- - Thursday, January 19, 2012

Witnessing the enjoyment that her husband, Jim, derived from taking his vintage Cadillac to various antique car events, Nancy Preston thought she could use some of that enjoyment herself.

That was a couple of years ago and the couple began a leisurely search for an appropriate antique automobile that suited Mrs. Preston. Her car had to be old, but not too old, and it had to be easy to drive, which meant it had to have an automatic transmission with power steering and power brakes. Air conditioning would be nice; but most importantly, it had to have style.

She would know it when she saw it.

Candidates from hither and yon were examined and found lacking until that fateful day a year ago. Mr. Preston found a 1953 Cadillac Coupe de Ville for sale on EBay. Several pictures of the car were posted and he called for his wife to take a look at the striking white-over-blue Cadillac.

One look was all it took. ‘Go for that,’ she said.

He did and the good news was that he was successful. The bad news was that the car was in British Columbia.

He bought the car in June 2005 and it was delivered soon thereafter in a truck so enormous that it shut down neighborhood traffic. ‘It was pretty exciting to see it come off the trailer,’ Mrs. Preston says.

Upon attempting to register the car, Mr. Preston discovered that there were some Customs issues that needed to be sorted out. The car was finally registered in September but by then an entire summer of driving fun had been lost. The outstanding color of the car dictated what the vanity license plate reads - ‘M I BLUE.’

In 1953 Cadillac was in the first year of its second half century and the results were fine looking and performing cars. Besides air conditioning, Mrs. Preston’s 53-years-old Cadillac is equipped with:

• windows

• steering

• antenna

• brakes

• seats

While all the aforementioned power equipment makes driving the big car effortless, the signal-seeking AM radio makes driving a pleasant experience. Sitting atop the padded dashboard an autronic eye awaits nightfall when it can detect through the one-piece panoramic wraparound windshield the lights of oncoming cars and automatically dim the Cadillac’s lights.

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