By: Wayne Womble
I bought this 1933 Convertible Coupe in Oct. of 2003, and have been working on the restoration for the last several years. There were 71 V8 convertible coupes, style 33-168 built in 1933, this one being body #6. It was an almost complete car, in very good condition, with very little rust or wood rot. This made it a relatively easy restoration, if there is such a thing.
The major item that was missing was the special Helmut style wiper system that was only on the `33 convertible cars. The wipers were completely gone and there was nothing there. Just finding out what they looked like was a challenge, not to mention finding parts. There would have only been about 200 or so cars that were so equipped. I was very lucky to find people that were willing to help me with pictures, drawings etc. and I set out to fabricate them. I was also lucky enough to find someone who had done the exact same thing years ago and had a few pieces. For the next two years I made all of the rest of the parts necessary to finish the wipers. I did almost all of the restoration myself, including the paint, top, and interior. The chrome and some machine work on the wiper parts were farmed out.
Being a member of an organization like the CLC is very beneficial. I find that most of the members go to great lengths to be helpful. You are able to find a network of people with the same car and the same interest that have experienced the same problems and can guide you along the way. I would like to recognize some of those members that have been so helpful. I am sure that I annoyed them with my questions from time to time. Paul Ayres, Johan Boltendal, Bob Hoffman, Dick Shappy, Ted Borowsky and Terry Peters to name a few. Thanks, I couldn’t have done it without you.
After I bought the car, I started to try to put together a history. The car was a rather odd color and I knew there must have been a reason for it. I started tracing owners, through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, to Charlotte NC where I learned that I was correct about the Carolina Blue color. The last owner in Charlotte had bought it from a man in Cary NC in 1959. Go figure, that guy was an acquaintance of mine and lived only 10 miles from me. So the car had come back home. I then checked the Cadillac archives and found that it had been shipped to Providence RI for the auto show there in Jan of `33. This was a large multi dealer show to display their new offerings and it went on for about 10 days. So far I haven’t been able to find the owners for the 20 years from `33 to `53, but I am working on it.
I built this car as a driver and have driven it to several CLC functions as well as pleasure trips. I find it a very smooth, quiet, and dependable car, deserving of the name Cadillac.
Please view the video below to see the car as it is today.