1963 Cadillac Coupe DeVille Owned by The Legendary Roscoe Robinson
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Mount Washington, Kentucky, United States
Features and Specifications
|Drive side:||Left-hand drive|
1963 Cadillac DeVille Coupe
This is how the story goes.
One Friday afternoon in 2010 I was sitting at my computer looking at cars on Craigslist. I came across a 1963 Cadillac Coupe DeVille for sale in Lexington, KY. The ad had just been posted. I told my wife that I wanted that car. So, we jumped in the truck and headed to Lexington. When we got there and saw the car it was just as described. It was a one owner all original 1963 Cadillac Coupe DeVille from California. The wife of the gentleman that had it had grown up with this car and she inherited it when her parents passed away. All the paperwork with the car backs this story. The car still had the first and only 1963 black California license plates on the front and rear. So, of course, I bought the car and brought it home.
I was happy with just knowing this story that came with car. But, there's more. A few days later I was working on the radio and happened to be looking up under the dash. There was a piece of paper folded up and stuck between the radio and the dash. I carefully pulled it out and unfolded it. It was a brittle receipt from a Buick dealer in Chicago, Illinois dated March 9th, 1963. The name on it was Roscoe Robinson. At this point I'm intrigued. The last name of the original owners of the '63 Cadillac was Dean and the car was from California. Why was there a receipt with Roscoe's name on it in the dash? It didn't take much research to find out that Roscoe Robinson was a famous musician in the '40s, '50s, and '60s and lived in Chicago. The address on the receipt for Roscoe placed his home address within just a few miles of three major record labels in the '50s and '60. One of them was Chess Records. Lots more searching turned up info that Roscoe had several hits and sang with Sam Cooke and other artists. What I could not find was how to get in touch with Roscoe.
Until Summer of 2016 I had kind of forgotten about the mysterious paper. One day I was in the garage and was admiring the Cadillac when I got the urge to locate Roscoe. Six years had passed since the last time I looked online for him. With the vast amount of information now on the internet I was able to find several Roscoe Robinson's living in the U.S. I know at this point that he lives in Birmingham, Al. The White Pages online actually had a phone number for an 88 year old Roscoe Robinson in Birmingham.
I called the number and the answering machine picked up. I didn't leave a message. An hour later my phone rang and it was the number I had called. After I said hello the older voice on the phone said "I missed a call from this number." I asked, "Is this Roscoe Robinson the musician?" He said happily, "Yes it is." I told him that this is going to be a strange call and I asked if he lived at 1269 Cabrini Street in Chicago in 1963. Hesitantly, he said yes. I then asked if he owned a red 1963 Cadillac. I was excited to hear him say yes. When I told him it was sitting in my garage I thought he was going to come through the phone. He was so excited and asked many questions about the car. We talked for a while and decided that we had to meet at some point.
After a couple months and several phone calls with Roscoe I was able to take the car to Birmingham and meet him. The first night I met Roscoe and he took me to dinner. He told me many stories about the car. It was his first car and Leonard Chess of Chess Records bought it for him. Not only was this Roscoe's car, but many great musicians had ridden in the car including Sam Cooke, Etta James, and Muddy Waters.
The next day we met with a photographerand Roscoe got to see his first car from 54 years ago. He was so happy. There might have been a tear or two shed between the two of us but we'll never admit it. The photographer photographed Roscoe and the car and I even got in a couple pictures. I got to ride in my 1963 Cadillac with the original owner driving while we listened to one of his hit songs, 'That's Enough'.
I've gotten to do a lot of things in my life but this ranks up near the top of the list. Not only did I make some memories on this trip, I also made a new friend.
Roscoe traded it in at a Buick dealership in Chicago for a new Riviera. He said he sat in the Cadillac with the salesman and completed the paperwork. He must have laid the receipt on the dash and it fell between the dash and radio until I found it 50 years later. The car must haveimmediatelygone to California where it stayed with the same family until I bought it in 2010.
It seems to be all original. It is a complete car that runs and drives. The power windows, power antenna, lights and blinkers work. Pretty much all electrical items work except the radio. It powers on but the paper speakers are inoperable. Since the car spent almost of its whole life in California it is very solid. There is some surface rust underneath but the trunk and floor pans are solid. There is some slight rust on the hood seam and a couple other spots on the body. It has the Mark IV dealer installed air conditioner that works. I bought the Cadillac with the intention of restoring it. But, after finding the receipt I decided to leave it as it is. It is a piece of history. I would like it to find a home that will appreciate it for that.
I have the title.
The car is in Mt. Washington, KY 40047.
I reserve the right to end the auction early as I see fit.
You may call me at 502-504-6980 with any questions between 9am and 9pm ET. If I do not answer, please leave a message and I will call you back.