Archive for the Cadillac Historical Category

1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado Convertible – The Last of an Eloquent Breed

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

Luxury car manufacturers played in a different league at one time. It is the American ultra-luxury automobile that led the entire world in sophistication, design & engineering prowess…the charismatics alone sent shock waves throughout the auto industry. One guess who had the competition running scared…annually. The iconic “Standard of the World” intrigued luxury car buyers with tasteful ad campaigns as we waited with bated breath for the new “Cadillac of Cadillacs” to debut.

The Cadillac Motor Division of General Motors crafted a “Standard of Excellence” no other luxury automobile could match. The traditional Cadillac motorcar is a true masterpiece from the Master Craftsmen. I prefaced the story this way to prove a point. I keep writing about a special kind of Cadillac…the ‘traditional’ Cadillac because it was an institution. I am not saying let’s get locked in a time warp in the past – why not: “Give Americans the luxury icon we had come to know. Cadillac is a legend…as well as a lifestyle!” This my friend…is the true penalty of leadership –

1953 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado convertible coupé

The traditional Cadillac became synonymous with success – its hallmark…was a poised dignity no other luxury car in the world could replicate. The formidable Cadillac reputation was consistently refined and managed through a process of evolution. Eldorado is Cadillac’s first real glamour car. This name prodigiously represents Cadillac’s most exclusive flagship models. It began as an extremely successful concept in luxury convertibles in 1953. Eldorado luxury hardtop coupé and convertible coupé models were built at a highly restricted pace to retain their exclusivity.

It became Cadillac’s most luxurious model when Eldorado morphed into the Brougham, a four-door pillarless hardtop sedan that’s also a limited edition. The last of the rear-wheel drive models is the 1966 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible coupé. These luxurious automobiles are indicative of Cadillac’s pre-eminence in the luxury car segment. Their impeccable craftsmanship reflects the pride associated with the brand. Eldorado Elegance, Excellence, and Excitement continues…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham by Fleetwood

The Fabulous Fleetwood-bodied Series 70 Eldorado Brougham is the most expensive luxury car made in America for the day at $13,074 USD. It is the counter to Ford Motor Company’s 1956 Continental MK II.

Fleetwood Eldorados from this genre share platforms and body components with the DeVille series. They are a little more than a “dolled-up” DeVille as many assume. Being a member of the elite Fleetwood series has its perks. The iconic laurel wreath and crest badging is an honor in magnificence and dignity. Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs are flagship models that epitomize the brand.

Eldorado – The Gilded One – is a paragon of automotive success. The formidable Eldorado models introduced new design features and accessories that would eventually find their way onto other Cadillac models. Eldorados also have the distinction of being the only two-door models built by Fleetwood. This was the in-house coachcrafting division for the brand that handcrafted ALL Cadillac interiors.

A “Fleetwood-bodied” Cadillac, is handcrafted in its entirety by Fleetwood. This is the element which made these distinguished  motorcars elusive. Eldorado was the styling predictor, the trendsetter, offering an audacious eminence as its signature. Cadillac convertible coupé models are elegant but a Fleetwood convertible coupé drips with sheer opulence in the grand Cadillac manner.

Model # 66-684 style # 68567-E 1966 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible coupé had a base price of $6631, a base shipping weight of 4,500 pounds, and only 2,250 were built. Let’s face it – when America drove luxury automobiles such as this no one was concerned with gasoline mileage, ugly touch-screen navigation systems, nor were we interested in a luxury car that sprints from 0-60 mph in a nanosecond.

Old school luxury…that’s right – cars that ride like a big ‘ole rollin’ Barco lounger completely impervious to the outside world –  is what we want. Being a Cadillac, it should do each task with poise. Nothing could be compared to the traditional Cadillac. When one purchased a 1966 Cadillac…they also inherited the legend and the lifestyle. The formidable reputation acquired was historically slow in the making therefore, this impeccable reputation should be restored in all its glamour in a form that’s right for the 21st Century…

Headrests are a rarity from this genre

The inside story is equally impressive. Fleetwood Eldorado has a unique character from the standard Cadillac models for 1966. Any Cadillac convertible exudes a youthful spirit…the Eldorado captures this essence delivering it as the most luxurious open grand tourer on the road. Impeccably tailored leather upholstery has a perforated seat back and seat cushion design to allow the seats to ‘breathe’ for comfort. Sporty bucket seats were an option at no extra cost which adds panache to Eldorado’s already dramatic style.

The Cadillac Eldorado augments the flagship model hierarchy as the superlative of superlatives. It’s ultra-exclusive even among other Cadillac models – extra special in a way such as “Harry Finley’s Flowers” or “Petrossian Caviar” – providing an added touch of opulence. Cadillac celebrated a banner model year breaking sales records for the day at 205,001 vehicles…this is the fifth consecutive model year to do so at the time. Cadillac led the automotive industry with luxury and innovation. Can we bring this ‘exclusivity’ into the 21st Century?

Fleetwood Eldorado’s fully automatic, power, folding fabric roof opens and closes swiftly at the touch of a button. The warmth of richly grained genuine walnut spans the upper door and rear garnish panels. This elegant trim is resin impregnated for longevity. Power windows, power seat with wide folding center armrest, and Variable Ratio power steering are among the vast array of gracious appointments in the grand Fleetwood tradition. The Fleetwood Eldorado was the only Cadillac to provide whitewall tires as standard equipment for the day.

These classic land yachts provide a ride today’s cars cannot replicate. 1966 Cadillacs are built as body on frame construction. Being an offspring of Fleetwood decent, it is endowed with standard Automatic Level Control to maintain proper ride height regardless of load or road condition. (With fender skirts!)

Traditional Cadillacs didn’t rely on gimmicky ad campaigns and cars boasting superficial bells and whistles. There was actually a time when Cadillac didn’t have to advertise its prowess in the luxury car segment. This breed of the illustrious Eldorado reaffirmed the “Standard of the World” mission luxuriously, lavishly, with Cadillac-Style. (And fender skirts!)

And lest we forget…the superb Cadillac engine and first-class drive train. Cadillac is the first luxury brand to build the inherently balanced 8-cylinder 90-degree V-type engine in 1923. Did you also know that Cadillac is the first automobile manufacturer to offer a complete line of multi-cylinder cars of all “V-types” by 1930? But the mother of all engineering feats is the magnificent V8 engine introduced in 1948. This all-new V8 is smaller, more economical, with refined overall operation. This OHV V8 is a milestone for the brand. Cadillac engines were continually refined through evolution for excellence. (No dinky 6-bangers here, lol!)

Here is the styling continuity from 1965 (top) to 1966 (below). Cadillac styling didn’t spring forth from a blinding flash of inspiration – nor were they dashed off a stylist’s pencil right into the assembly hall. Cadillac designed their cars to be aesthetically pleasing as possible through evolution; the new designs usually happened over a two model year cycle and the new model never ever made the previous offering redundant.

Bill Mitchell would not redesign the tail fin if the front end ensemble was freshened during the 1960s. His “tailored look” made the brand extremely tasteful – the Fleetwood Eldorado is “The Outlaw” …the quintessential bad boy of the bunch with a different style of its own…arrogance but not conceit – this car was not for everyone. Collectors are going bonkers over it today.

1966 Cadillac motorcars are equipped with the 7.0 litre 16-valve 429 CID V8 engine. Its fuel system consists of either a 4-bbl Carter AFB 3903S or a 4-bbl Rochester #7026030 carburetor with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, automatic choke and dry type air filter. Cylinder heads and cylinder block are made of cast iron. The engine is mounted to the frame at three points in rubber. It cranks 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm.

Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.9 seconds with a top speed in the 124-mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 85 mph in 16.5 seconds. GM’s silky smooth THM-400 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic transmission provides effortless operation with imperceptible gear changes. The transmission uses a torque converter which multiplies engine torque for increased driving thrust to the rear drive wheels during acceleration in any gear.

Rear end styling for 1965 (left) was freshened for 1966 (right)

The 1964 Fleetwood Eldorado is another significant model year. It is the last year for the iconic tail fin. It is also the only rear-wheel drive Eldorado of the 1960s going commando without fender skirts. This is the last time Eldorado would use “Biarritz” nomenclature on a production ragtop. The Biarritz name was revamped in the 1970s but as a posh limited edition fixedhead coupé.

1964 Cadillacs are among the most popular in the history of the brand. Special thanks to my friend Jim Hailey for the use of photos from his private collection of the drop-dead gorgeous 1964 Biarritz and the shockingly beautiful 1966 Eldo. Also, I salute Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars and Bob Adams Classic Cars – two if the finest caretakers in the business.

1964 Fleetwood Eldorado Biarritz convertible coupé 

1960 Cadillac Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz

The traditional Cadillac is an automobile that defines an illustrious heritage. Its engineering innovation and advanced design concepts introduced industry-wide refinement leading to contemporary automobile evolution. The Cadillac Fleetwood series was augmented by the Eldorado which showcased everything majestic that made a Cadillac a Cadillac. It was unique even among other Cadillac models. They were the universal dream car and the ultimate symbol of success for the day. Eldorado is Cadillac’s first real glamour car, it was never intended to shatter sales production records.

Eldorado is an image car…that ‘extra-special something’ in vehicle form. It was built as a rear-wheel drive luxury convertible only from 1961 until the last Eldorado convertible exited the assembly hall in 1966. Each and every traditional Cadillac was built to the highest standards…the same standards which made it the “Standard of the World.” Will Cadillac ever rule the roads of the world again in high style with the formidable eloquence that used to be synonymous with the brand? The 1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado convertible coupé throws the other classic luxury cars shade…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

NotoriousLuxury presents a 30 year contrast for the Eldorado

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz convertible coupé

1966 Fleetwood Eldorado convertible coupé

1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible coupé

Interior room is significantly larger with front-wheel drive

It was the only true luxury convertible built in the land

The 1976 Eldorado is the last to use the formidable 8.2 litre V8 

It was rumored at one time the Cadillac Elmiraj concept would be the new Eldorado. It’s a classy rendition of a classic Cadillac by all means. The contemporary proportions are just what the Cadillac buyer wants. What Cadillac seemed to have forgotten, once the Cadillac buyer has owned cars such as Fleetwood Broughams, the Eldorado Biarritz, Coupes deVille, and Sedans deVille…the contemporary versions are unreasonable facsimiles – 

Let’s let Casey/Art and Colour design the new Cadillacs! Look at the class this concept exudes. It also has the poised dignity that used to be the hallmark of every Cadillac. You GO Casey!

Cadillac Brougham Sedan d’Elegance – Serendipitous Resplendence

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

Oh…that Cadillac Style. Robust full-size luxury never looked more impressive. Every luxury sedan has a signature…a flair for the dramatic. Cadillac Brougham evokes a unique je ne sais quoi no other luxury car can replicate. It is the ‘traditional’ Cadillac that established its reputation in the luxury car arena. Experienced artisans built each car as if it was for their very own use. Every traditional Cadillac motorcar was crafted to absolute perfection, catapulting the brand to “Standard of the World” status. Cadillac Brougham fervently adheres to full-frame, front engine rear-wheel drive virtues – as a traditional luxury car should.

It assumed its role as the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac sedan augmenting the model hierarchy as flagship annually. Classic Cadillac appeal eminently qualifies it as America’s most distinctive full-size luxury automobile. Add the posh “d’Elegance” package for even more ultra-exclusivity. Think of it as your own personal limousine. Gracious six passenger comfort, potent V8 power, and a wide range of features and accessories made it a perennial favorite among luxury car buyers. The 1991 Cadillac Brougham Sedan d’Elegance flaunts its beauty…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

The majestic Cadillac Brougham Sedan d’Elegance is the definitive status symbol. It’s designed as a motorcar of eminence. A host of options and personal conveniences make Cadillac unique among luxury automobiles. Cadillac Brougham represents a supreme achievement in grand and gracious motoring. Their sumptuous dignity resulted as a singularly successful concept in luxury sedans. From 1965 through 1996, the Fleetwood Brougham reigned supreme in all of motordom…there’s been nothing else like it on the road – and never will be.

This is one of the most fondly remembered Cadillac luxury sedans from the genre. The basic architecture was introduced in 1980. It is shared by Fleetwood and DeVille two and four door models from 1980 up to and including the 1984 model year for DeVille. The same platform/architecture continued through the 1986 model year badged as “Fleetwood” models. 

1987-1989 Cadillac Brougham

1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham

1993-1996 Fleetwood Brougham

The Brougham became its own series continuing that Cadillac poised dignity. It was no longer a member of the Fleetwood series from 1987 through the 1992 model year. The model is simply known as the “Brougham.” It remained the epitome of luxury and elegance. So…what could be more luxurious than a Cadillac Brougham? The sumptuous Cadillac Brougham Sedan d’Elegance redefines luxury to an even higher degree.

Is it denial or deception that dictates the design of today’s luxury cars? Seems the designers have the inclination nor the imagination to even contemplate what a ‘true’ luxury car enthusiast wants in a” luxury car.” For 1991, the Cadillac Brougham Sedan d’Elegance gave luxury car buyers the sophistication they desired: an elegant full-size luxury saloon of distinction.

Model series #DW5 body style code #W69 1991 Cadillac Brougham 4-door sedan had a base price of $30,225 – $30,875 USD with a base shipping weight of 4,282 pounds and 27,231 were built. The exclusive d’Elegance option was priced at $2445 with leather trim and $1875 with cloth trim.

The 1991 Cadillac Brougham was the largest passenger regular production car built in the land. It has the luxury length of 221”. It rides upon a long 121.5” wheelbase and is an impressive 76.5” wide. Cadillac Brougham was factory-fitted with Michelin P225/75R15 radial ply white sidewall tires. A Cadillac Brougham features uncompromised luxury and elegance – Cadillac Style.

Brougham is the contemporary classic. It received modest refinement for the 1991 model year. Its beautiful architecture includes clear coat paint as standard equipment. Brougham’s front-end ensemble is augmented by modular one-piece composite headlamp/cornering lamp units. Its massive chrome bumper is highlighted with bumper impact strips that are coordinated to handsome body side cladding spanning the lower quarter panels. Large jewel-like tail lamps are set into chrome bumper end caps to hint at the iconic Cadillac tail fins. The beveled trunk lid and wide bumper impact strip completes that rare synthesis of character associated with the brand.

The 1991 Brougham Sedan d’Elegance is the type of automotive opulence one had come to expect from Cadillac. It’s Brougham’s sheer size and stature that makes it an ideal luxury sedan. Eminence in a motorcar such as this no longer exists in domestic automobiles.

Its grandeur is exploited by a lavishly appointed interior. Standard Brougham luxury is Cadillac-Style. Add the d’Elegance option and it becomes your personal limousine. Tasteful hand button-tufted pillow style lounge seating has all the comforts of home. Whether trimmed in glove soft leather or luxuriously textured cloth, the Cadillac Brougham Sedan d’Elegance affords one uncompromising six passenger convenience in the grand Cadillac manner.

Even though it had dropped its Fleetwood nomenclature…secretly, it is still a Fleetwood! The 1991 Cadillac Brougham Sedan d’Elegance enjoyed success as the largest regular production sedan built in the land. It incorporates a wide array of standard features and accessories that are optional at extra cost on other fine cars in its class. The operative word here is class – complimentary, as always with a ‘traditional’ Cadillac luxury sedan…

Luxury and elegance are your constant companions

Cadillac Brougham’s standard vinyl roof treatment

Cadillac Brougham sedans for the 1991 model year offer a superb blend of comfort and convenience. They are equipped in the legendary Brougham manner. Power windows and automatic power door locks with central locking feature are standard for extra security. Automatic Climate Control maintains cabin temperature year round. Once set, no further intervention is required.

Illuminated Entry System and Twilight Sentinel automatic headlamp control aids night driving with an added peace of mind. Front seat occupants can adjust the 6-way power dual comfort lounge seats independently. All-new Electronic Variable Assist Power Steering and improved suspension refinement fine tunes the Cadillac “Magic Carpet” ride making even boulevard travel less intrusive. The Cadillac Brougham Sedan d’Elegance makes the journey as rewarding as the destination.

Optional at extra cost genuine long laced wire wheels

Optional at extra cost locking wire wheel discs

The ride…definitely Cadillac-Style. A traditional luxury sedan should provide a ride befitting a flagship. Its front engine rear-wheel drive configuration maintains weight distribution resulting in optimal overall operational stability and traction. Body on frame construction, standard Cadillac Electronic Level control, and Electronic Variable Orifice (EVO) power assisted steering, all network together for the legendary Magic Carpet ride. The assurance of Bosch II anti-lock brakes is a standard integral component for Cadillac Brougham’s active safety system.

Cadillac Brougham is powered as a traditional luxury sedan should be. V8 power is imperative to a car of its stature. A 5.0 litre 16-valve 305 CID naturally aspirated small block V8 with Throttle-body Injection is the standard powerplant. It cranks 170 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 346 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.4 seconds with a top speed in the 115 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 76 mph in 18.2 seconds.

The optional 5.7 litre 16-valve 350 CID naturally aspirated V8 with Throttle-body fuel injection delivers spirited performance with an excellent power to weight ratio. It produces 185 hp @ 3,800 rpm with 407 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.1 seconds with a top speed in the 118 mph. It can do the ¼ mile @ 78 mph in 17.5 seconds.

Both engines are mated to the GM Turbo-Hydramatic THM 700-R4 (4L60) 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and torque converter clutch. These engine/transmission combinations provide ample performance with impressive fuel economy.

The 1991 Cadillac Brougham was the first choice among custom coachbuilders to handcraft stretch limousines and professional vehicles of distinction. This example is built by Armbruster Stageway Coachbuilders.

The satisfaction of ownership outweighs the price of a gallon of petrol. The 1990 – 1992 Cadillac Broughams are capable of outstanding fuel economy for automobiles of their sheer size and weight. Many of these magnificent motorcars are still in service. Some owners have restored their cars to better than original condition. The spacious six passenger luxury and power in reserve are two of Cadillac Brougham’s major strengths which entices enthusiasts world-wide.

Brougham’s poised dignity is immediately identified in any gathering of fine automobiles. It remains one of the world’s most distinguished automobiles. Robust, full-size luxury cars will always have a cult following. NotoriousLuxury will always present a rudely-elegant point of view prepared  for classic Cadillac aficionados…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

Special thanks to Jim Hailey Classic Cars

Welcome to Greg’s World

Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury  © 2017

The Elite 1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

Posted in Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Editorials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

The formidable Eldorado legend continues…

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

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Once upon a time in America there was a thing called the luxury automobile. These fabulous cars are a city block long and half a city block wide. They float along the road like a big ‘ole rollin’ Barco lounger. The elegance and prestige lineages evolved through impeccable craftsmanship, America was renowned for such. The Cadillac motorcar became the most enviable of all automotive legacies. The Cadillac name was a byword for superlative in any field of endeavor…

The Fleetwood division meticulously handcrafted the finest automobiles to motor out of Detroit, Michigan. The most eminent and revered models were Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs. They are the last of the hand-built motorcars. The Brougham augmented the Fleetwood model hierarchy as the epitome of elegance. They were the most luxurious owner-driven sedans from the brand. The 1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham is the last of this distinguished coachbuilt series. NotoriousLuxury presents an encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Eldorado Broughams are among the rarest of all Cadillac motorcars. They were coachbuilt by Fleetwood for the 1957 through the 1958 model years in Detroit. These luxury sedans required countless hours of manpower while in theatre, because of the extensive handcrafting that was involved in order to build them. They slowed the Fleetwood assembly line tremendously. These magnificent Broughams sold for an ostentatious $13,074. Due to the nature of their build, Cadillac didn’t make a profit.

A decision was made to farm out their production to Pininfarina of Italy who are prominent coachbuilders specializing in the world of bespoke craftsmanship. This decision by GM freed the Fleetwood assembly hall to build more of the top-selling Fleetwood models such as the Series Sixty-Special. It was more cost efficient for Cadillac. Pininfarina handbuilt the Brougham for the 1959 and 1960 model years.

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Very little has ever been written about the 1960 Eldorado Brougham. Many automotive enthusiasts have never even seen one. They are elegantly exotic in appearance. It takes the eagle eye to discern them from the standard Cadillac models for 1960. These were the most opulent custom crafted models in the Cadillac model range. The Eldorado Brougham was so swank, it was only briefly mentioned in the sales brochure. Interested clients were advised to contact a Cadillac dealer for details because the car was so highly bespoke –

It’s the Cadillac of Cadillacs and the finest expression of the new era in automotive design. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built Series 70 Eldorado Broughams were totally exclusive from other Cadillac models sharing no sheet metal or trim. The 1959-1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Broughams shared mechanical components, floor platforms, dash panels, wheels, bumpers, fender skirts, and headlamp bezels with other Fleetwood models.

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1957-1958 Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

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1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

Pininfarina hand-built the custom bodyshells. This added a romantic aura to this ultra-exclusive model…what could be more alluring than an Italian hand-built Cadillac? None of the standard Cadillac sheet metal was integrated into the Brougham. The roofline and glass are totally unique to the glamorous Italian-built Broughams.

The 1960 Brougham is the styling-lead to the 1961 Cadillac model design. This is apparent in the windshield, roof design, and lower overall silhouette. The Brougham’s sleek pillarless design is highlighted by smaller power rear quarter windows that automatically open when the coordinating rear door opens for ease of entry and exit. The Broughams are crafted a tad bit lower than standard Cadillac models. 

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1960 Cadillac Series 6400 Eldorado Seville hardtop coupé

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1960 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

There’s very little to distinguish the Brougham from a head-on view. Many dispute the fact the 1960 Eldorado Brougham isn’t totally unique from the rest of the standard Cadillac and Eldorado models. Due to the fact that the Broughams were not top-selling models, it wasn’t feasible to make them as exclusive as the 1957-1958 Detroit-built models. They had their own separate set of production tooling and dies than the standard 1957-1958 Cadillac models. The proof is in the photos, YOU be the judge.

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The custom crafted 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham has an intriguing rear end design. It has tail lamps that are modified slightly and built into the bumper nacelles elegantly. The upper slim recessed taillamps from the standard models are eliminated. The Brougham’s tail fins are trimmed lower. It introduced lower body fins called “Skegs” which would be featured on all Cadillac models for 1961 and 1962. The Eldorado has always featured styling that would eventually be found on other Cadillac motorcars.

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Cadillac featured a gracious styling continuity when it reigned as the “Standard of the World.” The 1961 Cadillac Series 6300 Sedan deVille shown displays the 1960 Eldorado Brougham inspired roofline and glass.

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The lower fins aka “kegs” balanced the styling theme gracefully

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The Brougham’s expanse of glass influenced the 1961 Cadillacs

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The tail fin design of the 1960 Eldorado Brougham isn’t as radical as the standard Cadillac models. The iconic tail fins were starting to disappear. The Eldorado Brougham has an overall lower profile.

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The Eldorado Brougham is almost verbatim up front

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The Eldorado Brougham has a customized appearance

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1960 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

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The 1960 Eldorado Brougham is built as body on frame construction. Cadillac’s rugged tubular-center X-frame permits a lower body design for improved appearance, and enhanced stability with a lower center of gravity. The majestic Eldorado Brougham has the same dimensions as the Eldorado Biarritz and Eldorado Seville except for its height. It has the luxury length of 225” with a low 55” height and is 79.9” wide. It rides upon a long 130” wheelbase. Model #60-69 body style #6929P 1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham four-door hardtop sedan had a base price of $13,075 and only 101 were built.

The 1960 Eldorado Brougham was the most expensive American automobile for the day. There was no better symbol of one’s success than to view the world from behind the wheel of an Eldorado Brougham. This was a supreme achievement in motoring. Bigger is better was the premise behind these luxury land yachts. It was all about those “Car wars” – every American automobile manufacturer stretched the limits in design. Luxury was the theme. No one really cared about fuel economy because the cost of a gallon of petrol was insignificant.

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Cadillac was the undisputed luxury leader. Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell, chief designers for GM, created automotive masterpieces for the 1950s – 1960s. The Eldorado Brougham epitomized the Cadillac brand with an eloquence no other motorcar could replicate. These handcrafted beauties command top dollar, many of which fetch at least six figures today. They will never be forgotten. Cadillac at the time, was considered as prolific opulence…the envy of the driveway…the “Standard of the World” was the most desired luxury automobile in the entire world.

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These magnificent motorcars were decadently luxurious. The custom tailored interiors were completely in character with Cadillac. This is eloquence in the grand Cadillac tradition. There were two sumptuous broadcloth styles and all leather trim available. Deep plush nylon or mouton carpets were available to lavishly complete the experience tastefully. As far as appointments and amenities – it was a luxury car complete.

Virtually every comfort and luxury feature was provided in the grand Cadillac manner. Standard equipment includes: a heating and air conditioning system, electric door locks, power trunk release, signal-seeking radio with power antenna, two electric clocks (one for front seat passengers and another for the rear compartment), remote control outside rearview mirror, power windows, power vent windows, cruise control, power 6-way front seat, automatic parking brake release, Guidematic headlamp dimmer, power steering & brakes, and air suspension.

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The Eldorado Brougham epitomized the Cadillac brand…

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The Brougham was the most luxurious owner-driven model 

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The 1960 Eldorado Brougham is powered by the Cadillac 6.4 litre 16-valve 390 CID V8 engine. This naturally aspirated powerplant is equipped with three Rochester 2-bbl carburetors in the formidable Eldorado tradition with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, dry-pack type air cleaner, overhead valves, hydraulic lifters, intake silencer and automatic choke. The engine is mounted at three points in rubber.

This superb Cadillac V8 cranked 345 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 590 Nm of peak torque @ 3,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 29.7 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph ungoverned range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 82 mph in just 17.9 seconds. Remember, this is a 5,420 pound all-iron land yacht with NO aerodynamics. Eldorado models were always tuned to be the most spirited performers of all Cadillacs. 

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The engine is mated to GM’s Jetaway/Flashaway Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic transmission without torque converter. Hydra-Matic Drive is the step-gear type with controlled fluid coupling on the forward gear-set which delivers nearly imperceptible shifting. These transmissions provided two drive ranges – the left hand position reduces engine speed to increase economy.

For more efficient hill climbing and descending, the right hand position is used to improve acceleration with the first, second, and third gears available. This selection is used to increase the engine braking effort when descending grades. Lo-range is available for driving in deep sand, mud, or snow. This range is also useful for very steep inclines where only first and second gears are required. The famous Hydra-Matic Drive is a highly efficient and reliable transmission…in fact, this was so reliable and efficient that Rolls Royce adapted it into their automobiles back in the day –

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The famous Cadillac Red-Carpet ride was also the envy of the industry. The front suspension uses the traditional upper and lower control arms with spherical joints and helical coil springs. The rear suspension is the Cadillac 4-link drive with helical coil springs. The Eldorado Brougham came standard with air suspension. It is set up with individual air springs in rubber bags at each wheel that would automatically maintain the correct ride height for optimum performance and perfect poise regardless of load or road conditions.

The rubber bags were pressurized by an electric motor regulated by leveling valves. It also had manual height control to adjust for steep sloping driveways and inclines. Sadly, this idealistic system was unreliable and prone to fail at embarrassing times forcing the driver to “limp” into the dealership for repairs that did not last. The 1960 model year was the last time Cadillac used air suspensions.

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The Eldorado Broughams were more of an “image car” for General Motors. They are among the few Cadillac models that did not make a profit for the division. They are also the rarest of the rare Cadillac models with 400 built for the 1957 model year, 304 for 1958, 99 built for 1959, and 101 built for 1960. The 1957-1958 Detroit-built Eldorado Broughams are certified milestone vehicles by the Milestone Car Society which is dedicated to distinctive domestic and foreign motorcars built during the first two post-war decades.

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1957-1958 Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

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1959 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

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Special thanks to Jim Hailey & Daniel Schmitt & Bob Adams

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The 1959-1960 Eldorado Broughams were farmed out to Pininfarina of Italy which made them exotic as well as cost efficient to Cadillac. This move freed the Fleetwood assembly hall to build more of the Series Sixty-Special, Eldorado Biarritz, and Eldorado Seville models which outsold the Broughams. The 1959-1960 Italian-built models did not have the superior build quality of the Detroit-built models. They required a lot of extra hand finishing and electrical work by the Fleetwood division once the cars were returned to the USA.

They were more of a liability than an asset at the time. These cars have a charisma among collectors despite the issues they had. Ultra-luxury cars such as these are examples of American extravagance for the day. They epitomized the Cadillac brand with their coachbuilt enigma. The 1960 Eldorado Brougham leaves its indelible impression…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Welcome to Greg’s World of NotoriousLuxury © 2017

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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1970 Cadillac

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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

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

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…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…

Once Upon A Time…

Posted in Buick, Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Chrysler, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Imperial, Oldsmobile with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

Happy Birthday David Boyer!

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The entire world wishes you a Happy Birthday!!

1928 Ford

1928 Ford

Once upon a time…life in America was simple – this was before computers, texting on cellphones, automation running rampant, and various other forms of modern technology. Life in America in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s emphasized the family. With the luggage in the trunk and the kids in the back seat…off we’d go for a weekend excursion. The automobile played an important role in the American lifestyle. Detroit, Michigan was known as “The Motor City Capital of the World.” Automobile manufacturing was America’s foremost institution. 

Plymouth, Mercury, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and the likes were alive and cruising along the highways and byways.  America had automobiles of all sizes available to suit almost every taste…from a basic family sedan or wagon to the most elegant coachbuilt limousine. These cars ranged in size from a city-block long and half a city-block wide…to something even larger. There was no such thing as an economy car here…but then, who cared when a gallon of gasoline was far less than a buck! Welcome to Fantasy Island –

Bette Davis

                                                                   Bette Davis

We would switch on the TV (no remote, we did it manually) to watch Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy, Barbara Stanwyck, Dorothy Dandridge, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Paul Newman, Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, and Clark Gable.

The ladies were elegant… such as Lena Horne. The gentlemen were impeccable…like Patrick MacNee. The 1960s presented us with femme fatales such as Anne Francis and Diana Rigg. Those were the proverbial good old days. It was Ward & June Cleaver that exemplified the idealized suburban life.

Marilyn Monroe

                   Marilyn Monroe

Clark Gable

                                                                       Clark Gable

Spencer Tracy

                       Spencer Tracy

Ward & June Cleaver

                Ward & June Cleaver

Anne Francis

                                             Anne Francis

Diana Rigg

                                                Diana Rigg

Emma & Honey

Emma Peel (left)  Honey West (right)

This elusive trip down memory lane doesn’t include computers, cell phones, iPods, Compact Disc Players, Flat screen TVs, X-boxes, or digital clocks. Color TV was just coming into the American homes. Every home didn’t have air conditioning. Kids were kids…and played outside until the street lights came on.

Families were close-knit. The father was the head of the household and the kids obeyed their elders. Mom was the glue that held the family together with her love and harmony. America watched Ozzie & Harriet Nelson raise their family on TV from 1952 until 1966. The automobile was always in the picture…America moved about freely. More and more miles were put on the family car year to year.

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           The Nelson family, Ozzie & Harriet with David & Ricky

1953 Corvette

In the garage was a Pontiac, Chevrolet, or Buick…maybe a Plymouth.  Ford…Chrysler…and General Motors built automotive legends. Cadillac was the indomitable “Standard of the World.” The Lincoln Continental and Chrysler Imperial were the alternative luxury car choices.  America had an automobile for every taste and every wallet. These were REAL cars, unlike today’s make-believe cars which are plastic, aerodynamic, death-traps.

Lincoln Continental

Happy Birthday David Boyer 2

Take the Sensational Sixties for example…a new build home cost around $12,700…we paid $.04 for 1st class postage stamps…and a dozen eggs were $.57. The median household income was $5,600. The cost of admission to the Six Flags Amusement Park was $2.75. We would pull into a full-service gas station; and for $.31 per gallon we would get an attendant who’d pump the gas, check the air in the tires, AND wash the windshield! Hurt feelings are the only thing you’d get for $.31 at a gas station today.

There were “gas-wars” where gas stations would actually lower the prices to beat the competitors…today; the competitors are merely beaten. Fast food restaurants were coming into existence. Those of you old enough can remember the “BBF.” Their slogan was: “Come to the home of the whirling satellite for the world’s biggest and best $.15 hamburger –“ Hurt feelings are all you’d get at today’s fast food restaurants for $.15 –

1949 Kaiser Virginian

1949 Kaiser Virginian

1950 Studebaker Starlight

1950 Studebaker Starlight

1953 Studebaker Commander

1953 Studebaker Commander

1949 Olds 88

1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88

In the 1950s through the 1960s, the average cost of a new car was around $3,000. The basic family car would fall into this range. The Oldsmobile Rocket 88, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Fairlane 500, and the Plymouth Belvedere were the top-selling cars in this price range. There were basic grocery-getters that doubled as track-stars such as the Dodge 330 with a “Max-Wedge” under the hood. Studebaker, DeSoto, Edsel, and Rambler fell into the mid-range price category; and didn’t quite make it as far as their showroom appeal was concerned.  The Edsel had strange styling cues that resembled a possum sucking persimmons.

1953 Kaiser Dragon

1953 Kaiser Dragon

1953 Kaiser Dragon 2

1956 DeSoto Fireflite 1

1956 DeSoto Fireflite convertible

1956 DeSoto Fireflite 2

1958 Plymouth Fury

1958 Plymouth Fury

1958 Desoto

1958 DeSoto

1960 De Soto Fireflite

1960 Desoto Adventurer

Cars like the Rambler, Studebaker, and Kaiser were ok as far as taxi cabs and police cars were concerned; but their bland, generic, and nondescript styling limited their popularity. DeSoto and Plymouth were attractive in the 1950s but the charisma fizzled out in the 1960s…their design was stodgy, and old-fashioned.

They looked as though Depends undergarments, Poly grip, Metamucil, and walkers were standard features along with a “save $50” coupon to the mortuary of your choice in the glove box. Packard was a celebrated luxury car in the 1940s & 1950s; but their slab-sided, clumsy, awkward look led to their demise. You could have put wheels on “Orca the killer whale” and Voilà – the Packard Clipper was designed!

1954 Packard Clipper

1954 Packard Clipper

1954 Packard Clipper 2

1959 Edsel

It does resemble a possum sucking persimmons!!!

1958 Edsel

1958 Edsel 

1958 Edsel Corsair 1

1958 Edsel Corsair

1958 Edsel 2

1963 Rambler Ambassador

1963 Rambler Ambassador

1953 Chevrolet Corvette 1

1953 Chevrolet Corvette

1953 Chevrolet Corvette 2

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible

Chevrolet has always had an offering that was right for its day. It still remains one of America’s favorite automobile brands. Remember the ad campaign: “Baseball…hot dogs…apple pie…and Chevrolet?” The 1957 Chevy Bel Air is one of America’s hottest classic cars. Both Bel Air and Impala made the brand a star.

The Chevy Corvair was outlawed thanks to Ralph Nader due to safety concerns.  Chevrolet introduced the Corvette in 1953; it became one of the world’s most popular sports cars. Chevrolet built convertibles, coupes, sedans, and station wagons for every wallet. From economy to high performance, Chevy offers a car to fit the need.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 3

1964 Chevy Impala SS 1

1964 Chevrolet Impala SS

1964 Chevy Impala SS 2

1964 Chevy Impala SS 3

1960 Chevrolet Corvair

1960 Chevrolet Corvair This one’s for you Ralph Nader

This one’s for you Ralph Nader!

Happy Birthday David Boyer 3

1950 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina hardtop

1950 Pontiac Star Chief Custom Catalina

1959 Bonneville

1959 Pontiac Bonneville

Pontiac was one of General Motors money makers. This brand boasted high performance. They invented the sport “Wide-tracking” for the 1959 model year. It was the widest automobile in the industry…even wider than a Cadillac! “Pontiaction” and “Tri-power” blew the doors off the competition. It was the Pontiac Bonneville that reigned supreme from 1957 through 1969. The Bonneville was a unique automobile that combined luxury and high performance with a big-body look. Pontiac offered the Catalina, Star Chief, and the Bonneville for those who sought full-size performance.

Harley Earl’s 1959 Pontiac Catalina Pink Lady 2

Harley Earl’s 1959 Pontiac Catalina “Pink Lady”

Harley Earl’s 1959 Pontiac Catalina Pink Lady

1969 Pontiac GTO 2

1969 Pontiac GTO

1969 Pontiac GTO

The LeMans GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) became one of Pontiac’s hottest mid-sized performance cars. The Grand Prix was high performance with the emphasis on luxury and was built on the Catalina platform.  Pontiac offered the GTO, GTO Judge, LeMans…and the Bonneville with Tri-power as their high performance stars. Pontiac died because they couldn’t make fake cars! Just like Oldsmobile….they couldn’t make fake cars either. The Rocket Olds was all about performance. The Olds 442…the Hurst Olds, or just a plain Cutlass…all kicked-butt!! Olds was famous for the Rocket V8 engine!

1964 Pontiac Grand Prix

1964 Pontiac Grand Prix

1964 Pontiac Grand Prix 2

1953 Olds Fiesta 98 convertible

1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta 98 convertible

1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 Two-Door Sedan

1955 Oldsmobile Super 88

1966 Olds 98 Holiday Sedan

1966 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Holiday sedan

Oldsmobile was the oldest American automaker at the time. The Rocket Olds V8 engine put it in a class all by itself. The mid-priced Olds 88 was extremely popular and was available in many different trim levels. The Series 98 was their luxury offering. The Olds 88 and 98 were test cars for Cadillac. Before GM would introduce new features and accessories for the Cadillac brand, they were first introduced on the Oldsmobile brand, if it was a success, it was available on Cadillac.

1970 Olds 442

1970 Oldsmobile 442

1957 Ford Thunderbird

1957 Ford Thunderbird

Ford introduced the Thunderbird in the mid-1950s. It began as a two-seat luxury tourer. Then a few years later a back seat was added.  Ford added two doors in 1967. By the 1976 model year, Ford had created a bloated monstrosity! 

The once highly acclaimed fit & finish had vanished…it was then known as “Ford’s Luxury Lemon!”  Rust ate the T-Birds from the 1970s…relentlessly!  They tried to revamp the Thunderbird for the 21st century but the damage had been done…

1966 Ford Thunderbird

1966 Ford Thunderbird

1976 Ford Thunderbird

1976 Ford Thunderbird

2001 Ford Thunderbird

2001 Ford Thunderbird

1965 Ford Mustang Fastback

1965 Ford Mustang fastback

2013 Ford Mustang Roush Edition

2013 Ford Mustang Roush Edition

The Ford Mustang remained true to form. It remains popular among high performance enthusiasts all over the world. Ford learned not to mess with the Mustang…when they built the Mustang II in the late 1970s. Those horrid little puddle jumpers barely made it off the assembly line…and got NO miles to the gallon because they were always either on the back of a tow truck or already in a service bay.

1978 Mustang II

The wretched 1978 Ford Mustang II (BOO-HISSS)

2014 Mustang GT

2014 Mustang GT

1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator

1969 Mercury Cougar Eliminator

Mercury killed the Cougar in a similar series of design failures. It began as a popular mid-size high performance coupe. The Cougar also blew up to monstrous proportions. The designers added two doors…and just kept adding to it until no one…not even the designers drove them anymore.

It completely lost its identity when the designers got the bright idea to make a family sedan out of it. They may as well have made it into a hearse. Mercury has always been an interesting hodge-podge of leftover Ford parts. It’s like taking a meal you have been eating for a month…adding a little of this…a lot of that, recolor and change the texture,  you tell yourself it is something else…but your taste buds are going….”no-way!”

1954 Mercury Sun Valley

1954 Mercury Sun Valley

1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser

1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser

1959 Mercury Four Door Hardtop

1959 Mercury Park Lane

1959 Mercury Colony Park Country Cruiser

1970 Mercury Marquis

1970 Mercury Marquis Brougham sedan

The Mercury Marquis was known as “The poor man’s Lincoln” and was absolutely stunning when it debuted in the late 1960s. The big “M” lost its identity when the brand offered it in different trim levels…blowing it up to gargantuan proportions. Ford could never leave a good thing alone.

The public lost interest in the Mercury brand because they forgot what one looked like…so did the designers. It was axed in 2011 after an agonizingly slow, grisly, torture. It should have been euthanized last century. The Mercury brand had been around for 72 years and was merely taking up space in the dealer’s inventory…the last ones are really nice cars, it’s a shame Ford didn’t know how to market them –

1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria

1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria

1959 Ford Galaxy

1959 Ford Galaxy

1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner

1959 Ford Fairlane Skyliner

Ford was impressive with its wide range of models to choose from. It was a full-size economy car priced in the mid-range where the working people could afford them. They came in convertible, coupe, sedan, and hardtop sedan versions. There was a Ford for every wallet.

 In the 1950s, the Fairlane 500 was their bread and butter car. Then the Galaxy 500 took over. The Ford Sky Liner was one of the first retractable hardtops. With all its gadgetry, it was the fascination of the automotive industry. The Ford LTD was the working person’s luxury car. It was totally impressive for a car in its price range.

1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner 2

1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner 3

Ford seemed to always get lost with downsizing and restyling. They only knew one dimension: HUGE. The Fairlane 500, Galaxy 500, LTD, and Crown Victoria were really hot models when they were introduced…but they aged horridly. If I were to ask you “What does Ford make currently” Could you answer? Neither can their designers. The only thing that comes immediately to mind is the Mustang…

1957 Lincoln Premiere 2

1957 Lincoln Premier

1961 Lincoln Continental 1

1961 Lincoln Continental

1961 Lincoln Continental 2

The Lincoln Continental was really impressive after Elwood Engel gave it an identity for the 1961 model year. It was tough competition for Cadillac and the Imperial by Chrysler. This exclusive land yacht reeked eminence and was immediately identified in any gathering of fine automobiles. It was one of the first automobiles to be stretched into a limousine.

Lehmann-Peterson built luxury stretch limousines of distinction and their work remains highly collectible among classic automobiles. Lincoln was the only automaker to offer a four-door convertible in the 1960s. The elegant forward-opening rear coach doors gave the Continental an exclusive touch making it unique in the luxury car segment.

1961 Lincoln Continental 3

1968 Lehmann-Peterson

1968 Lehmann-Peterson stretch limousine

Lincoln really, truly, suffered. After they axed the Town Car, coachbuilders no longer had a platform to fashion limousines and hearses. They lost quite a bit of their following building those “MK” things.

Hopefully, the new Continental will restore their credibility in the luxury car arena. It seems that Lincoln and Cadillac are having a contest to see how many customers they could lose by making austere, nondescript luxury cars. They are running neck to neck building cars the public can forget. Do you remember what they offer? Neither can their designers –

Lincoln Continental Concept

Happy Birthday David Boyer 1

1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1957 and 1958 Cadillac

Cadillac splendor was never more magnificent than in the 1950s through the 1960s. They had class, style, panache. From the avant-garde convertibles to the eloquence of the Fleetwood hand-crafted sedans, the undisputed “Standard of the World” ruled the luxury car segment. The Cadillac motorcar was the most desired dream car in the entire world.

The elegant Eldorado was the Flagship and was available in three distinctive models. The eminent Fleetwood coachbuilt sedans were built at a highly restricted pace to retain their exclusivity. America’s favorite luxury car was the impressive DeVille series; they were available as a luxury convertible, a hardtop coupe and sedan, and a pillared four-door sedan. The brand was at an all-time high.

1959 Cadillac 3

1959 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two “Flat Top” sedan

1959 Cadillac 1

1959 Cadillac 2

1959 Cadillac 4

It’s shocking to see what was once considered the “Standard of the World” reduced to kitsch. Their present three-letter naming convention should include names such as: “EEK,” “OMG,” and “YUK.”  Could someone remind them they are a luxury brand and to stop riding the coat tails of BMW and Mercedes-Benz?

 Back in the good old days Cadillac built a total of eleven models in three series. Since the contemporary offerings are make-believe…when we drive them are we supposed to pretend we are in a real Cadillac? It’s a shame that all good things must come to an end. I hope they wake up before it’s too late –

1961 Imperial LeBaron 2

1961 Imperial LeBaron by Chrysler

1961 Imperial LeBaron

Chrysler has a long and successful tenure. Throughout the 1950s Chrysler Letter Series 300 models scorched the tracks at Daytona. MOPAR was flying high in the performance arena. They were unstoppable. And…as far as luxury was concerned…enter the eminent Imperial by Chrysler.

It was a stand-alone make in the 1950s. Virgil Exner gave it his exclusive “Forward Look.”  The Imperial had stiff competition from Cadillac and Lincoln. Imperials were stately, eminent, and eloquent in their demeanor. With the formidable Hemi-Head V8 under the hood, the Imperial was considered “The Banker’s Hotrod.”

1961 Imperial LeBaron 3

1957 Chrysler 300C

1957 Chrysler 300C The Beautiful Brute

2016 Chrysler 300

2016 Chrysler 300

Chrysler had a stable full of luxury cars.  Virgil Exner’s “One Hundred Million Dollar Look” catapulted the brand to stardom in 1955. The New Yorker and the Newport were full-size luxury cars with performance in mind. Every car produced by Chrysler in the 1950s was all about high performance. The DeSoto was to Chrysler as Mercury was to Ford. It was a hodge-podge of Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge parts. Virgil Exner’s design expertise is evident. The “Flite-Swept” styling made the DeSoto elegant from bumper to bumper.

The Plymouth and Dodge Divisions cranked out high performance vehicles that also scorched the tracks. MOPAR was one of the most formidable automakers in existence. With a Hemi, or even a Max-Wedge under the hood any Chrysler product was a high performance behemoth. The 1958 Plymouth Fury played the role of “Christine” in the Stephen King novel of the same name. The Dodge brand survived for the 21st century with cars like the Viper and the Challenger. The Challenger’s retro look is vicious. The contemporary Chrysler 300 has an available Hemi V8 that cranks 410 horses without effort…in the true MOPAR tradition –

1960 Dodge Polara Matador

1960 Dodge Pioneer

1960 Plymouth Fury convertible

1960 Plymouth Fury convertible

1960 Imperial Crown convertible

1960 Imperial Crown convertible by Chrysler

Dodge Viper

1959 Buick

1959 Buick Invicta convertible

1968 Buick Electra 225

1968 Buick Electra 255 Custom

1968 Electra Limited 2

1968 Buick Electra 225 Custom Limited hardtop sedan

1968 Electra Limited 1

The automobile has gone through a startling metamorphosis. Convertibles, hardtop coupe and sedan models disappeared along with the family station wagon. The full-size cars have been replaced with SUV’s and minivans. I refer to the good old days as the “Ward & June Cleaver/Ozzie & Harriet Nelson Era.”

This was a time when family life was more important than anything else…families were close knit…a dollar was worth 100 pennies…and Americans had morals and scruples that included love and respect for each other. The automobile augmented our lifestyle, when gas was cheap…we would travel from coast to coast. Detroit, Michigan was known as “The Motor City Capital of the World.” They built automotive legends that will live on in history. Gone are the shiny, big, gas-guzzling land yachts we loved so well…it’s a different world –

Happy Birthday David Boyer 4

Happy Birthday David Boyer 9

Enjoy your special day David

Happy Birthday David Boyer 5

Happy Birthday David Boyer 7

Happy Birthday David Boyer 10

I want you and Janet to dance!

Happy Birthday David Boyer 11

…and you thought you were gonna keep your big day a secret! People all over the world are partying with you and Janet! God Bless you both! I know it was hard for Janet to keep this surprise a secret! I want everyone reading this to wish David Boyer a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Happy Birthday David Boyer 6

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU…HAPPY BRITHDAY DEAR DAVID BOYER…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! THE ENTIRE WORLD LOVES YOU!!! ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!!!

 

Futuristic 3

Futuristic 4

Futuristic 5

 

Enjoy your day David!

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.”

DeVille base 2

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.”

DeVille base

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.

1958 Coupe deVille 1

Yesterday…

Cadillac DeVille

Today…

Cadillac Sixteen 1

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.

DTS

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

2002 Cadillac DeVille 1

2002 Cadillac DeVille

2002 Cadillac DeVille 3

2002 Cadillac DeVille 2

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”