What’s next on the to-do list? Let’s start with the goal.

Photography Credit: J.A. Ackley

There’s always something you can improve when it comes to classic cars. It doesn’t matter if you have a concours-grade car or a project that has yet to be started. The only difference is the length of that list and the degree of difficulty in checking off those boxes.

When we got my mother’s 1974 Cadillac Eldorado back out of my parents' garage after a decade-long dormancy, I started making a mental list. It’s only natural, right?

[Live thread: Bringing back a Cadillac that inspired a love of cars]

After 15 minutes (okay maybe longer), I stopped myself.

What am I looking to really achieve here?

That should be your first question before proceeding with any project. Everything else on your list should work toward that goal.

Are we going to concours with this Caddy? The car’s far from concours grade. Yeah, that’s too much time and money for me as of the moment.

Motorsports? A 1974 Cadillac isn’t exactly at the top of the performance heap, despite the 500-cubic-inch engine. Let’s forget that idea.

Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I’d like to preserve it, cruise with it when I’m back in town and maybe take it to local car shows. That’s it. That’s my happy spot. Yours could be different, and that’s okay. You do you. Just think it through.

Back to the Caddy, we needed to get it running to achieve my goal. Fortunately, the only things we had to do were fix a stuck left-rear brake drum and change the fluids. That’s it.

I recently took it to a highly regarded old-school mechanic who confirmed that the Caddy runs like a champ. He told me to just enjoy it.

Just enjoy it?! Is he crazy? Is that possible? Not for this overachiever!

Seriously, though, there’s some work to be done to get it a bit more presentable and roadworthy.

The convertible top is coming apart at the edges. This requires someone to guide the top as someone else–usually my brother, my father or my wife–works the electronic controls to drop it down. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

The chrome bumpers have some pitting and rust. Certainly ugly, especially up close. Pricy to fix? Most likely. Let’s wait.

Then there are the filler panels surrounding the lights that basically shattered when we moved the car out of the garage. Unsightly? Absolutely. Affects drivability? Not one bit.

Lastly, there’s a bent wheel (possibly more) from sitting on flat tires for years. This does affect how the car rides, keeps its hubcaps on and ultimately how I enjoy cruising around with it. Okay, this is next. It’s time to look for solutions.

While I do that, we’d love to hear what you got in the works for your classic sports car. Feel free to drop a comment and don’t forget photos. We love seeing your pride and joy.

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