Archive for the Luxury Sedans Category

2017 Bentley Mulsanne: A Trilogy of Luxury

Posted in Bentley, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Luxury Sedans with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

bentley-mulsanne-1

bentley-mulsanne-2

“Big Ben’s” rise to ultimate success reads like a modern-day “Cinderfella” story. Poor little understudy, Bentley…was always in the shadows. As its wicked step sibling – Rolls Royce – rode off on its high horse stealing the publicity and limelight…Bentley was left behind to clean the stables. The once formidable track star – which negotiated the chicanes and the Mulsanne Straight winning numerous events in the grueling 24 hours of LeMans – was reduced to a badge engineered clone. Today’s Bentley…the all-new Bentley – is now at home behind gated estates AND is parked right beside Rolls Royce at the country club sharing the spotlight equally.

Bentley has catapulted from being a humble Rolls Royce throwback…straight to eminent immortality. The flagship of the fleet is the iconic Bentley Mulsanne. It has swiftly established its reputation in the ultra-luxury car segment being part limousine and part performance saloon. The ultra-exclusive Bentley Mulsanne is one of the world’s fastest four-door saloons. “Big Ben” is back with a vengeance and a thirst for adventure. It has carved its own niche as a new breed of luxury with three distinctive models: Mulsanne, Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase, and Mulsanne Speed. This is a unique Trilogy of Luxury – each offers its own poised dignity which is a hallmark of the brand.

bentley-mulsanne-4

bentley-mulsanne-3

bentley-mulsanne-8

bentley-mulsanne-5

bentley-mulsanne-7b

Alluring new beauty

The Mulsanne totally disregards status quo. Since its inception, it has created its own unique manner of exclusivity in a niche no other motorcar can fill. For 2017, the Bentley Mulsanne features refined new beauty. Its coachwork has been re-tooled for a familiar yet dramatically new appearance. The long, low, wind-cheating architecture draws from its retrospective heritage. The bodywork is etched with a symphony of lines that appear never beginning and never-ending forcing the eyes to roam its entirety in a single appraisal.

bentley-mulsanne-6

bentley-mulsanne-7

Its facelift creates even more exquisite beauty. Mulsanne represents the pinnacle of elegance in ultra-luxury motoring. Its new refinement begins with a restyled front end ensemble. Everything in front of the “A” pillars has been refreshed adding graceful definition. Mulsanne’s signature styling has been retained yet tastefully updated.

The elegant redesign echoes classic Bentley styling cues. The bold new attributes features all-new front wings and bonnet. Its classic grille work has changed from the previous matrix design to a distinctive wider framed design with dominant vertical stainless-steel vanes. Its familiar LED projector headlamps proudly features the Bentley name. The grille work repeats below the impact-resistant bumper with symmetrical vents for the air induction system.

bentley-classic

mulsanne-speed-9

bentley-mulsanne-14

bentley-mulsanne-17

Subtle refinement adds panache to the rear end ensemble. Newly designed taillamps highlight Mulsanne’s sculpted look. The previous ellipse style taillamps are replaced with a dramatic LED design which reveals the famous “B” motif. The discreetly modified profile gives Mulsanne a prominent, more upright appeal. Understated dual stainless-steel exhaust ports adds the finishing touch of class.

Superb engineering

The familiar silhouette has undergone a subtle enhancement. Its chiseled new definition adds unique character. Its shoulders are squared off to augment a sweeping new elegance. The side strake vents sports an integrated “B” into its stainless-steel charm. Mulsanne’s beauty is composed of a galvanized steel bodyshell with its hood and doors made from aluminium. The SMC (Sheet Molding Compound) composite bootlid has an integrated antenna.

bentley-mulsanne-16

mulsanne-ewb-2

Mulsanne is built like no other. Bentley’s process of hand-brazing yields perfect joins around intricate curves. The bonnet, boot lid, doors, and front wings are crafted using the “Superform Process.” This patented system creates complex panels from a single sheet of product to eliminate body seams and welds. This feature not only eliminates areas for corrosion but also aids aerodynamic efficiency. Each Mulsanne is a consummate blend of design excellence, advanced engineering, and of course… exemplary fit and finish.

mulsanne-ewb-12

bentley-1

bentley-2

bentley-3

bentley-4

bentley-5

bentley-mulsanne-9

bentley-mulsanne-7g

Luxury and innovation

Mulsanne is a showcase of Bentley superlatives. Evolution plays an important role in the continual strive for excellence. The company flagship is one of the world’s most spacious and splendidly appointed saloons. It offers more than inert luxury; it cossets its passengers in technological sophistication. Intelligent electronics and controls assist the driver and elevates passenger comfort.

Advanced chassis refinement with more efficient air springs and hydraulically damped sub-frames eliminates noise 4 decibels more than the previous model. Noise absorbing technology in the tires results in a 50% decrease in peak rolling noise. Mulsanne’s formidable V8 does its part by reducing noise another 25 decibels using a closed loop system to cancel vibration.

mulsanne-ewb-1

The most elegant occasion seldom surpass the splendor of the journey in the Bentley Mulsanne that took you there. The epochal Bentley brand is epitomized by the luxury and distinction of the Mulsanne. Its world-class attributes are further exemplified offering three unique expressions of this elite flagship. Each shares the unparalleled opulence that is the essence of the brand.

Mulsanne…Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase…and Mulsanne Speed all create a delightful agony of choice. Whatever model is chosen, rest assured…it will move over the road with an effortless feeling of mastery that confirms its place as the ultimate statement of Bentley engineering. They are three of the most ambitious four-door luxury saloons the world has to offer –

bentley-mulsanne-7h

bentley

Mulsanne standard wheelbase is contemporary luxury that methodically repeals the laws governing saloons in its class. This is high performance cloaked in absolute respectability. It cossets its occupants in an exclusive world of supple natural grain leather and rich handcrafted veneers. Most every power assist imaginable is standard fare to augment comfort and convenience.

The Mulsanne received cabin updates for the 2017 model year. Redesigned seats, door trim, armrests, and unique glass switch gear makes it even more opulent. In addition to 24 exquisite hide colors, Mulsanne features an all-new infotainment system and navigation technology. State of the art audio and visual equipment is available to tailor the entertainment system to the owner’s requisites. The Bentley Mulsanne can serve with equal distinction as a high performance touring saloon or the varying roles demanded of a family sedan.

bentley-mulsanne-7d

bentley-mulsanne-7e

bentley-mulsanne-7f

mulsanne

mulsanne-ewb-3

Luxury with an emphasis on the rear passenger compartment is important to those who prefer to be driven about in style. Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase is 9.8” longer than the standard saloon. This means…rear seat passengers have more legroom and room for special appointments.

Limousine-style seating makes use of the extra inches by incorporating power assisted leg rests into the base of the aircraft inspired lounge seats. These extend outward pivoting as recliners. They make the special world of Mulsanne even more so. This extra exclusive cabin is a 2+2 configuration with front and rear center consoles.

mulsanne-ewb-4

mulsanne-ewb-5

The exclusivity is augmented with options to make the Mulsanne EWB saloon a highly bespoke masterpiece. Electric rear seat curtains may be requested with a black or champagne lining for the ultimate in privacy. Both rear seats can be ordered with deployable folding tables. A large glass sun roof over the rear cabin may be operated by passengers or the driver. It tilts and slides with an Alcantara sun blind to control light entering the cabin. The extra special accoutrements focused upon the rear seat passenger compartment sets this personal limousine apart from the standard saloon. Bentley Mulsanne is the quintessential flagship replete with an elegant flair no other automobile may replicate. The Mulsanne EWB saloon is luxury and elegance on the grand Bentley scale…in the grand Bentley manner –

mulsanne-ewb-7

…welcome to elite sophistication

mulsanne-ewb-8

mulsanne-ewb-10

Rear seat passengers benefit from the all-new “Bentley Entertainment Tablet.” A pair of 10.2” Android devices with 4G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability are integrated into the front seat backs and deploy at the touch of a button. The Android powered tablets feature Bentley-specific interface with access to over one million Android Apps.

They may also be used away from the car. Each tablet has 32GB on-board storage capability. The system interfaces with the car’s navigation system. Audio/Visual streaming capability is included as part of the Mulsanne’s inter-connectivity along with internet browsing. With a motorcar as highly bespoke as Mulsanne, the client may design their own exclusive suite of infotainment to interface with home or office systems.

mulsanne-ewb-11

mulsanne-ewb-15

mulsanne-ewb-14

Mulsanne EWB is the epitome of executive-class luxury

infotainment

mulsanne-ewb-13

bentley-mulsanne-15

bentley-mulsanne-10

The famous 1929 “Blue Train” Bentley

bentley-mulsanne-11

bentley-mulsanne-18

Introducing one of the fastest production limos in the world

mulsanne-speed-1

The formidable Mulsanne Speed

return-of-the-silent-sports-car

The return of the silent sports car…

Mulsanne nomenclature adorned a new breed of Bentley supercars beginning the 1981 model year. Bentley Mulsanne was marketed as “The return of the silent sports car.” This spectacular motorcar revived the Grand Touring tradition with high style and a prolific presence no other car could replicate.

It targets the driver who demands luxury with extraordinary performance combined with European handling and finesse. This is the ultimate statement of Bentley sporting philosophy. The Mulsanne is named after a portion of the tracks at LeMans where drivers reach their highest speeds known as “The Mulsanne Straight.”

speed-2014-4

The 2014 Mulsanne Speed blew the doors off its competition

speed-2014

speed-2014-2

speed-2014-3

speed-2014-5

This is the ride for executives who work…quickly – 

very-quick

The illustrious Mulsanne Speed became the most spirited contemporary Bentley model joining the ranks for the 2014 model year. Mulsanne Speed for 2017 is a pulse-invigorating performance saloon that offers substantially more than performance. Talented artisans handcraft rare veneers, high quality natural grain hides, and plush pile carpets into a cabin of unsurpassed comfort and distinction.

Mulsanne Speed remains true to form being a fast sporting machine built in the classic European tradition. Performance, impressive road capabilities, silence, and superb comfort come together in the newest of a historic and elegant line of motorcars that have made Bentley the definitive choice among enthusiasts for well over half a century.

mulsanne-speed-3

Mulsanne Speed has its own prominent character

mulsanne-speed-4

Here’s a grand touring saloon that does 0-60 in 4.8 seconds

mulsanne-speed-5

mulsanne-speed-6

Mulsanne Speed is one of the most tastefully appointed sporting saloons in the world. A coined finish to door handles, knurled gear shift lever, and “organ stop” ventilation controls gives the cabin its own unique personality. The drilled alloy foot pedals proves the Mulsanne Speed’s pedigree as the ultimate grand tourer. The cabin is as luxurious as it is sporting –

mulsanne-speed-8

mulsanne-speed-2

1925-6-5-litre-1

1925-6-5-litre-3

1929 Bentley 6.5 litre

1925-6-5-litre-4

1925-6-5-litre-2

1925-6-5-litre-6

1925-6-5-litre-7

mulsanne-ewb-16

twin-turbo

The heart and soul of this British masterpiece beats the 6.75 litre light alloy 16-valve OHV twin-turbocharged V8 engine. High revs at low rpm is a Bentley hallmark. This legendary powerplant cranks an astounding 530 hp @ 4,000 rpm packing a prolific punch with 1,100 Nm of peak torque @ 1,750 rpm for the Mulsanne Speed. Mulsanne and Mulsanne EWB offers equally impressive performance pumping 505 hp @ 4,000 rpm with an astounding 1,020 Nm of peak torque at 1,750 rpm.

Its chassis is equally aggressive to accommodate this masterful motorcar. Advanced technology delivers one of the world’s most refined rides with effortless comfort via selectable sports suspension to fine tune the ride to the driver’s preference. This luxury brute is highly capable of performance that would shame a sports car. Longitudinal acceleration for the Mulsanne Speed is rated as 0-60 mph in a mere 4.8 seconds with a top speed in the 190 mph range. While Mulsanne and Mulsanne EWB has longitudinal acceleration rated as 0-60 mph in just 5.1 seconds with a top speed in the 184 mph range.

twin-turbo-2

bentley-boys-2

High performance is nothing new to any Bentley. From its humble beginnings with its creator W.O. Bentley who initiated the legend to the notorious Bentley Boys that earned consecutive wins from 1927 to 1930 at the grueling 24 hours of LeMans – Bentley EARNED its respect.

Bentley has always been a tad bit more spirited than its Rolls Royce counterpart. It was considered the sporting version of Rolls Royce for the owner who wished to maintain a low profile. Walter Owen Bentley’s motto was “To build a good car, a fast car, and the best in its class.” His cars raced climbing hills at Brooklands…scorching the tracks at the Indy 500, and those famous wins kickin’ up a little dust at LeMans.

bentley-boys-3

blue-train-1

The famous Calais-Méditerranée Express race

blue-train-2

1 of 30 Bentley Arnage Blue Train Limited Editions

blue-train-3

blue-train-4

blue-train-5

twin-turbo

Aside from Mulsanne’s luxurious appeal, there is also a practical sense. Its powerful V8 engine is geared for today’s world. “Big Ben” is the unexpected economy car. The Mulsanne uses technology to reduce overall fuel economy via cylinder deactivation to allow the car to cruise on four cylinders under light vehicle loads.

Cam phasing is also big news in the auto industry. Cam phasers help to increase fuel efficiency by decreasing the power needed to turn the engine over and keep the camshafts in optimal positions at all times. The engine is mated to the energy-efficient 8-speed ZF automatic transmission as part of Mulsanne’s electronic network aimed at reducing fuel consumption. (ahem…if one can afford the car, obviously fuel economy is insignificant…right?)

bentley-mulsanne-retro-5a

bentley-mulsanne-retro-4

bentley-mulsanne-retro-5

Note the styling continuity, the previous Mulsanne saloon remains as tasteful and elegant as the current model. This only proves that good taste is never rendered redundant.

bentley-mulsanne-saloon-1

bentley-mulsanne-saloon-2

classic-2

classic

bentley-mulsanne-12

1973 Bentley T saloon

bentley-mulsanne-13

notoriousluxury

“Big Ben” is a highly intuitive luxury saloon equipped with a thinking suspension. It uses an air cushioned system with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) to refine the ride at lower speeds for comfort. It automatically lowers the car’s ride height at higher speeds to aid stability while enhancing vehicle downforce.

Drive Dynamics Control System allows the driver to program the ride operated by a rotary switch mounted next to the gear shift lever. The driver may choose from Bentley, Sport, or Comfort. And if this isn’t sufficient…there is a 4th selection. Custom mode enables the driver to select bespoke settings through Mulsanne’s multimedia system to further fine tune this luxury limo to suit their individual exigencies.

bentley-mulsanne-7c

Mulsanne is a continual source of unparalleled excellence with comfort and convenience beyond the realm of ordinary luxury motorcars. For example…Mulsanne’s “High Beam Assist” automatically dips its high beam headlamps when oncoming vehicles approach to avoid dazzling the eyes of motorists at night.

This electronic system adapts the shape of the light beam according to vehicle speed operating in 4 modes from which to select: Town, Country, Motorway, and High Beam. An ingenious “Blind Spot Warning System” detects vehicles behind the car in its blind spots to predict the possibility of collision. It flashes lights in the door mirrors. Another of Mulsanne’s collision mitigation features is Advanced Automatic Stability Control (ASC) to maintain optimum vehicle poise when needed.

headlamp

park-ward

mulliner-bamford-x-1

…The opulent Mulliner Touch

Bespoke is a sine qua non for Mulsanne. Each Bentley is handcrafted to reflect the requisites of its owner. The ultra-exclusive world of Mulsanne is further exemplified by Bentley through an extensive personal commissioning program. Mulliner is the in-house coachbuilder to design an automotive masterpiece that is as uniquely individual as one’s own finger prints. The majestic Mulliner personal commissioning service is limited only by one’s imagination…

mulliner-bamford-x-2

The Mulliner touch immediately escalates Mulsanne to new heights in exclusivity and supremacy which becomes the pinnacle of Bentley luxury and elegance. One such example has been created for George Bamford of Bamford Watch Department. Bamford specializes in the bespoke customization of elegant timepieces.

The Bamford X Bentley Mulliner Mulsanne Speed was designed in an elegant monotone of chic dark hues which is a true reflection of his very own savoir-faire. His signature panache coordinates black and dark tinted elements with a Beluga finish to all interior and exterior bright ware.

mulliner-bamford-x-3

mulliner-bamford-x-6

mulliner-bamford-x-5

mulliner-corniche

Once the Mulliner magic has been cast, the motorcar becomes a highly collectible heirloom. Apart from custom handcrafted four-door saloons and limousines, Mulliner has created two-door fixedhead and drophead coupé models. Only those who know the bona-fide meaning of success can fully comprehend the true nobility of a Mulliner masterwork.

Before the spit between Bentley and Rolls Royce, HJ Mulliner, and Mulliner Park Ward handcrafted all two-door models exclusively. Bentley and Rolls Royce were at the time, built primarily as four-door saloons. The coupé models had to be coachbuilt. The elusive Corniche models became the dernier cri in grand touring coupés.

mulliner-corniche-2

Mulliner creates exclusivity, pedigree, and élan. Each masterwork becomes a crowning achievement in all of motordom. The pleasure of owning such a magnificent example of automotive art is reveling in the fact that no other motorcar will be exactly the same… 

mulsanne-l-1

Mulsanne “L” one of only 2 built between 1984 & 1988

mulsanne-l-2

1997-bentley-turbo-r-400-mulliner-park-ward-newport-edition-1

1997 Bentley Turbo R 400 Mulliner Park Ward Newport Edition 

1997-bentley-turbo-r-400-mulliner-park-ward-newport-edition-3

1997-bentley-turbo-r-400-mulliner-park-ward-newport-edition-4

1997-bentley-turbo-r-400-mulliner-park-ward-newport-edition-5

note the impeccable fit and finish

1997-bentley-turbo-r-400-mulliner-park-ward-newport-edition-6

1997-bentley-turbo-r-400-mulliner-park-ward-newport-edition-7

1963-bentley-continental-siii-flying-spur-1

1963 Bentley Continental S3 Flying Spur by Mulliner

1963-bentley-continental-siii-flying-spur-2

1963-bentley-continental-siii-flying-spur-3

1963-bentley-continental-siii-flying-spur-4

1963-bentley-continental-siii-flying-spur-6

1960-mulliner-coupe

1960 Bentley Mulliner coachbuilt coupé

1960-mulliner-coupe-3

1960-mulliner-coupe-2

1960-mulliner-coupe-5

1960-mulliner-coupe-6

bentley-camargue

Here’s the world’s only Bentley badged Camargue

1959-bentley-si-3

1959-bentley-si-4

1959 Bentley S1 standard saloon

1959-bentley-si-2

1959-bentley-si-5

1959-bentley-si-6

1964-siii-1

1964 Bentley S3 standard saloon

1964-siii-4

1964-siii-6

1964-siii-5

bentley-t2

The eloquent 1977 Bentley T2 standard saloon

1977-bentley-t2-1

1977-bentley-t2-2

1977-bentley-t2-3

1977-bentley-t2-6

…do I give you the business or what?

1977-bentley-t2-7

the-last-dance

…The finale – this is the end of a magnificent era in luxury motoring. Here is the last time a body shell would be shared between these two legends. The Bentley Arnage and the Rolls Royce Silver Seraph is the end of the line. After these two icons rolled out of the assembly hall at Crewe…there became a distinct difference. “Just in fun…the fight begun, before long a web of hate was spun! Bentley pretended…same as Rolls Royce – but friends again they’d never be…so they scandalized, and criticized, and then they learned how to despise – “

arnage-3

Bentley Arnage exhibits understated preeminence

arnage-2

arnage-4

arnage-6

Arnage is the summit of unpretentious glamour

arnage-5

arnage-8

…Epilogue

bentley-8-litre-1

Bentley 8 litre

bentley-8-litre-5

bentley-8-litre-2

bentley-8-litre-4

bentley-8-litre-3

bentley-8-litre-6

gregs-world-2

gregs-world

“Big Ben” stands alone today and is no longer foreshadowed by you-know-who! It’s a masterpiece that could only come from the master craftsmen. No car in years has so captured the admiration of the ultra-luxury market segment as the Bentley Mulsanne. Whatever the occasion…there is no more magnificent manner in which to arrive. This is luxury on the grand Bentley scale…unique even among other Bentley models.

The Mulsanne is rich in power assists, conveniences, appointments, and lavishly elegant interiors. The famed 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine has one of the largest displacements in the industry. Mulsanne, Mulsanne EWB, and Mulsanne Speed each possess a distinctive character of its own. Whichever sumptuous saloon you select, rest assured…you own the world’s standard of excellence in luxury motoring. Stunning elegance, extraordinary power, and exceptional handling characteristics are just a few of the outstanding attributes one may expect from a Bentley Mulsanne – (applause…applause)

mulliner

Many thanks to my friends at Bentley Crewe http://www.bentleymotors.com/. Special thanks to my buddy Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum http://www.parkwardmotorsmuseum.com/. Hello to one of the finest Luxury Car dealers in the world Balmoral UK http://www.balmoraluk.com/. And I can’t thank Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars enough http://www.schmitt.com/. Thanks again for making this special tribute to the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne and Bentley history possible.

finale

…welcome once again to Greg’s World

mulsanne-ewb-17

Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury  © 2016–2018

Advertisements

The Magnificent Series 70 Eldorado Brougham by Cadillac

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

A Rhapsody in motion

Series 70 1

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

Series 70 2

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

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

Series 70 3

Series 70 4

Series 70 5

Series 70 6

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

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

1957 Series 70 15

 

1957 Series 70 14

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

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

1965 Fleetwood Brougham

1965 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1970 Fleetwood Brougham

1970 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1957 Series 70 3

1957 Series 70 1

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

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

Continental MK II

1956-1957 Continental MK II

Continental MK II 2

1957 Series 70 2

1957 Series 70 12

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

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

1957 Series 70 5

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

1957 Series 70 16

Series 70 7

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

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

Series 70 10

 

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

Series 70 9

Series 70 8

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

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

Series 70 12

1957 Series 70 6

1957 Series 70 7

1957 Series 70 9

1957 Series 70 10

1957 Series 70 4

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

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

Series 70 13

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

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

Series 70 14

Series 70 15

Series 70 16

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

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

Series 70 17

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

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

1953 Orleans at the Waldorf Astoria GM Motorama

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

1955 Eldorado Brougham concept 1

1955 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Show Car Concept

Eldorado Brougham 2

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

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

Eldorado Brougham 1

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

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

Eldorado Brougham 3

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 1

1959 Cadillac Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 2

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

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

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 3

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 4

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 5

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

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 6

1959 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 7

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 1

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 2

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

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 3

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 4

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 5

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 7

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 8

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 9

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

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 10

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 11

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 14

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 6

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 13

1960 Series 6900 Eldorado Brougham 12

 

 

Series 70 24

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

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

Series 70 25

Series 70 23

1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car 1

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

1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car 2

1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car 3

1956 Eldorado Brougham Town Car 4

1990-1992 Brougham 2

1990-1992 Brougham 1The 1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham

1993-1996 Fleetwood Brougham

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

Cadillac Style

Cadillac Style…

1957 Series 70 13

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

1957 Series 70 11

GM Heritage Center

Series 70 28

finale

Series 70 29

Eldorado Brougham 4

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

Eldorado Brougham ad

Series 70 18

The End

NotoriousLuxury is Greg’s World…

 

Cadillac: The Standard of the Entire World

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans, Notorious Retrospect, Requiem For A Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 18, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

…Automotive milestones

A

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

1

2

Theodore MacManus wrote in his famous “The Penalty of Leadership” advertisement: “That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamor of denial.” Cadillac prowess in the luxury car arena made headlines all over the world. From the massive V16 and V12 powerplants to the modern V8 engines…Cadillac was the master builder of the luxury automobile.

Fisher Body, Harley Earl, Bill Mitchell, and a host of other talent made the brand the undisputed “Standard of the World”…in the entire world. Will the brand ever stop chasing everything that moves in Europe…and return to being the pride of the USA and the envy of the world? NotoriousLuxury retros back to the days when Cadillac reigned supreme…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

4

5

There was a time when Cadillac had no product recalls…they even sold without advertising. Cadillac was recognized as the luxury leader world-wide. The mere mention of “Cadillac” had the competition in a nervous frenzy. The brand had absolutely no interest comparing itself to European brands simply because the European brands were taking notes from Cadillac success!

The “Standard of the World” was the innovator displaying engineering prowess with outstanding fit & finish. Cadillac couldn’t have cared less about achieving 0-60 mph in a nanosecond, nor was it trying to compete in every automotive class – a Cadillac was a luxury car…period. Cadillac has since forgotten all of its loyal following that made it the “Standard of the World.”

1976 Coupe deVille 1

1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille

1976 Coupe deVille 2

The Cadillac name was synonymous with luxury, prestige, and quality. The association was that of superlative status such as the Cadillac of appliances…the Cadillac of electronics; this meant the product or service was the best in its industry. And of course…the Cadillac of automobiles was the one and only “Standard of the World.” It was everyone’s dream car…the envy of the driveway.

The mere sight of a big, shiny, classy Cadillac sent shock waves throughout the entire automotive industry. The exclusivity and supremacy made quite a statement about its owner. A Cadillac was a supreme achievement in motoring…I used to polish mine for hours upon end to a glassy mirror-like reflection that was so shiny, my girlfriends used to apply their make-up using my Cadillacs as a mirror! Those were the good old days.

1976 Coupe deVille 3

1976 Coupe deVille 4

Once seated behind the wheel…a turn of the ignition key brought the powerful V8 engine to life…it didn’t roar its existence – it whispered its presence. The transmission engaged imperceptibly…the steering was light as a feather…I could turn the steering wheel with one finger action.

Once the ride was under way, boulevard travel intrusion was negligible…a Cadillac managed the roughest pavement with ease. There was nothing else on the road quite like it. In fact, there was no more magnificent manner in which to view the world than from behind the wheel of the “Standard of the World.” Its presence enhanced any occasion…its eminence never went unnoticed –

1970

Not many truly understand this automobile’s illustrious heritage. Let’s take a look into the history of the “Standard of the World.” The brand was established in 1899 as The Detroit Auto Company. It was the first venture of its type in Detroit. It was struggling to survive; the company floundered and was dissolved in January 1901 after only 20 vehicles were built.

The company was reorganized on November 20, 1901 as The Henry Ford Company. Henry ran the company for three weeks then resigned to move on to other endeavors. Henry Martyn Leland, a reserved traditional entrepreneur, reorganized the venture and the company was renamed after Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of the city of Detroit. The Cadillac Model A was introduced in 1903.

The brand did not spring forth as the “Standard of the World.” This formidable title was garnered through evolution and dedication to quality. It’s an American success story that unfortunately has a not so happy ending. To regain the illustrious title the brand must cease and desist with the kitschy-faux, make-believe unreasonable facsimiles and build real luxury automobiles once again –

1904 Model B Touring 1

1904 Cadillac Model B Touring

1908 Model S

1908 Cadillac Model S

Model 30 1913 2

1913 Cadillac Model 30

Model 30 1913 1

1918 Model 57 Raceabout

1918 Cadillac Model 57 Raceabout

Fisher Body, the coachbuilder for GM was founded in 1908 by Fred and Charles Fisher of the famous Fisher brothers in Detroit, Michigan. It all began here in Ohio in the beautiful area of Norwalk in the late 1800s building horse-drawn carriages. The transition became necessary because the internal combustion engine and its torque created way too much vibration and the bodies of the horse-drawn units couldn’t withstand the forces.

1929 Cadillac V-8 Dual Cowl Phaeton

Before Fisher Body became a company, the Fisher brothers built bodies for Cadillac. By 1910, Fisher Body became the supplier of all closed bodies for Cadillac. They also built bodies for Buick, Abbot, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Packard, Studebaker…even Ford. By 1913 Fisher Body had the capacity to build 100,000 bodies per year. This success caused the company to expand into Canada right across the lake from Detroit. By 1914 they grew becoming the world’s largest manufacturer of automobile bodies.

In 1916 Larry Fisher joined the company placing emphasis on the Cadillac brand. He wanted exclusivity for the brand. Fisher Body developed the art of interchangeability of wood body parts. They created precision wood working tools, thus, increasing production output. The company became The Fisher Body Corporation in 1916 with the capacity to build 370,000 bodies per year. Larry Fisher became general manager from 1925 until 1934. He oversaw the purchase of The Fleetwood Metal Body Company of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania in 1925.

V16 1

Cadillac was the first American car in 1914 to introduce a V-type water-cooled 8 cylinder engine and was also the first to use a thermostatic controlled cooling system. In 1920 the Clark Avenue plant was built in Detroit, Michigan and was the most modern facility in the entire industry. In 1922 Cadillac introduced a thermostatic carburetor control for efficiency. For the 1923 model year Cadillac was the first in the industry to build the inherently balanced V8 engine with a compensated crankshaft…and a four-wheel braking system.

Cadillac was the first in the industry in 1926 to offer a comprehensive service policy on a nationwide basis. In 1928 Cadillac developed the clashless synchromesh transmission that eliminated the chafing noise and friction of gear shifting, thus, laying the foundation for the first fully automatic transmission called the Hydra-Matic in 1941 which eliminated the clutch and manual shifting. In 1929 chrome plated accessories were standard.

1930 Cadillac Model 452 V16

1930 Cadillac Model 452 V16

1930 V16 convertible

1930 Cadillac V16 Roadster

1930 V16 Roadsters were the world’s most luxurious cars

1930 V16 Phaeton 1

1930 Cadillac V16 Phaeton

1930 V16 Phaeton 2

1930 V16 Phaeton 3

After the stock market crash in the 1920s with The Great Depression, GM never lost money due to its diversity under the leadership of Larry Fisher. Fisher Body was an innovator in the industry. They introduced car window regulators to raise and lower windows, closed bodies offering year round comfort wet or dry…rain or snow, and many other features automakers take for granted today. The Fishers turned a $1,000 investment from Fred’s sister into a multi-million dollar company a few years later. In 1919 General Motors paid $27.6 Million USD for 60 percent of Fisher Body, and in 1926 GM paid another $208 Million USD for the remaining 40 percent of Fisher Body.

And in case you didn’t know…Cadillac was a pioneer in the automotive industry. Cadillac luxury and elegance are prominent attributes but innovation and engineering prowess were paramount. Cadillac introduced many firsts to the automotive industry. It is the only ‘foreign’ automobile to win the coveted Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of Great Britain…not once…but twice. In 1908 Cadillac won for introducing standardization and interchangeability of parts. In 1912 it won for introducing the Delco electric lighting and ignition system. In 1905 Cadillac was the first to offer a multi-cylinder engine. In 1910 it was the first auto manufacturer to offer closed bodies as standard equipment. For the 1911 model year the illustrious Fleetwood hand-crafted coachwork made its grand entrance.

1930-1932

This is one of Cadillac’s coupé body designs from 1930-1932

1931 Cadillac V12

1931 Cadillac V12

1933 Cadillac V16

1933 Fleetwood-bodied V16

1936 Series 90

1936 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 90

Next…enter Harley Earl. He created Cadillac works of art. Harley Earl initiated the process of freeform sketching and hand sculpture techniques. His “concept car” theory is still used today for the design process. He was discovered by Larry Fisher who was intrigued by Earl’s concept car and clay model processes. Harley Earl’s methodology was far ahead of its time. The comradery began in 1927 when Fisher commissioned Harley Earl to design the 1927 LaSalle which was to be a companion entry-level car for Cadillac.

Harley Earl was named the first director of GM’s Art & Colour Section which was an in-house design studio and is an industry first, established December 15, 1935. Earl’s legendary techniques were a shock to conservatives at General Motors. He brought luxurious style to Cadillac…just what Larry Fisher wanted.  Before the Art & Colour Section, there really wasn’t a great importance to how an auto body looked. By 1937 The Art & Colour Section was renamed “The Styling Section” and Harley Earl was named vice president. This is the first time in automotive history that a designer became a VP of a large corporation.

1936 Cadillac V16 Series 90 Town Cabriolet

1936 Cadillac V16 Series 90 Town Cabriolet

The big news was the ultimate automobile powerplants introduced in 1930. The massive 16 and 12 cylinder engines, both V-types…made Cadillac the first auto manufacturer to offer a complete line of multi-cylinder automobiles. Cadillac introduced the hydraulic valve silencers the same year; Cadillac was the master builder for multi-cylinder engines.

This made the competition appear dated – placing the competitors even further behind…for the 1932 model year Cadillac introduced safety headlamps, an air-cooled generator, a completely silent transmission, and full-range ride regulator. And you thought Cadillac was merely a luxury car…Cadillac was the engineering leader…it “started the dance” the rest of the auto industry followed in subservience…especially European luxury “wannabes.” 

V16 2

1936 Series 70 V8 coupe

1936 Cadillac Series 70 V8 coupé

1936 V16 convertible

1936 Cadillac V16 Convertible coupé

1939 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Derham Town Car 1

1939 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special with body by Derham

1939 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Derham Town Car 2

1939 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Derham Town Car 3

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 1

1940 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 5

The glamour of a Cadillac was second to none. There was style…grace…and the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac. It used to be the luxury car enjoyed by more luxury car buyers than any other brand. These resplendent automobiles were an ultra-exclusive realm of motoring majesty. Now…enter Bill Mitchell, a bright and talented advertising illustrator.

Harley Earl recruited him to join the GM Art & Colour Section in 1935. Bill Mitchell designed the fabulous Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special. He influenced the design of over 72.5 million GM automobiles. Some of his monumental designs include the 1955-1957 Chevy Bel Air, the 1961-1976 Corvette Stingray, the 1963 Buick Riviera, and the 1975-1979 Cadillac Seville. Bill Mitchell eventually became the VP of Design for GM.

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 6

Beginning the 1934 model year, Cadillac was the first to begin stream lining the coachwork…the spare tire was now concealed within the body. The 1936 model year is another important milestone year. Bill Mitchell designed the Fleetwood-bodied Series Sixty-Special. This car revolutionized luxury automobiles. It was the first car to use fender mounted headlamps when everyone else attached them to the hood.

The elegant Series Sixty-Special was sans running boards which was shocking at the time. It had a faired-in rear deck lid, thin door posts, and chrome banded window frames which became Fleetwood signature features for many years. A hydraulic braking system was also introduced by Cadillac in 1936 as a first to the industry. The Sixty-Special was released for the 1938 model year; its design was copied by the rest of the auto industry. This milestone vehicle made everything on the road appear outmoded. This car influenced automotive design for an entire generation.

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 2

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 3

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 4

1940 Series 72

For the 1940 model year, Cadillac was the first to introduce an ultra-modern large, luxurious motorcar to the industry known as the Fleetwood Series Seventy-Two. It was similar to the Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five but is 3″ shorter. It rides upon a long 138″ wheelbase. The Fleetwood Series Seventy-Two is powered by a 346 CID V8 engine that produces 140 hp.

The Fleetwood Series Seventy-Two uses a 3-speed manual transmission and is equipped with a four-wheel hydraulic braking system. This is the only year it was produced and only 18 were built. 1940 introduced the first ball bearing steering system making these large vehicles easier to maneuver.

1941 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1941 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1941 Cadillac Sixty-two Coupe

1941 Cadillac Series 62 coupé

1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible coupé

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 5

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 

Harley Earl’s first monumental design is the 1948 Cadillac. This is the birth of the iconic Cadillac tail fin. The Lockheed P-38 was the inspiration. During this genre, air craft and space rockets dominated the designers’ imagination for automotive design. The tail fin wars of the 1950s were instigated by Harley Earl and Chrysler’s chief designer Virgil Exner. Tail fin mania spread like wildfire throughout the industry. The greatest engineering achievement in 45 years was Cadillac’s new compact…more economical and smoother operating overhead valve V8 engine for the 1948 model year. 

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 1

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 2

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 4

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 3

Harley Earl and Alfred P. Sloan, GM’s president at the time developed the annual model change implemented as “Dynamic Obsolescence.” This associated model identity to a specific year for product success. This principle is used in the marketing strategies today. Harley Earl is the pioneer of using clay models to evolve various body components. He is the first designer to create complete automobiles; blending the main body structure with hoods, fenders, lights, and trim to enhance styling continuity. The rest of the auto industry scrambled to adopt this theory.

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 2

1949 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 4

Public acceptance was important to Harley Earl. It was his fabulous idea that led to the formidable GM Motoramas. Between 1949 and 1961 these glitzy, glamorous extravaganzas showcased notorious conceptual designs aimed at public reaction. Comments were taken seriously and used towards production models. Harley Earl designed the pillarless hardtop design which was the first of its kind in the automotive industry.

He ordered the two-door hardtop design into production as the very first Coupe deVille for the 1949 model year. Earl visited Italy and after seeing a Lancia sedan sans “B” pillars…he introduced the hardtop Sedan deVille for the 1956 model year for luxury car buyers that wanted a pillarless four-door configuration. The Orleans four-door hardtop sedan was a concept car that debuted at the 1953 Motorama which appealed to customers and spawned the Sedan deVille. The DeVille series is among the longest and most successful production runs in the history of the brand. They earned the title as “America’s favorite luxury cars.”

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 7

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 3

The Coupe deVille mocked a convertible with chrome roof bows

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 5

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 6

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 8

1949 Series Sixty-Special 2

1949 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1949 Series 62 convertible

1949 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1950 Cadillac Sixty-two Convertible

1950 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1953 Series 62 Eldorado 4

1953 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado convertible

Cadillac even outdid itself for the 1953 model year slapping the competition with the highest horsepower V8 engine to power a domestic production vehicle with an astounding 220 hp in the magnificent limited edition Series 62 Eldorado convertible…a Harley Earl masterwork! The 1953 Cadillac Eldorado is an exclusive trim option package for the Series 62 and the image car for General Motors. It was also the most expensive model at $7,750…you could have purchased two Cadillacs for this price.

Distinctive signature features which set it apart from the stock convertible are a wrap-around panoramic windscreen, a sculpted beltline that incorporates a cupid’s bow in its design, a sleek metal parade boot, and Kelsey-Hayes genuine wire-laced wheels. Only 532 were built making it highly sought by collectors world-wide today. They now sell for six figures…that is if you can find one for sale – Harley Earl’s legend will live on forever. He and Bill Mitchell made Cadillac the quintessential luxury icon.

1955 Cadillac for racing 1

Cadillac was into stock car racing, 1955 Series 62 coupé shown

1955 Cadillac for racing 2

1955 Eldorado

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado convertible

1956 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five

1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five limousine

1956 Series 62 Sedan deVille 1

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan deVille

1956 Series 62 Sedan deVille 2

The pillarless hardtop Sedan deVille became an instant success

1956 Series 62 Sedan deVille 3

1958 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five

1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five limousine

Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 1

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 3

the end 2

The last of Harley Earl’s masterpiece designs is the magnificent 1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Broughams. This is the most spectacular Cadillac motorcar of the 1950s. Its sheet metal wasn’t shared with any other Cadillac. The Eldorado Brougham was one of the world’s most expensive cars at the time selling at $13,074. Understated luxury from bumper to bumper with a custom appearance makes this automobile totally unique for the genre. Harley Earl designed some of the most significant Cadillacs of all time. He retired at age 65 in 1958 shortly after directing the design of the iconic 1959 Cadillacs. By this time, General Motors had become the largest corporation in the world.

The end 1

The 1959 tail fin

The iconic tail fin from the 1959 Cadillac

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 1

1959 Cadillac Series 62 “Flat Top” hardtop sedan

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 2

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 3

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 6

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 5

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 4

1959 Eldorado Biarritz convertible

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible

1960 Eldorado Biarritz convertible 1

1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible

1960 Eldorado Biarritz convertible 2

1960 Eldorado Biarritz convertible 3

For the 1960s, Bill Mitchell promoted what he called the “Sheer Look.” It was an aerodynamic design that is sleeker and more contemporary. He broke away from the designs of Harley Earl with his own interpretations of what a luxury car should be. The designs under his direction are noted as the “Bill Mitchell Era.”

He gave GM vehicles a more conservative, streamlined look. His restrained use of ornamentation, less chrome, and the elimination of tail fins instituted an understatement which made these automobiles timeless challenging the years gracefully. Mitchell’s last accomplishments are the radically down-sized Cadillacs for the 1977 model year. Both Bill Mitchell and Harley Earl left an indelible impression on the automotive industry.

1960 Eldorado Biarritz convertible 5

1960 Series 62 convertible 1

1960 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1960 Series 62 convertible 2

1960 Series 62 convertible 3

Cadillac was still a heart-throb with its “Sheer Look”

1960 Series 62 convertible 4

1960 Series 62 convertible 6

1960 Series 62 convertible 5

1960 Series 62 convertible 7

1967 Fleetwood Eldorado

The 1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado with front-wheel drive is the world’s finest personal luxury automobile. It successfully combined the traction of front-wheel drive, maintained perfect poise with Automatic Level Control, and the maneuverability of Variable Ratio Power Steering…all as standard equipment. This car gangster-slapped the industry big-time!

1971 Coupe deVille 1

1971 Cadillac Coupe deVille

1971 Coupe deVille 2

The Bill Mitchell Era exemplified Cadillac luxury and distinction to new heights in exclusivity and supremacy. This elegant era in luxury motoring was augmented by “Cadillac-Style!” Bill Mitchell had the entire industry “nervous.” Each time the competition ‘thought’ they had caught up with Cadillac-Style…Bill Mitchell bitch-slapped them with something more intriguing…with an attitude –

1971 Coupe deVille 3

1971 Coupe deVille 4

1971 Coupe deVille 5

1972 Fleetwood Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 2

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 6

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 3

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 4

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 7

Cadillac pioneered many features and accessories the auto industry takes for granted. I could go on and on with praise for the brand’s outstanding automotive achievement. The 1960s and 1970s were equally as innovative…but something happened during the mid to late 1970s. The music stopped for Cadillac in the 1980s – it became adulterated with so many generic shortcuts which made it a mere hodgepodge of GM parts adorned with Cadillac nomenclature. Quality, fit & finish came to an abrupt halt. Its styling became nondescript and austere.

And as the years went by, it began chasing/emulating anything that moved from Europe. It has become too many things: a jack of all trades and a master of none. Its luxurious demeanor has become diluted to the point of kitsch. All models are recalled annually because of defects and short-sighted engineering. It is no longer a real luxury car…it masquerades as everything. In order to regain its stature, it must cease and desist with the intent of trying to be all things competing in areas which it should not.

Cadillac was snob wagon supreme…formidable in its existence, causing the competition to take note. The entire world waits with bated-breath for the supremacy and exclusivity once presented by Cadillac to dominate the industry and once again become the pride of the USA and the envy of the world. This is another NOTORIOUS flashback…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1973 Coupe deVille 1

1973 Cadillac Coupe deVille

1973 Coupe deVille 2

1973 Coupe deVille 3

1973 Coupe deVille 4

1973 Coupe deVille 5

Fisher Body Logo

“GM mark of excellence…”

1975 Fleetwood Brougham

1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Castilian Estate wagon 2

1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Castilian Estate wagon

1976 Fleetwood Castilian Estate wagon 1

1990-1992 Brougham 3

1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham 

1990-1992 Brougham 2

1990-1992 Brougham 1

1990-1992 Brougham 4

Brougham d’Elegance interior

1990-1992 Brougham 5

Special thanks to the best caretakers in the classic car business: Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Jim Hailey’s Classic cars, Matt Garrett/GM Classics, MJC Classic Cars, Liberty Old Timers, Bob Adams Classic Cars, and Park Ward Motors Museum.

3

Will there ever be another “Standard of the World” creation?

Cadillac Wreath and Crest

Welcome to Greg’s World

Fleetwood

Greg’s World is NotoriousLuxury

Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Greg's World

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

Cadillac: The Standard of Excellence

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

A tribute to the traditional Cadillac

Lead photo

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

Tradition

Cadillac was once a formidable brand in the automotive industry. It was the standard of excellence in every aspect…superb fit & finish, remarkable engineering, absolute power…and prestige beyond belief world-wide. No automobile in the world achieved the admiration and respect as a Cadillac. Whatever one desired in a high-end luxury automobile…Cadillac either offered it or was in the process of building it. Always the innovator…always the epitome of luxury…and always the leader!

Fleetwood-bodied, hand-crafted automobiles catapulted the brand to an even higher standard of automotive excellence. The Cadillac DeVilles were and remain America’s favorite luxury cars. The formidable Eldorado had the entire industry in awe…with its poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac. Whether one chose the elegant open tourer, a spacious four-door sedan, the personal luxury of a two-door hardtop coupé, or a luxurious limousine…Cadillac designed and built the industry’s finest. NotoriousLuxury rekindles the passion of this lost art… in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

Crest 1

The Cadillac crest

Crest 4 1963 B

1963 Cadillac crest

Crest 4 1963

The famous insignia that adorns the legend is a coat of arms from the French de la Mothe Cadillac family. It was registered as an American trademark on August 6, 1906. In the language of ancient heraldry it’s described as: “Quarterly, the first and fourth gold…a fess sable between three Merlettes of the same – posed two in chief and one in base. Second and third gules quartering argent…three bars azure.”

What does this mean? Translated, it describes a quartered shield with the uppermost left and lower right corners gold containing black bands with two legless birds above and one below the band. The uppermost right and lower left corners contain two red quarters, and two silver quarters with blue bars. The “couronne” or coronet is for the six counts of France. For symmetry, the original de la Mothe Cadillac family arms and the trademark of 1906 contain seven round pearls. Evolution of the crest through the years has displayed as many as 18 but no less than seven.

Crest 2 1941 B

1941 Cadillac crest

Crest 2 1941

Crest 3 1955 B

1955 Cadillac crest

Crest 3 1955

The first and fourth quarters represent the de la Mothe arms. The Merlettes are ancient heraldic adaptations of the Martin and are shown without beaks and legs. The Merlettes are given for a difference to young brothers to signify, in order to raise themselves they are to look to the wings of virtue and merit; and not to rely on the legs having but little land to set their feet upon. The second and third quarters were added to the de la Mothe arms to signify the favorable marriage which increased their estates. The red stands for prowess and boldness in action…the silver for purity, charity, virtue, and plenty. The azure blue signifies knightly valor – 

Fleetwood crest B

Fleetwood laurel wreath and Cadillac crest

Fleetwood crest

The laurel wreath augmenting the crest was used for Fleetwood…the senior most models in the hierarchy. DeVilles, Calais, and Series 62 models used a prominent “V” under the crest in either gold or silver. Contemporary Cadillac models use an abstract interpretation of this legendary design. Some agree this new design separates the make-believe Cadillacs from the genuine “Standard of the World” editions…

Crest 5 1965 B

1965 Cadillac crest

Crest 5 1965

Crest 6 1974 B

1974 Cadillac DeVille crest

Crest 6 1974

1959B tail fin

The formidable fins – 

1948 tail fin

1948

1949 tail fin

1949

Cadillac’s chief designer Harley Earl “started the dance” of which the entire automotive industry followed suit. This man designed Cadillac masterworks. It was his 1948 Cadillac creation that started it all – he designed the 1948-1949 Cadillacs patterned after the Lockheed P-38 war-time aircraft.

The beautifully tailored fins are artfully integrated into the rear fenders. These are separate bolt-on features which flow gracefully into the doors. Within a few years, tail fins sprouted in every division at GM…not to mention how the rest of the industry emulated but could not replicate the design. Harley Earl and Chrysler’s chief designer Virgil Exner instigated the “Tail Fin Wars” of the 1950s.

1952 tail fin

1952

1953 tail fin

1953

The next tail fin design appeared on the 1950-1953 Cadillacs. They have the same basic style only a bit more elegant and refined. Back-up lamps were moved from below the rear deck lid and repositioned beneath the taillamps for the 1951 model. Cadillac is one of the early pioneers of back-up lamps. The basic theme of the taillamp/back-up lamp combo ran through the 1956 model year designs.

1954 tail fin

1954

1955 tail fin

1955

1956 tail fin

1956

The 1954 model year introduced a higher tail fin to offset the overall lower silhouette. Cadillacs were redesigned to be longer, lower, and wider than previous models. The fins are more “kicked-up.” This is the most remembered style establishing Cadillac as the tail fin leader. This design went basically unchanged from 1954 until 1956. Cadillac didn’t redesign their offerings from a blinding flash of inspiration…change was evolutionary. The 1955 Eldorado sported its own unique shark-fin design which inspired the next model year for the standard Cadillac.

1956 Eldorado tail fin

1955-1956 Eldorado

1957 tail fin

1957

1957-1958 Eldorado tail fin

1957-1958 Eldorado “Chipmunk-Cheeks”

For the 1957 model year the tail fins were completely redesigned for the standard Cadillac models. They are a modified version from the 1955 Eldorado. The fins are lower and tapered into the architecture fashionably. The 1957 Eldorados received their own distinctive tail fin redesign. They are a bit sharper and more prominent than the previous version.

Rounded faired-in fenders received the nickname “Chipmunk-Cheeks” because of the appearance for the rear-end design of the Eldorados. The 1957-1958 Eldorado Seville and Biarritz used their new design; however, this was not inherited by any other Cadillac models. The 1957-1958 Cadillacs sported an even lower silhouette than previous designs. Automobiles were becoming more streamlined…Cadillac led the way in the entire industry with elegant designs, impeccable craftsmanship, and that poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac.

1958 tail fin

1958

1958 Eldorado Brougham tail fin

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

1959 tail fin

1959

Tail fin drama continued. The tail fin shocker came with the 1959 redesign. The iconic 1959 Cadillac tail fins are the tallest and the largest in the industry. All Cadillac models shared the same design. They represent American excess to the hilt. Either you love ‘em or you hate ‘em…there is no in-between. Some say they are the summit of gaudiness…some say they are elegant, and then there are some who are undecided. Because of this controversy – 1959 Cadillacs especially Eldorados, fetch six figures easily on the auction block.

1960 tail fin

1960

1961 tail fin

1961

1962 tail fin

1962

Refinement for the mighty tail fin began the 1960 model year. The designers knocked them down a notch planing them into the architecture for a cleaner look. The restrained use of ornamentation also provided an understatement of Cadillac elegance. From 1960 onward, the tail fin began to disappear into oblivion. The 1961 model trimmed the fins tastefully and added lower fins called “Skegs” to the redesign. They were trimmed again for the 1962 model year. The finale for the beloved fins is the 1963-1964 model years. They disappeared completely for the all-new 1965 redesign. Cadillac will always be remembered for luxury, opulence, and tail fins!

1963 tail fin

1963

1964 tail fin

1964

1965 tail fin

1965…tail fins are banished into history

1966 tail fin

1966

1967 tail fin

1967 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1967-1969 Eldorado tail fin

1967-1969 Fleetwood Eldorado

1968 tail fin

1968 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1969 tail fin

1969 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1970 tail fin

1970 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1970 Eldorado tail fin

1970 Fleetwood Eldorado

1971 tail fin

1971-1972 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1971-1972 Eldorado tail fin

1971-1972 Fleetwood Eldorado

1973 tail fin

1973 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1973 Eldorado tail fin

1973 Eldorado

1974-1976 tail fin

1974-1976 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1974-1976 Eldorado tail fin

1974-1976 Eldorado

1977-78 Eldorado

1977-1978 Eldorado

Pink Cadillac 3

The luxury of choice

Pink Cadillac 1

The traditional Cadillac offered more body styles than any other luxury car manufacturer. There is no more romantic architecture than a Cadillac convertible. They are the glamour cars of the stars. The elegant open tourers are still the most desired convertibles in the entire world. These elegant Cadillac creations have inspired music by Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley with “Pink Cadillac.” They have inspired movies such as “The Solid Gold Cadillac” with Judy Holiday in 1954. They were also used in parades such as the very first Cadillac Eldorado of 1953 driven in the inaugural parade for Dwight D. Eisenhower.

And we cannot forget the 1973 Eldorado convertible pace car for the 57th 500 Mile International Sweepstakes held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday May 30, 1973. There is no more dramatic manner in which to travel Cadillac-style than open air motoring in an elegant Cadillac convertible coupé. Whether it be the classic Series 62…the classic DeVille…or the “Gilded One” it is the ONLY way to travel…Cadillac-style – 

Pink Cadillac 2

1959 Series 62 convertible

Pink Cadillac 4

Pink Cadillac 5

1957 Fleetwood 1

1957 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1957 Fleetwood 2

The most distinguished automobiles in all of motordom are the impeccably hand-crafted Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs. This is luxury on the grand Cadillac scale…in the grand Cadillac manner. These most revered models are more than austere, ostentatious bling as today’s kitschy-faux make-believe luxury cars. The Fleetwood-bodied Cadillacs are the most luxurious owner and chauffeur-driven models in the history of the brand. All Fleetwood crafted cars were built on their own dedicated assembly lines. Their individually longer wheelbases provide more rear seat passenger room.

The magnificent Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Broughams are decadently luxurious with ultra-exclusive accommodations that offer limousine-style luxury in an owner-driven sedan. It is the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special that reinforced the “Standard of the World” title. Unfortunately…there will never, ever, be another hand-crafted Cadillac Fleetwood…they epitomized the brand’s integrity as the finest automobiles on the planet. No car in the luxury automobile arena could have been made more personally yours than a Cadillac Fleetwood. Will there ever be another LUXURIOUS Cadillac to be the pride of the US…and the envy of the world?

1957 Fleetwood 4

1957 Fleetwood 5

1957 Fleetwood 3

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 1

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 2

The most eloquent sedans in the world are the Cadillac Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five nine-passenger sedan and Imperial formal limousine. Executive-style grace with spacious accommodations is expedited in a refined and most dignified manner. This is the ultimate expression of the “Standard of the World.” These opulent sedans are still seen at foreign embassies, palaces, and in the driveways of luxurious estates. Some things are just too good to be forgotten.

These hand-crafted Fleetwood-bodied masterpieces will still be in service…when today’s make-believe luxury cars are rusting in peace at the local scrap yard. Cadillac commercial chassis were popular as ambulances during the 1950s throughout the 1970s because of their notorious reliability and high-speed capabilities. They were also built as hearses of the utmost dignity. Some mortuaries still have them in service just because…there is nothing in today’s market that even comes close to the poised dignity that was the hallmark of every traditional Cadillac Fleetwood –

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 4

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 5

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 7

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 6

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 3

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 1

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 2

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 3

Good taste never goes out of style…

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 4

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 5

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 6

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 8

1970 Coupe deVille 1

1970 Coupe deVille

1970 Coupe deVille 4

America’s sweethearts –

The Cadillac DeVille remains America’s favorite luxury car. They are available as the Coupe deVille, Sedan deVille, and the DeVille convertible. They enjoyed the highest resale value and repeat ownership of any American-built luxury car. The elegant Coupe deVille and Sedan deVille sold more automobiles than the combined aggregate totals of the competitors.

The Cadillac DeVille ruled the industry from 1949 until the 2004 model year when it became the DTS; maintaining the poised dignity Cadillac invented. The Cadillac DeVilles are among the most successful and longest production runs in the history of the brand. Their preeminence in the luxury car arena is achieved through years of growth and innovation. These elegant motorcars stole the hearts of enthusiasts world-wide in one svelte swoop.

1970 Coupe deVille 5

1970 Coupe deVille 6

1970 Coupe deVille 10

1976 Sedan deVille 1

1976 Sedan deVille

1976 Sedan deVille 5

1976 Sedan deVille 2

1976 Sedan deVille 4

1976 Sedan deVille 3

1976 Sedan deVille 8

Their six-passenger roominess combined with legendary Cadillac comfort and conveniences are what retained their following annually. They are smooth, responsive, and quiet beyond belief. The Coupe deVille is the only two-door luxury car that offers as much interior room as the competitor’s four-door sedan. It was the primary choice among the ladies with its intimate personal luxury and high style. Features and accessories were available to make it as unique as its driver.

The Sedan deVille is the luxury sedan that doubles as a family sedan. With its four-door convenience, it is like your own personal limousine. It was the perennial favorite among luxury car buyers. The Sedan deVille offered more comfort and convenience features and accessories as standard equipment than its competition. Open air touring with a youthful zest makes the DeVille convertible the number one choice among convertible lovers. Its fully automatic, power folding fabric roof disappeared at the touch of a button. The DeVille is the grandest of all open tourers…Cadillac-style. Its luxury has no peer. The Cadillac DeVille was the only luxury convertible built in the land at the time. It is one of the world’s most dramatic automobiles.

1970 DeVille 3

1970 DeVille convertible

1970 DeVille 5

1970 DeVille 6

1970 DeVille 7

1976 Eldo convt 4

1976 Eldorado convertible

1976 Eldo convt 2

No story regarding Cadillac could be complete without mention of “The Gilded One.” The totally avant-garde Eldorado was the Flagship from Cadillac the entire world will never forget. They became the most dramatic models in the history of the brand. Elegance, innovation, and engineering excellence made them one of the world’s most desired dream cars. The Eldorado introduced styling, features, and accessories that eventually found their way to other future models.

The superb Cadillac engineering, advanced design and dedication to excellence spawned the formidable 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado. It is the ultimate personal luxury automobile. The Fleetwood Eldorado is the only car in the world to successfully combine the positive traction of front-wheel drive, the agility of Variable Ratio Power Steering, and the perfect balance of Automatic Level Control. During its tenure, the Cadillac Eldorado was available as a convertible coupé, a two-door hardtop coupé, and an ultra-luxurious four-door hardtop sedan. They were the glamour cars of the 1950s through the 1970s…and remain so –

1976 Eldo convt 3

1976 Eldo convt 6

1976 Eldo convt 7

1956 Series 62 convt 1

1956 Series 62 convertible

1956 Series 62 convt 4

The traditional Cadillac was the most desired automobile in the entire world. It was the standard of excellence and second to none in the manufacture of luxury motorcars. It is a legend, and an American institution. A Fleetwood-bodied Cadillac is a hand-crafted masterpiece from the master craftsmen that garnered the title of the “Standard of the World.” The DeVilles remain America’s favorite luxury cars in every respect. The Eldorado began as the Flagship and evolved into the finest personal luxury car in the world. Cadillac had a luxury car for every luxury car buyer…whether coupé, convertible coupé, sedan, or an opulent limousine – the only way to travel…was Cadillac-style. NotoriousLuxury salutes the traditional Cadillac…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1956 Series 62 convt 3

Special thanks to the finest classic automobile dealers in the business: Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Bob Adams Classic Cars, Jim Hailey’s Classic Cars, MJC Classic Cars, Park Ward Motors Museum, and Matt Garrett & GM Classics. You are the best in the industry!

1956 Series 62 convt 5

1956 Series 62 convt 7

1956 Series 62 convt 6

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

Greg's World

NotoriousLuxury IS Greg’s World…

1976 Cadillac Seville: The Penalty of Leadership

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans, Notorious Retrospect with tags , , , , , , , on September 5, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

“As the Standard of the World Turns” presents…

1976 Cadillac Seville 1

…An American standard for the world.

1976 Cadillac Seville 2

The Arab Oil Embargo of 1973 raised the price of crude 70 percent. This act created quite a raucous knocking the wind out of the sails of the global economy. In the USA…double lines formed at gasoline stations as drivers scrambled to re-fuel. Some stations posted “NO-GAS” signs because of depleted supplies. It threw a serious curve in the US economy. It forced Americans to re-think the size of their luxury automobiles. Cadillac had to do a complete reassessment regarding the future of their offerings.

The answer came as “The next generation of the luxury car.” In less than two years, Cadillac engineers worked feverishly for the solution: this was the birth of the Cadillac Seville. It is a luxury car like nothing ever offered before. The Seville refuted the traditional American automotive paradigm of bigger being better. This major event in history changed the way America thought about luxury cars…forever. The 1976 Cadillac Seville makes a grand entrance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1976 Cadillac Seville 3

“When a man’s work becomes a standard for the entire world…it also becomes a target for the shafts of the envious few…”

1976 Cadillac Seville 4

American automobiles would never be the same. This all stems from US intervention into the Arab-Israeli War. The reprisal by Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) extended to other countries that supported Israel as well. This action destabilized a decades-old pricing system. It put a strain on the US economy that had become dependent on foreign crude oil. Prices doubled…then quadrupled placing economic challenges on the national economy. It placed the US in an extremely awkward position…most everything here was contingent upon petroleum and petroleum distillates for production – America had to think…FAST!

Cadillac was the leader in luxury automobile production world-wide. As Americans tightened their financial position, there became a shift of interest to smaller, more fuel-efficient automobiles. Cadillac was the purveyor of land yachts – PERIOD. The brand had to seriously focus on the future…it had no experience building smaller vehicles, and had to move quickly. The answer was the eventual down-sizing to remain solvent. But how? Cadillac knew nothing about dinky little toy cars –

1976 Cadillac Seville 5

“Whatsoever you write, or paint, or sing, or build…no one will strive to surpass or to slander you, unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius.”

1976 Cadillac Seville 6

Ingenuity is an American forte – we know how to survive. Cadillac engineers solved the situation by creating an entirely new luxury sedan – 10 years prior to the crisis in the Middle East, America scoffed at the idea of a smaller luxury car…we were “Fantasy Island” livin’ large. The US faced a growing dependence on oil consumption and with dwindling domestic reserves – found itself more reliant upon imported crude than ever before. Enter the first generation Cadillac Seville, a luxury automobile advertised by the brand as “International-sized luxury for a changing world.”

1976 Cadillac Seville 9

How did Cadillac manage such a feat in such a short time? The engineers used an existing platform giving it all-new architecture. The Cadillac Seville is based upon a modified Chevrolet Nova “X-body” platform. With it being an ultra-luxury automobile, it could bear no resemblance to its humble beginnings. The entire process had lower start-up costs since existing components were used and extensive re-tooling wasn’t needed. Fisher body designed the architecture. The engine was outsourced to Oldsmobile and built to exacting standards for Cadillac.

Ford did a similar magic act with the Continental MK III using the aging Thunderbird platform and underpinnings, installing luxurious architecture…which yielded an unbelievable profit margin. The first generation Cadillac Seville has a timeless beauty and elegance that created a style that would be emulated but never replicated throughout the entire automotive industry. The Cadillac Seville presented a new “standard” for the world – proving the fact: Americans are resilient AND we bounce back without fear!

1984 Sedan deVille

The 1980-1984 Cadillac Sedan deVille is Seville-inspired

1976 Cadillac Seville 10

1976 Cadillac Seville 7

“The leader is assailed because he is a leader, and effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership…”

1976 Cadillac Seville 8

“In every field of endeavor, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership be vested in man or in a manufactured product…emulation and envy are ever at work…the reward and the punishment are always the same – the reward is wide-spread recognition; the punishment is fierce denial and detraction. This is the Cadillac penalty of leadership – that which deserves to live…lives.” This captures the essence of Cadillac’s dedication written by Theodore MacManus (1872-1940) in 1914. He was an advertising mogul that revolutionized the industry with his advertisements for GM luxury cars…mainly the Cadillac brand.

1976 Cadillac Seville 11

1976 Cadillac Seville 16

The Cadillac Seville is living proof that Cadillac can be flexible and ready with new ideas for luxury cars that were right for their day. The Seville was introduced in April 1975 as a 1976 model building 16,355 before the end of the model year. Model #6K style code #S69 1976 Cadillac Seville sedan was base priced at $12,479 with a base shipping weight of 4,232 pounds, 4,675 pounds with options.

It rides upon a tight 114.3” wheelbase with an overall length of 204”. It is 71.8” in width. The first generation Cadillac Seville was built from 1975 until 1979. Here are the production totals for all years: 1975 = 16,355, 1976 = 43,772, 1977 = 45,060, 1978 = 56,985, and 1979 = 53,487. The first generation Seville has a larger production total the competitor’s combined aggregate totals.

1976 Cadillac Seville 13

1976 Cadillac Seville 14

1976 Cadillac Seville 42

The 1976 Cadillac Seville is powered by GM’s Rocket 350 V8 engine by Oldsmobile. The 5.7 litre 16-valve 350 CID V8 engine has a cast iron block and cylinder heads. The engine is equipped with speed-density port-injected Electronic Fuel Injection and is the first domestic automobile to use this type of fuel delivery system. It has two electric fuel pumps, one inline and the other in the fuel tank.

The engine is designed to run on unleaded fuel with an octane rating of at least 83. Its emission controls include Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV), Air Injection Reactor (AIR), Exhaust Pressure Transducer, and Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR). The engine is mated to GM’s THM-400 Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. The first generation Cadillac Seville has a traditionally mounted front engine and is rear-wheel drive.

The naturally aspirated 5.7 litre V8 engine produces 180 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 373 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 36.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.9 seconds with a top speed in the 116-118 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 76 mph in 18.8 seconds. The 1976 Cadillac Seville was not built to be fast…just luxurious –

1976 Cadillac Seville 15

“If the leader truly leads…he remains the leader…”

1976 Cadillac Seville 19

1976 Cadillac Seville 20

The first generation Cadillac Seville is built as body on frame construction. GM had originally planned for the Seville to be badge engineered with the Opel Diplomat from Germany. Due to financial concerns, Cadillac went with the modified “X-body” platform from the Chevy Nova. The Seville is built as the “K-body.”

The ride quality is engineered exclusively for the Seville. To absorb vibration and isolate road noise a steering linkage damper (hydraulic shock absorber), and sheet metal dampers (also hydraulic shock absorbers) are used in conjunction with patented Isoflex body mounts. The transmission’s rear support uses a lateral strut rod. The rear leaf springs also use dampers. European automobiles were already using similar systems.

1976 Cadillac Seville 17

1976 Cadillac Seville 32

This is Cadillac’s first use of Chevrolet components for production. The standard vinyl roof covering is there for a reason. The roof is tooled in two parts. The rear “C-pillar” section was stamped exclusively for Cadillac but the forward portion was from the “X-body” Chevy Nova. The painted metal roof became available for the 1977 model year when Cadillac began stamping the entire roof for the Seville. It’s an interesting hodge-podge of GM parts –

The first generation Cadillac Seville uses traditional suspension components. The front is fitted with unequal length upper and lower control arms, coil springs, spherical ball joints with wear indicators on lower joints, and hydraulic double-acting shock absorbers. The rear is fitted with a Salisbury-type axle, multiple leaf springs, a 5/8” diameter rod & link stabilizer bar, and hydraulic double-acting shock absorbers.

Automatic Level Control automatically calibrates the ride height for optimum appearance and performance. The hydraulic power braking system is equipped with ventilated discs on the front axle and duo-servo drums to the rear axle. The brakes self-adjust each time the car is driven in reverse and the brakes applied.

1976 Cadillac Seville 33

“That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamor of denial…”

1976 Cadillac Seville 12

The all-new Seville was built on the former Eldorado assembly line in Detroit. To ensure the strictest quality control, the first 2,000 Sevilles were only available in Georgian Silver all with the same equipment. It was built with the highest quality control standards in the automotive industry. What happened to this manner of production during the 1980s and 1990s?

1976 Cadillac Seville 21

1976 Cadillac Seville 22

“Jealousy does not protrude its forked tongue at the artist who produces a commonplace painting…”

1976 Cadillac Seville 23

1976 Cadillac Seville 24

The first generation Cadillac Seville uses an international-inspired interior. No Cadillac in the history of the brand used this format. The taller roof not only gives it more headroom but also makes it appear more spacious than it is. The impeccably tailored trim is extremely tasteful.

Americans had to get used to the more upright and ergonomically designed seating. We were used to big ole’ rollin’ Barco loungers but had to make concessions to conserve energy. Handsome Mansion knit was standard and available in seven colors. Supple sierra grain leather was available in eight color selections. Folding front and rear center armrests added the traditional Cadillac luxury.

1976 Cadillac Seville 25

1976 Cadillac Seville 26

1976 Cadillac Seville 38

The Cadillac Seville is a comprehensively equipped luxury sedan. Automatic Climate Control keeps the interior comfortable at a single setting. The AM/FM Signal-Seeking Stereo Radio has an automatic power antenna and four diagonally opposed speakers.

Power windows and door locks, Tilt & Telescopic Steering Wheel, remote control trunk lock, Soft-Ray glass, one-piece deep pile carpeting, adjustable rear seat reading lamps, automatic parking brake release, power assisted 50/50 dual comfort front seats, and Variable Ratio Power Steering are just a few of the many standard comfort and convenience features. The Seville is a car complete…

1976 Cadillac Seville 28

1976 Cadillac Seville 35

1976 Cadillac Seville 30

1976 Cadillac Seville 31

1976 Cadillac Seville 36

1976 Cadillac Seville 37

“If his work be merely mediocre it will be severely left alone…if he achieves a masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a-wagging…”

1976 Cadillac Seville 27

1976 Cadillac Seville 39

1976 Cadillac Seville 34

1976 Cadillac Seville 41

The first generation Cadillac Seville is international-sized for a changing world. It is every inch a Cadillac. The efficient new size and elegance makes it appealing. It is equipped with traditional V8 power which Americans had taken for granted for so many decades. It is a shrunken version of a traditional luxury sedan.

The timeless design remains popular. Had it not been for the 1973-1974 Arab Oil Embargo, we probably would never have even considered such a tiny Cadillac…America scoffed at the idea of a small car in the 1950s and 1960s…we were “Fantasy Island” and were livin’ quite large. The first generation Cadillac Seville was built from 1975 until 1979.

1976 Cadillac Seville 40

1976 Cadillac Seville 43

1976 Cadillac Seville 45

Unfortunately…the Seville’s charisma wore off during the re-design for the 1980 model year and continually declined thereafter. Oddly…we laughed at the first generation Seville when it came out. I turned my nose up at it opting for the 1976 Fleetwood Brougham. If the 1976 Seville is placed beside today’s Cadillac, it is larger than anything they build…and more reliable. Will Cadillac ever return to such a formidable position in the automotive industry world-wide?

If the brand would focus on A LUXURY AUTOMOBILE instead of trying to wear so many hats…being so many things in so many classes…and concentrate on AMERICAN-style luxury, it could develop an identity. If it would cease and desist from riding the coattails of BMW and Mercedes-Benz…it would once again become the envy of the world. The 1976 Cadillac Seville is another dramatic chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1976 Cadillac Seville 44

Special thanks to Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum 

1976 Cadillac Seville 47

“That which deserves to live…lives”

1959 Eldorado 6400 Seville 6

1959 Cadillac Series 6400 Eldorado Seville

1959 Eldorado 6400 Seville 2

Special thanks to Bob Adams Classic Cars

1959 Eldorado 6400 Seville 3

1959 Eldorado 6400 Seville 4

1959 Eldorado 6400 Seville 5

1959 Eldorado 6400 Seville 1

1976 Cadillac Seville 46

The 1976 Cadillac Seville is NotoriousLuxury

Continue reading

1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham: The end of an illustrious era in motoring

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque, Luxury Sedans, Notorious with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

“As the Standard of the World Turns” presents…

1994 Fleetwood Brougham 1

…Those Fabulous Fleetwoods

1994 Fleetwood Brougham 2

The finale to Cadillac’s full-size rear-wheel, big-bodied luxury sedans is the 1993-1996 Fleetwood. The 5.7 litre V8 powered the last of Cadillac’s Flagship luxury grand tourers in true Cadillac-style. For the 1994 model year the Fleetwood received the 5.7 litre LT1 V8 from under the hood of the formidable Corvette. The eminent Fleetwood Series WAS the Cadillac of Cadillacs. In stature, in presence, and power, the Fleetwoods were the end of an illustrious era in motoring luxury.

The Brougham epitomized the brand being the most luxurious owner-driven Cadillac luxury sedan in the model hierarchy. It is the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special that garnered the “Standard of the World” title for Cadillac. The Brougham option was so popular for the 1965 model year that it became its own series. The fabulous Fleetwood Brougham has a poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac. The 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham leads the flashback performance of “Those Fabulous Fleetwoods”…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1994 Fleetwood Brougham 3

Power…prestige…and presence are the attributes to the 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood. Model #DW5 style code #W69 1994 Fleetwood sedan was base priced between $33,990 and $34,615. The base sedan is a hefty 4,478 pounds and with the Brougham option it becomes 4,506 pounds. The Brougham option with the handsomely tailored Prestwick cloth interior was an additional $1,680. The Brougham option with glove-soft leather upholstery was $2,250 extra. These are the big-bodied Fleetwoods built on the “D-body” platform that was shared with Chevrolet for the Caprice Classic, Buick for the Roadmaster, and Oldsmobile for the Custom Cruiser wagon. This is the last full-size platform from General Motors. Cadillac built 27,473 Fleetwoods for the 1994 model year.

1930 Fleetwood V16 1

1930 Fleetwood V16 convertible sedan

1930 Fleetwood V16 2

The eminent Fleetwood series began as a pet project by Larry Fisher, one of the famous Fisher brothers that formed the Fisher Body Division of General Motors. He was intrigued by luxury bodied Cadillacs. Fisher Body was formed in 1916. Larry Fisher became GM general manager in 1925. He coordinated the Fleetwood Metal Body Company acquisition in 1925.

Fleetwood no longer produced bodies for a variety of luxury brands now that it was owned by GM. The Fleetwood Division bodied cars exclusively for the Cadillac brand. From 1927 through 1934 any Cadillac could be ordered with a Fleetwood crafted body. By 1938, Cadillac became more exclusive with Fleetwood-bodied cars. The only way to get a Fleetwood was to order the Series 75 or Series 90.

1930 Fleetwood V16 3

1930 Fleetwood V16 4

1930 Fleetwood V16 5

1930 Fleetwood V16 6