1970 Cadillac Sedan deVille
This is the rarest of the 1970 Cadillacs only 7,230 built
This is the rarest of all Sedans deVille. This is not the hardtop sport Sedan deVille, this is “Sedan deVille” with fixed “B” pillar. This distinguished sedan was for the conservative clientele wishing to keep a lower profile without sacrificing luxury and elegance. Cadillac had eleven models in three series. Here is another jewel in the crown of the leader….a brilliant DeVille encore performance in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
Top photo: Sedan deVille Bottom photo: hardtop Sedan deVille
The Sedan deVille offered the same luxury as the hardtop sport Sedan deVille. It had the exact same dimensions except for its roof-lines. The pillared Sedan deVille offered more headroom. It maintained the same poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. It is also the rarest of the 1970 Cadillacs, only 7,230 were built as compared to 83,274 units for the hardtop sport Sedan deVille. This was also the last model year for its availability. The world was more memorized with the hardtop Sedan deVille.
The Sedan deVille was just as powerful as the hardtop sport Sedan deVille. It had the same 7.7 litre 472 CID 16-valve V8 engine that produced 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm with a whopping 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. It was equipped with a Rochester 4MV 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, intake silencer, and automatic choke. It also used GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmission.
Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 22.6 seconds with a top speed of 127 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 15.9 seconds. There was absolutely no difference in performance, which proved: “a Sedan deVille was a Sedan deVille.” This was just another example of the diversity of availability with the “Standard of the World.” Cadillac had a luxury car to suit every taste. The “Standard of the World” led the entire world with design and engineering during the Spirited Seventies.
The 1970 Sedan deVille didn’t stint on luxury as witnessed by this sparkling example finished in Adriatic Turquoise with a black vinyl roof. The interior was equally as luxurious as the hardtop Sedan deVille. In fact, they both shared the same plush fabrics and leather trim.
The pillared Sedan deVille was the more conservative in appearance for the low-key owner image. Its pleasing proportions were complimented by its spacious six passenger comfort and plentiful headroom. Dubonnet cloth with leather was available in four colors, medium blue is shown. Three selections were available for luxurious Dynasty cloth with leather, gold and turquoise is shown.
Six leather upholstered choices were available bringing the total to thirteen different offerings to add further distinction. Standard were front and rear folding center armrests, power windows and two-way seat, courtesy lighting, electric clock, power brakes, Variable Ratio power steering, Turbo Hydra-Matic Drive, and a host of comfort and convenience features and accessories both standard and optional. Cadillac offered more features standard than any other luxury brand.
The sedan deVille was built exactly the same as the hardtop Sedan deVille as body on frame construction. Both were built upon Cadillac’s rugged fully boxed perimeter frame. The same underpinnings were shared as well. The front suspension used upper and lower control arms with new integral steering knuckle for greater dependability and longer life. Independent helical coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers cushioned the ride.
The rubber mounted strut rods with rubber bushings isolated road noise and absorbed wheel impact. The rear was fitted with an upgraded heavier, stronger axle and differential. It used Cadillac’s four-link drive, helical coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers, and large rubber bushings to improve ride quality. The pillared Sedan deVille was a big solid riding luxury sedan….Cadillac style-
The 1970 Sedan deVille came standard with Cadillac’s triple braking system. It used a dual hydraulic master cylinder with separate pistons and fluid chambers for the independent operation of the front and rear braking systems. The parking brake was a true auxiliary brake.
It had an automatic release therefore it would not lock with the engine running and the car in gear. It was fitted with discs to the front axle and finned composite drums to the rear. The brake shoes had a self-adjusting feature every time the car was shifted to reverse and driven applying the brakes.
The pillared Sedan deVille had really out-lived its day. The 1960s were the “Ward & June Cleaver/Ozzie & Harriet Nelson era” when cars like the pillared Sedan deVille and Series Sixty-Two sedans were popular. The world fell in love with hardtop styling and both hardtop coupes and hardtop sedans were the norm. The sedan disappeared until the mutilation and mayhem in Detroit began when they down-sized way too far. (Boo-hisss)
Cars were too dinky to be hardtops anymore because they were really puddle-jumpers and secret death-traps therefore needing the frame to hold that glass in place. Cars like the 1970 Sedan deVille with its pillared body style was the bastard at the Cadillac family reunion like the red-headed step-child called Calais. But, they are both is sleepers, like this odd-ball with only 7,230 made it will surely be up there in price. I always thought it looked so stately in a Mortician’s entourage…in black.
The tailored door panels were a luxurious touch
Notice the meticulous craftsmanship
Dynasty cloth with leather in medium turquoise
The pillared Sedan deVille had all of the renowned Cadillac luxury, comfort, and convenience in the traditional Cadillac manner. The car was more distinguished and conservative which was why it went over like a lead balloon, shame on Cadillac it should have been taken off life support many years before 1970. The traditional Cadillac profile was the long, low, not to mention “Cadillacy” outlandishlyostentatious like inyourface kind of luxury.
The Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs, and the Cadillac hardtop Sedan deVille, were all having their heyday. This was the last model year to use this body style, it was as superfluous as the Calais series. Many Calais buyers upgraded to DeVille when they saw how much it cost to add the luxury back that Fleetwood had stripped…GM even “dyed its hair brown to conceal the red” but still the Calais and pillared Sedans deVille were well beyond their lives. This was the final curtain call for the pillared Sedan deVille….in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
Hello to Rik Gruwez at Liberty Oldtimers in Brugge Belgium
I have one. Same color but with a white top. I checked, you’d think they would be more valuable but the more desirable hardtops are worth more. Great article!!
Hello Brian Cook! Oh but they will be extremely valuable one day soon because of the low production numbers and remaining examples. The hardtop Sedans deVille are pre-eminent in the world of luxury cars and will always be more valuable and even more so when remaining examples dwindle down to a precious few. Keep that car. 1970 Cadillacs are “the last of the real Cadillacs” and will one day reflect this. This model year marked the end of the DeVille convertible, the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special sedan, and the Sedan deVille with fixed center “B” pillar.
And I mentioned “the last real Cadillacs” for a reason – the 1970s were built differently, 1971-1976 Cadillacs had many bolt-on components compared to the 1970s welded in place components. Prices for the DeVille convertible are appreciating favorably. Look at how the 1959s SKYROCKED IN VALUE! They were once considered the bastards at the Cadillac family reunion and now, a 1959 Biarritz convertible and a 1959 Seville hardtop coupe fetch six figures…IF you can find one willing to part with one.
The traditional Cadillacs will always have a place in the hearts of connoisseurs world-wide because…well, look at the crap they build now – new Cadillacs are an assorted hodge-podge of generic General Motors parts masquerading as a finished product. I just cannot get into the contemporary kitschy-faux Cadillacs…notice how you see NONE on this site? This is for a reason. I had many readers quizzing me regarding the fact there are NO contemporary Cadillacs here, which they thought was an oversight on my part. NOPE, I simply detest them.
These are particularly attractive with a metal roof. The larger greenhouse helps balance out the huge mass of the squared-off body below it. I remember mooning over a gold one at our country club as an adolescent. The 1971 restyle was a huge disappointment to me.
I believe they also had more rear legroom than the hardtop.
That book cover is fantastico!!
i owned a 1970 all black pillared sedan. it was technically called the L body. It used the roof panel and rear glass from a full size olds sedan. If you look at 1970 olds pictures you will see they are the same. Great car. Wish i still had it!