Archive for the Cadillac 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 Fleetwood Brougham – Contemporary Masterpiece

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac: Masterpiece from the Master Craftsmen, Classic American Marques with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

There’s nothing like the traditional full-size Cadillac. From the admiring glances of envy…to the myriad standard comfort and convenience features and accessories – The stately Fleetwood Brougham was considered the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac in the model hierarchy. Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs are the epitome of grandeur with a poised dignity which was the hallmark of every traditional Cadillac motorcar.

The 1994 Fleetwood Brougham is endowed with a special type of spirited operation few luxury cars share. It’s the 1993-1996 rear-wheel drive Fleetwood series that is the last of the breed…the end of an illustrious era in motoring. They preclude the traditional luxury sedan which left a void in American automobiles no other luxury car can fill. The majestic 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham presents an encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

It’s dramatically styled in its beauty and bearing. The formidable Fleetwood Brougham is the motorcar that represents the “Standard of the World” in a majestic fashion only Cadillac could create. These magnificent automobiles are more inspiring to behold and more rewarding to own than any other full-size luxury sedan.

Fleetwood models possess an eloquence and dignity befitting a flagship of its stature. The Brougham augmented the Fleetwood series with elegant appointments and signature features for luxury in the grand Cadillac manner. The 1994 Fleetwood Brougham carried on the tradition with glamour and distinction. Cadillac Fleetwoods remain America’s most aristocratic automobiles.

The gracious proportions of Fleetwood Brougham’s traditionally-inspired architecture evoke thoughts of the days gone by when we had the choice of a ‘real’ full-size luxury sedan…and a Cadillac – all in the same car. Fleetwood Brougham’s tall, extra-wide doors provide easy entry and exit. Sweeping fender lines flow systematically enhancing aerodynamic efficiency…the EPA rated the 1994 Fleetwood Brougham as 25 mpg highway.

Chrome bright work clads the lower body sides which include removable trim that mocks traditional rear-wheel fender skirts – Cadillac Style. Its stately silhouette is augmented by a long nose and short rear end design reminiscent of those fabulous classic Fleetwoods. Most important, Fleetwood Brougham’s engineering places a large sumptuous cabin between its occupants and the road…

The 1994 Fleetwood Brougham goes to great lengths to satisfy the most discerning driver. Its luxury length of 225.1” is even longer than that of the 1994 Lincoln Town Car’s mere 218.9” length. Fleetwood’s wide 78” stance beats the Town Car’s 76.9” width proudly.

Fleetwood Brougham rides upon a long 121.5” wheelbase compared to Town Car’s 117.4” wheelbase. Fleetwood Brougham’s 57.1” height beats that of the Town Car at 56.9”. So you see…the Fleetwood Brougham and its poised dignity is eminently qualified to carry the title of America’s largest production passenger automobile for the 1994 model year – Cadillac Style!

With its full-size luxury, excellent road manners, and Cadillac elegance…the 1994 Fleetwood Brougham is traditional splendor that one had come to expect from the brand. The last of the Fleetwoods are big and beautiful from bumper to bumper. Their substantial body on frame construction is configured as front engine rear-wheel drive – as a true Cadillac should be.

This is General Motors last attempt building full-size cars. The big B/D body used by Chevrolet for the Caprice/Impala SS, Buick for the Roadmaster, and of course Cadillac with the Fleetwood. One advantage to a rear drive car is the ability to move the front wheels forward in its overall design. Placing the front wheels ahead of the engine greatly enhances suspension dynamics which govern stability. The engine doesn’t have to be connected. Drive shaft, rear differential, and rear suspension adds weight to the back of the car. (And NO torque-steer!)

Fleetwood could be compared to a luxurious club room on wheels. Its spacious cloth or leather trimmed cabin was available in two distinctive trim levels. The standard Fleetwood sedan base priced at $33,990 – $34,615 is augmented by the optional “Brougham” luxury package.

The Brougham option upholstered with Prestwick knit cloth was $1680 while the leather trimmed version was $2250. This exclusive luxury package has a different seat cushion sew-style and upgraded appointments than the standard Fleetwood sedan.

The exterior is highlighted with a luxuriously padded vinyl roof treatment with “Brougham” nomenclature affixed to the rear sail panels. This deftly identifies it as Cadillac’s most luxurious owner-driven sedan. No other motorcar in its class can replicate the grandeur and dignity this supreme achievement in motoring offers. Passengers are ensconced in traditional 6-passenger comfort.

There’s room to stretch out with nearly 5′ of shoulder room. It has 38.7” of headroom available for front seat occupants and 39.1” for the rear passenger compartment. Fleetwood Brougham provides 42.5” of front seat legroom and 43.9” for rear seat passengers. Classic “Standard of the World” creations do not have to scream achievement…they simply whisper success. Fleetwood Brougham is renowned for legendary Cadillac comfort and convenience.

And…if Fleetwood Brougham’s spacious dimensions aren’t enough to prove its superiority in the luxury car segment, its impressive list of standard amenities will. Electronic components are bestowed throughout its svelte architecture. All season Electronic Climate Control Air Conditioning maintains optimum cabin comfort year-round. Once the temperature has been set no further intervention is required. This sophisticated system includes rear compartment heating/air conditioning ducts.

Power windows with ‘express down’ feature, power door locks, Cruise Control, Tilt Wheel adjustable steering wheel, and digital instrument cluster are the more basic amenities. For the 1994 model year, Fleetwood Brougham’s signature features include: driver’s memory seat, manual articulating head rests, power triple-element lumbar controls, illuminated rear seat overhead vanity mirrors, heated front seats, rear seat folding center armrest with dual cup holder and storage.

Still undecided? Additional standard amenities include: Twilight Sentinel electronic headlamp control, Solar Ray tinted glass, controlled-cycle windscreen wipers, Illuminated Entry System, Power deck lid release with pull-down feature, illuminated driver and front passenger visor vanity mirrors, power 55/45 6-way front seating w/power 2-way recliners, power heated right and left outside rearview mirrors, Pass Key II theft deterrent system, as well as power assisted steering and brakes.

Brougham’s deep-seated luxury is due in no small part to Cadillac’s patented ‘split frame’ seatback and cushion design. The wide lounge-type seats provide independent adjustment. A new window defog system allows its windscreen to be cleared in cold weather while maintaining heat flow to the lower portion of the cabin. They don’t refer to a Fleetwood Brougham as “The epitome of luxury” for nothing…

What do these two cars have in common?

The 1994 Fleetwood Brougham and the 1994 Chevrolet Corvette share a startling truth. The Cadillac Fleetwood’s power is derived from Corvette’s responsive new 2nd generation 5.7 litre 16-valve, 350 CID “LT1” V8 engine. Both Cadillac and Corvette versions are built with a cast iron block. The Vette is built with aluminum heads while Cadillac uses cast iron heads. Here’s a Cadillac with the heart of Corvette! The naturally aspirated engine is equipped with electronic sequential-port fuel injection. Dual-platinum tipped spark plugs require no scheduled tune-up for 100,000 miles. (Burn a good grade of premium fuel and you can go a lot farther than the captioned number)

The powerful new V8 is mated to the 460L-E GM Turbo Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control, overdrive, and torque converter clutch. Engine and transmission are synchronized into a single synchronous power train unit for optimum efficiency. The unique power train combo provides greater horsepower and more torque at lower speeds thus yielding quicker, more confidant acceleration.

The formidable 5.7 litre LT1 cranks 260 hp @ 5,000 rpm with 454 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds, 0-100 mph in 22.6 seconds with a top speed in the 142 mph range. Impressive for a luxury sedan huh? It does the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in just 16.1 seconds. These specs are great when taken into consideration, this is a 4,506+ pound sedan.

Fleetwood Brougham’s full-frame construction permits the traditional Cadillac build. The “Magic Carpet Ride” was a signature Cadillac trademark. The 1994 edition uses the same logic. An independent front suspension has heavy-duty short/long arm upper and lower control systems. Brougham’s superior ride quality is further refined with coil springs, deflected-disc shock absorbers, and stabilizer bar.

The rear suspension is Cadillac’s 4-link drive with coil springs and stabilizer bar. Standard, is Cadillac’s exclusive Electronic Level Control that automatically calibrate the car’s ride height to maintain optimum poise under any road or load condition. ASRIIU full-range traction control with throttle relaxer aids its overall operational stability. Also standard is a Bosch ABSIIU three channel anti-lock braking system with power disc brakes fitted to the front axle and power assisted drums fitted to the rear axle.

Many thanks to Jim Hailey!

When one takes into consideration, luxury sedans such as the Fleetwood Brougham and what the brand builds today…it seems as though Cadillac has forgotten its loyal following, the same following that helped catapult the brand to the eminent status of “Standard of the World.”

The full-size Fleetwood was the first choice among bespoke coachbuilders for stretch limousines and professional vehicles of distinction. It was the largest regular passenger production automobile available in America for the genre. When the Fleetwood Brougham ceased production, it left coachbuilders without a traditional-size platform…

Spirited performance is just a tap of the accelerator pedal away. Deep within this elegant sedan beats the heart of a sports car. Corvette’s formidable 5.7 litre LT1 V8 engine assures responsive acceleration with extra power in reserve. Spacious six passenger accommodations, myriad standard comfort/convenience features and accessories, and that inherent Cadillac-Style makes the majestic Fleetwood Brougham a rare commodity in today’s mass-production euphoria. The bottom line: “Life’s not a cabaret…it’s a Hallmark card.” The 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham is another successful chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1941 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1964 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1970 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Talisman

1994 Fleetwood Brougham

Welcome to Greg’s World of NotoriousLuxury © 2017

DeVille Déjà Vu…

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac: Masterpiece from the Master Craftsmen with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

The traditional Cadillac convertible is designed for those who seek the drama of open-air touring, without sacrificing luxury, comfort, or convenience. Cadillac marketed them as “The only luxury convertibles built in the land.” Their youthful vitality called for a nice leafy run on a gorgeous sun lit day. For the 1964 model year, America’s favorite luxury car was now available as a powerful new convertible coupé.

Its splendor remains unmatched in all of motordom. Timeless styling in their beauty and bearing has made every classic Cadillac convertible coupé among the most revered of all American luxury automobiles. There is no more magnificent manner in which to view the world than from behind the wheel of an automotive masterpiece from the Master Craftsmen. The 1964 Cadillac Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé garners a triumphant standing ovation…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

The classic DeVille convertible coupé for 1964 ushered in a resplendent new era in luxury motoring…Cadillac-Style. Rarely does an automobile become a classic legend in its own time such as this supreme achievement in motoring. The Cadillac DeVille series had become “America’s Favorite Luxury Car” and new for the 1964 model year was this ingénue – which proved its authority in both 4-door hardtop and 2-door hardtop coupé closed-body configurations – now available as a spirited open tourer. The legendary Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé was built from 1964 until 1970.

Their extraordinary grace and unrivaled elegance are complimented by the outstanding ride qualities that made Cadillac the most highly desired luxury car in the entire world. The architecture is a true mastery of symmetry and balance. It’s the opulent 1964 Cadillacs that feature the last of the classic body styles with the iconic tail fins. These cars are long, low, and extremely wide – built at a time when aerodynamic efficiency was for airplanes…and not motorcars. Each and every distinctive inch of its styling exploited the finesse of the formidable “Standard of the World.”

Series 6300 Coupe deVille

The 1964 Series 6300 DeVille sparkles with the pomp and splendor associated with the traditional Cadillac heritage. Bill Mitchell (1912-1988) brilliant Chief Design Engineer for General Motors, was the successor to Harley Earl (1893-1969), an equally talented Chief Design Engineer and founder of the GM Art and Colour Design Studio in 1935…both gave the Cadillac brand a definitive opulence that doesn’t exist in today’s world. Harley Earl and Bill Mitchell are two of the most prolific design engineers in the history of the automobile. The 1959 Cadillac is the last to be associated with Harley Earl.

The flamboyant 1959 Cadillac tail fin

The 1950s through the 1970s were the most illustrious decades for Cadillac further enhancing its “Standard of the World” reputation. The Bill Mitchell Era gave the Cadillac brand what he coined as “The Sheer Look” that encompassed a more contemporary, highly provocative intrigue. Cadillac built such a formidable reputation in the luxury car segment, no other luxury automobile could replicate its grandeur.

The Sheer Look removed the “shoulders” from the bodyshell allowing the roofline and side windows to flow right into each panel seamlessly. Mitchell’s designs included the traditional “Cadillac Sneer”…this could be described as a euphoric front-end design feature which declared a “looking down its nose”aristocracy to chase the competition into subservience… 

It was Mitchell’s regime that removed the “excess” the brand had taken on through the years. Humongous body quarter panels, blinding flashes of chrome trim, and tail fins large enough to qualify as aircraft were his targets for radical change. His designs became synonymous with opulence. He refined the Cadillac motorcar with a confluence of luxury and elegance escalating the brand to new heights in exclusivity and supremacy. The 1964 Cadillac models epitomize this forward thinking in the grand Cadillac manner on the grand Cadillac scale. Bill Mitchell promoted classic simplicity with unrivaled magnificence resulting in a remarkably distinctive type of motoring.

Meticulous Cadillac design engineering, and impeccable craftsmanship with an inexhaustible pursuit of exemplary fit & finish remained the mission statement. The 1964 Series 6300 DeVille convertible is a thoroughbred sought by convertible enthusiasts world-wide. That Cadillac drama augments its sweeping silhouette, with the convertible top lowered the car’s architecture seems twice as long. The previous 1963 design was refined further. For 1964, all models received a Cadillac “Beauty Treatment” to give them an even more regal stature.

The Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé retains the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every classic traditional Cadillac. Its bold front-end ensemble features a massive double-deck grille design. The chiseled stand-up hood and quad headlamp clusters conveys a formal elegance. Distinctive parking/turn signal lamps are cleverly hidden within a design matching the grille work. The same design continues wrapping around the front fenders to conceal the unique-to-Cadillac cornering lamps.

Its rear-end design is celebrated by automobile aficionados of all ages world-wide. Those fabulous fins remain as prominent today as they did when Cadillac led the entire world in luxury car design. The tail fins were trimmed after they reached their summit in 1959. The 1960 model year began tailoring them neatly into the architecture. Each subsequent design refresh continued the trimming until the finale in 1964 when they disappeared forever from the 1965 model year forward.

Handsomely trimmed tail fins for 1964 housed one set of tail lamps above the lower set that are neatly encased within chromed nacelles behind an ingenious clear lens. At night when the head and tail lamps are illuminated, the lower lens glows red gently. When the transmission is shifted to reverse they glow white to light the way while backing up. A massive chrome bumper runs between the bumper end caps with a delicate grille work which compliments front end styling. The 1964 model year tastefully precludes familiar Cadillac signature styling to pave the way for the next generation design.

Model #64-63F body style #6267F 1964 Series 6300 DeVille two-door convertible coupé was base priced at $5,612, had a base shipping weight of 4,545 pounds, and only 17,900 were built for the model year which enhances their desirability. Cadillac built their 3,000,000th car during this model year posting sales with a record-breaking total production of 165,959 vehicles.

The 1964 DeVille’s silhouette emphatically showcases Cadillac’s design prowess with an eloquence unequalled in the world of fine automobiles. DeVille’s restrained use of ornamentation makes its styling timeless. The DeVille series is one of the longest running and most profitable models in Cadillac history capturing the title of “America’s favorite luxury car.” Cadillac’s preeminence in the luxury car segment reflects the good taste and achievement of its owner.

Any Cadillac convertible coupé is a rare combination of luxury and sheer magnificence. The 1964 DeVille projects the youthful vitality of its owner. It’s the special emphasis on interior elegance that sets it apart from other luxury automobiles. Genuine perforated leather was available in nine color combinations.

The DeVille convertible coupé is equipped as a traditional motorcar of this stature should be. Power windows, power seat, front seat folding center arm rest, remote control outside rearview mirror, electric clock, power fully automatic folding fabric roof, cornering lamps, power steering, and power brakes are just a few of the myriad comfort and convenience amenities featured as standard equipment for the 1964 DeVille convertible coupé.

The handcrafted interiors reflects Cadillac quality

This DeVille convertible is equipped with Cadillac’s optional fully automatic Comfort Control Air Conditioning system. It was new to the industry for the 1964 model year. The owner could set their preferred temperature when they first took delivery of the car…and it never required further intervention as long as they owned the car. This is the forerunner of the contemporary fully automatic Climate Control Air Conditioning system. The entire auto industry has now named their fully automatic systems “Climate Control.” This is the type of innovation the contemporary puddle-jumpers Cadillac pretends to build lack…

Interiors by Fleetwood are a many splendored thing…

Luxury and elegance are paramount with a classic “Standard of the World” creation. A Cadillac was consistently refined to maintain this title. For the 1964 model year the mighty Cadillac V8 was brilliantly enhanced to deliver more hp per pound of engine weight than its competitors. This new engine boasts a larger displacement than the 1963 V8. The engine was bored out to 429 CID which is 39 CID larger to crank 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm packing a prolific punch with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm.

This astute capability is reflected in its longitudinal acceleration of 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds, 0-100 mph in 25.8 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph range…all Cadillac-Style. For kicks, it does the ¼ mile @ 83 mph in just 17.6 seconds. DeVille and Fleetwood models got the refined new Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. Engine power is transmitted to the transmission via oil-filled torque converter which multiplies engine torque during acceleration in any of the three gear ranges.

This lightweight 7.0 litre 16-valve V8 has a cast iron block and cylinder heads with new high tensile strength bolts. It is mounted at three points in rubber. The 429 CID has upgrades which includes wider combustion chambers designed for the most efficient burning of air/fuel mixture. These new combustion chambers have a large cooling area at the vortex of the wedge to prevent power-wasting pre-ignition. The aluminum alloy slipper type pistons reduce friction; contoured larger, lighter piston heads increase turbulence providing maximum combustibility of the air/fuel mixture.

Further refinement includes new con rods/bolts, a longer stroke, a new crankshaft, and camshaft. The engine runs in five main bearings with overhead valves and hydraulic lifters. There were two carburetors available for 1964. One with the Carter Aluminum Four Barrel : AFB3655 “S  4-bbl downdraft for non a/c vehicles or AFB3656 with air conditioning. Also available was a Rochester 4-bbl downdraft: #7024030 for non a/c vehicles and #7024031 for vehicles with a/c. Both with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, and automatic choke. The new high-lift camshaft is designed to hold exhaust valves open longer than intake valves for more efficient engine operation. The wide cams minimize wear on both cams and tappets.

1964 Cadillacs are large front-engine rear-wheel drive luxury cars. The Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé has the luxury length of 223.5”, is 79.7” wide, and rides upon a long 129.5” wheelbase. It is built as body on frame construction. GM’s rugged tubular X-frame permits lower body mounts for not only aesthetic qualities but also provides a lower center of gravity which is vital to a convertible’s well-being. Other advantages to this type of construction is a surfeit of head and hip room along with increased seat height for the patented Cadillac deep-seated luxury.

Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special hardtop sedan

Cadillac’s refined “Magic Carpet Ride” was re-tuned for 1964. NOTHING rides like a traditional Cadillac. The excellent weight distribution combined with its unique technology placed Cadillac in a league all its own. Exclusive “True Center Drive Line” isolates and cancels road noise and vibration before it reaches the cabin through a network of rubber mounted strut rods and rubber bushings. A one-piece propeller shaft transmits power quietly and resists vibration. Constant velocity joints at each end of the prop shaft cancels out forces that generate noise and vibration.

The traditional front suspension has upper and lower control arms with independent helical coil springs. Cadillac’s 4-link drive with independent helical coil springs makes up the rear suspension. The brand was famous for its boldly original mechanical components, unsurpassed attention to detail, and an inexorable insistence upon quality. This is how Cadillac acquired and maintained “Standard of the World” status.

Out of a tradition of excellence…the DeVille legend continues with style and grace that only the “Standard of the World” could create. For 1964, America’s favorite luxury car introduced the DeVille convertible coupé. This elegant open tourer Is powered by the new Cadillac 429 CID V8 engine. Drop the top…tap the accelerator…and 340 horses are at your command. This is a significant collectible because it is the first DeVille ragtop and it is also the finale for the Cadillac tail fins.

The “Standard of the World” continued Cadillac’s legend of automotive superiority in all its facets: styling that’s as classic as it is contemporary…of infinite care and design of its manufacturer…of greater measures of comfort and convenience…but most important, the higher levels of owner pride, prestige, and lasting value. The 1964 Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé continued this legacy of automotive greatness.

Many thanks to Jim Hailey for the use of the photos for the 1964 Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé subject car. Special thanks to Bob Adams Classic Cars, and Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars – the best in the business – for the use of their photos of these beautiful classic Cadillac motorcars.

Classic Cadillac convertible showcase:

1936 V16 convertible

1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 

1950 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1953 Series 62 Eldorado convertible

1960 Series 62 convertible

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado convertible

1970 DeVille convertible…the finale

The traditional Cadillac was the most aristocratic of all motorcars. The real Cadillac motorcar has an extremely faithful cult following. The “Standard of the World” still graces the landscape eloquently which has garnered the respect and admiration from connoisseurs of fine automobiles world-wide. Cadillac built the only true luxury convertibles in America. The 1964 Series 6300 DeVille convertible coupé is both dramatically beautiful and remarkably responsive. Any Cadillac convertible is a most avant-garde manner to enhance any occasion where fine automobiles gather. The traditional Cadillac DeVille legend lives…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns…”

“Déjà Vu…could you be the dream that I once knew…is it you? Déjà Vu…could you be the dream that might come true…shining through? I keep remembering me…I keep remembering you – Déjà Vu…”

Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury © 2017

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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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.”

1956 Coupe deVille 6

1956 Coupe deVille 13

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!

1956 Coupe deVille 10

1956 Coupe deVille 12

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.

1956 Sedan deVille

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan deVille

1956 Sedan deVille 2

1956 Sedan deVille 3

1956 Coupe deVille 5

1956 Coupe deVille 4

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.

1956 Coupe deVille 25

1956 Coupe deVille 8

1956 Coupe deVille 9

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.”

1956 Coupe deVille 27

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.

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 6

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.

1956 Coupe deVille 32

1956 Coupe deVille 14

1956 Coupe deVille 15

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.

1956 Coupe deVille 22

1956 Coupe deVille 20

1956 Coupe deVille 17

1956 Coupe deVille 21

1956 Coupe deVille 19

1956 Coupe deVille 18

1956 Coupe deVille 7

1956 Coupe deVille 28

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.

1956 Coupe deVille 29

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.

1956 Coupe deVille 30

1956 Coupe deVille 33

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.

1956 Coupe deVille 26

1956 Coupe deVille 24

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.

1956 Coupe deVille 23

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.”

1956 Coupe deVille

1956 Coupe deVille 34

1956 Coupe deVille 35

1956 Coupe deVille 38

1956 Coupe deVille 39

1956 Coupe deVille 43

1956 Coupe deVille 41

A two 4-bbl carburetor system was optional

1956 Coupe deVille 42

1956 Coupe deVille 44

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 5

The majestic 1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1956 Series Sixty-Special 1

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 1

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 2

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 3

1956 Coupe deVille 40

1956 Series 62 Eldorado convertible 1

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz sport convertible

1956 Series 62 Eldorado convertible 2

1956 Coupe deVille 37

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 7

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 6

A slammed Series 62 Sedan deVille

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 1

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 5

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 4

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 3

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 2

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!

Happy Birthday David Boyer 8

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.

Ozzie & Harriet

           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 –

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Enjoy your special day David

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I want you and Janet to dance!

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…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!!!

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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!!!!!

 

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Enjoy your day David!