Requiem For A Legend: 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille

We bid farewell to the last full-size Coupe deVille in 1976

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114,482 Coupes deVille were built for the 1976 model year

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“As the Standard of the World Turns….”

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The 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille was the nostalgic end of an illustrious era in motoring. The 1976 model year rolled the last full-sized Coupe deVille off the assembly line. The Coupe deVille was Cadillac with a youthful elegance. It was the ultimate in personal luxury. Two-door styling combined with spacious six passenger comfort made the Cadillac Coupe deVille one of America’s two favorite luxury cars….the other was the Sedan deVille. The DeVille series was crafted out of a tradition of excellence. The 1976 Cadillacs impressively reaffirmed the tradition of leadership that long made the brand the “Standard of the World.” This was another spectacular DeVille standing ovation for the encore performance….in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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There will NEVER be another Coupe deVille….it was a perennial favorite among luxury car buyers. The Cadillac Coupe deVille was a youthful and beautiful way to motor in Cadillac luxury and leadership. Its tasteful appointments and deep-seated luxury were matched by the quality of its performance and ease of operation. The Coupe deVille was enjoyed by more luxury car buyers than any other brand. Its distinctive lines marked it unmistakably Cadillac. Coupe deVille’s distinctive individuality set it apart from other fine cars.

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The Coupe deVille began as a fancy trim option package as a pillarless hardtop luxury coupe in 1949. Each subsequent year the Coupe deVille became more exclusive, always innovative and uniquely individual, it had a personality all its own. The 1976 Coupe deVille was no exception to the luxurious rule. The smaller coach windows were a Coupe deVille styling tour-de-force exclusive to this model, added classic personal car appeal. The 1976 Coupe deVille still looks good today…..after all, a lady’s performance is not measured by her years!

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Its dramatic front end design was augmented by rectangular headlamps and wrap-around cornering lamps built as a single unit. The hood and front fenders were beveled lowering the nose clip considerably from the 1971 bodyshell origin. The extra-long hood and rear deck contributed to its tastefully flowing contemporary silhouette. Only the 1976 Coupe deVille could combine such tasteful individuality and youthful spirit in one great luxury car. The glamorous Coupe deVille was popular with discriminating motorists all over the world. Freedom of spirit and a taste for luxury were combined magnificently in the 1976 Coupe deVille.

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This long, low, masterful motorcar was powered by Cadillac’s highly efficient 8.2 litre 500 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine. This was a version of the Eldorado V8 engine introduced for the 1970 model year. The engine was equipped with a 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet with an electric choke which improved fuel economy and operation. It came standard with a High Energy Ignition system. This was a solid-state unit that eliminated breaker points, rubbing block, and condenser which attributed to faster starting and overall fuel economy. With the combination of the HEI, catalytic converter, and the use of un-leaded fuel, the engine could go up to 22,500 miles between tune-ups.

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The 8.2 litre V8 was equipped with EPA mandated emission controls that included: Positive Crankcase Ventilation, Air Injector Reactor, Exhaust Gas Recirculation with exhaust pressure transducer, and Early Fuel Evaporation, Evaporative Control. The AIR system and exhaust pressure transducer were used on cars for the California market and cars equipped with EFI systems. With the use of a catalytic converter, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide gasses were filtered and exhausted as carbon dioxide and water.

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Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 11 seconds, 0-100 mph in 34 seconds with a top speed of 119 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 79 mph in 18 seconds. The 8.2 litre V8 produced 215 hp @ 3,600 rpm with 542 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. The engine was available with carburetion or EFI. The carburetted version used an in-line mechanical fuel pump. The EFI version used two electric fuel pumps one in-line and the other in-tank. The EFI version operated smoother with increased fuel economy, faster starting, and quicker take-offs from the traffic lights. The engine had power in reserve for merging into highway lanes and accident avoidance….chomp the accelerator pedal and the issues you just avoided are in your rearview mirror….easily

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The 8.2 litre V8 was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmission. It used a torque converter with fixed stator, which multiplied engine torque to increase driving thrust to drive wheels during acceleration in any forward gear. The torque converter was refined making it tighter resulting in more immediate response improving fuel economy. The axle ratio was lowered to also increase fuel economy. I never thought I would live to see the day when Cadillac and fuel economy were on the same page.

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The 1976 Coupe deVille was built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s rugged perimeter frame with heavy gauged boxed side rails. The front suspension used upper and lower control arms, integral steering knuckle, arm & caliper support, integral hubs and rotors on spindles, tapered roller bearings, spherical joints with wear indicators on the lower joints, coil springs, and hydraulic double action shock absorbers. The rear suspension used Cadillac’s four-link drive, coil springs, and hydraulic double action shock absorbers. The 1976 Coupe deVille was a very large front engine rear drive vehicle. It rode on a long 130” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 230.7”, and a 79.8” wide stance.

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The 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille had a spacious six passenger interior. Traditional Fleetwood hand crafted interiors were available in a variety of trim combinations. Merlin, an elegant plaid material was available in two colors. Magnan, a luxurious ribbed knit fabric was available in six colors. A leather upholstered interior was available in eleven color/trim combinations.

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Standard Cadillac luxury included: power windows and door locks, Variable Ratio power steering, power six-way seat, Automatic Climate Control, AM/FM Stereo radio with power antenna, lamp monitors, quartz digital clock, and folding center armrests front and rear. Cadillac offered more standard features and accessories to add further distinction to the 1976 Coupe deVille. A few of the more popular options included: sunroof, glass Astro-roof, illuminated entry system, tilt & telescopic steering wheel, Twilight Sentinel, Theft Deterrent system, and remote control trunk lock with power pull-down. As you may see the Cadillac Coupe deVille was a car-complete even without options. There was nothing quite like the traditional Cadillac….Model code #6D D47 Coupe deVille had a base price of $9,067 and 114,482 were built. The 1976 Sedan deVille tallied 67,677 units built for the model year.

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Beauty, performance, and a high re-sale value was the secret to the Coupe deVille’s popularity. It was the perennial favorite among luxury car buyers. The 1976 Coupe deVille was equipped with the highly efficient 8.2 litre Eldorado V8 engine. The spacious six passenger comfort and elegant two-door styling made it unique among the world’s great cars. The Coupe deVille was often imitated but never replicated, it offered automotive distinction since 1949 that only Cadillac could create.

With all of its Cadillac elegance, standard features and accessories, combined with its astonishing performance, the 1976 Coupe deVille was America’s favorite luxury car once again. This was the last full-size Coupe deVille to roll off the assembly line. It was also the last model year to use the formidable 8.2 litre 500 CID V8 engine. After the 1976 model year, Cadillac began to drift into obscurity. The brand was never the same….this is a farewell tribute to the illustrious full-size 1976 Coupe deVille which was a legend in its own time….in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.” Now….I present thirty years of the Cadillac Coupe deVille…..

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1956 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two Coupe deVille

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The 1966 Cadillac Coupe deVille

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The 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille

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Just more superlative-superlatives………in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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4 Responses to “Requiem For A Legend: 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille”

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