1978/1990 Courier Cadillac, Chassis no. 6S69B8Q493526
Lot 478
1978/1990 Courier Cadillac,
Registration no. HLN 827V Chassis no. 6S69B8Q493526
£60,000 - 90,000
US$ 76,000 - 110,000

Lot Details
1978/1990 Courier Cadillac, Chassis no. 6S69B8Q493526 1978/1990 Courier Cadillac, Chassis no. 6S69B8Q493526 1978/1990 Courier Cadillac, Chassis no. 6S69B8Q493526 1978/1990 Courier Cadillac, Chassis no. 6S69B8Q493526 1978/1990 Courier Cadillac, Chassis no. 6S69B8Q493526
1978/1990 Courier Cadillac

Registration no. HLN 827V
Chassis no. 6S69B8Q493526
Undoubtedly the most unusual car in the auction, this one-off Cadillac prototype was conceived by the current owner's company, Courier Products, in the late 1980s as a quality, everyday driveable alternative to the growing replica market, and as a compliment to the great automotive styles of the 1930s. Hence the attention to detail in both the overall proportions, the full-flowing aluminium panelling, and the quality and accuracy of the fittings.
The ultimate aim was for maximum luxury, relaxing drive-ability and the best possible handling and roadholding, all in 1930s style. The decision to use the downsized 1976-78 Cadillac Seville, proven internationally and already with many of these qualities, was a natural, both for its robust reliability and as the product of a top-name marque. A team of local companies took on what initially appeared straightforward, only to discover otherwise.
Despite enthusiasm from General Motors, Cadillac and others, the sheer complexity of the undertaking, aggravated by the early 1990s recession, prevented any more being produced. Rather than abandoning the project, local enthusiasts rallied to complete the car as a labour of love. All the Seville's modern conveniences ended up being included, from cruise control and air-conditioning to auto-dip headlights, boot-lid pull-down and any others discovered on the way. Its drive-ability and handling owes much to the contributions made by other like-minded enthusiasts, without whom many of the articles and write-ups that followed, both here and abroad, would likely not have been forthcoming. As a fixed-head coupé rather than a true roadster, the car was legally able to remain a 1978 Cadillac Seville, thus avoiding the dreaded 'Q' plates.
All attempts over the years to resurrect the project have met with estimates running into hundreds of thousands of pounds, making it quite impractical to do so, while at the same time confirming the difficulties involved in combining 1930s styling with modern drive-ability. Ongoing questioning eventually persuaded the owner to commit the story to paper, but in a non-technical, more entertaining form. 'Sidetracked, A True Life Motoring Saga' was published in 2005 and sold as a fund-raiser for 'BEN', the motor trades charity.
Although far too lengthy to reproduce here, a detailed list of the car's specifications is available for inspection. Highlights include a 6.6-litre, fuel-injected V8 engine producing around 300bhp and 400ft/lbs of torque; three-speed Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission; limited-slip differential; varying-ratio power assisted steering; up-rated spring and damping rates; stiffer rear anti-roll bar; and increased brakeing. Some 40,000 miles have been covered since the original conversion and 28,000-plus since the engine was upgraded from the stock 5.7 litres.
This Courier Coupé is featured in 'The Cadillac Century' by John Heilig (copy available) in the 'Dream Cars' section where it is afforded three pages of pictures and text, more than any other car in the book! Currently taxed/MoT'd, this unique vehicle is offered with Cadillac correspondence, MIRA test results (maximum speedometer reading 125mph), Swansea V5 document, and a letter from Goodwood-based Mithril Racing. Of particular interest, Mithril's letter quotes the company's main professional driver Chris Snowdon, who tested the Courier Cadillac at the Sussex circuit. 'The car is very impressive. It handles like the current Bentley Brooklands... and that is quite a compliment. It is beautifully neutral on the circuit, handling Goodwood's ultra high-speed corners feeling nicely balanced with only a hint of reassuring understeer when you really push hard.'
Also available for inspection are some interesting and informative newspaper and magazine articles and many complimentary letters, both from the UK and abroad. In one magazine, editor Westley Peterson of Car Collector in the US, states 'We consider the car to be one of the best looking neo-classics ever built'.
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £50,000 of hammer price,
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars and Motorcycles a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalogue.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, cheque with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveller's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Sholto Gilbertson
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 5809
    FaxFax: +44 20 7468 5802
Similar Items