Archive for the “As the Standard of the World Turns” Category

It’s Yesterday Once More: The Incomparable 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Notorious Retrospect with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

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

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Cadillac Style – “The only way to travel…is Cadillac Style.” What is Cadillac Style? A Cadillac Fleetwood is Cadillac Style. This is Cadillac in its most eminent form. Fleetwood used to do all upholstery work for every Cadillac model…but a Cadillac Fleetwood is a very very special version of the epochal “Standard of the World.” Fleetwood crafted the entire car. It was so special during its heyday, it had its own dedicated assembly line.  A Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac was crafted by talented artisans to be not only the finest automobile in the world…but it was also the paradigm of all luxury sedans.

The only two-door Fleetwood model ever, is the magnificent Fleetwood Eldorado. (Excluding the mid-1980s Fleetwood Brougham two-door coupé as it is merely a Coupe deVille with a custom padded roof and Brougham-style interior…it was not an exclusive Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac) The most notable are the 1967 – 1970 Fleetwood Eldorado model years. They are the pioneers for Cadillac’s front-wheel drive models. The 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado makes a cameo appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The majestic Fleetwood series catapulted Cadillac to “Standard of the World” status. These ultra-luxurious motorcars were crafted mostly by hand and augmented the Cadillac model hierarchy annually. For the 1968 model year, the fabulous Fleetwood Eldorado was in its second production year as the world’s foremost personal luxury car.

It was the only automobile in its class to offer the impressive traction of front wheel drive…Automatic Level Control to maintain its poise regardless of load or road conditions…and the maneuverability of Variable Ratio Power Steering – all as standard amenities. Model #68-693 Body Style #69347H 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado two-door coupé had a base price of $6,605. It debuted September 21, 1967 and a total of 24,528 were built for the model year. The Fleetwood Eldorado is a unique expression of Cadillac excellence.

Timeless in styling, superb Cadillac engineering, and impeccable craftsmanship…to put it simply – the Fleetwood Eldorado was designed to be one of the finest production automobiles in the world. It introduced a completely new concept which placed it in a class no other motorcar could match. GM is the purveyor of the personal luxury automobile.

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GM was the first American automobile manufacturer to offer front-wheel drive since the 1936-1937 Cord 810/812 series. It was the Oldsmobile Toronado that started the dance. It used the GM “E” platform from the 1963 Buick Riviera. The Oldsmobile Toronado was introduced in 1965 as a 1966 model. One year later the 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado was introduced. The Eldorado, Toronado, and Riviera all shared the same platform; however, the Buick Riviera didn’t adopt front-wheel drive until the 1979 model year. Cadillac fine-tuned the Eldorado to suit the most demanding connoisseur.

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Big news for Cadillac’s 1968 model year is the introduction of an all-new powerplant. Cadillac V8 engines were legendary and this one is no exception. It is the largest engine to power a passenger production automobile for the 1968 model year – 

The spirited 7.7 litre 16-valve 472 CID V8 cranks an impressive 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm packing a prolific punch with 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Cadillac’s unsurpassed craftsmanship was never more evident. It is equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, and a new automatic choke. An Air Injection Reactor system was introduced to reduce hydrocarbons in the exhaust. The engine is built with a cast iron block and cylinder heads, overhead valves, and hydraulic lifters.

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Cadillac engineers spent many years developing this powerful new V8 engine. It underwent over half a million miles of lab testing to study performance and fatigue life of engine components. This rigorous fatigue testing was far more punishment than would be experienced during the life of the car. Radioactive isotopes determined oil consumption. It was not only lab tested, it was taken out into the real world for over two million miles of road testing on every type of road in all-weather conditions. To date, this was only the fourth time Cadillac designed completely new engine architecture.

The first Cadillac V8 engine was designed in 1914, the second in 1936, and the third is the monumental 1949 version with an overhead valve design that utilized wedge-shaped combustion chambers for higher compression ratios. Cadillac is the first automobile manufacturer in the USA to build a production V-type water-cooled 8 cylinder engine by the way. Cadillac received accolades for the 1914 V8 instantly for its quiet, efficient operation, and notorious dependability. The 472 CID V8 shows the same dedication to quality. For example, every crankshaft in a Cadillac engine was dynamically balanced which means it is balanced while rotating. This is done to cancel vibration for enhanced overall operation.

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The 472 CID V8 aggrandized the 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado’s performance. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 22.4 seconds with an ungoverned top speed in the 128 mph range. The engine is mated to the GM Turbo Hydra-Matic THM 425 3-speed automatic front-wheel drive transmission. Cadillac adopted the Olds Toronado’s “Unified Powerplant Package”(UPP). This technical engineering was a unique manner of transferring the engine’s power directly to the front wheels. The longitudinal mounted engine/transmission configuration is driven by a silent chain that changed the direction of power by 180 degrees.

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Body by Fleetwood

A Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac is unequalled in all of motordom. Uncompromised luxury and elegance with impeccable fit and finish highlighted the majestic Fleetwood series. It’s preeminence in the luxury car segment is without conjecture the finest expression of automotive excellence. The Fleetwood Eldorado’s long, low architecture was like nothing else on the road at the time. Cadillac had once again created an automotive masterpiece.

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Its stunning front end ensemble is augmented by hidden headlamps. The outer ends of the wide egg crate grille work opens downward to expose the twin headlamp clusters. The parking lamps are relocated from the bumper to the fenders. Those prominent knife-blade fenders run the entire length of the car’s architecture separate from the body ending at the rear with sharp, angular end caps housing the taillamps. Both hood and rear deck lid are sculpted to compliment the Fleetwood Eldorado’s dramatic design. The rear end styling is equally intriguing. The shark fin design with a deeply contoured bumper gives the car a futuristic flair.

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The Fleetwood Eldorado’s avant-garde silhouette retains the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac of the genre. The hood is one of the longest in the industry, it had been lengthened to provide a cove to hide the windshield wipers cleverly. Cars from this period are styled with a long nose and short rear deck. The Fleetwood Eldorado sports this design well.

The long low roofline with wide rear sail panels uses small rear quarter windows for privacy. A contoured back glass completed the look of luxury tastefully. The Cadillac Eldorado has always been the styling predictor which showcased designs that would eventually find their way to other Cadillac models. It is the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado that highly influenced the styling for the 1969-1970 Cadillac Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood models.

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1970 Coupe deVille and the 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado

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1967 Fleetwood Eldorado

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The comfort zone…

Welcome to the inner world of Fleetwood Eldorado. It’s luxury on the grand Cadillac scale in the gracious Fleetwood manner. This is elegance modern cars cannot replicate. The comfort of the wide notchback front seat rivals that of your living room sofa. Have a seat…pull down the padded standard front seat center armrest. Adjust the optional 6-way power seat. Relax in traditional Cadillac luxury.

One of the benefits of front-wheel drive is the absence of the transmission tunnel hump which equates to more legroom for passengers to stretch out. Activate the optional Automatic Climate Control – set the temperature – no further intervention is necessary. Automatically lock both doors with one touch from the optional power door lock button for added security and peace of mind. The instrument panel has been revised with more padding for safety.

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There are two cloth styles for 1968 available for Fleetwood Eldorado. Deauville and Diamond cloth with vinyl bolsters adds character. The optional full leather trim provides not only a regal touch of distinction but also adds longevity to the interior. The optional Strato bucket seats lends a unique sporting appeal to Fleetwood Eldorado’s demeanor. The bucket seat style interior comes with head restraints and a locking center console. The passenger seat has an optional recliner. All interior knobs and switches have been redesigned to be safer to lessen injury.

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Structural logistics

The 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado is a large, comfortable automobile unlike the dinky under-embellished puddle jumpers with front-wheel drive made today. It’s built as body on frame construction. The fully boxed perimeter frame has hidden bulkheads for safety and is specially designed for front-wheel drive. These cars float along; boulevard travel is negligible.

Its torsion bar front suspension has upper and lower control arms with rubber bushings to absorb road shock and cancels vibration before it reaches the cabin. The rear suspension is equipped with single-leaf springs, two horizontal and two vertical shock absorbers. Cadillac’s exclusive Automatic level Control was standard on all Fleetwood models to maintain vehicle poise under any load or road conditions. The Fleetwood Eldorado has the luxury length of 221”, is 80” wide, 53” in height, and rides upon a long 120” wheelbase.   

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The luxury leader – Cadillac Style

Cadillac’s engineering prowess was never more evident. Apart from the all-new V8 engine, the Fleetwood Eldorado for 1968 is bristling with bravado. Cadillac’s triple braking system highlights its safety features. The power braking system is equipped with unique self-adjusting shoes and heat dissipating drums. The brakes automatically calibrate themselves each time the car is driven in reverse and the brakes applied.

The sophisticated hydraulic master cylinder uses two separate reservoirs to provide independent operation of the front and rear brakes. In the event one system fails, the other will bring the car safely to a halt. The parking brake is a true auxiliary brake. Its automatic power vacuum release will not lock in position with the engine running and the vehicle in gear. Front disc brakes were optional. Cadillac led the industry with innovation and technology that took the competition years to catch up.

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For the 1968 model year Cadillac further enhanced its reputation as the “Standard of the World.” The 1967-1970 Fleetwood Eldorado is a milestone vehicle. It was created by Bill Mitchell chief designer for General Motors. The Eldorados from this genre were unlike any Cadillac that preceded them. The personal luxury car had been under research and tested as early as 1961. It was designed to be a large and luxurious Cadillac with traditional virtues yet contemporary acclaim…Cadillac Style – 

The Fleetwood Eldorado is tomorrow’s classic today.  With its Cadillac Style and gracious appointments, the 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado in my opinion is one of the foremost motorcars to bear the charismatic “Standard of the World” title. It retains the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac. This is what made the brand the most desired luxury car in the entire world – it’s a shame the brand sank into obscurity. It’s going to take a miracle for the brand to return to its exponential integrity to save it from the mediocrity it currently resides. So, after DTS…CTS…ATS…XTS…and CT6, what’s next – the OMG?

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This editorial is dedicated to “That Hartford Guy!”                                                This one’s for you…kid –  

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Here’s your baby immortalized for prosperity!

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The formidable 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

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The 1967 Eldorado-inspired 1970 Cadillac Coupe deVille

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There’s no more deep-seated luxury like this

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1968 Fleetwood Eldorado custom convertible

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Here’s a dream with a little bit of fantasy from the creative master Casey Art & Colour http://artandcolourcars.blogspot.com/

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This is his Eldorado to counter Lincoln’s Continental

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Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars http://www.schmitt.com/

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“As the Standard of the World Turns” is Greg’s World

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1956 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille: A Classic Standard for the World

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques with tags , , , , , on January 31, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

The Coupe deVille legend continues

1956 Coupe deVille 1

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

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The pillarless hardtop body style became America’s first choice among automotive design. It took the entire industry by storm during the 1950s. This styling concept is the brainchild of Harley Earl, chief design stylist for the Cadillac Motor Division of General Motors. This distinctive body style was introduced in 1949 as a unique trim upgrade option for the Series 62 two-door coupé as the magnificent Coupe deVille.

Brilliantly new in concept; it was an ideal introduction for a refreshingly new era in automotive design which left the 1940s far behind. The pillarless hardtop design was the industry’s most desired as witnessed by the 1956 Series 62 Coupe deVille. This avant-garde example of automotive excellence makes a cameo appearance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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It is General Motors that introduced the hardtop coupé to the American highways. This distinctive design was unveiled at the 1949 Motorama along with the Oldsmobile Futuramic 98 Holiday hardtop coupé and the Buick Roadmaster Riviera hardtop coupé. It is a look that no other car had ever offered…it mocks a convertible with its roof raised. The interior has chrome bows as part of the headlining to simulate convertible hardware, sumptuous leather upholstery like a convertible, and power windows. Cloth with leather upholstery became available for later model years.

The idea was spawned when the wife of a GM designer, always drove a convertible but never put the top down…when she was asked why, she replied: “I just like the way it looks!” The pillarless hardtop body style made cars look longer and more distinctive than the stodgy, pillared sedans. Many wonder why this distinctive design ceased. Well, there are issues involving safety. Today’s death traps could never be hardtops because their superficial, kitschy-faux engineering could never withstand a “T-bone” collision. Today’s rolling coffins require those sedan pillars “just in case”…well, you asked!

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The 1956 Series 62 Coupe deVille exhibits extraordinary craftsmanship that was unrivaled in the automotive industry. Its unpretentious grace and quintessential charm are complemented by the Cadillac “Magic Carpet” ride. The magnificent Series 62 Coupe deVille was the perfect choice for those who sought comfort and beauty with a spirit of adventure. The dramatic elegance and majesty of this unique design are eloquently portrayed in the pillarless hardtop styling of the Coupe deVille.

Seldom had an automobile been bestowed with such élan as this great motorcar. Its classic simplicity of design makes it stand out among the world’s finest automobiles. The hardtop Coupe deVille was such an immediate hit with luxury car buyers, a four-door hardtop sedan variant was introduced in 1956 as the Series 62 Sedan deVille. Both Coupe and Sedan deVille became America’s favorite luxury cars. The DeVilles were the elite luxury cruisers that tickled the fancy of high-end automobile buyers. There was an exclusive “air” about a two-door Cadillac…the Coupe deVille exemplified this.

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1956 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan deVille

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The Coupe deVille was the celebrity among Cadillacs. It retained the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac. Refinement, superior craftsmanship, and legendary Cadillac engineering are immediately apparent with the 1956 Series 62 Coupe deVille. Throughout the 1950s, Cadillac took a dramatic step forward in automotive design and craftsmanship.

The brand never set forth capriciously…millions of miles of testing and scrutiny went into every Cadillac motorcar before it ever reached the buyer. In fact, it is the 1954 through 1956 Cadillacs that gave the brand its identity. The tail fins are the key; they were renown throughout the world. With body by Fisher and interior by Fleetwood, the 1956 Series 62 Coupe deVille is a superb example of impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail.

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The hardtop Coupe deVille was a most enchanting manner of which to enjoy the “Standard of the World.” Model # 56-62 style code # 6237DX 1956 Series 62 Coupe deVille had a base price of $4,569, a base shipping weight of 4,445 pounds, and 25,086 were built. It rides upon a long 129” wheelbase, has the luxury length of 221.9”, and is 80” wide. It is a very large front engine rear-wheel drive luxury coupé.

The Coupe deVille is more lavishly trimmed than the standard Series 62 counterpart which is what made it popular. It began as a luxurious trim level for the Series 62 and evolved into its own series for the 1959 model year. The Coupe deVille is one of the longest and most successful model production runs in the history of the brand; running from 1949 until 1993. The Sedan deVille ran from 1956 until the 2005 model year, in 2006 it was renamed “DTS.”

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The 1956 model is a freshened version of the 1954 design. It received a mild Cadillac “beauty treatment” with a revised front end ensemble to include a new hood, bumper, and grille that makes it appear lower. The rear end design received a new bumper. The subtle revisions makes the entire car look longer, lower, and wider than previous models. Its traditional beauty and luxury makes it another stunning, supreme achievement in motoring from the master craftsmen.  It is a two-door coupé with sedan attributes…its six passenger spaciousness rivals the competitor’s four-door model in comfort.

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1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

All Cadillacs for 1956 are a masterpiece of symmetry and balance. From the daring front end ensemble augmented by highly polished Dagmar bumper guards…to the sweep of the elegant tail fins, the 1956 Cadillacs were an irresistible invitation to luxury that few could resist. This brilliant new interpretation of Cadillac-style set new standards for dramatic design and elegance for the entire automotive industry. The 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille resulted in an elegant motorcar for devotees of perfectly ordered splendor.

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The 1956 Series 62 Coupe deVille is an eminent realm of motoring majesty. It has all the virtues that make a Cadillac a Cadillac. The luxury is evident in the richness of its exclusive interior appointments.  A large folding center armrest is standard for rear seat passengers. Its pillarless hardtop design lends an airy touch with excellent all around visibility. With its extraordinary exclusivity and supremacy in a luxury motorcar, there was no more exciting manner in which to experience Cadillac and style. In addition to the luxurious leather upholstery, handsome Bombay or Stardust metallic nylon with leather bolsters was also available.

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The 1956 Series 62 Coupe deVille is powered by GM’s 6.0 litre 16-valve 365 CID V8 engine. The engine runs in five main bearings. It has a cast iron block and cylinder heads for durability. It is equipped with a Carter WCFB 2370S 4-bbl carburetor with equalized manifolding, automatic choke, hydraulic valve lifters, mechanical fuel pump, and intake silencer. The engine is mated to GM’s Hydra-Matic (Jetaway/Flashaway) 3-speed automatic transmission which had been refined with an increase in size to facilitate smoother overall shifting qualities.

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The 6.0 litre 365 CID V8 cranked 285 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 542 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.1 seconds, with a top speed in the 112 mph range (ungoverned). It can do the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 18.2 seconds.

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The 1956 Cadillacs are as rugged as they are rewarding. They are built as body on frame construction. The sturdy “I-beam X-frame” was the strongest in the industry at the time. This was new for the 1956 model year. Construction of this type was usually reserved for convertibles because it is sturdier with a lower center of gravity. The rugged cross member provides a sturdy support for the engine, steering, and front suspension components.  The perfect 50/50 weight distribution assures excellent traction and overall performance.

The rigid steel floor is reinforced by rugged ribbed sections and is welded to box girder rocker panels, and vertical side pillars. There is a heavy gauge steel skeleton creating a virtual ring of steel surrounding the passenger cell. Even the Coupe deVille’s doors are solid vault-like structures. They are formed from two panels of heavy gauge cold-rolled sheet steel formed into a rigid self-reinforcing box-like assembly. They are precision hung on tough steel hinges for that all so perfect shut line. The engineers created the Coupe deVille as they would a ragtop because of its pillarless design. It is built to refrain from squeaks and rattles.

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The front suspension uses individual coil springs with sturdy upper and lower control arms. The rear suspension uses the Hotchkiss Drive system, a method of transferring the thrust of the rear wheels to the frame through the rear springs. Unsprung weight is minimized with this type of build.

The rear axles are the semi-floating type and are cut so that the driving pinion meshes with the ring gear well below the center line of the differential. This type of assembly facilitates a lower profile for a modern, contemporary look. The low drive shaft, low floors and low rear floor tunnel results in a road-hugging overall design. The mid 1950s introduced a different trend in automotive designthat is longer, lower, and wider creating a contemporary look for the day leaving the past to history. Cadillac was an automotive trend-setter.

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Cadillac was the luxury leader for the 1950s. The Series 62 Coupe deVille is the elite luxury cruiser that captured the fancy of high-end automobile buyers. The Coupe deVille was the essence of exclusivity retaining the poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. The 1954 through 1956 model years further established the brand’s identity reinforcing the consummate luxury proclamation set forth as the “Standard of the World.”

The 1956 Series 62 Coupe deVille created a new inspiration for all motordom with its precise craftsmanship and universal appeal. Never before had a motorcar become so captivating, elegant and meticulously engineered. The Coupe deVille is unmistakably Cadillac in stature and majesty. It inspired the entire automotive industry for many years to come. The 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille once again takes the spotlight center stage…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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A two 4-bbl carburetor system was optional

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The majestic 1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

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1956 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz sport convertible

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A slammed Series 62 Sedan deVille

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Greg’s World is NotoriousLuxury…

2002 Cadillac DeVille: The Last of the Big Guns

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

The last of the big body Cadillacs

2002 Cadillac DTS

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

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The 2002 Cadillac DeVille is one of the last marques of distinction from the brand. At the time…Cadillac existed for an entire century; the name “DeVille” was attached to some of the most dramatic automobiles for well over half of this prominent existence. The Cadillac DeVilles were and still are America’s favorite luxury cars.

The design and engineering for 2002 is sophisticated and highly advanced among luxury automobiles. From the avant-garde styling…to the powerful Northstar V8 under the hood, the DeVille delivers the poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. NotoriousLuxury presents the 2002 Cadillac DeVille’s intransigent eminence…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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2002 DeVille base

As Cadillac so eloquently stated: “Enduring style and sophistication is difficult to define…and even more challenging to achieve. But such élan is unmistakable in the Cadillac DeVille.” For the 2002 model year it was available in three distinctive trim levels. 

There is the power and prowess of the DTS (DeVille Touring Sedan) which puts the emphasis on performance as well as presence.  The DHS (DeVille High Luxury Sedan) provides luxury and panache with exclusivity…Cadillac-style. And last but not least…the base DeVille which is the quintessential luxury sedan that satisfies the most discerning buyers who seek automobiles of this stature.

The 2002 Cadillac DeVille unifies elegance with high technology in an automobile designed for today’s world. The eighth and final generation DeVille was built from 2000 until 2005.

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Yesterday…

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Today…

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Tomorrow…?

DeVille marque of excellence

The 2002 DeVilles are equipped with Northstar…it began as a high-performance engine and evolved into a sophisticated electronic network of art. The 32-valve DOHC engine is teamed with an anti-lock 4-wheel braking system, all-speed traction control, speed sensitive steering which adapts to the driver’s style, and a “thinking” suspension with electronic level control.

On-board computers coordinate this ingenious teamwork to result in refined driving dynamics under all driving situations to maintain optimum overall vehicle control. The DTS further refines the network to include as standard equipment, StabiliTrak 2.0 which can detect improper traction and steering issues through an array of sensors located throughout the suspension to instantaneously apply the correct calibration to the front brakes as required. The impressive Northstar system is a quantum leap forward in automotive engineering.

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Northstar 32-valve V8 engine

The Northstar V8 is a series of General Motors most technologically advanced 90 degree V-type engine architecture. Cadillac Motor Division offered two types for the 2002 model year. The high-output L37 powers the exclusive DTS and the high-torque LD8 powers the base DeVille and the upscale DHS. These aluminum transverse-mounted V8 engines are the industry’s most complex powerplants. When they are good…they are very, very good…but when they are bad they are horrid! The Northstar V8 was refined for the 2000 model year with updates to improve fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions making them operate on regular grade fuel.

I own a 2002 DeVille and have driven it since 2002 burning 93 octane premium fuel exclusively. Let’s be real…if you drive a high-performance automobile; burn high-octane fuel for optimum performance especially as the engine ages. I like the thrill of dropping the accelerator pedal to GO…like, right-now! You can do this easily with smoother performance on high-octane petrol. If you can afford the car…you should be able to afford the gas – ask any Cadillac owner with the Northstar and they will tell you; high-octane fuel is the way to GO!

Technology

The L37 is the original Northstar and is tuned exclusively for high-energy output. The LD8 is the luxury cruisin’ high-torque variant. They both are naturally aspirated and share the basic Northstar logistics. The LD8 uses a different cam profile lowering the hp but boosts torque output in the lower rpm range to improve throttle response for quicker acceleration.

The 2002 Northstar V8 engines have die-cast aluminum blocks built using the “Squeeze Casting” process for the lower crankcase to reduce aluminum porosity. The downside to this design is the fact they may promote oil seeping through and leaking. (Behave) A Nylon 66 thermoplastic intake manifold keeps the intake air cooler by conducting less heat from the engine.

The cylinders have cast-in-place iron liners that are not replaceable. Some think they can rebuild these with modern aftermarket products, but my advice is to just replace them with new heads. Each head has two camshafts; one for the intake and one for the exhaust. Direct-acting hydraulic lash adjusters are positioned over each of the 32 valves. It features roller valve lifters, a low-friction valve train, and coil-fired spark plugs. This coil-on-plug design eliminates spark plug wires which increases spark efficiency.

Northstar V8 engine

Each head has its own ignition module in the center of the valve cover. This advanced design ignition system runs in two modes of operation: module mode and ignition control mode. The PCM (Powertrain Control Module) controls ignition timing via sensor inputs.

The PCM controls both engine and transmission operation. Should the PCM fail, the module mode takes over operating the engine with a fixed 10 degrees of advance allowing the engine to continue operation in what the engineers call the “limp home mode” with somewhat reduced performance to protect the engine.

The overhead cams are chain-driven with an intermediate chain sprocket under the front cover that connects to the crankshaft. This design uses three separate hydraulic tensioners to keep the chains lightweight for efficiency. Two crankshaft position sensors and a camshaft position sensor are used to provide timing input. Each crank sensor is located on the rear head in front of the exhaust cam. The Northstar V8 has a knock sensor on the rear head between cylinders one and three to reduce timing if detonation becomes an issue under load.

Northstar V8 engine 2

The beauty of the Northstar engine is the on-board computer diagnostics monitoring the electronic network. The Powertrain Control Input Module monitors the sensor inputs, battery voltage injector pulse width, engine rpm, throttle position switch, brake pedal switch, and transmission gear switches. The PCM output checks the EVAP & EGR systems, torque converter clutch solenoid, A/C compressor relay, and transaxle solenoids.

The Northstar was designed to be a relatively low-maintenance V8 engine. “Out of the box” it comes with platinum-tipped spark plugs that have a 100,000+mile life span. I purposely wanted to see how long the plugs could last. I replaced them at 125,000 miles, not because I had to…I wanted to see the plugs.

She now has 134,000+ miles and “Donnajean” still runs like a scalded cat! (I named her after the Knots Landing  vixen Donna Jean Miller aka Donna Mills)  Even before the plugs were replaced, she still ran as smooth as silk without either misfiring or rough idling. This car runs at 134,000+ miles…just as it did with only 13 miles – fantastic. With its inexorable demeanor…it’s a keeper!

DTS foglamps

The Dex-Cool antifreeze is guaranteed for 5 years/150,000 miles. The chain-driven cams eliminate timing belt replacement. Even the oil change schedule is extended to 10,000 miles. For 2002 it is extended to 12,000 mile intervals. Depending upon the use, GM states it should be changed at least once a year. The oil is the life of the engine. I am old-school when it comes to this; I believe it should be changed every 3,000 miles. After all, an oil change is cheaper than replacing a Northstar V8 engine.

Then…add the fact that there are very few engine re-builders doing Northstar restorations because these are complex machines. The heads are cast away if the valve guides are worn, the cylinder heads are simply replaced since the liners cannot be replaced nor over-bored. (why even think about trying to rebuild the heads from an engine like this?)

There isn’t much left to rebuild. Cleaning the throttle body and EGR valve is recommended. The 2000-2001 Northstars have an idiosyncratic nature to build up carbon deposits in the combustion chambers causing cold-knock conditions.

DTS 2

2002 Cadillac DTS ($43,810 – $47,880)

The DTS is the ultimate touring DeVille experience. Its power is derived from the laudable L37 4.6 litre 32-valve 279 CID V8 engine with sequential fuel injection. The engine cranks 300 hp @ 6,000 rpm with a respectable 400 Nm of peak torque @ 4,400 rpm.

The transverse mounted V8 is mated to the GM 4T80-E front-wheel drive “Smart” 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and electronic shift control. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 17.6 seconds, and 0-120 mph in 27.1 seconds. It has a top speed in the 147 mph range (ungoverned). It can do the ¼ mile @ 93 mph in 14.9 seconds.

Armored DeVille

2002 Cadillac DeVille ($39,299 – $42,950)

2002 Cadillac DHS 4

2002 Cadillac DHS (43,810 – $47,880)

Both DHS and the DeVille base sedans are powered by the venerable LD8 and are geared for an elegant ride with the emphasis on torque-thrust. They are also 4.6 litre 32-valve 279 CID performance behemoths equipped with sequential fuel injection and mated to GM’s 4T80-E 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.

This transverse mounted V8 engine is tuned to deliver 275 hp @ 5,600 rpm packing a prolific punch with 407 Nm of peak torque @ 4,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 18.5 seconds, and 0-110 mph in 23.8 seconds with a top speed in the 149 mph range (ungoverned). This version of the formidable Northstar can do the ¼ mile @ 94 mph in just 15.2 seconds.

DTS 4

The 2002 Cadillac DeVille is a contemporary masterpiece from the master craftsmen. The architecture is timeless…elegant, sporty, yet highly sophisticated. The DeVille is a wedge-shaped envelope of aerodynamic efficiency with a mere 0.3 coefficient of drag which adds to its excellent mpg average – it is the unexpected economy car. I have witnessed this first hand. I have a lead-foot and average 18-20 mpg in the city and have obtained 35+ mpg out on long stretches on the highway with speeds averaging between 75-85 mph…but this is burning 93 octane petrol.

DTS Limousine 2

Cadillac DeVille Limousine by Miller Meteor

DeVille Limousine

DTS Limousine 5

Cadillac DeVille Presidential Limousine

Deville Presidental Limousine

A DeVille has always presented an understated luxury which made it America’s favorite luxury car. This genre Cadillac lacks the meretricious kitsch today’s luxury cars provide at no extra cost. The DeVille has a distinctive front end ensemble. The one-piece composite headlamps aid its aerodynamics and have a jewel-like appearance.

The aluminum hood slopes gracefully into the traditional Cadillac-style egg crate grille. There are no sharp edges or dangerous protuberances to interfere with its superb aerodynamic efficiency. The overall design is clean, tasteful, and stylish…as for its opulence, that’s for lagniappe compliments of Cadillac. The 2002 Cadillac DeVille has strikingly good looks and will challenge the years gracefully.

Front

Rear

The rear end design is equally dramatic. The Cadillac DeVille was among the first production automobiles to offer LED tail lamps for the 2000 model year. This unique feature uses a thin light bar with a reflector to create a holographic effect reminiscent of the tail lamps from popular Cadillacs from the past. This creates a spectacular light show at night. Since LED tail lamps illuminate faster than incandescent bulbs it gives motorists behind the vehicle faster response times.

A thin LED light band across the face of the deck lid illuminates each time the brakes are applied for added visibility both day and night. The DeVille’s back-up lamps are neatly placed within the license plate housing. Dual quad chrome-plated stainless-steel exhaust tips augment the lower rear bumper diffuser and are tuned to a deep baritone for the sound of power it delivers…the stainless-steel exhaust system lasts longer than the previous versions.

LED taillamp technology

LED taillamps

monocoque 1

monocoque 2

The 2002 Cadillac DeVille is built by monocoque construction fusing the body shell to its platform framework. Its excellent ride quality is due in no small part to the independent 4-wheel suspension with electronic ride-height control. The front-wheel drive chassis is quite sophisticated.

It employs all-speed traction control, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and standard on the DTS…StabiliTrak 2.0 for added security. The DTS is exclusively equipped with Continuously Variable Road-Sensing Suspension (CVRSS) which is a computer-controlled active suspension system with adjustable computer-controlled shock absorbers.

independent rear suspension assembly

DeVille DTS

This genre DeVille is the last of the big-bodied Cadillacs. They ride upon a 115.3” wheelbase (which is considered long when compared with the present day make-believe Cadillacs), is 207.2” in length, 74.5” wide, with a 56.7” height. I like the size of my 2002 DeVille…this is the smallest car I will ever drive.

Here’s a chuckle…I had the hardest time finding whitewall tires for my car last year – I didn’t realize I was one of the few people who still like the look of whitewall tires on a Cadillac. The first tire store I visited, all I got was a hearty laugh from the salesman who thought I was joking…the second tire store I visited, I received a vacant stare when I asked for whitewall tires! This type of tire adds class to a Cadillac…they look like a utility vehicle without them…

2002 Cadillac DTS 1

2002 Cadillac DTS

2002 Cadillac DTS 2

The 2002 Cadillac DeVille uses a 21st century approach to cabin luxury. The DTS is the Cadillac of Cadillacs; it’s a five seat ambiance of sheer exhilaration. Two ergonomically designed individual front lounge seats coddle its passengers in elegance and share a center console. The gear shift lever is conveniently placed within the driver’s grasp.

Rich Zebrano wood accents trim the dash, gear shift knob, and door garnish inserts to make the cabin of the DTS the epitome of automotive opulence. Back-lit analog gauges are easy on the eye offering information at a glance. DTS is for the driver/enthusiast who seeks a sporting elegance. The perforated Nuance leather seating areas are unique to this model. The DTS is more dash than flash. It’s designed to compete with the Mercedes S-Klasse and the BMW 7-Series. The 2002 DTS is a luxury sedan like no other luxury saloon; it has Cadillac exclusivity, Cadillac supremacy, and Cadillac character without ambivalence.

2002 Cadillac DTS 3

DTS cabin

DTS is the Cadillac of Cadillacs with a sporting elegance

2002 Cadillac DTS 4

2002 Cadillac DTS

The DTS is the ultimate touring DeVille experience. Its power is derived from the laudable L37 4.6 litre 32-valve 279 CID V8 engine with sequential fuel injection. The engine cranks 300 hp @ 6,000 rpm with a respectable 400 Nm of peak torque @ 4,400 rpm.

The transverse mounted V8 is mated to the GM 4T80-E front-wheel drive “Smart” 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and electronic shift control. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 17.6 seconds, and 0-120 mph in 27.1 seconds. It has a top speed in the 147 mph range (ungoverned). It can do the ¼ mile @ 93 mph in 14.9 seconds

2002 Cadillac DeVille 1

2002 Cadillac DeVille

2002 Cadillac DeVille 3

2002 Cadillac DeVille 2

Both DHS and the DeVille base sedans are powered by the venerable LD8 and are geared for an elegant ride with the emphasis on torque-thrust. They are also 4.6 litre 32-valve 279 CID performance behemoths equipped with sequential fuel injection and mated to GM’s 4T80-E 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.

This transverse mounted V8 engine is tuned to deliver 275 hp @ 5,600 rpm packing a prolific punch with 407 Nm of peak torque @ 4,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 18.5 seconds, and 0-110 mph in 23.8 seconds with a top speed in the 149 mph range (ungoverned). This version of the formidable Northstar can do the ¼ mile @ 94 mph in just 15.2 seconds.

2002 Cadillac DHS 1

2002 Cadillac DHS 

2002 Cadillac DHS 2

2002 Cadillac DHS 3

The 2002 DeVille also offers traditional Cadillac luxury for the owner who demands elegance without sacrificing Cadillac’s poised dignity. Either DHS or the base DeVille is available for those who wish to travel Cadillac-style with a luxurious flair.

They both are spacious six-passenger luxury sedans with standard front and rear center folding armrests. Supple Nuance leather upholsters the seating areas graciously. The DHS offers standard Zebrano wood trim for the dash and door garnish inserts. This is the fashion which made the Cadillac DeVille America’s favorite luxury cars.

2002 Cadillac DeVille 4

All 2002 Cadillac DeVille models are endowed with myriad comfort and convenience features and accessories as standard equipment. Tri-zone electronic Climate Control with digital settings for front and rear seat passengers; once set…no further intervention is required.

A central locking system has power programmable locks that maintains the doors, boot lid ,and activates the security system for safety and peace of mind. A digital instrument panel is standard on the base DeVille while the DHS and DTS are equipped with analog instrumentation.

2002 Cadillac DeVille 5

The DHS features Cadillac’s Memory Package which automatically recalls settings for two drivers based upon their individual remote keyless entry key fobs. This feature remembers the position of the driver’s seat, exit seating position, exterior rear view mirror preference, Climate Control settings, and radio pre-sets. This feature is optional for the base DeVille and DTS models. The DHS provides a power rear sunshade with manual side shades; this feature is exclusive to this luxurious model.

Spacious rear compartment

DTS cabin

All models feature power 8-way seat adjustment with reclining function, The DHS furthers the luxury with exclusive rear seat 4-way power lumbar adjustment for out board passengers. DHS and DTS are equipped with 4-way power lumbar adjustment for driver and front passenger with heated front and rear outboard seating. The heated seat is optional for the base DeVille at extra cost. The steering wheel houses controls for the audio system, Climate Control systems, voice commands, and cruise control; therefore the driver need not take their eyes off the road.

The base DeVille and DTS has tilt-wheel adjustment. The DHS furthers the experience with power tilt and telescoping steering wheel; it is optional for the DTS only. All DeVille models are equipped with the exclusive Cadillac Pass-Key III Theft Deterrent system with audible warning. All DeVille models are equipped with power windows with express-down feature; front seat passengers enjoy the express-up feature. Solar-Ray tinted glass is also standard on all DeVille models.

2002 Cadillac DTS 5

Popular options for the 2002 DeVille were available to personalize and custom tailor the car to the owner’s preferences. Fog lamps, glass sunroof with sunshade, vent, and express open feature; and 7-spoke 16” & 17” cast aluminum wheels were available for the exterior.  The OnStar Communication system provides concierge services directing callers to restaurants, ATM’s, and businesses in over 250 categories.

This distinctive option can detect severe automobile accidents when the air-bag systems deploy and automatically summons emergency help to motorists. DVD and Bose sound systems with GPS-based 6.5” touch screen offers both voice activation and text operation. A unique Cellular Phone system integration offers hands-free operation. XM Satellite radio systems offer up to 100 channels of digital sound quality with coast-to-coast coverage. These are just a few of the options available to make one’s DeVille as unique as their own fingerprints.

DTS 3

7-spoke aluminum wheels

Ultrasonic rear parking assist

Optional at extra cost is Cadillac’s Ultrasonic Rear Parking assist. Sensors in the rear bumper “beep”  in the cabin starting softly then full crescendo when the vehicle is in within striking range of a rear object or vehicle. There is also a light in the upper rear window trim that is green when you are good to go, and flashes red the closer the car gets to a rear object or vehicle when the transmission is in reverse gear. This is very handy since the car is designed where one cannot see anything below the rear window while driving.

DeVille DTS 2

The eighth and final generation of the Cadillac DeVille was built from 2000 until 2005. These elegant luxury sedans are equipped with transverse-mounted Northstar LD8 & L37 V8 engines with front-wheel drive. They are among the last of the big-bodied Cadillacs. The formidable Northstar began as a high-performance, high-tech V8 engine and evolved into a network of advanced automotive technology. In 2002 Cadillac had existed for a century and DeVille nomenclature is attached to some of the most dramatic automobiles for half this time span.

The Cadillac DeVille was and remains America’s favorite luxury car. The 2002 DeVilles are sophisticated and highly distinctive among 21st century luxury automobiles. From their avant-garde styling…to the powerful Northstar V8 under the hood, the 2002 DeVilles deliver the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac. NotoriousLuxury presents this encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1958 Coupe deVille 2

1958 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

1958 Coupe deVille 3

1958 Coupe deVille 4

Photos courtesy General Motors

1958 Coupe deVille 7

1958 Coupe deVille 5

1958 Coupe deVille 6

1959 Sedan deVille

1959 Cadillac Series 6300 Sedan deVille “Flat Top”

1961 Coupe DeVille

1961 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille

1967 DeVille convt 1

1967 Cadillac DeVille convertible

1967 DeVille convt 2

1967 DeVille convt 3

Photos courtesy Wallpaperup

1967 DeVille convt 4

1967 DeVille convt 5

1967 DeVille convt 6

2006 DTS Presidential Limousine 3

2006 Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine

2006 DTS Presidential Limousine 4

2006 DTS Presidential Limousine 6

DTS-L

Cadillac DTS-L Coachbuilt sedan with Livery package

DTS-L interior

2011 Cadillac DTS 1

2006-2011 Cadillac DTS

2011 Cadillac DTS 2

2011 Cadillac DTS 3

DTS grill emblem

2011 Cadillac DTS 4

Cadillac Sixteen 2

Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Cadillac Sixteen 3

Cadillac Sixteen 4

Cadillac Sixteen 5

Here’s the elusive sixteen cylinder V-type architecture

Cadillac Sixteen 8

Cadillac Sixteen 6

Cadillac Sixteen 9

2006-2011 DTS

2006-2011 DTS 2

The Last one

DTS Limousine 3

Welcome to Greg’s World

DTS Limousine 4

Greg’s World is NotoriousLuxury…

Cadillac Crest

Greg's World 2

1970 Cadillac deVille convertible

Greg's World 4

Greg's World 5

Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars

Greg's World 3

“Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, glory in the flower, we will grieve not…rather find strength in what remains behind”… William Wordsworth

Greg's World

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

A Tribute to Natalie Cole: “Pink Cadillac”

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical with tags , , , , on January 17, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

This tribute is dedicated to the late great Natalie Cole…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1959 Seris 62 1

1959 Seris 62 2

“Some folks say it’s too big…and uses too much gas!”

1959 Seris 62 3

“Some folks say that it’s too old…and that it just goes too fast”

1959 Seris 62 4

“Ah but love is bigger than a Honda…and it’s bigger than a Subaru” (that too!)

1959 Seris 62 5

“Hey man there’s only one thing…and one car that will do!”

1959 Seris 62 6

“Anyway we don’t have to drive it…we can park it out in back!”

1959 Seris 62 7

“And have a party in your Pink Cadillac!”

1959 Seris 62 9

“Honey… I just wonder… what you do there in the back of your Pink Cadillac…Pink Cadillac!”

1959 Seris 62 10

Thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic cars and EMI Records

1959 Seris 62 8.jpg

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

An American standard for the world

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 1

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 2

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 3

Superlative reputation in any field of endeavor is historically slow in the making. At the summit of the automaker’s craft was the undisputed “Standard of the World.” Cadillac made the competition appear as a mere “pied-à-terre” in the luxury car arena. Exquisite craftsmanship, attention to detail, elegance second to none…with a poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac, made it the most desired dream car in the entire world.

Cadillac established its identity within the 1954 through 1956 model years. Introduced in 1949 as an exclusive limited edition trim option for the Series 62…the Coupe deVille made its grand entrance into the world of luxury automobiles creating its own niche. NotoriousLuxury presents an encore performance for the 1955 Series 62 Coupe deVille…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 4

The luxury car segment for the 1950s was composed of Packard, Lincoln, the Imperial, and of course…Cadillac. The “Standard of the World” dominated the 1950s with style and grace which forced the competition into subservience. Packard disappeared after 1958. Chrysler revised the Imperial in 1957. It wasn’t until the 1961 model year that Lincoln’s Continental established its identity thanks to Elwood Engel. The Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille was the luxury leader.

 Priced at $3,496 the 1949 Coupe deVille trim option sold 2,150 units which was great for its introductory year. The 1950 model year sold 4,507 units. Luxury car buyers loved it. For the 1951 model year, Series 62 Coupe deVille sales were up to 10,241 units built topping sales for the popular Series 62 Club Coupe. The “Coupe deVille” Tiffany-style script appeared for the first time for the 1951 model year further distinguishing it from the Series 62 Club Coupe.

1949 Coupe deVille 1

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille

1949 Coupe deVille 2

1949 Coupe deVille 3

1949 Coupe deVille 4

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 1

Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Coupe deVille concept

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 2

The Coupe deVille was introduced as a prototype for the 1949 Motorama. This was the very first show of its kind known at the time as “The Transportation Unlimited Autorama” and was held at the ultra-exclusive Waldorf Astoria Hotel in January 1949. The Coupe deVille prototype was built on the long wheelbase Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special platform.

Some enthusiasts refer to it as the “Fleetwood Coupe deVille.” This one-off prototype was fitted with a dashing pillarless two-door body shell with a one-piece windscreen and intricate back glass. The two-toned black and grey leather interior was fitted with exclusive trim and features. There was a secretarial set-up in the rear armrest, a telephone in the glove box, a vanity case, and power windows. The Series 62 Coupe deVille was introduced in its production form late in the 1949 model year.

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 3

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 4

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 5

General Motors is the first American automaker to offer a pillarless hardtop coupé. The series 62 Coupe deVille was introduced along with Buick’s Roadmaster Riviera and Oldsmobile’s 98 Holiday coupé all of which are pillarless hardtops. The entire automotive industry was aghast with the unique pillarless design…every automobile back then whether a coupé or sedan had fixed “B” pillars.

The new hardtop coupé styling mocked a convertible with its roof raised. The headlining used chrome bows to simulate the ribs of an authentic ragtop. These resplendent automobiles took the world by storm. Every automaker eventually offered the pillarless hardtop look. The exclusive Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille led the pack as the “Standard of the World”…eminently of course –

1949 Coupe deVille 6

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille

1949 Coupe deVille 8

1949 Coupe deVille 7

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 7

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 5

The DeVille series ultimately became America’s favorite luxury car. By the 1955 model year it had established itself prominently. Model #55-62 style code #6237DX 1955 Series 62 Coupe deVille had a base price of $4,305 with a base shipping weight of 4,428 pounds, and 33,300 were built for the model year once again beating the Series 62 Club Coupe in sales with 27,879 units built.

Harley Earl’s tail fin had become a Cadillac trademark. The Coupe deVille’s pillarless roofline added a svelte sweeping look and the towering tail fins made the car look longer and more elegant.  The 1955 model year yielded 140,777 in total production which set a sales record at the time.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 30

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 6

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 8

Cadillac declared “Banco” with the introduction of the Coupe deVille. It is one of the longest and most successful production runs in the history of the brand. This model was built from 1949 until 1993. The 1993 Coupe deVille is Cadillac’s last six passenger two-door coupé.

The 1954 through 1956 Cadillacs gave the brand an exclusive identity. From the dazzling chrome “Dagmars” back to the kicked-up tail fins, this genre epitomized the Cadillac brand eminently. The two-door Series 62 Coupe deVille was a luxury ride like no other. It had all the sophistication of an elegant coupé with the spacious six passenger comfort of a luxury sedan.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 9

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 10

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 25

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 26

The 1955 Series 62 Coupe deVille is powered by Cadillac’s 5.4 litre 16-valve 331 CID V8 engine. Among its highlights is a new combustion chamber, a higher 9.0:1 compression ratio, new valve linkage which improves breathing efficiency, and increased torque-thrust. The engine is built with a cast iron block and cylinder heads, and it runs in five main bearings. Two 4-bbl carburetors were available: a Carter WCFB 2185S and a Rochester 4GC 7007970 (7007971 w/air conditioning).

These sophisticated carburetors operate with their two primary barrels under normal driving situations; the secondary barrels kick in when extra power is required such as merging into traffic or when the passing gear is engaged. GM has always synchronized the carburetor with the transmission for optimum performance. The engine is equipped with equalized manifolding, hydraulic valve lifters, a mechanical fuel pump, intake silencer, automatic choke, and a dual exhaust system.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 27

The 331 CID V8 engine produces 250 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 468 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 12.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 47.1 seconds with a top speed in the 108 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 76 mph in 18.8 seconds.

These figures may not seem to be impressive when compared to today’s make-believe performance cars; but consider the fact that these older Cadillacs are heavier with NO aerodynamics. This 5.4 litre 331 CID V8 got 12.9 mpg, which is impressive. The 270 hp Eldorado engine was available as a $161 option.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 28

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 29

The 1955 Cadillacs are built as body on frame construction. A rigid ring of steel surrounds the passenger compartment. The steel floor is reinforced by sturdy ribbed sections and is welded to box-girder rocker panels and vertical body pillars.

The all-steel turret top is reinforced by double-ribbed steel bows and box-girder roof rails. Even its windscreen frame is rugged; it is framed by steel box-type members at each side and by steel box members across the top. The body is married to a rugged I-beam X-member chassis for strength and rigidity.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 11

The 1955 Cadillacs are as rugged as they are rewarding. The front cross member provides exceptional strength and sturdy support for the engine, steering, and front suspension components. All 1955 Cadillacs are built with a lower center of gravity.

The Series 62 Coupe deVille is an extremely large front engine, rear-wheel drive vehicle. It rides upon a long 129” wheelbase, has the luxury length of 223.3”, and is an impressive 79.6” wide. Tubeless tires were introduced for all Cadillac models for the 1955 model year.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 32

Beauty is more than skin deep for the 1955 Series 62 Coupe deVille. Superb Cadillac engineering is the primary factor which catapulted the brand to “Standard of the World” exclusivity. Double-end valving in shock absorbers and air craft-type shock absorber fluid added to its wide range of overall operational efficiency.

The Hotchkiss Drive cushions the driving force thru the rear springs for that famous Cadillac “Magic Carpet” ride. The X-frame design permits lower body mounts for added stability and that Cadillac beauty in its design. The engine mounts are lower into the frame eliminating vibration. The long wheelbase further refines the ride. The excellent 50/50 weight distribution contributes to its amazing handling attributes.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 31

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 22

The platform is also a network of automotive excellence. The front suspension uses the traditional upper and lower control arm with independent helical coil springs. The use of longer and wider rear springs with fewer leaves enables the springs to flex easier absorbing road imperfections stabilizing the ride. The springs are mounted in a toe-in design to enhance stability even further. The Hotchkiss Drive transfers the thrust of the rear wheels through the rear springs reducing the car’s unsprung weight making acceleration and braking almost imperceptible.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 23

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 24

The 1955 Series 62 Coupe deVille presented a personal luxury realm of motoring majesty. The exclusive world of the DeVille made other luxury cars pale by comparison. The Coupe deVille is a serious luxury sedan sans the rear doors. It is every luxury car…all in one. It cast a magic spell on the American automobile industry, which no other manufacturer could replicate. Its unique design sent the competitors back to the drawing board.

With Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell heading the design division for the “Standard of the World” it was impossible for the rest of the industry to catch up! These men MADE Cadillac. The Series 62 Coupe deVille’s long, low, and distinctive silhouette made it unique in all of motordom. Cadillac’s articulacy in the world of luxury was exemplified by the Coupe deVille…it was the essence of the brand. The Coupe deVille was joined by the introduction of the hardtop Sedan deVille in 1956. They were both so popular; they became their own exclusive series beginning the 1959 model year.

1959 Coupe deVille

…lest we forget the tallest tail fins in the industry for 1959

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 12

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 13

The Series 62 Coupe deVille didn’t stint on Cadillac luxury. Standard features includes power windows, power horizontally adjustable front seats, rear seat arm rest, power steering, Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, dual back-up lamps, electric clock, front and rear cigarette lighters, outside rearview mirror, robe cords on front seat backs, glare-proof inside rearview mirror, interior courtesy lighting, and windscreen washers. The list seems primitive…but this was 1955, the automobile was undergoing a startling metamorphosis with the “Standard of the World” leading the industry with engineering innovation and excellence.

Popular options for the Series 62 Coupe deVille include radio and antenna $132, heating and ventilation system $129, power hydraulic braking system $48, 4-way power front seat $70…with vertical adjustment an additional $54, and air conditioning $620. Also available was E-Z Eye tinted glass, fog lamps, Autronic Eye which automatically dips the high beam headlamps when oncoming vehicles approach at night, whitewall tires, and Sabre-Spoke wheels.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 15

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 16

The Series 62 Coupe deVille offered a closed car and the spirit of a convertible with its pillarless design. A light airy atmosphere revealed the full scope of Cadillac’s styling artistry which had never been incorporated in automotive design. The glamour is augmented by highly styled metallic nylon fabric with leather bolsters. This dramatic concept made the “Standard of the World” the luxury leader in its class.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 17

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 18

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 19

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 20

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 21

Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Conceptcarz, and Wallpaperup for the use of the beautiful photographs of these rare automobiles.

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 33

The 1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille was the luxury leader. It put the entire automotive industry on notice. Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell created automotive works of art. The Cadillac name was synonymous with luxury and elegance all over the world. Cadillac was the purveyor of the luxury automobile. In refinement…in craftsmanship…and overall opulence – the 1955 Series 62 Coupe deVille retained the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac.

The 1954 through 1956 Cadillacs advanced the tradition of excellence to an extraordinary degree. Then there was Cadillac’s exemplary fit & finish with attention to the tiniest details which made the brand a legend in its own time. The Cadillac DeVille series is one of the longest and most successful production runs in the history of the brand. Will there ever be another real Cadillac…in stature…in luxury…and in exemplary craftsmanship? The 1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille is another highly successful automotive legend…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

The Golden Empress 1

Here’s a slammed 1949 Series 62 convertible called “The Golden Empress” and it is absolutely gorgeous!

The Golden Empress 2

The Golden Empress 3

Welcome to Greg’s World…NotoriousLuxury

The Golden Empress 4

Isn’t this drop-dead gorgeous?

The Golden Empress 5

The Golden Empress 6

It’s Notoriously outrageous

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The Golden Empress 8

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1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

1973 Cadillac Eldorado Custom Cabriolet

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury with tags , , , , , , on November 22, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

The Eldorado legend continues

1973 Eldorado 1

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

1973 Eldorado 2

One of the world’s most exciting automobiles is the 1973 Cadillac Eldorado Custom Cabriolet coupé. Only an automobile as unique as the Eldorado combines the largest V8 engine to power a passenger production car, Automatic Level Control to maintain its poise at all times, the assured traction of front-wheel drive, and Variable Ratio Power Steering which changes according to the driving situation to aid in its excellent overall operation. It is as rugged as it is rewarding. The 1973 Eldorado Custom Cabriolet coupé more than exemplifies the great Cadillac heritage. The legend becomes a lifestyle…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1973 Eldorado 5

 

For the 1973 model year, the Cadillac Eldorado was available as a coupé, the elegant Custom Cabriolet coupé, and the only luxury convertible built in the land. Cadillac offered the luxury of choice with these totally unique motorcars. The Eldorado has always been Cadillac’s glamour car. The 1971-1976 models were larger, rounder, and more glamorous than ever.

The fabulous fender skirts adorned 1971 through 1974 Eldorados. They lost their rear quarter windows but gained fixed opera windows which makes them even more unique in the luxury car arena. These Eldorados grew 2”+ in length and 6” in their wheelbases when they were re-designed for the 1971-1976 model years. The 1973 Eldorado convertible was chosen as the Official Pace Car for the 1973 Indy 500.

Indy 500 Pace Car

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Model #693/L style code #L-47-H, 1973 Eldorado coupé was base priced at $7,360. The base shipping weight is 5,094 pounds. Out of a 304,839 1973 production total for the Cadillac Motor Division, 42,136 are built as Eldorado coupés, and an additional 9,315 built as convertibles. This was the first time Eldorado production totals exceeded 50,000 units built. The 1973 production year total was an incredible record-setting year for the “Standard of the World.” Cadillac introduced automobiles during the Spirited Seventies that would forever change the American luxury car segment.

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1973 Schmitt 1

1973 Schmitt 8

1973 Schmitt 3

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Cadillac gave the Eldorado a discrete “beauty treatment.” It still had the basic design of the 1971-1972 models but was further refined to look completely different. The front end ensemble is augmented by a new, stronger front bumper system capable of withstanding a 5 mph crunch with no damage to sheet metal. The new grill is mounted to the bumper, both of which telescope into the front cavity out of harm’s way.

A new beveled hood adds to its luxurious styling. The stand-up Cadillac wreath and crest hood ornament boldly presents the Eldorado as a senior model in the hierarchy. The rear end design is totally new. A beveled deck lid and new taillamps are immediately noticeable and are completely in character with Cadillac prestige. The new rear bumper can also withstand a 5 mph collision without sheet metal damage.

1973 Eldorado 7

Luxury such as this will never, ever, be built again. Vehicles of this stature offer resplendent elegance and a style that only Cadillac could provide – the 1973 Eldorado Custom Cabriolet coupé has a special half vinyl roof treatment crowned with rich padded elk grain vinyl haloed by a sheer chrome molding. This special limited edition version of the Eldorado was a $360 option. It was available with or without the optional sunroof. The only way to travel…was Cadillac-style.

1973 Eldorado 4

Comfort and elegance abound inside the 1973 Cadillac Eldorado. Appliques with a carved wood look of Spanish filigree and new “soft-pillow” door panels are unique to the model. A wide choice of upholstery fabrics including Manchester, a new houndstooth pattern was available in seven color combinations.

Soft and supple Sierra grain leather was also available in twelve different color combinations. Cadillac always offered bespoke elegance matched by no other luxury automobile in its class…the 1973 edition of the Cadillac Eldorado continued the proud Eldorado legend of being the world’s finest personal luxury automobile –

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The 1973 Eldorados are powered by the Cadillac 8.2 litre 16-valve 500 CID V8 engine. The engine’s camshaft is designed with a greater overlap between intake and exhaust valve timing to reduce nitrous oxides in the exhaust. The engine is equipped with a Rochester 4MV 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor, automatic choke, intake silencer, and dry-type air filter. A GM Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-425 3-speed automatic front-wheel drive transmission with torque converter/fixed stator is mated to the engine. The converter multiplies engine torque for increased driving thrust to drive wheels in any forward gear.

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The 8.2 litre V8 engine produces 220 hp @ 3,800 rpm with 495 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 35 seconds with a top speed in the 118 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 79 mph in 18 seconds. Cadillac Eldorados were notable for their spirited performance. The integration of pollution controls to satisfy the EPA robbed this powerful engine of its horsepower. The Exhaust Gas Recirculation and Air Injection Reactor systems were the culprits.

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1973 Eldorado 13

The 1973 Eldorados are built as body on frame construction. The perimeter frame has heavier gauge boxed side rails. New front members offer added protection with increased energy absorption. The front suspension has upper and lower control arms with an integral steering knuckle for dependability and longer life. The Cadillac magic carpet ride is further refined by helical coil springs.

Cadillac Eldorados use a torsion bar type suspension with rubber bushings to not only absorb road impact but also isolate road noise before it reaches the passenger cell. Shock absorbers with Teflon pistons fine tune the Cadillac ride. The rear suspension is equipped for automatic (hydraulic) leveling. These are among the last of the traditional Cadillacs. The 1973 Eldorados has the luxury length of 222”, rides upon a long 126.3” wheelbase and is a hefty 79.8” in width. (Get hit by this in your 2015 Cadillac XTS and you are toast)

1973 Cadillac Eldorado

Standard was Cadillac’s triple power braking system with self-adjusting feature. It has discs fitted the front axle and finned composite drums fitted to the rear axle. Brakes automatically adjust themselves when the car is driven in reverse and the brakes are applied.

It uses a dual hydraulic master cylinder to facilitate independent operation of front and rear braking systems. The parking brake is vacuum operated and releases automatically when the car is shifted into a drive gear. This is a true auxiliary brake since it will not lock with the engine running and car in gear.

1953 Cadillac Eldorado

The 1973 model year marks the 20th Anniversary of the original Cadillac Eldorado of 1953…no one even mentioned it in sales brochures and campaigns. The ultra-exclusive Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado was an exclusive trim option that became its own series in 1954. The 1953 Eldorado was driven January 1953 at the Inaugural parade for Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Yes, the 1953 Eldorado had the spotlight! Each subsequent Eldorado became even more luxurious than the model it replaced. Cadillac’s Flagship model was a winner. Between the Eldorado and the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special…life was good at Cadillac. The “Gilded One” was one of the world’s most desired automobiles.

Presenting 30 Years of the Cadillac Eldorado

1954 1

1954 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado convertible

1954 2

1954 3

1954 4

1964 1

1964 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible

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1964 4

The 1964 Eldorado has genuine walnut trim

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1964 2

1974 1

1974 Cadillac Eldorado Custom Cabriolet

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Can you remember the imposing stature of a Cadillac Eldorado from the Spirited Seventies? You opened the door and got into what resembled a summer home in the South of France. The self-closing door shut with a vault-like click. Then you looked out through the windshield over a hood that resembled a billiard table.

You turn the key and the engine responds so quiet and vibration-free that you had to check the gauges to make sure it was running. It is completely oblivious to the outside world…the interior is very quiet; it is just you and your Cadillac Eldorado. The engine shifts into gear without resistance…now; savor the ride that’s the envy of the entire world. It drives straight as an arrow, it steers effortlessly. It has gear changes that are totally imperceptible.

1973 Eldorado 18

Boulevard travel intrusion is negligible. These cars smash any road flat for a ride that would shame today’s limousines. A 1973 Cadillac Eldorado is one of the few automobiles that one can drive from The Hamptons to Boca Raton and still be refreshed at journey’s end…try this today in Cadillac’s cramped puddle-jumpers and the other assorted death traps we are FORCED BY THE OIL COMPANIES TO DRIVE.

The back seat riders in today’s cars must either be contortionists or have their limbs amputated for ease of entry/exit and the ride. Do you remember the nick-name for a traditional Cadillac? It was called a “Hog” because of its imposing stature and the way it took up most of the road just to maneuver it…welcome to Greg’s World…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1973 Rag top 1

Special thanks to Bob Adams Classic Cars, Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Matt Garrett/GM Classics, and Jim Hailey for the photos of these rare automobiles…

1960 Eldorado Brougham 1

1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

1960 Eldorado Brougham 2

1960 Eldorado Brougham 3

1960 Eldorado Brougham 4

1960 Eldorado Brougham 5

1960 Eldorado Brougham 6

1967

1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

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1967 3

Retro

Elmiraj 1

Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

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Elmiraj 5

Elmiraj 4

Eldorado 1

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“As the Standard of the World Turns”

The Magnificent Series 70 Eldorado Brougham by Cadillac

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

A Rhapsody in motion

Series 70 1

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

Series 70 2

Cadillac is the most famous luxury brand of all the classic American Grand Marques. The brand is underrated because there are so many on the highways all over the world. Cadillac introduced so much throughout its tenure that it has been taken for granted by the entire automotive industry. Cadillac has built luxury cars in such high numbers; it makes the competition green with envy. The brand is currently undergoing an existential identity crisis – it is trying to be too many things in too many classes where it should not belong. Cadillac should realize its commercial importance in the luxury car class – and leave it as such.

The brand is an ultra-luxury icon that became a legend…unfortunately; its contemporary plebian approach has diluted its illustrious image tarnishing the heritage its magnificent predecessors set into place. The absolute last word in Cadillac luxury, elegance, and pre-eminence was the fabulous Series 70 Eldorado Brougham. This highly coveted classic was the most expensive domestic automobile during its tenure from 1957 until 1958. NotoriousLuxury takes you down memory lane with the Series 70 Eldorado Brougham…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham introduced a new realm in motoring majesty. These resplendent automobiles are the logical successors to the illustrious Cadillacs that preceded them.  The fabulous Eldorado Brougham has all the virtues that made Cadillac the “Standard of the World.” They satisfied the most discerning luxury car buyers. And…who would have thought such awesome jaw-dropping power would come from a luxury sedan?

The Cadillac…the TRADITIONAL Cadillac didn’t stint on luxury or performance. It is truly a masterpiece from the master craftsmen – a masterpiece that could only come from the undisputed “Standard of the World.” Whatever the occasion, there was no more gracious manner to arrive…than in a Fleetwood crafted Cadillac. The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is NotoriousLuxury in every respect.

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1957 Series 70 14

These elegant ultra-luxury four-door hardtop sedans remain popular with fine automobile connoisseurs world-wide. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built versions have become the most desired of all post-war Cadillacs. Prices for these classics demand six figures and there is always a long line of enthusiasts waiting to purchase them.

The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham was built at a highly restricted pace which makes the survivors command top dollar on the auction block. A Cadillac Brougham has always retained the attribute of being the most luxurious owner-driven luxury sedan throughout the different model series configurations; with the ultimate versions built as the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham.

1965 Fleetwood Brougham

1965 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1970 Fleetwood Brougham

1970 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

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1957 Series 70 1

Model #57-70 style code #7059X 1957 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,074 with a base shipping weight of 5,315 pounds and only 400 were built. Model #58P-70 style code #7059X 1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,074 with a base shipping weight of 5,315 pounds and only 304 were built.

With a total production of only 704; the Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is a highly coveted collectible automobile. Cadillac opulence made the other luxury brands blush from sheer embarrassment. The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham gangster-slapped the automotive industry with power, presence, performance, and prestige – This was the counter to Lincoln’s Continental MK II which had a base price of $10,000 built in 1956-1957.

Continental MK II

1956-1957 Continental MK II

Continental MK II 2

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Arrogance but not conceit…as luxury cars they are complete – they epitomize the Cadillac brand in its most magnificent form. These limited edition Flagships were modern in every aspect for the day. The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is highlighted by a sleek pillarless design with elegant forward-opening rear coach doors. The extremely low overall height is just 55.5” high. Its low-slung silhouette is augmented by a brushed stainless-steel roof. They shared sheet metal with no other Cadillac; the design features a customized appearance.

In the Fabulous Fifties…cars were lowered with chopped tops, frenched headlamps, unique tail lamp treatments, and futuristic bumperettes…the 1957-1958 Detroit-built versions had all of these unique styling tricks – and engineering features that were never before incorporated into any automobile at the time. The “Standard of the World” was synonymous with the word “first.” The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham marks one of the most important “firsts” in automotive history. The impeccable custom, hand-crafting by Fleetwood made it the finest luxury automobile in its class. This is one of the last hand-built Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs. This is the first luxury sedan with virtually every feature and accessory offered as standard equipment.

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The chic brushed stainless-steel roof was a favorite of Harley Earl

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Series 70 7

The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham was described as being symbolic of Cadillac’s leadership in the fine automobile segment. There was nothing else on the road like it. Cadillac engineering prowess is what made it exclusively the “Standard of the World.”

The fabulous Series 70 Eldorado Brougham embodies styling features and accessories that had never been offered before in the automotive industry. The Eldorado Brougham’s customized body is designed specifically for this model. The driver may open and close the trunk lid without leaving the seat by a master switch located in the glove box. All doors can be locked and unlocked by controls in the front passenger compartment.

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The six-way power seat has a memory control; the front seat automatically moves forward to aid access to the spacious rear passenger compartment when either rear door is opened – the front seat automatically positions itself down and back for front seat passengers when either front door is opened…when all doors are closed; the front seat automatically returns to the driver’s pre-set favorite position. The antenna automatically rises when the radio is turned on. Beneath the all-new quad headlamp system is a sound wave opening for the triple note horn. The standard air conditioning system includes two rear under seat heaters that can be operated individually by the rear seat passengers.

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Series 70 8

The interior is every inch a Cadillac. The Brougham came equipped with distinctive mouton carpets or deep pile Karakul. There was a choice of over 45 interior trim combinations. Upholstery trim was available as glove soft leather or luxurious high-quality broadcloth. The rear armrest has a storage compartment for a note pad, pen, a portable vanity mirror, and perfume atomizer.

The front compartment’s glove compartment contains gold finished magnetized tumblers, an Arpege or Lanvin perfume atomizer, a vanity mirror, powder puff, cigarette case, and tissue dispenser. The Brougham pampered its occupants with luxury that includes an electric clock and polarized sun visors. Everything was power from the windows, seats, to door locks. Automatic transmission, power steering and brakes added to the Brougham’s long list of standard equipment. Exclusivity and supremacy in a motorcar is exemplified with the 1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham.

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1957 Series 70 6

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1957 Series 70 4

Another industry first by the “Standard of the World” is the four headlamp lighting system. This headlamp system was pioneered by Cadillac for the Series 70. The low beams provide greater wattage than traditional single beam headlamp systems for the day. The high beams produce an accurately aimed bright spot light. The combined wattage of all four headlamps was greater than the wattage for single high beam headlamps of the traditional incandescent bulbs.

The lights are designed to project light for maximum vision at night without dazzling the eyes of drivers of on-coming vehicles. The four headlamp system was illegal in some states in 1957; they were legalized in 1958. Legislative action passed and it was the last time a law was passed to accommodate an automobile manufacturer. The rest of the automotive industry scrambled to catch up with this ingenious design.

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The most important innovation of the Series 70 is its air suspension leveling system. This is the first time a system such as this was used for automobile adaptation. It uses an individual air spring (air bag) unit at each wheel. This is a primitive version of the independent suspension of later model years. The air is supplied by a compressor through leveling valves to maintain optimum poise under any road or load condition. This not only contributes to a consistently luxurious ride quality but also aids the Brougham’s overall appearance to keep its luxurious poise at all times.

The down side to this technology is the fact that the system was unreliable and the air bags were proned to blow-out at embarrassing moments. This issue led Cadillac engineers to introduce a coil spring override system which most Series 70 owners switched to. Many Eldorado Brougham owners have presently restored their cars’ air suspension regardless of the problems; many of which have been eliminated through modern technology. A Series 70 Eldorado Brougham with an operating air suspension system commands a higher price on the auction block than a converted coil spring version.

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Through consistent research and development, this primitive air suspension evolved into Cadillac’s exclusive Automatic Level Control in 1965 standard on all Fleetwood models, optional at extra cost for the other models. Automatic Level Control evolved into Electronic Level Control for later model years as cars became computerized. The electronic systems weighed less than the hydraulic leveling system with their bulky components. (Poor Lincoln never should have adopted this for their contemporary luxurious Town Cars…as they became “unexpected low-riders” at inopportune moments…)

The 1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s rugged tubular X-frame, one of the results of the car’s extensive research advancements. With this type of construction, the body is married to outrigger mountings as compared to previous designs where the body was mounted to side rails. The X-frame is stronger because its rigid backbone includes “V” type arms fore and aft. The outrigger mounts have brackets that protrude from the box-type beams. This is Cadillac engineering at its finest. The Series 70 rides upon a long 126” wheelbase with the luxury length of 216” and is 78.5” in width…Cadillac-style. It came equipped with an early version of the wide oval low-profile tires with narrow 1” white walls.

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General Motors announced the Series 70 Eldorado Brougham in December of 1956 as a limited edition luxury sedan. It went on sale March 1957. It is based upon the 1953 Orleans and 1954 Park Avenue concept cars introduced at GM’s Motoramas. The Eldorado Brougham concept car was introduced at the 1955 Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It is the first American completely pillarless four-door hardtop sedan.

The brochure that was handed out at the presentation read: “The Eldorado Brougham has been created with the intent of capturing the appeal of those who demand the finest…a compact, personalized automobile, easy to operate, and employing our latest knowledge of styling and engineering. Only 54 inches in height and 210 inches in length, it features low sweeping lines…graceful contours of roof and hood, a unique pillarless design…and great areas of vision. Among its interior innovations are specially designed lounge seats, a distinctive vanity case and a unique instrument panel. Its performance is highlighted by a special high-powered Cadillac engine.”

1953 Orleans at the Waldorf Astoria GM Motorama

1953 Cadillac “Orleans” Show Car with a pillarless hardtop design

1955 Eldorado Brougham concept 1

1955 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Show Car Concept

Eldorado Brougham 2

Cadillac was the only luxury brand famous for engines that produced prodigious power. Cadillac was also the master builder of the V8 engine. The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is no exception.  Its power is derived from a 5.9 litre 16-valve V8 engine. The engine is equipped with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, intake silencer, overhead valves, modified intake manifold, and automatic choke. The engine is mated to GM’s Hydra-Matic (Jetaway/Flashaway) 4-speed automatic transmission without torque converter.

For the 1957 model year it was equipped with two Carter (WCFB 2583 & WCFB 2584) 4-bbl carburetors which generates 325 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 542 Nm of peak torque @ 3,300 rpm. Cadillac Eldorados were always the “wild and turbulent ones.” They were renowned for their spirited performance. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 32.6 seconds with a top speed in the 121 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in just 18.3 seconds.

Eldorado Brougham 1

For the 1958 model year the two 4-bbl set-up was replaced by three Rochester #7015801 2-bbl carburetors some refer to as a triple deuce, Pontiac called it Tri-Power. This set-up produced 335 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 542 Nm of peak torque @ 3,200 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 31.8 seconds with a top speed in the 122 mph range.

It does the ¼ mile @ 81 mph in just 18.2 seconds. The triple deuce was a tad bit less fuel thirsty than the dual quad carburetor set-up…but who cared about the cost of petrol when it was far less than a buck per gallon? Cadillac had such a formidable reputation among luxury automobiles that just the mere mention of the “Standard of the World” had the competition limping home on one axle!

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1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 1

1959 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

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The Series 6900 Eldorado Broughams built from 1959 until 1960 were hand-built in Italy by Pininfarina and lacked the Cadillac quality as the Detroit-built Fleetwood hand-crafted 1957-1958 versions. Production was farmed out to Italy to be more cost efficient. This move freed the Fleetwood assembly line. The Series 70 was built completely by hand and slowed the processing of the other Fleetwood models. They could build the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special a lot faster, it outsold the Series 70.

There were issues with the 1959 & 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Broughams which required a lot of post-build hand finishing once they arrived back to Detroit from Italy. The lacquer paint cracked in spots where lead was used as a filler. Their overall styling wasn’t as exquisite as the Detroit-built Broughams. The Detroit-built Series 70 Eldorado Broughams are Certified Milestone Vehicles. The Milestone Car Society is dedicated to the distinctive domestic and foreign motorcars built during the first two post-war decades.

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The 1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham was really a hodge-podge of remnants from the standard Cadillacs. They were nowhere near as exclusive as the Series 70 Eldorado Broughams. The styling is rather nondescript. It took the eagle-eye to denote the difference between The Broughams and the standard Cadillac models. Only 99 were built for the 1959 model year.

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1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 7

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 1

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

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See how hard it is to tell the difference between the 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham and the standard models? There were only 101 sold for the 1960 model year. This was the last year for the Eldorado Brougham.

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Cadillac Eldorado Broughams are among the rarest of all Cadillac models. Either Series 70 or Series 6900 are excellent collectibles; however, the Series 70 Eldorado Broughams being Certified Milestone Vehicles, command top dollar on the auction block and are highly sought among connoisseurs of fine automobiles world-wide.

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The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham introduced many features and accessories to the industry that had never before been integrated into automobiles. Cadillac was the innovator, the luxury leader in the high-end automobile segment. The competition was not only green with envy but paled by comparison with the “Standard of the World.” The opulent Series 70 Eldorado Brougham was the most expensive domestic automobile for its day at $13,074.

Only 704 were built during its tenure from 1957-1958 which makes it a highly desirable collectible for the Cadillac connoisseur. With all of its “firsts” to the automobile industry, the Series 70 Eldorado Brougham became a Certified Milestone Vehicle. If Cadillac could decide upon a luxury concept; it can shed its existential identity crisis and once again become the pride of the U.S. and the envy of the world. The magnificent Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is another highly successful chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car 1

This is the 1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car. It is a one-off fibre glass bodied concept car that never went into production. Its classic lines and authoritative demeanor epitomized luxury cars from the 1950’s. Will there ever be another “Standard of the World?”

1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car 2

1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car 3

1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car 4

1990-1992 Brougham 2

1990-1992 Brougham 1The 1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham

1993-1996 Fleetwood Brougham

The 1993-1996 Fleetwood Brougham is the last of the breed…

Cadillac Style

Cadillac Style…

1957 Series 70 13

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

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GM Heritage Center

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finale

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Eldorado Brougham 4

Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Bob Adams Classic Cars, Sarasota Classic car Museum, Wikipedia, Fav Cars.com, and the GM Heritage Center for the use of the lovely photographs of these rare and beautiful automobiles.

Eldorado Brougham ad

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The End

NotoriousLuxury is Greg’s World…