The new look of the leader…..
Cadillac introduced a new look of leadership with the completely restyled 1971 model year. Beneath the sculptured beauty were new conveniences, new luxuries, and new engineering innovations. One magnificent example was the 1971 Coupe deVille, which once again made Cadillac America’s favorite luxury car.
With its new design, comfort and convenience features, combined with outstanding quality, reaffirmed the tradition of leadership that long made Cadillac the “Standard of the World” in distinctive motorcars. This was resplendent motoring respected wherever excellence was sought as a way of life. The Coupe deVille was a perennial favorite among fine car owners.
The 1971 model year deleted the Sedan deVille with fixed “B” pillar, the DeVille convertible, and the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special base, the Brougham now augmented the line-up along with the dignified Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five nine-passenger sedan and formal limousine. The DeVille, Calais, Fleetwood & Eldorado were completely redesigned. The Coupe deVille and its tasteful appointments with deep-seated comfort were matched by the quality of its performance.
The body, chassis, engine, and brakes were redesigned to provide smooth, quiet, confident operation. The new stronger front end structure added front bumper guards for greater impact and parking protection. The distinctive new body lines were unmistakably Cadillac. Stainless steel rocker moldings ran the entire length of the car. It was unusually spacious for a two-door coupe.
The interior was available in Debonaire cloth with leather with an elegant leaf design in its pique stitching on the back cushions was available in three colors. Dunbar cloth, an elegant Metalasse fabric was offered in five colors. Richly textured Sierra grain full leather upholstered interior was available in twelve trim combinations. Upper door inserts and matching dash panel inserts were in an all-new Florentine textured metal and exclusive to DeVille. A new flow-through ventilation system assured a continuous movement of air through the passenger compartment.
Standard features for the 1971 Cadillac Coupe deVille included: Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, Variable Ratio Power steering, power windows, power brakes, front and rear folding center armrests, two-way power seat, electric clock, driver’s remote outside rearview mirror, front and rear side marker lights activated with headlamps, and a host of comfort and convenience features that add to the total Cadillac experience.
Popular options available for the 1971 Coupe deVille were: Automatic Climate Control air conditioning, Cruise control, power door locks, power trunk release, Twilight Sentinel, fibre optic lamp monitors, electrically operated sunroof, Tilt & Telescopic steering wheel, Automatic Level Control, whitewall tires, and vinyl roof treatments. Cadillac’s wide array of options and accessories made it easy to individualize the 1971 Coupe deVille to suit every taste.
The 1971 Cadillacs were powered by the 7.7 litre 472 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine. It was designed to use no lead or low lead fuels to reduce exhaust emissions, extend the life of spark plugs, exhaust system and other engine components. The crankshaft was designed with greater overlap between intake and exhaust valve timing to reduce nitrous oxide in exhaust. The engine was equipped with a Rochester 4MV 4-bbl down-draft Quadrajet carburetor with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, and improved automatic choke.
The engine produced 345 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 678 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 10 seconds, 0-100 mph in 30.9 seconds, and had a top speed of 118 mph. It could do the ¼ mile @ 81 mph in 17.4 seconds. It was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM 400 3-speed automatic transmission. Cadillac hydraulic power brakes with self-adjusting feature, composite finned rear drum and disc front brakes were standard. The system used a dual hydraulic master cylinder for independent front and rear operation. New for 1971 was a larger power booster and larger front brake cylinders.
The completely new 1971 Cadillacs rode upon a fully boxed perimeter frame with new front members to increase impact absorption. The front suspension used the traditional Cadillac upper and lower control arm, an integral steering knuckle for reliability and extended life, independent helical coil springs, and rubber mounted strut rods with rubber bushings to absorb impact and isolate road noise.
The rear used a four-link drive system, helical coil springs, and rubber bushings to improve ride quality. The 1971 Coupe deVille had a long 130” wheelbase, a luxury length of 225.8”, and was 79.8” wide. It was a very large front engine rear drive vehicle worthy to carry on the tradition as “Standard of the World.”
In November 1971 a stock 1971 Coupe deVille came in third in the annual coast-to-coast “Cannonball Run” logging the highest average speed at 84.6 mph and averaged 8.9 mpg. The Coupe deVille for 1971 had an increase for the interior width for added comfort. The powerful V8 engine retained all 375 horses in the transition. Again, the “Standard of the World” offered a new design and refined engineering.
Luxury, performance and presence, with the special poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac was yours with the 1971 Cadillac Coupe deVille. Since its inception in 1949, the Coupe deVille has consistently won the hearts of luxury car buyers annually. It had a new spirited attitude with a youthful touch for the 1971 model year.
Its new look was radically different but unmistakably Cadillac. These were just a few of the many comfort and convenience amenities along with myriad new engineering advancements, it was no wonder why the Cadillac DeVille series was America’s favorite luxury car and most important….it was the “Standard of the World.” Will Cadillac ever have another “Cadillac of Cadillacs?”
Many thanks to Matt Garrett/GM Classics for these photos
Many thanks to Rik Gruwez & Liberty Oldtimers