1962 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, and why wouldn’t he? From where I’m looking it is a stunner, and from what Brent tells me, it runs and drives as great as it looks.

Cadillac’s were the pinnacle of luxury in their day with their styling, innovation and high build quality – a real luxury car, and this is no exception, even today. Amazing when you consider that this beauty is 58yrs old!

Brent has always loved big, American cars. “There’s just something about them that appeals to me,” he says.  He has owned eight Americars before stumbling across this one in a Christchurch car yard. “My wife, Julie, and I took it for a test-drive. We drove across the railway lines, and it was so smooth they might as well not have been there – you couldn’t even feel them. We just looked at each other and said, “We have to buy this.”  

Almost everything about this vehicle is original, inside and out, with a very few minor touch-ups. Brent has updated the brakes and suspension. “It’s not really designed for our tight, twisting roads so it now has modern disc brakes, and every part of the suspension has been replaced.”

The car has been in NZ for over 15 years and is left-hand drive.  It runs a factory 390ci V8, but is about to get an upgrade. Brent tells me it’s off to Dart Engineering to have a brand-new Caddy V8 engine installed. “Just for fuel efficiency.” The front grill, headlights, taillights and emblems also look great. And it’s loaded with miles of gleaming chrome. The car sits on 15” wheels with Cadillac hub caps and the white wall tyres have been upgraded to a fatter version.

Luxury features include 4-way electric front seat, electric windows, soft close boot with remote release, automatic park brake release and auto tune radio. It measure almost 5.7 metres long!

It’s also quite a rare vehicle. “Only 25,000 of these were made, which is a very small number for the States. I think there are no more than a dozen in New Zealand. I have seen a few convertibles about, and a few 4-doors, but not the 2-doors.”

Inside can comfortably accommodate six adults. The leather upholstery is all original and is in immaculate condition. Brent likes to enter it in shows and competitions when he can. “It’s always a drawcard. People love to stop and admire it. It’s a pretty special car. It’s also a great car to load the kids and dogs in and go for a cruise. I don’t get too worked up about the odd mark or dint. It’s all about taking your time and enjoying the ride. It really does give us miles of smiles,” he adds with a grin. “It just drives so nice!”

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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.