- - Thursday, April 5, 2012

‘The color caught my eye first,’ Brenda George says of her Niagara Blue 1934 Cadillac convertible sedan.

Last year, she and her husband, Jim, thought they might be interested in a mid-1930s automobile. After months of shopping, she was leaning toward an Auburn. Her husband, however, persuaded her to consider a Cadillac.

She agreed that Cadillacs of that era were nice, too. In February, they were perusing the Web site of an antique car broker in St. Louis when Mrs. George’s attention was arrested by the striking blue Cadillac.

The broker was selling the car for the Illinois owner. When new, the Cadillac had a base price of $3,045. A prominent Canadian family in Toronto took delivery of the new car.

Within a month, Mrs. George was virtually satisfied that this was the car for her. What finally convinced her was the report she received from a fellow Cadillac LaSalle Club member in St. Louis who, upon her request, inspected the car. He reported that the mechanical brakes needed attention, as did the carburetor. Other than those problems, he said it was a solid automobile that had been professionally restored about a decade earlier.

Mrs. George bought the Cadillac in March and had FedEx truck it to her Haymarket home.

As the truck driver drove the 4,860-pound car off the truck, it was obvious that only the right front brake was functioning.

It looked better than it did in the pictures,’ Mrs. George says. As the driver handed her the keys, he said, ‘It starts pretty good for a ‘34.’

Mrs. George was anxious to luxuriate in the plush gray leather interior but knew she first had to take care of business.

For weeks she and her husband were under the car, working on the mechanical brake cables.

Finally, all the rust was removed, the freed cables were lubricated and the car actually could stop on demand. Luckily, no parts were needed, only hours of hard labor.

The balky carburetor was adjusted and then the Georges found the lone surprise. The fuel pump needed to be replaced with a rebuilt pump.

The 7.00x17-inch tires support the Cadillac on a 136-inch wheelbase. Cadillac in 1934 moved the spare tire inside the trunk. For those customers who thought a proper motor car should have dual side-mounted spare tires, they were offered as an accessory.

Mrs. George’s car has factory-installed mirrors on the metal shrouds on the spare tires. The back of each mirror is engraved with the Cadillac script.

The interior of the convertible sedan is filled with convenient features including three cigarette lighters.

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