The traditional Cadillac convertible is designed for those who seek the drama of open-air touring, without sacrificing luxury, comfort, or convenience. Cadillac marketed them as “The only luxury convertibles built in the land.” Their youthful vitality called for a nice leafy run on a gorgeous sun lit day. For the 1964 model year, America’s favorite luxury car was now available as a powerful new convertible coupé.
Its splendor remains unmatched in all of motordom. Timeless styling in their beauty and bearing has made every classic Cadillac convertible coupé among the most revered of all American luxury automobiles. There is no more magnificent manner in which to view the world than from behind the wheel of an automotive masterpiece from the Master Craftsmen. The 1964 Cadillac Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé garners a triumphant standing ovation…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”
The classic DeVille convertible coupé for 1964 ushered in a resplendent new era in luxury motoring…Cadillac-Style. Rarely does an automobile become a classic legend in its own time such as this supreme achievement in motoring. The Cadillac DeVille series had become “America’s Favorite Luxury Car” and new for the 1964 model year was this ingénue – which proved its authority in both 4-door hardtop and 2-door hardtop coupé closed-body configurations – now available as a spirited open tourer. The legendary Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé was built from 1964 until 1970.
Their extraordinary grace and unrivaled elegance are complimented by the outstanding ride qualities that made Cadillac the most highly desired luxury car in the entire world. The architecture is a true mastery of symmetry and balance. It’s the opulent 1964 Cadillacs that feature the last of the classic body styles with the iconic tail fins. These cars are long, low, and extremely wide – built at a time when aerodynamic efficiency was for airplanes…and not motorcars. Each and every distinctive inch of its styling exploited the finesse of the formidable “Standard of the World.”
Series 6300 Coupe deVille
The 1964 Series 6300 DeVille sparkles with the pomp and splendor associated with the traditional Cadillac heritage. Bill Mitchell (1912-1988) brilliant Chief Design Engineer for General Motors, was the successor to Harley Earl (1893-1969), an equally talented Chief Design Engineer and founder of the GM Art and Colour Design Studio in 1935…both gave the Cadillac brand a definitive opulence that doesn’t exist in today’s world. Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell are two of the most prolific design engineers in the history of the automobile. The 1959 Cadillac is the last to be associated with Harley Earl.
The flamboyant 1959 Cadillac tail fin
The 1950s through the 1970s were the most illustrious decades for Cadillac further enhancing its “Standard of the World” reputation. The Bill Mitchell Era gave the Cadillac brand what he coined as “The Sheer Look” that encompassed a more contemporary, highly provocative intrigue. Cadillac built such a formidable reputation in the luxury car segment, no other luxury automobile could replicate its grandeur.
The Sheer Look removed the “shoulders” from the bodyshell allowing the roofline and side windows to flow right into each panel seamlessly. Mitchell’s designs included the traditional “Cadillac Sneer”…this could be described as a euphoric front-end design feature which declared a “looking down its nose”aristocracy to chase the competition into subservience…
It was Mitchell’s regime that removed the “excess” the brand had taken on through the years. Humongous body quarter panels, blinding flashes of chrome trim, and tail fins large enough to qualify as aircraft were his targets for radical change. His designs became synonymous with opulence. He refined the Cadillac motorcar with a confluence of luxury and elegance escalating the brand to new heights in exclusivity and supremacy. The 1964 Cadillac models epitomize this forward thinking in the grand Cadillac manner on the grand Cadillac scale. Bill Mitchell promoted classic simplicity with unrivaled magnificence resulting in a remarkably distinctive type of motoring.
Meticulous Cadillac design engineering, and impeccable craftsmanship with an inexhaustible pursuit of exemplary fit & finish remained the mission statement. The 1964 Series 6300 DeVille convertible is a thoroughbred sought by convertible enthusiasts world-wide. That Cadillac drama augments its sweeping silhouette, with the convertible top lowered the car’s architecture seems twice as long. The previous 1963 design was refined further. For 1964, all models received a Cadillac “Beauty Treatment” to give them an even more regal stature.
The Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé retains the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every classic traditional Cadillac. Its bold front-end ensemble features a massive double-deck grille design. The chiseled stand-up hood and quad headlamp clusters conveys a formal elegance. Distinctive parking/turn signal lamps are cleverly hidden within a design matching the grille work. The same design continues wrapping around the front fenders to conceal the unique-to-Cadillac cornering lamps.
Its rear-end design is celebrated by automobile aficionados of all ages world-wide. Those fabulous fins remain as prominent today as they did when Cadillac led the entire world in luxury car design. The tail fins were trimmed after they reached their summit in 1959. The 1960 model year began tailoring them neatly into the architecture. Each subsequent design refresh continued the trimming until the finale in 1964 when they disappeared forever from the 1965 model year forward.
Handsomely trimmed tail fins for 1964 housed one set of tail lamps above the lower set that are neatly encased within chromed nacelles behind an ingenious clear lens. At night when the head and tail lamps are illuminated, the lower lens glows red gently. When the transmission is shifted to reverse they glow white to light the way while backing up. A massive chrome bumper runs between the bumper end caps with a delicate grille work which compliments front end styling. The 1964 model year tastefully precludes familiar Cadillac signature styling to pave the way for the next generation design.
Model #64-63F body style #6267F 1964 Series 6300 DeVille two-door convertible coupé was base priced at $5,612, had a base shipping weight of 4,545 pounds, and only 17,900 were built for the model year which enhances their desirability. Cadillac built their 3,000,000th car during this model year posting sales with a record-breaking total production of 165,959 vehicles.
The 1964 DeVille’s silhouette emphatically showcases Cadillac’s design prowess with an eloquence unequalled in the world of fine automobiles. DeVille’s restrained use of ornamentation makes its styling timeless. The DeVille series is one of the longest running and most profitable models in Cadillac history capturing the title of “America’s favorite luxury car.” Cadillac’s preeminence in the luxury car segment reflects the good taste and achievement of its owner.
Any Cadillac convertible coupé is a rare combination of luxury and sheer magnificence. The 1964 DeVille projects the youthful vitality of its owner. It’s the special emphasis on interior elegance that sets it apart from other luxury automobiles. Genuine perforated leather was available in nine color combinations.
The DeVille convertible coupé is equipped as a traditional motorcar of this stature should be. Power windows, power seat, front seat folding center arm rest, remote control outside rearview mirror, electric clock, power fully automatic folding fabric roof, cornering lamps, power steering, and power brakes are just a few of the myriad comfort and convenience amenities featured as standard equipment for the 1964 DeVille convertible coupé.
The handcrafted interiors reflects Cadillac quality
This DeVille convertible is equipped with Cadillac’s optional fully automatic Comfort Control Air Conditioning system. It was new to the industry for the 1964 model year. The owner could set their preferred temperature when they first took delivery of the car…and it never required further intervention as long as they owned the car. This is the forerunner of the contemporary fully automatic Climate Control Air Conditioning system. The entire auto industry has now named their fully automatic systems “Climate Control.” This is the type of innovation the contemporary puddle-jumpers Cadillac pretends to build lack…
Interiors by Fleetwood are a many splendored thing…
Luxury and elegance are paramount with a classic “Standard of the World” creation. A Cadillac was consistently refined to maintain this title. For the 1964 model year the mighty Cadillac V8 was brilliantly enhanced to deliver more hp per pound of engine weight than its competitors. This new engine boasts a larger displacement than the 1963 V8. The engine was bored out to 429 CID which is 39 CID larger to crank 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm packing a prolific punch with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm.
This astute capability is reflected in its longitudinal acceleration of 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 25.8 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph range…all Cadillac-Style. For kicks, it does the ¼ mile @ 83 mph in just 17.6 seconds. DeVille and Fleetwood models got the refined new Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. Engine power is transmitted to the transmission via oil-filled torque converter which multiplies engine torque during acceleration in any of the three gear ranges.
This lightweight 7.0 litre 16-valve V8 has a cast iron block and cylinder heads with new high tensile strength bolts. It is mounted at three points in rubber. The 429 CID has upgrades which includes wider combustion chambers designed for the most efficient burning of air/fuel mixture. These new combustion chambers have a large cooling area at the vortex of the wedge to prevent power-wasting pre-ignition. The aluminum alloy slipper type pistons reduce friction; contoured larger, lighter piston heads increase turbulence providing maximum combustibility of the air/fuel mixture.
Further refinement includes new con rods/bolts, a longer stroke, a new crankshaft, and camshaft. The engine runs in five main bearings with overhead valves and hydraulic lifters. There were two carburetors available for 1964. One with the Carter Aluminum Four Barrel : AFB3655 “S 4-bbl downdraft for non a/c vehicles or AFB3656 with air conditioning. Also available was a Rochester 4-bbl downdraft: #7024030 for non a/c vehicles and #7024031 for vehicles with a/c. Both with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, and automatic choke. The new high-lift camshaft is designed to hold exhaust valves open longer than intake valves for more efficient engine operation. The wide cams minimize wear on both cams and tappets.
1964 Cadillacs are large front-engine rear-wheel drive luxury cars. The Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé has the luxury length of 223.5”, is 79.7” wide, and rides upon a long 129.5” wheelbase. It is built as body on frame construction. GM’s rugged tubular X-frame permits lower body mounts for not only aesthetic qualities but also provides a lower center of gravity which is vital to a convertible’s well-being. Other advantages to this type of construction is a surfeit of head and hip room along with increased seat height for the patented Cadillac deep-seated luxury.
Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special hardtop sedan
Cadillac’s refined “Magic Carpet Ride” was re-tuned for 1964. NOTHING rides like a traditional Cadillac. The excellent weight distribution combined with its unique technology placed Cadillac in a league all its own. Exclusive “True Center Drive Line” isolates and cancels road noise and vibration before it reaches the cabin through a network of rubber mounted strut rods and rubber bushings. A one-piece propeller shaft transmits power quietly and resists vibration. Constant velocity joints at each end of the prop shaft cancels out forces that generate noise and vibration.
The traditional front suspension has upper and lower control arms with independent helical coil springs. Cadillac’s 4-link drive with independent helical coil springs makes up the rear suspension. The brand was famous for its boldly original mechanical components, unsurpassed attention to detail, and an inexorable insistence upon quality. This is how Cadillac acquired and maintained “Standard of the World” status.
Out of a tradition of excellence…the DeVille legend continues with style and grace that only the “Standard of the World” could create. For 1964, America’s favorite luxury car introduced the DeVille convertible coupé. This elegant open tourer Is powered by the new Cadillac 429 CID V8 engine. Drop the top…tap the accelerator…and 340 horses are at your command. This is a significant collectible because it is the first DeVille ragtop and it is also the finale for the Cadillac tail fins.
The “Standard of the World” continued Cadillac’s legend of automotive superiority in all its facets: styling that’s as classic as it is contemporary…of infinite care and design of its manufacturer…of greater measures of comfort and convenience…but most important, the higher levels of owner pride, prestige, and lasting value. The 1964 Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé continued this legacy of automotive greatness.
Many thanks to Jim Hailey for the use of the photos for the 1964 Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé subject car. Special thanks to Bob Adams Classic Cars, and Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars – the best in the business – for the use of their photos of these beautiful classic Cadillac motorcars.
Classic Cadillac convertible showcase:
1936 V16 convertible
1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible
1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible
1950 Cadillac Series 62 convertible
1953 Series 62 Eldorado convertible
1960 Series 62 convertible
1964 Series 6400 Eldorado convertible
1970 DeVille convertible…the finale
The traditional Cadillac was the most aristocratic of all motorcars. The real Cadillac motorcar has an extremely faithful cult following. The “Standard of the World” still graces the landscape eloquently which has garnered the respect and admiration from connoisseurs of fine automobiles world-wide. Cadillac built the only true luxury convertibles in America. The 1964 Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé is both dramatically beautiful and remarkably responsive. Any Cadillac convertible is a most avant-garde manner to enhance any occasion where fine automobiles gather. The traditional Cadillac DeVille legend lives…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns…”
“Déjà Vu…could you be the dream that I once knew…is it you? Déjà Vu…could you be the dream that might come true…shining through? I keep remembering me…I keep remembering you – Déjà Vu…”
Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury © 2017