The Classic Cadillac DeVille Convertibles

Presenting the grandest of all open tourers

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

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1964 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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One of the most resplendent automobiles in the luxurious realm of motoring majesty is the Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé. They are the most avant-garde manner in which to travel Cadillac-style. These glamorous open tourers were built from 1964 until 1970.

The Cadillac DeVille was the only true luxury convertible built in the land. With spacious six passenger comfort and legendary Cadillac elegance, the DeVille convertible continued the tradition as America’s favorite luxury car. NotoriousLuxury presents a dramatic DeVille encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The DeVille convertible coupé retains the poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. This brilliant motorcar in all its majesty exudes a youthful zest in the grand Cadillac manner. An exciting new automotive adventure is just a tap of the accelerator away. Their sheer driving pleasure provides a full range of power that is unsurpassed in fine car motoring. At the touch of a button, the power, fully automatic folding fabric roof stows away neatly for the ultimate in open air touring. In luxury and magnificence, they are in a class all their own.

Cadillac convertibles have always been the glamour cars for General Motors. The 1930s gave us the fabulous Fleetwood Series 452 V16 Phaetons. The 1940s spoiled Americans with the luxurious Series 62 convertibles. The 1950s presented the “Standard of the World” as the magnificent Series 62 Eldorado convertibles…with the introduction of the opulent Eldorado Biarritz convertibles dominating the luxury car arena from the mid 1950s through the 1960s. But…it was the 1964 model year that introduced the formidable DeVille convertible coupé with its decadent Cadillac luxury and elegance…it is the absolute epitome of grandeur in all of motordom –

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A Cadillac convertible is more than prestige…they are NOTORIOUS when it comes to performance. The DeVille offers presence, prestige, and performance in the grand Cadillac manner on the grand Cadillac scale. It was introduced as a two-door convertible coupé for the 1964 model year replacing the Series 62 convertible coupé as the standard by which all convertibles were judged.

It shocked the world with a 429 CID V8 engine that produces 340 hp with 651 Nm of peak torque. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in a mere 8.8 seconds with a top speed in the 123 mph range. This is impressive for a 4,500+ pound solidly built automobile. Model # 64-63F style code #6267F 1964 DeVille convertible coupé had a base price of $5,612 with a base shipping weight of 4,545 pounds and 17,900 were built.

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The 1964 DeVille convertible coupé could take on the competition without even using its entire horsepower…the remarkable fact of the traditional Cadillac is that it always had power in reserve. It can do the ¼ mile @ 85 mph in 16.4 seconds. Unlike today’s superficial power-to-weight ratio and wedge shape…a traditional Cadillac kicked butt with awesome torque-thrust!

They are automobiles that could run with GTOs, Camaros, Hemi-Cudas, etc. I simply loved the expression on the faces of sports car owners who would be an image in my rear view mirror! Just a tap of the accelerator sent a thrill of sheer exhilaration down my spine! I always worked a little magic under my hood…my cousins drove and raced Mopars…I took note from them to “over-power” my Kitty Kats!

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The 1964 DeVilles are as luxurious as they are powerful. Glove soft leather upholstery was standard. Power windows and seats, and all of Cadillac’s luxury makes driving them a dream! Cadillac actually surpassed its own great reputation – in beauty…luxury…and performance, craftsmanship was second to none. Every year they became even more exclusive. The 1964 Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé remains extremely popular in today’s harried mass-produced world of make-believe luxury cars.

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Cadillac DeVille convertible coupés exhibits a spirited, youthful vitality. Luxury is your constant companion. The joy of Cadillac ownership is exemplified with this legendary ragtop. They are a most eloquent expression of glamour. Back in the day…they would be bumper to bumper on Rodeo Drive. They were the only luxury convertibles on Park Avenue. A DeVille convertible is synonymous with the good life…movie stars, doctors, lawyers, and elite businessmen and business women all drove them. It’s no surprise that they still remain America’s favorite luxury cars.

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1965 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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The DeVille convertible coupé lost its tail fins for the 1965 model year however; they retained the poised dignity Cadillac made famous. Model #65-683 style code #68367F 1965 DeVille convertible coupé was base priced at $5,639 with a base shipping weight of 4,690 pounds and 19,200 were built. The NOTORIOUS 429 CID 7.0 litre V8 engine still produced 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in just 9 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 85 mph in 16.6 seconds.

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For the 1965 model year, Cadillac introduced an all-new body style. The front end ensemble is augmented by vertically stacked headlamps and traditional egg crate grille. The authoritative front end design uses fenders that travel beyond the architecture, a feature that would be repeated through the 1970 model year. It makes the car appear even longer than it is.

The rear end styling uses bumpers that ‘hint’ at the iconic Cadillac tail fin. This new body design is more refined and understated sans unnecessary ornamentation…it left the 1950s far behind. Bill Mitchell designs are tasteful…he gave the Cadillac brand a new elegance with grace – the enthusiasts loved it –

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The 1965 DeVille convertible coupé remained as luxurious as the model it replaced. Leather upholstery had a new sew style and eloquence…leather was always standard for Cadillac rag tops. The power, fully automatic folding fabric roof was improved to stow away faster. Cadillac’s ingenious inward folding roof provided a rear seat that could accommodate three passengers…comfortably. All of Cadillac’s traditional luxury is still there from power windows and seats, to power steering, power brakes, and extra touches such as polished stainless-steel trim. The 1965 DeVille convertible coupé is every inch a true Cadillac –

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1966 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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Model #66-683 style code #68367F 1966 DeVille convertible coupé was base priced at $5,555 with a base shipping weight of 4,445 pounds and 19,200 were built. The DeVille convertible coupé was mildly refined to look even more luxurious. The front end ensemble used less chrome for a more elegant appearance. The bumper is rounder and more prominent. The cornering lamps are now mounted up higher in the front fenders tastefully. The rear end design features a new bumper and tail lamp treatment. The restyling includes a body colored panel beneath the bumper for a custom look. It is still a Cadillac in every respect.

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The trusty 7.0 litre 429 CID V8 engine still kicked out 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 86 mph in 16.3 seconds. It was all about fierce torque-thrust back in the day.

Those of you that have never driven a V8 with raw power cannot imagine driving a car such as this…with a “hair-trigger” accelerator where the slightest tap threw you back in your seat – the rest of the cars were only a glimpse in your rear view mirror (if you could see that far behind you). Today’s make-believe Cadillacs cannot compare…

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All DeVille convertibles feature leather upholstery standard

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It was the 1967 model year’s major redesign that augmented the classic DeVille. Model #67-683 style code #68367F 1967 DeVille convertible coupé was base priced at $5,608 with a base shipping weight of 4,500 pounds and 18,200 were built. The DeVille convertible coupé now has a more stately appearance. The all-new front end design has a look of authority with its slightly canted forward look.

The body lines are chiseled and flowed gracefully from nose to tail. The rear end design is all-new as well with chrome capped tail lamps set into the bumper ends that once again hinted at the Cadillac tail fin. This redesign made the DeVille convertible coupé appear longer, lower, and wider than the model it replaced. These were the most elegant Cadillacs in the history of the brand to date. With the top down….the DeVille’s architecture looked as though it spanned for miles.

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The interior for the 1967 model year was completely redesigned. The new Cadillac elegance prevailed leaving the past to history. The leather clad upholstery is more deep-seated and luxurious. The traditional Cadillac legendary manner of exclusivity remained. All of the power assists customers had grown accustomed to was escalated to new heights of supremacy. The 1967 DeVille convertible coupé was more magnificent than ever.

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The 7.0 litre 16-valve 429 CID V8 engine received a new valve train and a modified Carter 4-bbl downdraft carburetor. Horsepower was decreased to 308 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 606 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 9.1 seconds with a top speed in the 119 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 83 mph in 16.7 seconds.

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1968 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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The 1968 model year was big news for Cadillac enthusiasts. Model #68-683 style code #68367F 1968 DeVille convertible coupé had a base price at $5,736 with a base shipping weight of 4,600 pounds and 18,025 were built. Cosmetic wise, Cadillac gave it a mild beauty treatment to refine the exterior design.

It was the all-new 7.7 litre 16-valve 472 CID V8 engine that made the headlines in the automotive industry. It was the largest V8 engine to power a production passenger vehicle. The luxury behemoth now pumped out 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm packing a prolific punch with 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. It had the competition “nervous.”

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This massive V8 engine is capable of racing with the best. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds with a top speed in the 129 mph range. It could do the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 16 seconds. Yes…this massive power plant rocked the entire world with its eminent integrity and being a Cadillac superlative made it even more formidable.

This engine was actually GM’s big-block V8 bored out to 472 CID. Cadillac was the master builder of the 8 cylinder engine. Today’s kitschy-faux Cadillacs cannot hold a candle to the traditional “Standard of the World.” I am living proof of this fact. I drove them when they were the finest luxury cars in the world…

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The 1968 models received a mild “Cadillac beauty treatment”

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1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé is the undisputed masterpiece from the master craftsmen. Model #69-683 style code #68367F 1969 DeVille convertible coupé had a base price of $5,095 with a base shipping weight of 4,590 pounds and 16,445 were built for the model year. These were the most impressive Cadillac creations in the history of the brand to date.

The 1969 and 1970 Cadillacs were the most popular years for the brand because of their style, grace and that poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. The 1969 Cadillac Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood were completely redesigned from the ground up. They were patterned after the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado. The 1969 and 1970 Cadillacs are still popular among enthusiasts world-wide.

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The 1969 DeVille convertible coupé is powered with the highly successful 7.7 litre 16-valve 472 CID V8. It produces 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm with an earth-shattering 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. This naturally aspirated V8 engine is equipped with the famous Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds with a top speed in the 128 mph range.

If you removed the limiter it was actually capable of 150 mph+ easily. It does the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in just 16 seconds…this engine was sweet before they put the smog crap on it which drastically decreased its horsepower in later model years before its demise. This engine was not designed to run on unleaded regular gasoline which the public found out starting in 1971 thru 1974 when it was discontinued and the 8.2 litre 500 CID Eldorado engine was used beginning the 1975 model year. It was easier to adapt to regular gasoline and the pollution controls.

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What I admired most about the traditional Cadillacs is the fact they always retained power in reserve if you knew how to drive them. It is the first two gears you had to get through quickly…it is the third gear that POPPED with the instantaneous power. All of the luxury and performance is what spoiled me. I just cannot get used to the make-believe Cadillacs they pretend to build today.

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The 1969 DeVille convertible coupé’s interior was completely redesigned for the model year. High-back lounge seats covered in supple ostrich grain leather upholstery with head restraints on the front seats made these cars ride like big ‘ole rollin’ Barco loungers. Elegant touches such as genuine walnut trim to the door panels and a newly designed dash made the 1969 DeVille stand out from the competition.

Power windows and seats, power Variable Ratio power steering and Cadillac’s “Triple Braking” system are just a few of the myriad conveniences. A Cadillac was among the best cars in the world at the time. Innovation was never an afterthought with the “Standard of the World”…why, who do you think invented “Climate Control” completely automatic temperature control? Who do you think invented cornering lamps? Lest we forget…Cadillac pioneered the luxury car…the entire world took notes from its class of technology – 

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The finale…1970 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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The finale for the ultra-luxurious DeVille convertible coupé came with the 1970 model year. Model #70-683 style code #68367F 1970 DeVille convertible coupé had a base price of $6,068 with a base shipping weight of 4,660 pounds and 15,172 were built for the model year. Sadly…the 1970 Cadillacs were the last of the REAL “Standard of the World.”

Oh, they still existed as full-sized automobiles until the 1976 model year for the Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood…and until 1978 for the Eldorado…but they were not the same. Short cuts and quality control began to disintegrate its integrity and eminence. The 1970 DeVille convertible coupé received a mild Cadillac beauty treatment, but is was basically a 1969.

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The 1970 DeVille convertible coupé uses the same famous 7.7 litre 16-valve 472 CID V8 engine that cranked 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm with the awesome 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. It still uses the Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds with a top speed in the 128 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 15.9 seconds. Beauty is more than skin deep with the 1970 DeVille convertible coupé.

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The 1970 DeVille retained the deep-seated lounge seats

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The traditional Cadillac DeVilles were all front engine, rear-wheel drive automobiles. They were built solidly as body-on-frame construction. Rubber bushings were used to cushion metal-to-metal confrontation to not only absorb road impact and vibration, but also to isolate road noise before it reached the interior. This is why these cars are so quiet and vibration-free. Convertibles are built differently than a hardtop. The ragtop is built with a lower center of gravity with a stronger body structure. Back in the day, Cadillac convertibles were built specifically as convertibles, not merely snipping off the roof of a hardtop coupé.

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Cadillac DeVille convertible coupés are built with solid frames. The 1964 DeVille used Cadillac’s rugged tubular “X-frame.” The 1965 through 1970 DeVille convertibles use Cadillac’s fully-boxed perimeter frame with hidden bulkheads for added torsional rigidity. The front suspensions for 1964 through 1970 DeVilles are built with the traditional upper and lower control arms; independent helical coil springs with rubber mounted strut rods and rubber bushings. All model years used the traditional Cadillac four-link drive rear suspension with helical coil springs and rubber bushings.

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The 1964 through 1970 DeVille convertible coupés came standard with GM’s 3-speed automatic Turbo Hydra-Matic transmissions. Cadillac’s exclusive “Triple-Braking” system was equipped with a dual hydraulic master cylinder providing the independent operation of front and rear systems. The parking brake is vacuum released automatically when the transmission is shifted to a drive gear.

It will not lock with the engine running and transmission in gear. It could be used as an emergency brake if needed. The brakes self-adjust each time the car is driven in reverse and the brakes applied. Also standard beginning the 1965 model year is Cadillac’s exclusive Variable Ratio Power Steering system which continually calibrated itself contingent upon the driving situation.

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Cadillac Crest

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A youthful zest combined with spirited performance made the Cadillac DeVille series America’s favorite luxury cars. The DeVille convertible coupé with its full complement of power assists and the sheer opulence of its style made Cadillac the primary choice in open tourers. The interior appointments set it apart from the competition…it was the only luxury convertible built in the land.

Elegance, excitement, and excellence with that poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac makes the magnificent DeVille convertible coupé a motorcar with a highly individual flair. The glamorous DeVille creates a measure of motoring excellence entirely unique in all of motordom. It leaves an indelible impression in automotive history. The pleasure of owning a Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé is exceeded only by that of driving it. The 1964 through the 1970 DeVille convertibles are just another highly successful chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars & Bob Adams Classic Cars…two exemplary caretakers and retailers of the finest in special interest and collectible automobiles in the industry…

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Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury….

3 Responses to “The Classic Cadillac DeVille Convertibles”

  1. Beautiful! As a former owner of a Coupe De Ville, (forced to sell after having the car for 20 years) I really know and appreciate these cars. They command your attention when you are driving these cars, they are truly beautiful and elegant. There is nothing like driving these cars.

  2. Never seen one in person. Too hard to find those even here in the north of México. Well, never were sold in any part of this country. The national government prohibited their import into our territory. Too bad for us who did not have the chance to drive or own one.

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