1978 Cadillac DeVille Coupe d’Elegance

The ultimate expression of Cadillac opulence…

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…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance

The Cadillac DeVille has always been America’s favorite luxury car. The Coupe deVille is a luxury car of elegant refinement…roomy, distinctive, and consistently a leader in both resale value and repeat ownership. The 1977-1979 model years are the first totally new redesign and downsizing known as “The next generation of the luxury car.”

The excitement of owning a Coupe deVille is augmented by Cadillac special editions which are a unique manner to express one’s individuality. Rarely does an automobile become a classic in its own time as the DeVille series gaining respect and admiration world-wide. The 1978 Cadillac DeVille Coupe d’Elegance presents a stunning encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Opulent, sophisticated, and decadently luxurious is Cadillac’s d’Elegance luxury package. It began as a special edition for the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham for the 1973 model year and was available for the DeVille series beginning in the 1974 model year. These lavishly equipped luxury cars are the epitome of Cadillac elegance.

The DeVille d’Elegance is trimmed exquisitely in the grand Cadillac tradition. This special edition features subtle refinements that escalates the elegance of the Coupe deVille and Sedan deVille to new heights of luxury and distinction. This stunning luxury package was built at a highly restricted pace to retain exclusivity and stature.

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For the 1978 model year the exclusive limited edition d’Elegance option was $689. It includes contoured pillow-style seating sumptuously upholstered in Random velour and was available in five dramatic colors. Power assisted 50/50 dual comfort front seats and plush deep-pile carpet completes the interior’s refinement.

Signature exterior features include opera lamps, special pin striping, and color-keyed vinyl body side moldings. Exclusive “d’Elegance” nomenclature adorns the rear sail panels and interior glove box door to deftly identify it as a Cadillac special edition. The 1978 DeVille Coupe d’Elegance is the ultimate expression of America’s favorite luxury car.

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Seville 1

The first generation Cadillac Seville was built from 1976-1979

Seville 2

The 1977-1979 DeVilles were redesigned in a new precision size based upon the highly successful first generation Cadillac Seville. They retained the legendary Cadillac luxury, security, and roominess. The new size makes them more maneuverable with surprising performance not usually found in a luxury car.

Their advanced engineering is developed with computer technology which also makes them easier to service. Cadillac introduced them as “The next generation of the luxury car.” They ride upon a long 121.5” wheelbase, have the luxury length of 221.2”, and are 76.4” wide. Despite the drastic downsizing from their 1976 counterpart, they dwarf modern-day automobiles by a long shot – 

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The next generation DeVilles are built as body on frame construction. They have a traditionally mounted engine in front with rear-wheel drive. This type of construction is engineered for structural integrity. Specially hardened friction plates assure strut-to-body joints remain tight and rattle-free. The body is married to a rigid ladder-type frame with welded cross members for extra strength.

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The 1978 Cadillac DeVille was in the second year of the major redesign. It was refined and freshened mildly. The front end design received a new grille. The rear end ensemble received new bumper end caps with slim taillamps. The aerodynamic, wind-cheating design of the 1977-1979 models achieved the greatest fuel economy in the history of the brand at the time. The styling is crisp, timeless, and completely in character with Cadillac.

The totally new restyled Cadillac unites its traditional dignity with a youthful new look. The size is particularly attractive to the ladies. Model # 6C style code # D47 1978 Coupe deVille had a base price of $10,444 with a base shipping weight of 4,163 pounds. There were 117,750 Coupe deVille models built for the model year. Superb luxury and Cadillac elegance made it America’s favorite luxury car annually – 

1978 Taillamps 1

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The 1978 Cadillac DeVilles are powered in the traditional Cadillac manner. America’s favorite luxury car offers highly spirited performance with its 7.0 litre 16-valve 425 CID V8 engine. This is one of Cadillac’s last reliable V8 engines. The 425 CID V8 is based upon the old 7.7 litre 472 CID V8 architecture but uses a smaller 4.08” bore and a shorter 4.06” stroke. It is also 100 pounds lighter. The 7.0 litre is the 90 degree V-type running in five main bearings mounted in three points in rubber.

It has overhead valves with a cast iron block and cylinder heads for longevity. The beautifully responsive engine is equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl carburetor, a mechanical fuel pump, and a 25.4 gallon fuel tank. The engine is mated to GM’s versatile THM-400 Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. Emission controls include Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV), Air Injection Reactor (AIR), Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Early Fuel Evaporation, Evaporative Control, and Oxidizing Converter.

The naturally aspirated L33 7.0 litre carbureted version produces 180 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 11.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.8 seconds with a top speed in the 115 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 77 mph in 18.7 seconds.

425 CID 1

425 CID 3

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One could also opt for the Electronic Fuel Injected version for an additional $744. The naturally aspirated L35 EFI 7.0 litre V8 produces 195 hp @ 3,800 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 33.9 seconds with a top speed in the 117 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 78 mph in 18.5 seconds.

There really isn’t that much of a difference as far as speed, but the EFI version operates a lot smoother and can actually get better mpgs than the carbureted version. Fuel injected versions and cars built for the California market include Air Injection Reactor (AIR) and Exhaust Pressure Transducer for EGR.

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Standard features and accessories for the 1978 DeVilles exceed the competition. Automatic Climate Control heats, cools, and ventilates with one touch of a button without further intervention. Power windows and door locks, power six-way front seat, and AM/FM Signal-Seeking Stereo Radio with power antenna add comfort and convenience to America’s favorite luxury car. These are just a few of the myriad standard amenities. Cadillac also offered more optional features and accessories than the other luxury brands. This is why Cadillac was the leader in the industry for high-end automobiles.

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Cadillac special editions are a unique manner to express one’s individuality. The DeVille series remains America’s favorite luxury car. For the 1978 model year, the DeVille Coupe d’Elegance option offered subtle refinements that set it apart from the stock Coupe deVille. This exclusive luxury package is designed to satisfy the most discerning Cadillac buyer. DeVille d’Elegance is the ultimate expression of opulence and exclusivity. The trim, precision size and powerful 7.0 litre V8 engine makes it a spirited performer on the road.

The 1977-1979 DeVilles achieved the greatest mpgs in the history of the brand at the time. Legendary Cadillac luxury, security, and roominess are dramatically evident. The elegant Cadillac Coupe deVille was consistently the leader in repeat ownership and resale value. The 1978 Cadillac DeVille Coupe d’Elegance is another exciting and highly successful chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Special thanks to Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum

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Bob Adams 2

1979 Cadillac Phaeton special edition

Bob Adams

Bob Adams 3

Special thanks to Bob Adams Classic Cars

Bob Adams 4

The End II

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The End

“As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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