Fresh Metal: 1979 Cadillac Coupe deVille

America’s favorite luxury car

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More DeVille drama… in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns”

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The next generation of the luxury car was in its third year of refinement for Cadillac’s 1979 model year. For more than 75 years Cadillac had a car that was right for its day. And then there was that Cadillac strive for perfection and engineering prowess that put the other luxury brands to shame.

Cadillac had always led the way with technology…in 1912 Cadillac was first to equip cars with electric lighting…or in 1928 when Cadillac was the first to install laminate glass…and lest we forget, the 1954 model year when Cadillac was first to provide power steering as standard equipment to its entire model line-up.

For 1979 America’s favorite luxury car was refined combining full size six passenger spaciousness with contemporary styling and traditional Cadillac comfort. The 1979 Coupe deVille was an elegant expression of Cadillac luxury. It was the next generation with another dramatic DeVille performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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This new breed of luxury was world-class in engineering and everything that made a Cadillac a Cadillac was evident. Its trim, lithe physique was designed to make efficient use of space. It was more compact outside but retained the six passenger comfort and convenience of a full-size car. Model style code #6C D47 Coupe deVille was base priced at $11,728.

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The Coupe deVille began as a trim option for the 1949 Series Sixty-Two. It was the first pillarless hardtop coupe. It was so successful that it began an automotive trend that the entire auto industry would quickly adopt. The Coupe deVille was an elegant six passenger two-door coupe with four-door spaciousness and comfort.

The Coupe deVille was the ultimate two-door DeVille. It was one of America’s favorite luxury cars…the other was the Sedan deVille. Throughout its production life, the Coupe deVille became more elegant and luxurious attracting more customers annually. 

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Cadillac special editions have always been a way to express one’s individuality. For the 1979 model year one such limited edition was the Custom Phaeton Coupe. It was also available as the Custom Phaeton Sedan. The Custom Phaeton Coupe had an appearance reminiscent of classic Cadillac convertibles.

The 1979 Phaeton Coupe was available in Cotillion White with a Dark Blue roof and white leather interior, Slate Firemist with a Black roof and Antique Slate Gray leather interior, or Western Saddle Firemist with a Dark Brown roof and Antique Saddle leather interior. The Custom Phaeton Coupe option was an additional $2,029.

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Signature exterior features included a custom fabric roof treatment mocking convertible top fabric, brushed chrome moldings with flush mounted opera lamps and Cadillac crest, Phaeton scripts on each rear fender and wire wheel discs. Interior exclusivity included 45/55 Dual Comfort front seating.

Richly tailored natural grain leather upholstery and matching leather trimmed steering wheel added to the distinction of the Phaeton Coupe. The 1979 Custom Phaeton was a delightful way to experience a Cadillac limited edition. The Phaeton option escalated the already luxurious Coupe deVille to new heights in elegance.

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Another special edition for the Coupe deVille was the DeVille Coupe d’Elegance trim option package. It was the ultimate expression of DeVille luxury. The interior featured exclusive contoured pillow-style seating upholstered in elegant Venetian Velour that was available in four colors.

Signature interior features included Dual Comfort 50/50 front seating, deluxe Tangier carpeting, and “d’Elegance” nomenclature on glove box. Exterior features included a “d’Elegance” script affixed to exterior sail panels, accent moldings and striping with opera lamps. The d’Elegance option was an additional $755.

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Also available was the Cabriolet option. It was a dramatic half-roof treatment in 17 colors of Elk grain vinyl. Special finishing molding trim, Cadillac crest, and script insignia completed the look of distinction for the 1979 Coupe deVille.

The 1979 Coupe deVille standard interior featured luxurious Durand knit cloth in six colors. Or, a fully leather trimmed interior was available in 11 color/trim combinations. Both choices were impeccably tailored by Fleetwood. The Coupe deVille featured subtle refinements that pleased the most discerning luxury car buyers.

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The 1979 Coupe deVille had youthful styling and spirited performance. Cadillac had a long history of building quality motorcars that were the state of the art in their engineering. The Coupe deVille exemplified personal luxury.

The 1979 Coupe deVille maintained the poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. Its styling was dramatic yet refined. With its youthful beauty and Cadillac elegance, it captured the spirit of a new age in luxury car motoring.

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The 1979 Cadillacs were the contemporary expressions of luxury for the challenging times. America’s favorite luxury car retained its spacious six passenger comfort, offered responsive performance and maneuverability that was never before available in a trim new size luxury car.

The Coupe deVille was understated yet exquisitely appointed for comfort and convenience. Standard features included: Automatic Climate Control, power windows and door locks, AM/FM Stereo radio with digital display, power steering, power brakes, cornering lamps, lamp monitors, automatic power antenna, six way power seat for driver, and new seat belt chimes.

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The 1979 Coupe deVille was powered by Cadillac’s 7.0 litre 425 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmission. The engine had a cast iron block and heads, five main bearings, and hydraulic valve lifters. It produced 180 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm.

Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 11.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.2 seconds with a top speed of 115 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 78 mph in 18.6 seconds. An Electronically Fuel Injected version of the 7.0 litre V8 was also available. The carburetted version was equipped with a 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet and mechanical fuel pump.

Sadly, the 7.0 litre 425 CID was one of the last great Cadillac manufactured V8 engines. What came next after the 6.0 litre was shockingly horrid…Cadillac lost a significant market share because of quality issues and lack-luster performance.

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The 1979 Coupe deVille was a large front engine rear drive vehicle. It was built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s ladder-type frame with welded crossmembers. The front suspension used upper and lower control arms, independent coil springs, link-type stabilizer bar, and hydraulic direct action shock absorbers. The rear suspension used Cadillac’s four-link drive, coil springs, and hydraulic direct action shock absorbers. The 1979 Coupe deVille rode on a long 121.5” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 221.2” and was 76.4” wide.

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Cadillac’s triple braking system was standard. The system used ventilated discs with single piston sliding calipers fitted to the front axle. Duo-servo drums were fitted to the rear axle. A power dual hydraulic master cylinder with separate fluid reservoirs provided independent front and rear operation.

It was equipped with a tandem vacuum power booster. The brakes adjusted themselves each time the car was driven in reverse and the brakes applied. The parking brake had silent action with an automatic vacuum release. It was a true auxiliary brake since it wouldn’t lock with the engine running and car in gear.

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America’s favorite luxury car was in its third year of refinement. Its trimmer silhouette didn’t stint on Cadillac luxury. Its youthful styling combined with spirited performance exemplified its personal luxury. The Coupe deVille was a two-door configuration with four-door spaciousness.

The 1979 Coupe deVille’s styling was dramatic yet refined. The 1979 Cadillacs captured the spirit of a new age in luxury motoring. With more features and accessories as standard equipment, the Cadillac Coupe deVille was a car complete. With power, performance, and presence, the 1979 Coupe deVille was a tough act to follow…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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

2 Responses to “Fresh Metal: 1979 Cadillac Coupe deVille”

  1. Cherie McBee Says:

    I have my Daddy’s Phaeton. I want to sell. It has been sitting for awhile. A Cadillac dealership looked at it and of course it needs new tires and leather clean up. Needs new carburetor. gas tank was pulled out and lines drained.

  2. Will you post same articles to this blog? I`d like to read

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