1969 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

A masterpiece from the master craftsmen

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Cadillac was the standard of excellence in motoring

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One of the most beautiful “Standard of the World” creations was the highly styled 1969 Cadillac. Each model had a distinctive personality individually different from the rest. Cadillac made eleven models in three series for the 1969 model year. The Cadillac DeVille convertible with its youthful appearance provided open air motoring on the grand Cadillac scale in the grand Cadillac manner. It was no mystery, the DeVille series was America’s favorite luxury car. The 1969 edition was still yet another masterpiece from the master craftsmen.

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1967 Cadillac Eldorado created the style

Cadillac was completely redesigned for the model year. Its styling cues came from the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado. The longer, lower, and sleeker 1969 DeVille convertible was in every way, beautifully new and distinctively Cadillac. Its complete restyle included a longer hood, a refreshing new look with horizontal placement of headlamps, individual front fender design separate from the hood, and a contemporary new rear deck with separate fin-like fenders sporting Cadillac-style tail lamps. Every line and contour had been tastefully redesigned making a most dramatic interpretation of the “Standard of the World.”

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Cadillac’s new flow-through ventilation system eliminated the ventipane windows. A new steering, ignition, and transmission locking system immobilized the car when the key was removed from the ignition. Front disc brakes were standard and included reduced effort. The Climate Control air conditioning system that was ordered by more than nine out of ten Cadillac buyers underwent major revision with increased heating and cooling capacity. The interiors for the 1969 model year were the most luxurious in Cadillac history with deep-seated high-back luxury lounge chair style seating. An all-new instrument panel made controls more convenient to the driver and gave more front seat passenger room. The 1969 Cadillac was the world’s standard of excellence in motorcars.

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The 1969 Cadillac DeVille had the youthful zest of open air touring. It featured a fully automatic power folding fabric roof, and the new ostrich grain leather upholstery and trim were standard. Also standard were power windows, dual power braking system provided smooth straight stopping requiring less pedal effort, variable ratio power steering, Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, power two-way front seat, courtesy lighting, remote control driver’s rear view mirror, and a host of other thoughtful comfort and convenience features.

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The Cadillac 472 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine powered the 1969 DeVille convertible. It used a cast iron block and heads, five main bearings, and hydraulic valve lifters. The engine was fitted with a Rochester 4-bbl down-draft Quadrajet carburetor, a mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, improved automatic choke, and an Air Injection Reactor system (AIR) to reduce exhaust hydrocarbons.

The 472 CID V8 produced 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 23 seconds, and had a top speed of 127 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 15.9 seconds. The engine was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. This fully automatic transmission used a torque converter with fixed stator, the converter multiplied engine torque for increased driving thrust to drive wheels during acceleration in any gear. The urge to drive this elegant grand tourer as a sports car was irresistible. 

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The 1969 Cadillacs rode on a new longer fully boxed perimeter frame with hidden bulkheads for additional torsional rigidity. The DeVille was built as body on frame construction. The front suspension used the traditional Cadillac upper & lower control arm with a spherical joint, independent helical coil springs, rubber mounted strut rods and rubber bushings to absorb impact and isolate road noise. The rear suspension used a four-link drive set-up with helical coil springs and rubber bushings to improve ride quality. The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible had the luxury length of 225’, with a long 129.5” wheelbase, and 79.8” width.

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Among the more popular options available for the 1969 DeVille convertible included power door locks (coupes with this option had automatic seat-back releases for enhanced entry/exit to rear compartment), tilt & telescopic steering wheel, remote control trunk release, cruise control, Automatic Climate Control, dual comfort front seat, and Twilight Sentinel which turned driving lights on/off automatically according to light conditions, and also had a delayed timer to light one’s path from the car at night.

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A highly sophisticated new “control center” instrument panel made controls more convenient to the driver and increased front passenger room. Supple leather upholstery was standard in the DeVille convertible.

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No other luxury car offered more personality with options and accessories than Cadillac. All were designed and built to Cadillac’s standard of excellence. For the 1969 model year, Cadillac featured an impressive array of General Motors safety, theft deterrent, and convenience equipment items. The 1969 Cadillacs were completely redesigned introducing new technology to the automotive industry. Spirited performance usually found in sports cars was available in the 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible. It was indeed a masterpiece from the master craftsmen, so typical from the formidable “Standard of the World.”

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The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible was the “Standard of the World” 

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