Archive for the Classic American Marques Category

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Body by Fleetwood

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

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

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

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

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1970 Coupe deVille and the 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado

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1967 Fleetwood Eldorado

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The comfort zone…

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

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

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

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Structural logistics

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

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

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The luxury leader – Cadillac Style

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

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

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

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

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

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Here’s your baby immortalized for prosperity!

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The formidable 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

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The 1967 Eldorado-inspired 1970 Cadillac Coupe deVille

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There’s no more deep-seated luxury like this

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1968 Fleetwood Eldorado custom convertible

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

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This is his Eldorado to counter Lincoln’s Continental

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

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

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Custom Continental MK II: Mark of Excellence

Posted in Classic American Marques, Grande Marque, Lincoln, Notoriously Outrageous, The Bold and the Beautiful Lincolns, The Continental Life with tags , , , , , , , on July 4, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

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The Continental Life continues –

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Growing up there were cars I dubbed as favorites…when they would appear, they made me smile. Those were such happy times, so long ago…how I wondered where they’d gone. But they’re back again…just like a long-lost friend – all the cars I loved so well. It’s yesterday once more with John Torrie’s custom 1957 Continental MK II. The formidable Continental MK II is my all-time favorite classic car.

The Continental MK II is a timeless beauty that was built for only two models years exclusively by the Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company. No, the MK II is NOT a Lincoln – it’s a “Continental” – I thought I would throw this in to dispel ambiguity. Here’s a dream with a little bit of fantasy. This custom 1957 Continental MK II is a contemporary rendition of a time-honored classic. Now this is what I call NotoriousLuxury…

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The classic 1956-1957 Continental MK II

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The “Mark of Excellence” is handcrafted by John Torrie Jr. and John Torrie Sr. They built the classic custom in a single car garage…no, this isn’t a typo. This one-of-a-kind beauty was featured in “Rod & Custom” Magazine as the spotlight vehicle. It began its life as a stock 1957 Continental MK II. The car retains its basic silhouette and flowing lines…capturing a rare serendipitous eloquence.

After being sliced, diced, chopped, and lowered, the MK II takes on a totally unique appearance. The custom Continental MK II is absolutely stunning from any angle. The amazing aspect of this beautiful car is the fact that it is as modern as it is classic. Look deep into its timeless styling and you can see the original design. From the aggressive front end cosmetic ensemble to the dramatic signature Continental rear deck lid, the Torries synthesized the best of both worlds seamlessly…in a rudely-elegant manner –

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The custom Continental MK II is finished in flawless “Corvette Atomic Orange” base coats. It’s the clear coats that adds depth to all of the contours and sweeping lines which forces the eyes to roam the entire car in a single appraisal.  The startling contrast between the shocking orange finish and the classic wide whitewall tires is highlighted by the outrageous 100-spoke chrome aluminum wheels. The custom Continental MK II is a successful confluence of old world charm and contemporary panache –

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The car’s avant-garde transformation is augmented by a lower profile. The roof is chopped 2” which makes the body appear even larger than it is. A modest height correction to the stock platform gives it dynamic road-hugging appeal. The car is lowered using Fatman Fabrications 2 ½” dropped spindles with Firestone dampers to replace the coil springs to the front suspension.

This swap allows disc brakes to replace the drum type. The rear suspension is altered using de-arched leaves.  The rear drum brakes are retained.  Monroe gas shock absorbers assist ride height at all four wheels allowing it to be adjusted for driving or lowered to “strike a pose” when she just sits and wants to look pretty!

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There is no unnecessary bling to discount its luxurious beauty. The restrained use of ornamentation is tasteful and sophisticated. Most of the stock MK II accents are shaved away…including the door handles. The front end styling boasts Frenched-in headlamps, custom grille, and lower bumper roll pan finished to match the body color. The upper portion of the bumper retains a stock appearance sans bumper guards. The blacked-out grille work is highlighted by a single chrome horizontal bar.

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The startling transformation to the rear of the custom Continental MK II is built upon the “ghost” of the stock version. The Torries kept the basic overall design in mind filling in the taillamps and transferring them to the former exhaust ports in the rear bumper…sweet huh? The iconic ersatz Continental spare tire design remains intact less ornamentation.

The rear bumper was redesigned with a body color roll pan to offset the chromed upper portion tastefully. The custom Continental MK II has all of the elegance of the original presented in sheer understatement that oozes class. Too bad the minimalist approach wasn’t used back in the 1950s when garish styling and strange protuberances ruled. The 1956-1957 Continental MK II is one of the few exceptions to the rule with its classic Euro-inspired simplicity.

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The custom Continental MK II’s old world charm influences its resto-mod interior. Sumptuous white leather covers the sofa-like seating. The classic simplicity of the sew style ends the center seams with single button tufting. It’s just as tastefully crafted as the original version. A unique center console design continues up into the rear seats, in a contrasting orange to compliment the exterior. The understated elegance is what captures the attention…everything flows in sync with the rest of the cabin – the car is very luxurious…

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Opulent luxury exudes from the original

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The Torries captured tasteful contemporary elegance

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Under its massive 70” long hood lurks a re-built stock version of Lincoln’s V8 engine. It’s a potent 6.0 litre 368 CID 16-valve naturally aspirated OHV V8 equipped with a 4-bbl carburetor. The Torries sound-tuned the engine to a sexy baritone by using a custom exhaust system with Cherry Bombs. The mighty 6.0 litre “Y-block” V8 for the original 1956 version produces 285 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 545 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm.  Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11 seconds with a top speed in the 120 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 18 seconds.

The 1957 version is a tad bit more powerful with the same 6.0 litre V8 which now produces 300 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 563 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration for this version is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.3 seconds with a top speed in the 119 mph range, completing the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 17.5 seconds. Both engines are mated to Lincoln’s 3-speed automatic Turbo-Drive Cruise-O-Matic transmission.

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The opulent Continental MK II was a trend-setter with its classic elegance…the $10,000 price tag gave it pre-eminence few automobiles could achieve. The 1956-1957 original was designed to be one of the finest handcrafted automobiles in the world. Quality, fit, and finish were paramount. The exclusive Continental Division crafted the car with a rigid 7-point quality control regimen.

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The Continental was to Ford as Lexus is to Toyota. The stunning land yacht was one of the heaviest automobiles built for the day at 4,825 pounds. It was so comprehensively equipped, the only option available at the time was air conditioning which added another 365 pounds. The Continental MK II has the luxury length of 218.5”, rides upon a long 126” wheelbase and is a massive 77.5” wide.

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The classic 1956-1957 Continental MK II was built completely by hand exclusively by the now defunct Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company. Again…it’s not a Lincoln, it’s a Continental. This supreme achievement in motoring was built for only two years. The Continental Division existed only two years as well.

The elite Continental MK II was the image car for the Ford Motor Company. They actually lost money on each car produced because of the MK II’s extensive handcrafting. The classic simplicity and understated elegance was far ahead of its time when the other luxury cars from this genre were sporting gaudy designs with tons of chrome and towering tailfins.

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Custom cars are the ultimate expression of individuality. Anything from mild to wild takes the onlooker on a visual journey escaping the mass-production status quo. This type of automotive abstract art was popular for vintage vehicles from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s…when cars were real! The designers had something to work with. The most eminent custom car designers include Gene Winfield, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, George Barris, Thom Taylor, and Boyd Coddington.

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I don’t have any information regarding this radical contemporary custom. This is a 1979 Lincoln Continental MK V. Look closely at the front end ensemble, the custom grille and modified bumper. “Bumperettes” were popular in custom cars from the 1940s & 1950s. Every customizer has a style, it all starts as an idea…look at the results. If anyone knows anything about this stunning custom Continental MK V PLEASE let me know. I am dedicated to bring you anything that is notoriously outrageous. This is the NotoriousLuxury mission…

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This custom 1979 Continental MK V is rudely elegant

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…slammed right into the ground with authority

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…Notoriously outrageous

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…a slammed, down-right nasty Series Sixty-Two ragtop

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Here’s the 4th of July in a custom F-100 pickup

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This custom “Big-M” leaves ya weak in the knees…

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Here’s a mild custom 1955 Crown Victoria

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1979 Coupe deVille custom “LeCabriolet” ragtop

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An ultra-rare Continental MK II convertible

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Contemporary automobiles are designed to cleave the air efficiently. Altering today’s cars could create potentially dangerous situations. These wedge-shaped designs are specifically created to battle turbulence and cross winds. The front end styling includes features to enhance stability and reduce uplift. The rear of the car utilizes diffuser assemblies designed to create downforce. Removal of these essential design features could render today’s cars airborne at certain high speeds with the right combination of wind shear and loss of downforce.

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

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I grew up admiring custom cars especially when Detroit, Michigan was “The Motor City!” The one of a kind automotive masterpieces are abstract art in motion. The custom 1957 Continental MK II handcrafted by the Torries, John Jr. and John Sr. is a “Mark of Excellence.” Frenched-in headlamps, chopped roofline, custom roll pans and valances replacing chrome bumper assemblies gives the car its own unique persona. The overall silhouette is lower augmenting the rogue character of the rudely-elegant design.

The 1956 and 1957 Continental MK II were handcrafted to be among the world’s finest luxury automobiles. These eminent Flagships are built by the Continental Division of the Ford Motor Company which was only in existence for the 1956 and 1957 model years. The Continental MK II is a classic example of American automotive history. It’s yesterday once more, thanks to the Torries! From its aggressive front end ensemble to the ersatz spare tire design…the custom Continental MK II is an exemplary contemporary rendition of a time-honored classic. NotoriousLuxury salutes the Torries, John Jr, and John Sr. for their “Mark of Excellence.”

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NotoriousLuxury

Welcome to Greg’s World…

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Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury…

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

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

The Coupe deVille legend continues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1956 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan deVille

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

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

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

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

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

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1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

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

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

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

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 –

Happy Birthday David Boyer 4

Happy Birthday David Boyer 9

Enjoy your special day David

Happy Birthday David Boyer 5

Happy Birthday David Boyer 7

Happy Birthday David Boyer 10

I want you and Janet to dance!

Happy Birthday David Boyer 11

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

Happy Birthday David Boyer 6

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

 

Futuristic 3

Futuristic 4

Futuristic 5

 

Enjoy your day David!

2002 Cadillac DeVille: The Last of the Big Guns

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

The last of the big body Cadillacs

2002 Cadillac DTS

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

DeVille base 2

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

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

DeVille base

2002 DeVille base

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

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

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

1958 Coupe deVille 1

Yesterday…

Cadillac DeVille

Today…

Cadillac Sixteen 1

Tomorrow…?

DeVille marque of excellence

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

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

DTS

Northstar 32-valve V8 engine

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

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

Technology

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

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

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

Northstar V8 engine

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

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

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

Northstar V8 engine 2

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

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

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

DTS foglamps

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

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

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

DTS 2

2002 Cadillac DTS ($43,810 – $47,880)

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

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

Armored DeVille

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

2002 Cadillac DHS 4

2002 Cadillac DHS (43,810 – $47,880)

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

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

DTS 4

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

DTS Limousine 2

Cadillac DeVille Limousine by Miller Meteor

DeVille Limousine

DTS Limousine 5

Cadillac DeVille Presidential Limousine

Deville Presidental Limousine

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

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

Front

Rear

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

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

LED taillamp technology

LED taillamps

monocoque 1

monocoque 2

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

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

independent rear suspension assembly

DeVille DTS

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

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

2002 Cadillac DTS 1

2002 Cadillac DTS

2002 Cadillac DTS 2

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

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

2002 Cadillac DTS 3

DTS cabin

DTS is the Cadillac of Cadillacs with a sporting elegance

2002 Cadillac DTS 4

2002 Cadillac DTS

2002 Cadillac DeVille 1

2002 Cadillac DeVille

2002 Cadillac DeVille 3

2002 Cadillac DeVille 2

2002 Cadillac DHS 1

2002 Cadillac DHS 

2002 Cadillac DHS 2

2002 Cadillac DHS 3

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

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

2002 Cadillac DeVille 4

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

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

2002 Cadillac DeVille 5

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

Spacious rear compartment

DTS cabin

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

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

2002 Cadillac DTS 5

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

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

DTS 3

7-spoke aluminum wheels

Ultrasonic rear parking assist

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

DeVille DTS 2

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

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

1958 Coupe deVille 2

1958 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

1958 Coupe deVille 3

1958 Coupe deVille 4

Photos courtesy General Motors

1958 Coupe deVille 7

1958 Coupe deVille 5

1958 Coupe deVille 6

1959 Sedan deVille

1959 Cadillac Series 6300 Sedan deVille “Flat Top”

1961 Coupe DeVille

1961 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille

1967 DeVille convt 1

1967 Cadillac DeVille convertible

1967 DeVille convt 2

1967 DeVille convt 3

Photos courtesy Wallpaperup

1967 DeVille convt 4

1967 DeVille convt 5

1967 DeVille convt 6

2006 DTS Presidential Limousine 3

2006 Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine

2006 DTS Presidential Limousine 4

2006 DTS Presidential Limousine 6

DTS-L

Cadillac DTS-L Coachbuilt sedan with Livery package

DTS-L interior

2011 Cadillac DTS 1

2006-2011 Cadillac DTS

2011 Cadillac DTS 2

2011 Cadillac DTS 3

DTS grill emblem

2011 Cadillac DTS 4

Cadillac Sixteen 2

Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Cadillac Sixteen 3

Cadillac Sixteen 4

Cadillac Sixteen 5

Here’s the elusive sixteen cylinder V-type architecture

Cadillac Sixteen 8

Cadillac Sixteen 6

Cadillac Sixteen 9

2006-2011 DTS

2006-2011 DTS 2

The Last one

DTS Limousine 3

Welcome to Greg’s World

DTS Limousine 4

Greg’s World is NotoriousLuxury…

Cadillac Crest

Greg's World 2

1970 Cadillac DeVille convertible

Greg's World 4

Greg's World 5

Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars

Greg's World 3

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

Greg's World

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

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

An American standard for the world

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 1

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 2

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 3

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 4

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

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

1949 Coupe deVille 1

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille

1949 Coupe deVille 2

1949 Coupe deVille 3

1949 Coupe deVille 4

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 1

Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Coupe deVille concept

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 2

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

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

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 3

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 4

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 5

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

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

1949 Coupe deVille 6

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille

1949 Coupe deVille 8

1949 Coupe deVille 7

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 7

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 5

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 30

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 6

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 8

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 9

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 10

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 25

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 26

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 27

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 28

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 29

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 11

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 32

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 31

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 22

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 23

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 24

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

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

1959 Coupe deVille

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 12

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 13

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 15

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 16

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 17

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 18

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 19

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 20

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 21

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 33

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

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

The Golden Empress 1

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

The Golden Empress 2

The Golden Empress 3

Welcome to Greg’s World…NotoriousLuxury

The Golden Empress 4

Isn’t this drop-dead gorgeous?

The Golden Empress 5

The Golden Empress 6

It’s Notoriously outrageous

The Golden Empress 7

The Golden Empress 8

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 34

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

The Continental Life: 1978 Lincoln Town Coupé

Posted in Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Lincoln, The Bold and the Beautiful Lincolns, The Continental Life with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

“Nil fato relinquemus…”

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 1

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 3

The finale to the American luxury car is the 1978 Lincoln Continental. These are the last full-size automobiles that offered pure, unadulterated prestige. The Lincoln Continental Town Coupé is the fancy alternative to the elegant four-door Town Car. These stunning automobiles are large enough to qualify as limousines.

American luxury cars were the purveyors of automotive art no other country could replicate. The limited edition Town Coupé two-door hardtop offers eminent personal luxury with spacious six-passenger roominess. It is for the luxury car connoisseur that prefers a formal look in coupé configuration.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 4

A Lincoln was always a highly desirable luxury automobile. With the Town Car option available for the Continental, it made the brand even more desirable. The Lincoln Continental two-door was built at a highly restricted pace which makes them highly attractive to collectors world-wide.

The Town Coupé option escalated luxury to an even higher level of distinction. It is Lincoln’s answer to Cadillac’s Coupe deVille. The 1978 Lincoln Town Coupé is especially appealing to the ladies with its two-door elegance.

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The sumptuous interior makes the difference. The 1978 Lincoln Town Coupé offers exclusive button-tufted floating pillow-style seating. These luxurious lounge seats are extremely wide and deep-seated for comfort. They make a long distance jaunt enjoyable. It is a private guest room on wheels.

A Lincoln was always large and exquisitely appointed. The 1978 Town Coupé continued the tradition with high style and a distinctive appeal all its own. The front seats are 50/50 twin comfort lounge seats with individual six-way power and separate folding center arm rests for each front seat passenger.

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The spacious rear seat compartment has a folding center armrest and a bench seat that accommodates three passengers in the lap of luxury comfortably. This elegant interior was available in extra-luxurious velour or glove-soft leather.

Handsome fixed rear quarter coach windows carried a Continental star and afforded extra privacy to rear seat passengers.  Deep 17 oz. cut-pile carpet is lavishly under foot. It also lines the deep 22.4 cubic foot trunk. This is two-door personal luxury with four-door virtues…

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The Lincoln Continental Town Coupé offered many features and accessories as standard equipment; the competition offered as optional equipment. A full vinyl roof with coach lamps was standard. Power windows, power steering and brakes, Cartier Digital Timepiece, courtesy lighting, Select-Shift 3-speed automatic transmission, Automatic Temperature Control, power front disc brakes, whitewall radial ply tires, tinted glass, dual-note horn, and Anti-theft rear deck lid were among the myriad features standard for the Continental.

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The Town Coupé option is an additional $1,440 and includes all Continental features plus: power mini-vent windows. The Town Car option has unique interior door and quarter panel trim and “Town Car – Town Coupé nomenclature affixed to the dash and outside rear sail panels.

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The 1978 Lincoln Continentals were engineered for excellence. A triple sandwich of steel beams is built into each door structure. The steering wheel is energy absorbing and is designed to collapse under heavy impact. Available Sure-Track anti-lock braking system controls all four wheels.

New for the 1978 model year was an electronic ignition system, and a maintenance-free battery. Its AM/FM radio system is redesigned using fewer components. Even after the Lincoln Continental Town Coupé is built, it is further scrutinized. Rigorous road simulation is a testing feature using the “Burke-Porter” machine.

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1939 Lincoln Zephyr

1939 Lincoln Zephyr convertible coupé

1939 Lincoln Zephyr 2

1939 Lincoln Zephyr 3

1939 Lincoln Zephyr 4

1939 Lincoln Zephyr 5

1940 Lincoln Continental 2

1940 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé

1940 Lincoln Continental 1

1940 Lincoln Continental 3

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This scrutiny goes to the Continental’s exterior as well. Fit and finish examination ensures the exterior sheet metal panels are within tolerances. Exterior lamps and ornamentation are all under the toughest scrutiny. This is why the finished car is absolutely gorgeous. I will always keep my 1979 Town Car, it’s the only car I ever owned besides my DeVille that I loved enough not to trade in when I bought new cars.

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1946 Lincoln Continental

1946 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé

1947 Lincoln Continental

1947 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé

1948 Lincoln Continental 2

1948 Lincoln Continental convertible coupé

1948 Lincoln Continental

1948 Lincoln Continental 3

1948 Lincoln Continental 4

1948 Lincoln Continental 5

1948 Lincoln Continental 6

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You could have added distinctive options to your 1978 Town Coupé such as the popular “Illuminated Entry System.” It is activated when either door handle is lifted. This feature lights the interior for night-time safety. The available “Interior Light Group” adds lighted vanity mirrors, and dual beam map lights.

The “Headlamp Convenience Group” option has the “Autolamp” feature which would leave the head lights on up to three minutes to light your path safely. It also includes an automatic headlamp dimmer for night-time driving. A standard “buzzer” alerts the driver if they exit the vehicle with the manual headlamp switch activated.  The “Power Lock Group” includes central locking for doors and deck lid with power release. The 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Coupé pampers its occupants.

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Sumptuous, prestigious, elegant, opulent…I could go on and on about its distinguished exterior styling. The two-door version of the four-door counterpart has the same mission; providing spacious six-passenger luxury. The long knife-blade fenders sweep the length of its prominent silhouette.

The luxury of a Lincoln Continental is legendary. Its timeless design will challenge the years gracefully. I will always adore this last big-body Continental, these cars are keepers. I like the sheer size and the car’s road-holding attributes. The 1978 Continental two-door Town Coupé lends an air of aristocracy and elite sophistication adding to its exclusivity and supremacy –

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1957 Lincoln Premiere

1957 Lincoln Premiere

1958 Lincoln Continental MK III

1958 Lincoln Continental MK III hardtop sedan

Continental

1961 Lincoln Continental 1

1961 Lincoln Continental

1961 Lincoln Continental 2

Elwood Engel gave the Continental its identity

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1962 Lincoln Continental

1962 Lincoln Continental

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The 1978 Lincoln Continentals are stunning with their elegant front end ensemble augmented by hide-away headlamps and a Rolls-Royce inspired grille. The large wrap around bumper yields a five mph impact with no sheet metal damage. The parking/turn signal lamps are vertically placed for high visibility. Standard cornering lamps affixed to the lower front fenders below the side marker lamps light the way into turns to increase night-time visibility.

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The rear end styling ensemble is equally as dramatic as the front end design. Extra-large tail lamps are built into the rear fenders and a full-width red reflector that runs beneath the deck lid from fender to fender assures high visibility for night-time safety.

The wide wrap around rear bumper also accepts a five mph impact without damage to the sheet metal. These cars are built to protect themselves eminently. And one must be extra careful driving these luxury behemoths; it is dangerous to run into a smaller vehicle as it would completely destroy it upon impact. This is the last of the real cars.

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The 1978 Continental Town Coupé is designed to satisfy the most discerning owner in terms of styling, solidity, and overall quality. It’s saddening to realize there will never be another automobile such as this to roll off the assembly lines. The capacious interior and its extra-long wheelbase attributes to the Town Coupés popularity among the world’s finest automobiles.

1978 Lincoln Town Coupe 2

In comparison to other luxury cars, riding comfort and ease of operation, the Lincoln Continental had a more comfortable ride and was easier to drive than its competition. These luxurious automobiles have a ride all their own…they seem to just glide along with an integral integrity impervious to road conditions. This is due in no small part to its solid body on frame construction.

The 1978 Lincoln Continental Town Coupé has the luxury length of 233”, rides upon a long 127.2” wheelbase, and is 79.6” wide. The Town Coupé has a roofline and rear quarter windows that make it more glamorous than ever. It is designed to offer a greater degree of luxury. This is the largest passenger production car ever built in America. It’s even larger than the 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham sedan. The Brougham has a larger wheelbase at 133”.

1966 Lincoln Continental

1966 Lincoln Continental two-door coupé

1966 Lincoln Continental 3

1966 Lincoln Continental 2

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The 1978 Lincoln Continental was available with either the 6.5 litre 400 CID 16-valve Cleveland V8 or the “proper” 7.5 litre 16-valve 460 CID V8 engine. The Ford 385 Series 460 CID V8 is equipped with a Motorcraft 4350 4-bbl carburetor. The engine cranks 210 hp @ 4,200 rpm with 484 Nm of peak torque @ 2,200 rpm.  The engine is mated to the Ford C6 Select-Shift 3-speed automatic transmission.

It has a top speed in the 116 mph range.  Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 11.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.9 seconds, and 0-110 mph in 68.9 seconds.  It can do the ¼ mile @ 78 mph in 18.6 seconds. The Select-Shift transmission was improved with a new torque converter which refined the overall operating efficiency. As for the 160 hp 6.5 litre Cleveland V8…we won’t even go there…