Archive for Cadillac DeVille

1960 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille – Dignity,Distinction, Grace, and Beauty

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Cadillac: Masterpiece from the Master Craftsmen, Classic American Marques with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2017 by 99MilesPerHour

Welcome to the pomp and splendor of the traditional Cadillac motorcar. It is more than a mere automobile…it is a legend and a lifestyle. Cadillac earned the reputation as the superlative of superlatives through sophisticated engineering and exemplary craftsmanship. A traditional Cadillac moves with tremendous verve and élan. Luxury and innovation is the constant companion when one chose to drive the formidable “Standard of the World.”

The traditional Cadillac remains as one of the most revered automobiles to connoisseurs world-wide. One model in particular dominated this rare arena becoming “America’s favorite luxury car.” The iconic and unforgettable DeVille series is a jewel in the crown of General Motors. Coupes deVille and Sedans deVille consistently took turns leading sales production totals. Their unequalled pre-eminence made them the universal status symbol.

The 1960 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille is the quintessential example of American excess – flamboyant…yet tasteful. It echoes success. There’s new elegance and refinement. The epochal “Standard of the World” had once again left its indelible signature in the ultra-luxury car segment. Bill Mitchell, chief design engineer for General Motors gave the 1960 Cadillac an elegant poised dignity.

Overall styling refinement and restrained use of ornamentation diminished the bling from the 1959 Harley Earl design. These new models advanced the Cadillac tradition of excellence to an extraordinary degree. The 1960 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille showcases its dignity, refinement, and dramatic beauty…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

The traditional Cadillac is the most charismatic luxury automobile to motor out of Detroit, Michigan. It was the American dream. Life…liberty…and the pursuit of Cadillac – nothing on the road could compare. The “Standard of the World” is an innovator, it follows in no other auto manufacturer’s tire tracks. It never took styling cues from the competition, Cadillac designed its cars to be ultra-exclusive. The entire auto industry took note. The “other” luxury car was forced into submission by the “Standard of the World.”

Exquisite fit & finish, superb engineering, and an inexhaustible dedication to excellence allowed it to carve its own exclusive niche in the luxury car segment. The traditional Cadillac is the most impressive and the most glamorous of all American Grand Marques…it’s the iconic tail fins that made it most charismatic. In 1960, Cadillac had been “Standard of the World” for fifty-eight years. These cars were built when “Made in the U.S.A.” meant something special…

The Beauty

For 1960, Cadillac presented a refined new sophistication. The tail fins were trimmed and tapered into the bodywork. This made the entire vehicle appear longer, lower, and wider. Bill Mitchell removed the ‘excess’ from Harley Earl’s genre making Cadillac even more luxurious. The tail lamps are now integrated into the fins for Mitchell’s “tailored look.” Turn signal lamps and back-up lamps are neatly set into chrome oval nacelles coordinating the contemporary new restyle.

The front-end ensemble is augmented by its wide cross-hatch grille design with alternate bars beveled to reflect a contrasting jewel-like pattern. A less ornate bumper is more sophisticated. Turn signal monitors integrated into the top of the crown moldings atop of each fender flash small amber lights alerting the driver to left and right turns. The overall look enhanced Coupe deVille’s sweeping silhouette making it lower, more refined yet completely in character with the “Standard of the World.” It’s remarkable how just a few changes made the 1960 model look completely restyled when it was not. Restrained use of ornamentation gives the car an understated elegance.

1959 Cadillacs sported the tallest tail fins in the industry

Series 6200, 6300, and 6400 use the same bodyshell

Comfort and convenience

Coupe deVille’s cabin is an exercise in sheer splendor. The luxury continues to proliferate…Cadillac-Style. A newly designed instrument panel places pertinent information directly in the driver’s sight for quick assessment; the instrument cluster is recessed into the dash eliminating annoying reflection.

The DeVille series is endowed with special appointments to make each journey as rewarding as the destination. Wide folding center armrests front and rear augment the wide bench seating for sofa-like comfort. Coupe deVille’s deep-seated elegance pampers up to six passengers spaciously. Power windows, 2-way power seat, power steering and brakes all provide a constant source of pleasure.

Cadillac Air Conditioning was a popular option

One may repose within the epitome of luxury with the standard diamond patterned nylon Chadwick tailored cloth interior or optional Cambray cloth with Florentine leather bolsters. Elegant Trieste nylon blend deep loop-pile carpeting flows lavishly throughout covering floor, lower door kick panels, and cowl sidewalls. The front floor tunnel is lower and narrower as a result of a more compact design of the transmission housing.

This equates to even more foot room for front seat passengers. The accelerator pedal has a recess at the base which the ladies like; this accommodates high heels making the alternation between the brake pedal easier. The pedals have improved spacing for added convenience. Coupe deVille interiors are designed and handcrafted by Fleetwood to suit the most discriminating taste.

The dramatic elegance and majesty of Coupe deVille for 1960 could have been ordered to suit the buyer. These amenities include Cadillac Air Conditioning that not only heats, cools but also removes dust, pollen, and smoke. The convenience of power door locks allows front seat passengers to lock and unlock the doors at the touch of a button.

A power trunk lock not only releases the deck lid but also when the lid is lowered it is securely locked automatically. Cruise Control maintains a set speed reducing fatigue on long journeys. Exclusive Cadillac Guide-Matic headlamp control automatically dips the high beams upon the approach of on-coming vehicles; the high beams ‘blink-off’ a second time as a reminder to the on-coming vehicle to dip their high beams as well. The traditional Cadillac was a blank canvas to become as individual as one’s own fingerprints.

Model # 60-63J style # 6337J 1960 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille two-door hardtop was base priced at $5,252, has a base shipping weight of 4,705 pounds, and 21,585 were built. Coupe deVille for 1960 has the luxury length of 225”, rides a long 130” wheelbase, and is 79.9” wide. It is a very large front engine rear-wheel drive vehicle. Hagerty Insurance Agency of Traverse City, Michigan values the 1960 Coupe deVille as: $47,200 USD for Concours condition, $29,800 USD for excellent condition, $21,100 USD for good condition, and $13,300 USD for fair condition.

Engine and Chassis

1960 Cadillacs are powered as a true luxury leader should be. The Cadillac 6.4 litre 16-valve 390 CID V8 provides effortless, silky-smooth operation at all speeds. It’s built using a cast iron block and cylinder heads mounted at three points with Vulcanized rubber engine mounts. The engine is equipped with a Carter AFB 2814S 4-bbl downdraft carburetor with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, dry-pack air cleaner, intake silencer, automatic choke, and dual exhaust.

These cars may be driven using only two primary barrels of the four to aid fuel economy. The trick is not to press the accelerator too hard leaving traffic lights and stop signs…but you have to move quickly through to the third gear. Not saying jack-rabbit starts but you need to get from a standing start to third gear quickly. When the accelerator pedal is depressed quickly beyond 75% the secondary barrels open. (burp-n-slurp!)

Ahhh…a real Cadillac engine

Cadillac has built some really impressive V8 engines. The magnificent 390 CID V8 cranks 325 hp @ 4,800 rpm with 583 Nm of peak torque @ 3,100 rpm. It is capable of obtaining 14 mpg if properly maintained and driven with the primary barrels. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 10.6 seconds, 0-100 mpg in 29.2 seconds with a top speed in the 122-125 range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 83 mph in 17.7 seconds. This engine delivers more hp per pound of engine weight than any other luxury car in its class for 1960.

The engine is mated to the highly successful Cadillac Hydra-Matic transmission. It provides dual drive range operation. So, what’s dual range? The left-hand side DR (Drive Range) position allows four forward gear ratios automatically. The right-hand position DR is for city driving locking out fourth gear up to 75 mph providing instant acceleration without step-down. LO range is provided for deep sand or mud and steep grades.

Coupe deVille has a traditional build as body on frame construction. Cadillac’s rugged tubular X-frame yields lower body mounts equating to more interior room and improved overall appearance. The front suspension has upper and lower control arms with spherical joints and helical coil springs which is sturdier than contemporary build automobiles.

The rear suspension fine tunes the Cadillac Magic Carpet Ride further with 4-link drive and helical coil springs. The Hypoid type rear axle has an off-set differential housing to facilitate Cadillac’s straight-line-drive. Coupe deVille’s power brakes are drum type with self-adjusting shoes. The brakes calibrate themselves each time the car is driven in reverse and the brakes applied. The rear drums are finned to dissipate heat rapidly.

New for 1960 is an automatic vacuum release parking brake that doubles as a tandem auxiliary brake in an emergency. This system evolved into Cadillac’s “Triple Braking System” for the 1962 model year. A split hydraulic master cylinder has independent front and rear braking systems in case one set fails the other set will still maintain 100% braking ability.

This 1960 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille has a secret. It belonged at one time to a very special person. It was the personal car for Canadian-born Ann Rutherford Dozier (1917-2012). She had the role of Poly Benedict in the 1930s and 1940s in “The Andy Hardy” series. She also had the role of Scarlett O’Hara’s sister Carreen in “Gone with the Wind.” Her illustrious career spanned five decades. The car was sold by Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars.

Cadillac motorcars from this genre are unique luxury automobiles. They paved the way for contemporary auto manufacturers with innovation and engineering setting industry standards. The 1960 Edition of the “Standard of the World” is another jewel in the legend’s crown. It’s a fine automobile that not only delivered the epitome of luxury and opulence but high performance as well. Only sports cars from Coupe deVille’s day share prodigious power exceeding 300 hp making DeVille a unique expression of American luxury. It reinforced Cadillac’s omnipotence in the luxury marketplace.

The traditional Cadillac is second to none. Coupe deVille is a very eloquent example of the mission while retaining the poised dignity that is the hallmark of every traditional Cadillac. Today’s luxury cars are ephemeral. Their transitory and unsubstantial designs are blamed on aerodynamics to optimize fuel economy. Luxury automobiles such as the magnificent 1960 Series 6300 Coupe deVille have become cherished classics. The traditional Cadillac motorcar will always be showcased…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1960 Cadillac Series 6200 convertible coupé 

1960 Cadillac Series 6200 two-door hardtop coupé 

1960 Cadillac Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz convertible coupé 

1960 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille

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

Welcome to Greg’s World…

Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury  © 2018

DeVille Déjà Vu…

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

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

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

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

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

Series 6300 Coupe deVille

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

The flamboyant 1959 Cadillac tail fin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The handcrafted interiors reflects Cadillac quality

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

Interiors by Fleetwood are a many splendored thing…

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

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

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

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

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

Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special hardtop sedan

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

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

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

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

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

Classic Cadillac convertible showcase:

1936 V16 convertible

1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 

1950 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1953 Series 62 Eldorado convertible

1960 Series 62 convertible

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado convertible

1970 DeVille convertible…the finale

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

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

Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury © 2017

The Classic Cadillac DeVille Convertibles

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Notorious Retrospect with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

Presenting the grandest of all open tourers

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

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1964 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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One of the most resplendent automobiles in the luxurious realm of motoring majesty is the Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé. They are the most avant-garde manner in which to travel Cadillac-style. These glamorous open tourers were built from 1964 until 1970.

The Cadillac DeVille was the only true luxury convertible built in the land. With spacious six passenger comfort and legendary Cadillac elegance, the DeVille convertible continued the tradition as America’s favorite luxury car. NotoriousLuxury presents a dramatic DeVille encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1964 DeVille 1

1964 DeVille 2

The DeVille convertible coupé retains the poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. This brilliant motorcar in all its majesty exudes a youthful zest in the grand Cadillac manner. An exciting new automotive adventure is just a tap of the accelerator away. Their sheer driving pleasure provides a full range of power that is unsurpassed in fine car motoring. At the touch of a button, the power, fully automatic folding fabric roof stows away neatly for the ultimate in open air touring. In luxury and magnificence, they are in a class all their own.

Cadillac convertibles have always been the glamour cars for General Motors. The 1930s gave us the fabulous Fleetwood Series 452 V16 Phaetons. The 1940s spoiled Americans with the luxurious Series 62 convertibles. The 1950s presented the “Standard of the World” as the magnificent Series 62 Eldorado convertibles…with the introduction of the opulent Eldorado Biarritz convertibles dominating the luxury car arena from the mid 1950s through the 1960s. But…it was the 1964 model year that introduced the formidable DeVille convertible coupé with its decadent Cadillac luxury and elegance…it is the absolute epitome of grandeur in all of motordom –

1964 DeVille 5

1964 DeVille 3

1964 DeVille 4

A Cadillac convertible is more than prestige…they are NOTORIOUS when it comes to performance. The DeVille offers presence, prestige, and performance in the grand Cadillac manner on the grand Cadillac scale. It was introduced as a two-door convertible coupé for the 1964 model year replacing the Series 62 convertible coupé as the standard by which all convertibles were judged.

It shocked the world with a 429 CID V8 engine that produces 340 hp with 651 Nm of peak torque. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in a mere 8.8 seconds with a top speed in the 123 mph range. This is impressive for a 4,500+ pound solidly built automobile. Model # 64-63F style code #6267F 1964 DeVille convertible coupé had a base price of $5,612 with a base shipping weight of 4,545 pounds and 17,900 were built.

1964 DeVille 13

1964 DeVille 14

1964 DeVille 15

The 1964 DeVille convertible coupé could take on the competition without even using its entire horsepower…the remarkable fact of the traditional Cadillac is that it always had power in reserve. It can do the ¼ mile @ 85 mph in 16.4 seconds. Unlike today’s superficial power-to-weight ratio and wedge shape…a traditional Cadillac kicked butt with awesome torque-thrust!

They are automobiles that could run with GTOs, Camaros, Hemi-Cudas, etc. I simply loved the expression on the faces of sports car owners who would be an image in my rear view mirror! Just a tap of the accelerator sent a thrill of sheer exhilaration down my spine! I always worked a little magic under my hood…my cousins drove and raced Mopars…I took note from them to “over-power” my Kitty Kats!

1964 DeVille 6

1964 DeVille 7

The 1964 DeVilles are as luxurious as they are powerful. Glove soft leather upholstery was standard. Power windows and seats, and all of Cadillac’s luxury makes driving them a dream! Cadillac actually surpassed its own great reputation – in beauty…luxury…and performance, craftsmanship was second to none. Every year they became even more exclusive. The 1964 Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé remains extremely popular in today’s harried mass-produced world of make-believe luxury cars.

1964 DeVille 8

1964 DeVille 9

1964 DeVille 10

1964 DeVille 11

Cadillac DeVille convertible coupés exhibits a spirited, youthful vitality. Luxury is your constant companion. The joy of Cadillac ownership is exemplified with this legendary ragtop. They are a most eloquent expression of glamour. Back in the day…they would be bumper to bumper on Rodeo Drive. They were the only luxury convertibles on Park Avenue. A DeVille convertible is synonymous with the good life…movie stars, doctors, lawyers, and elite businessmen and business women all drove them. It’s no surprise that they still remain America’s favorite luxury cars.

1964 DeVille 16

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1965 DeVille 1

1965 Cadillac DeVille convertible

1965 DeVille 15

1965 DeVille 2

The DeVille convertible coupé lost its tail fins for the 1965 model year however; they retained the poised dignity Cadillac made famous. Model #65-683 style code #68367F 1965 DeVille convertible coupé was base priced at $5,639 with a base shipping weight of 4,690 pounds and 19,200 were built. The NOTORIOUS 429 CID 7.0 litre V8 engine still produced 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in just 9 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 85 mph in 16.6 seconds.

1965 DeVille 16

1965 DeVille 17

1965 DeVille 3

For the 1965 model year, Cadillac introduced an all-new body style. The front end ensemble is augmented by vertically stacked headlamps and traditional egg crate grille. The authoritative front end design uses fenders that travel beyond the architecture, a feature that would be repeated through the 1970 model year. It makes the car appear even longer than it is.

The rear end styling uses bumpers that ‘hint’ at the iconic Cadillac tail fin. This new body design is more refined and understated sans unnecessary ornamentation…it left the 1950s far behind. Bill Mitchell designs are tasteful…he gave the Cadillac brand a new elegance with grace – the enthusiasts loved it –

1965 DeVille 10

1965 DeVille 11

1965 DeVille 4

The 1965 DeVille convertible coupé remained as luxurious as the model it replaced. Leather upholstery had a new sew style and eloquence…leather was always standard for Cadillac rag tops. The power, fully automatic folding fabric roof was improved to stow away faster. Cadillac’s ingenious inward folding roof provided a rear seat that could accommodate three passengers…comfortably. All of Cadillac’s traditional luxury is still there from power windows and seats, to power steering, power brakes, and extra touches such as polished stainless-steel trim. The 1965 DeVille convertible coupé is every inch a true Cadillac –

1965 DeVille 5

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1965 DeVille 7

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1965 DeVille 12

1965 DeVille 14

1966 DeVille 2

1966 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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Model #66-683 style code #68367F 1966 DeVille convertible coupé was base priced at $5,555 with a base shipping weight of 4,445 pounds and 19,200 were built. The DeVille convertible coupé was mildly refined to look even more luxurious. The front end ensemble used less chrome for a more elegant appearance. The bumper is rounder and more prominent. The cornering lamps are now mounted up higher in the front fenders tastefully. The rear end design features a new bumper and tail lamp treatment. The restyling includes a body colored panel beneath the bumper for a custom look. It is still a Cadillac in every respect.

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The trusty 7.0 litre 429 CID V8 engine still kicked out 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 86 mph in 16.3 seconds. It was all about fierce torque-thrust back in the day.

Those of you that have never driven a V8 with raw power cannot imagine driving a car such as this…with a “hair-trigger” accelerator where the slightest tap threw you back in your seat – the rest of the cars were only a glimpse in your rear view mirror (if you could see that far behind you). Today’s make-believe Cadillacs cannot compare…

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All DeVille convertibles feature leather upholstery standard

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It was the 1967 model year’s major redesign that augmented the classic DeVille. Model #67-683 style code #68367F 1967 DeVille convertible coupé was base priced at $5,608 with a base shipping weight of 4,500 pounds and 18,200 were built. The DeVille convertible coupé now has a more stately appearance. The all-new front end design has a look of authority with its slightly canted forward look.

The body lines are chiseled and flowed gracefully from nose to tail. The rear end design is all-new as well with chrome capped tail lamps set into the bumper ends that once again hinted at the Cadillac tail fin. This redesign made the DeVille convertible coupé appear longer, lower, and wider than the model it replaced. These were the most elegant Cadillacs in the history of the brand to date. With the top down….the DeVille’s architecture looked as though it spanned for miles.

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The interior for the 1967 model year was completely redesigned. The new Cadillac elegance prevailed leaving the past to history. The leather clad upholstery is more deep-seated and luxurious. The traditional Cadillac legendary manner of exclusivity remained. All of the power assists customers had grown accustomed to was escalated to new heights of supremacy. The 1967 DeVille convertible coupé was more magnificent than ever.

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The 7.0 litre 16-valve 429 CID V8 engine received a new valve train and a modified Carter 4-bbl downdraft carburetor. Horsepower was decreased to 308 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 606 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 9.1 seconds with a top speed in the 119 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 83 mph in 16.7 seconds.

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The 1968 model year was big news for Cadillac enthusiasts. Model #68-683 style code #68367F 1968 DeVille convertible coupé had a base price at $5,736 with a base shipping weight of 4,600 pounds and 18,025 were built. Cosmetic wise, Cadillac gave it a mild beauty treatment to refine the exterior design.

It was the all-new 7.7 litre 16-valve 472 CID V8 engine that made the headlines in the automotive industry. It was the largest V8 engine to power a production passenger vehicle. The luxury behemoth now pumped out 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm packing a prolific punch with 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. It had the competition “nervous.”

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This massive V8 engine is capable of racing with the best. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds with a top speed in the 129 mph range. It could do the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 16 seconds. Yes…this massive power plant rocked the entire world with its eminent integrity and being a Cadillac superlative made it even more formidable.

This engine was actually GM’s big-block V8 bored out to 472 CID. Cadillac was the master builder of the 8 cylinder engine. Today’s kitschy-faux Cadillacs cannot hold a candle to the traditional “Standard of the World.” I am living proof of this fact. I drove them when they were the finest luxury cars in the world…

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The 1968 models received a mild “Cadillac beauty treatment”

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The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé is the undisputed masterpiece from the master craftsmen. Model #69-683 style code #68367F 1969 DeVille convertible coupé had a base price of $5,095 with a base shipping weight of 4,590 pounds and 16,445 were built for the model year. These were the most impressive Cadillac creations in the history of the brand to date.

The 1969 and 1970 Cadillacs were the most popular years for the brand because of their style, grace and that poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. The 1969 Cadillac Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood were completely redesigned from the ground up. They were patterned after the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado. The 1969 and 1970 Cadillacs are still popular among enthusiasts world-wide.

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The 1969 DeVille convertible coupé is powered with the highly successful 7.7 litre 16-valve 472 CID V8. It produces 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm with an earth-shattering 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. This naturally aspirated V8 engine is equipped with the famous Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds with a top speed in the 128 mph range.

If you removed the limiter it was actually capable of 150 mph+ easily. It does the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in just 16 seconds…this engine was sweet before they put the smog crap on it which drastically decreased its horsepower in later model years before its demise. This engine was not designed to run on unleaded regular gasoline which the public found out starting in 1971 thru 1974 when it was discontinued and the 8.2 litre 500 CID Eldorado engine was used beginning the 1975 model year. It was easier to adapt to regular gasoline and the pollution controls.

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What I admired most about the traditional Cadillacs is the fact they always retained power in reserve if you knew how to drive them. It is the first two gears you had to get through quickly…it is the third gear that POPPED with the instantaneous power. All of the luxury and performance is what spoiled me. I just cannot get used to the make-believe Cadillacs they pretend to build today.

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The 1969 DeVille convertible coupé’s interior was completely redesigned for the model year. High-back lounge seats covered in supple ostrich grain leather upholstery with head restraints on the front seats made these cars ride like big ‘ole rollin’ Barco loungers. Elegant touches such as genuine walnut trim to the door panels and a newly designed dash made the 1969 DeVille stand out from the competition.

Power windows and seats, power Variable Ratio power steering and Cadillac’s “Triple Braking” system are just a few of the myriad conveniences. A Cadillac was among the best cars in the world at the time. Innovation was never an afterthought with the “Standard of the World”…why, who do you think invented “Climate Control” completely automatic temperature control? Who do you think invented cornering lamps? Lest we forget…Cadillac pioneered the luxury car…the entire world took notes from its class of technology – 

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The finale…1970 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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The finale for the ultra-luxurious DeVille convertible coupé came with the 1970 model year. Model #70-683 style code #68367F 1970 DeVille convertible coupé had a base price of $6,068 with a base shipping weight of 4,660 pounds and 15,172 were built for the model year. Sadly…the 1970 Cadillacs were the last of the REAL “Standard of the World.”

Oh, they still existed as full-sized automobiles until the 1976 model year for the Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood…and until 1978 for the Eldorado…but they were not the same. Short cuts and quality control began to disintegrate its integrity and eminence. The 1970 DeVille convertible coupé received a mild Cadillac beauty treatment, but is was basically a 1969.

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The 1970 DeVille convertible coupé uses the same famous 7.7 litre 16-valve 472 CID V8 engine that cranked 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm with the awesome 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. It still uses the Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds with a top speed in the 128 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 15.9 seconds. Beauty is more than skin deep with the 1970 DeVille convertible coupé.

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The 1970 DeVille retained the deep-seated lounge seats

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The traditional Cadillac DeVilles were all front engine, rear-wheel drive automobiles. They were built solidly as body-on-frame construction. Rubber bushings were used to cushion metal-to-metal confrontation to not only absorb road impact and vibration, but also to isolate road noise before it reached the interior. This is why these cars are so quiet and vibration-free. Convertibles are built differently than a hardtop. The ragtop is built with a lower center of gravity with a stronger body structure. Back in the day, Cadillac convertibles were built specifically as convertibles, not merely snipping off the roof of a hardtop coupé.

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Cadillac DeVille convertible coupés are built with solid frames. The 1964 DeVille used Cadillac’s rugged tubular “X-frame.” The 1965 through 1970 DeVille convertibles use Cadillac’s fully-boxed perimeter frame with hidden bulkheads for added torsional rigidity. The front suspensions for 1964 through 1970 DeVilles are built with the traditional upper and lower control arms; independent helical coil springs with rubber mounted strut rods and rubber bushings. All model years used the traditional Cadillac four-link drive rear suspension with helical coil springs and rubber bushings.

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The 1964 through 1970 DeVille convertible coupés came standard with GM’s 3-speed automatic Turbo Hydra-Matic transmissions. Cadillac’s exclusive “Triple-Braking” system was equipped with a dual hydraulic master cylinder providing the independent operation of front and rear systems. The parking brake is vacuum released automatically when the transmission is shifted to a drive gear.

It will not lock with the engine running and transmission in gear. It could be used as an emergency brake if needed. The brakes self-adjust each time the car is driven in reverse and the brakes applied. Also standard beginning the 1965 model year is Cadillac’s exclusive Variable Ratio Power Steering system which continually calibrated itself contingent upon the driving situation.

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Cadillac Crest

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A youthful zest combined with spirited performance made the Cadillac DeVille series America’s favorite luxury cars. The DeVille convertible coupé with its full complement of power assists and the sheer opulence of its style made Cadillac the primary choice in open tourers. The interior appointments set it apart from the competition…it was the only luxury convertible built in the land.

Elegance, excitement, and excellence with that poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac makes the magnificent DeVille convertible coupé a motorcar with a highly individual flair. The glamorous DeVille creates a measure of motoring excellence entirely unique in all of motordom. It leaves an indelible impression in automotive history. The pleasure of owning a Cadillac DeVille convertible coupé is exceeded only by that of driving it. The 1964 through the 1970 DeVille convertibles are just another highly successful chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars & Bob Adams Classic Cars…two exemplary caretakers and retailers of the finest in special interest and collectible automobiles in the industry…

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Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury….

Requiem For A Ragtop: 1970 Cadillac DeVille

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Requiem For A Legend with tags , , , , , , on February 16, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

The 1970 model year was the finale for the DeVille convertible

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They were the proverbial good old days. Can you imagine being at the wheel of a masterful motorcar like the 1970 DeVille convertible in today’s world? It was an experience that had to be savored. The traditional Cadillac was unlike anything today. It was a quality crafted prestige symbol….the formidable “Standard of the World.” Well, once upon a time….there was a land called America. And in this land were luxury cars, and luxury cars, and luxury cars. And there were luxury cars. Get it? Fantasy Island…America was the purveyor of the land-yacht, Cadillac was the leader. These luxury cars were a city-block long and half a city-block wide. Powerful too….able to leap long parking lots in a single bound….more powerful than a locomotive…and would actually huff & puff & blow your house down if you got in their way on the highway!

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One such luxury convertible was the 1970 Cadillac DeVille. Lower the standard power fully automatic folding fabric roof, attach the boot and off we went….Cadillac style! There was no more splendid way to enjoy an open tourer in its most elegant form than that of the DeVille convertible. The 1970 model year was the final curtain call for the DeVille convertible. It was the only true luxury convertible built in the land. Now….the DeVille legend continues….in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The 1970 Cadillac DeVille was a spacious six passenger convertible. Its interior was upholstered in Sierra grain leather by Fleetwood. There were 10 color combinations available with the most popular being white. The DeVille convertible featured the rich look of Oriental Tamo wood on the door panels and dash. The deep-seated notchback lounge seats came standard with two-way power and six-way available at extra cost. The 60/40 Dual Comfort front seat was a popular DeVille option for 1970. Power windows, Variable Ratio power steering, and power brakes were among the many standard features and accessories. Cadillac offered more features both standard and optional than any other luxury brand. 

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The 1970 DeVille convertible was powered by Cadillac’s 7.7 litre 472 CID 16-valve OHV V8. It was equipped with a Rochester 4MV 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, intake silencer, and automatic choke. Don’t scoff, fuel injection was still in the making. It was around, just in mechanical form not the sophisticated electronic (expensive too) fuel injected systems of today. This spirited open tourer produced 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Its performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 22.4 seconds with a top speed of 127 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 15.8 seconds.

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The engine was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmission. Cadillac was in the middle of their performance heyday. The urge to drive this elegant machine as a sports car was irresistible! With its whopping 712 Nm of peak torque, and you pounced on the accelerator, the car leaped into action and back you went in your seat….awesome, not the power-to-weight ratio hp of today, this was raw power. But by the end of the Spirited Seventies between the avarice of OPEC and the EPA suffocating the hp out of cars we were forced into these elegant new puddle-jumpers which are merely death-traps with their disguise as a luxury sedan. I really expect to see one day soon, the duality of the twenty-first century automobile that becomes your coffin in a fatal accident, they just merely remove the Michelins and put it on a Church cart….

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There was just something charismatic about a red Cadillac convertible. San Mateo red was a very popular color for the 1970 model year combined with either a red or white leather interior. A Cadillac convertible had a youthful spirit of adventure yet it maintained a poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. Panache with a little Razza-ma-tazz was the 1970 DeVille convertible. It was the end of an elegant Cadillac era. The 1970 model year was really the last ‘traditional” Cadillac. From 1970-1976 they became a hodge-podge of GM parts, and could be dis-assembled with a ‘standard’ ratchet set. The 1970 was the last true masterpiece from the master craftsmen. I am pleased to bring a second debut to these Cadillac greats. Many had forgotten what the “Standard of the World” really was….

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The 1970 DeVille was a spacious six passenger convertible, however, we managed to seat eight comfortably. A friend’s mom allowed my friend to drive the DeVille when we were in high school. Eight managed to go to the beach with room to spare. I usually always drove because she was afraid of its size, I was used to them because my dad drove the Sedan deVille. There was a feeling about cars from that genre…you were soaring, like riding in a big ole’ floatin’ Barco lounger. It was quite a treat to be sixteen years old and allowed to drive the family Cadillac alone. That’s why we were “very very good kids!” The “Standard of the World” was held in esteem.

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Cadillac Greats

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The DeVille convertible was produced from the 1964 model year through the 1970 finale. It was everything that was Cadillac, topless, totally elegant….totally Cadillac. A powerful Cadillac V8 powered this elegant open tourer with such aplomb, it was as though it had the legs of a sports car. Power such as 375 hp was astonishing for a motorcar of such magnificence. With a luxuriously leather upholstered interior by Fleetwood and its svelte body by Fisher, the 1970 DeVille convertible was youthful in spirit yet unmistakably Cadillac in poised dignity. This is the “Forget-Me-Not” episode…. in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The 1970 Cadillac DeVille convertible was the last of a breed….

1969 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical with tags , , , , , on December 23, 2013 by 99MilesPerHour

A masterpiece from the master craftsmen

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Cadillac was the standard of excellence in motoring

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One of the most beautiful “Standard of the World” creations was the highly styled 1969 Cadillac. Each model had a distinctive personality individually different from the rest. Cadillac made eleven models in three series for the 1969 model year. The Cadillac DeVille convertible with its youthful appearance provided open air motoring on the grand Cadillac scale in the grand Cadillac manner. It was no mystery, the DeVille series was America’s favorite luxury car. The 1969 edition was still yet another masterpiece from the master craftsmen.

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1967 Cadillac Eldorado created the style

Cadillac was completely redesigned for the model year. Its styling cues came from the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado. The longer, lower, and sleeker 1969 DeVille convertible was in every way, beautifully new and distinctively Cadillac. Its complete restyle included a longer hood, a refreshing new look with horizontal placement of headlamps, individual front fender design separate from the hood, and a contemporary new rear deck with separate fin-like fenders sporting Cadillac-style tail lamps. Every line and contour had been tastefully redesigned making a most dramatic interpretation of the “Standard of the World.”

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Cadillac’s new flow-through ventilation system eliminated the ventipane windows. A new steering, ignition, and transmission locking system immobilized the car when the key was removed from the ignition. Front disc brakes were standard and included reduced effort. The Climate Control air conditioning system that was ordered by more than nine out of ten Cadillac buyers underwent major revision with increased heating and cooling capacity. The interiors for the 1969 model year were the most luxurious in Cadillac history with deep-seated high-back luxury lounge chair style seating. An all-new instrument panel made controls more convenient to the driver and gave more front seat passenger room. The 1969 Cadillac was the world’s standard of excellence in motorcars.

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The 1969 Cadillac DeVille had the youthful zest of open air touring. It featured a fully automatic power folding fabric roof, and the new ostrich grain leather upholstery and trim were standard. Also standard were power windows, dual power braking system provided smooth straight stopping requiring less pedal effort, variable ratio power steering, Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, power two-way front seat, courtesy lighting, remote control driver’s rear view mirror, and a host of other thoughtful comfort and convenience features.

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The Cadillac 472 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine powered the 1969 DeVille convertible. It used a cast iron block and heads, five main bearings, and hydraulic valve lifters. The engine was fitted with a Rochester 4-bbl down-draft Quadrajet carburetor, a mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, improved automatic choke, and an Air Injection Reactor system (AIR) to reduce exhaust hydrocarbons.

The 472 CID V8 produced 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm with 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 23 seconds, and had a top speed of 127 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 15.9 seconds. The engine was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. This fully automatic transmission used a torque converter with fixed stator, the converter multiplied engine torque for increased driving thrust to drive wheels during acceleration in any gear. The urge to drive this elegant grand tourer as a sports car was irresistible. 

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The 1969 Cadillacs rode on a new longer fully boxed perimeter frame with hidden bulkheads for additional torsional rigidity. The DeVille was built as body on frame construction. The front suspension used the traditional Cadillac upper & lower control arm with a spherical joint, independent helical coil springs, rubber mounted strut rods and rubber bushings to absorb impact and isolate road noise. The rear suspension used a four-link drive set-up with helical coil springs and rubber bushings to improve ride quality. The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible had the luxury length of 225’, with a long 129.5” wheelbase, and 79.8” width.

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Among the more popular options available for the 1969 DeVille convertible included power door locks (coupes with this option had automatic seat-back releases for enhanced entry/exit to rear compartment), tilt & telescopic steering wheel, remote control trunk release, cruise control, Automatic Climate Control, dual comfort front seat, and Twilight Sentinel which turned driving lights on/off automatically according to light conditions, and also had a delayed timer to light one’s path from the car at night.

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A highly sophisticated new “control center” instrument panel made controls more convenient to the driver and increased front passenger room. Supple leather upholstery was standard in the DeVille convertible.

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No other luxury car offered more personality with options and accessories than Cadillac. All were designed and built to Cadillac’s standard of excellence. For the 1969 model year, Cadillac featured an impressive array of General Motors safety, theft deterrent, and convenience equipment items. The 1969 Cadillacs were completely redesigned introducing new technology to the automotive industry. Spirited performance usually found in sports cars was available in the 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible. It was indeed a masterpiece from the master craftsmen, so typical from the formidable “Standard of the World.”

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The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible was the “Standard of the World” 

1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical with tags , , , , , on December 22, 2013 by 99MilesPerHour

The 1968 model year introduced the 7.7 litre 472 CID V8 engine

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The only luxury convertible built in America in 1968

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The 1968 model year for Cadillac introduced a new V8 engine. Cadillac was “ridin’ high” during the “Standard of the World” and its heyday. New technological advancements and contemporary styling kept the Cadillac brand as the luxury leader second to none. For those that demanded spirited performance in an open air tourer without compromising luxury, Cadillac offered the DeVille convertible.

It was the only luxury convertible built in America. Its youthful styling and optimum performance sold 18,205 units for the 1968 model year. The MSRP for the 1968 Cadillac DeVille convertible was $5,736. The DeVille convertible was built from 1964 until 1970.

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The all-new 472 CID V8 was slightly smaller with fewer parts making it easier to service if necessary. GM R&D designed this powerplant with hydrodynamic oil seals to provide an extra measure of insurance against leakage. The engineering technology included cast ductile-iron crankshafts and cast ArmaSteel connecting rods for durability. The camshaft design was computer designed for minimum valve train noise and maximum operating efficiency.

The main goal for the 1968 Cadillac models was improved serviceability. The distributor was moved to the front of the engine for easier tuning; all 1968 Cadillacs specified uniform tuning to make it less complicated. The 1968 Cadillac showcased their dedication to refinement not only to make them easier to service, but to provide substantially longer life, isolation from noise and vibration, with greater safety and comfort. 

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The masterful 472 was bored out to 500 cubic inch displacement for the 1970 8.2 litre Eldorado. The Calais/DeVille/Fleetwood series used the 472 from 1968 until 1975 when all Cadillac models except the Seville used the 8.2 litre engine. The 500 CID V8 was easier to adapt the useless emissions control crap from the EPA. Sorry for that temper tantrum, but its thanks to them in part, we no longer get to drive these cars! The 1968 Cadillacs were one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in existence at the time. The “Standard of the World” set a new sales record with the 1968 model year with total sales net sales of 230,003 units.

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The 7.7 litre 472 CID used 16 over-head valves and hydraulic valve lifters. It was equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl down-draft quadrajet carburetor. The engine produced 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm and packed a prolific punch with 712 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 23 seconds, and had a top speed of 128 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 15.9 seconds. The 472 CID V8 was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM 400 3-speed automatic transmission.

These engines were far better run without all of the pollution controls. The EGR (exhaust gas recirculator) and the AIR (air injection reactor) pump were HORRID HORRID HORRID to these engines. I drove a 1973 Coupe deVille with that crap, the AIR pump kept stretching Cadillac factory belts to the point where I bypassed it (shhh) and got excellent gas mileage and even better once I plugged the EGR! The car was unusually spirited just as this engine purred in 1968.

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The 1968 model year was a banner year with its record-breaking sales. The public fell in love with Cadillac all over again, Cadillac’s net sales for the model year were 230,003 units, most of which were the DeVille series that was always America’s favorite luxury car. The all-new 7.7 litre 472 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine was an evolutionary new design from Cadillac. Power, prestige, and presence were yours with the 1968 Cadillacs. It’s no wonder why Cadillac was considered the “Standard of the World” in luxury, performance, and technology. The 1968 Cadillac was one of the most technologically advanced motorcars on the road at the time. Will we ever get another “Cadillac of Cadillacs?”

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The Cadillac DeVille was America’s favorite luxury car

1965 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical with tags , , , , , on December 20, 2013 by 99MilesPerHour

The “Standard of the World” for 1965

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The iconic Cadillac tail fin was gone forever with the completely redesigned 1965 model year. The “Standard of the World” now wore a completely new and contemporary architecture. It was understated elegance on the grand Cadillac scale. The new standard of excellence was longer, lower, and sleeker than any design from Cadillac’s illustrious heritage. This tasteful new design was stripped of unnecessary chrome trim for a more refined elegance. The bodyshell was completely new yet unmistakably Cadillac.

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The 1965 Cadillac DeVille convertible retained its youthful zest in spirit and design. The look had more profound, distinct, bodylines replacing the classic rounded design. The rear had a totally new appeal with just a hint of the tail fin disappearing into the bodylines anonymously. It was the most dramatic re-style in sixteen years. The fresh new front end styling showcased vertical stacked headlamps augmented by a wide mesh grille and front fenders now separate from the hood’s design flowing past the car making an authoritative statement. The 1965 Cadillacs retained the poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. Its remarkable styling was elegant, majestic, and impressive as never before. The 1965 Cadillac was at the time the most distinctive in Cadillac history. The “Standard of the World” gave the automotive world another rolling masterpiece from the master craftsmen. 

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The 1965 Cadillacs were powered by a 429 CID (cubic inch displacement) 16-valve OHV V8 engine. This powerplant produced 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 8.8 seconds, 0-100 mph in 25.1 seconds, and had a top speed of 127 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 86 mph in 16.4 seconds. The engine used a Carter AFB 3903S 4-bbl down-draft with equalized manifolding, mechanical fuel pump, dry type air filter, and automatic choke. The engine was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM 400 3-speed automatic transmission.

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The 1965 Cadillacs were built as body on frame construction. Its all-new perimeter frame was fully boxed with hidden bulkheads for torsional rigidity. The front suspension used the traditional Cadillac spherical joint with independent helical coil springs, rubber mount strut rods, and rubber bushings to absorb impact and isolate road noise. The rear suspension used the traditional four-link drive, helical coil springs, and rubber bushings for a quieter and softer ride.

The 1965 DeVille convertible rode on a long 129.5” wheelbase, was 224” in length, and 79.9” in width. Cadillac’s True Center driveline incorporated a new one-piece propeller shaft with two constant velocity joints which added to the car’s quietness and reduced vibration. It was the “Standard of the World” in rugged dependability. The 1965 Cadillac DeVille was designed as a convertible, as all Cadillac convertibles, with a lower center of gravity important to a convertible’s integrity. There’s more to a convertible than merely snipping off the roof. Harmonic resonance can destroy a car that had an improper ragtop conversion.

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The 1965 Cadillac DeVille convertible was upholstered in luxurious leather by Fleetwood. The seat cushions and seat backs featured contours for extra comfort. The DeVille interior was available in eleven color combinations. For a more sophisticated touring car flair, buckets seats with a locking center console were optional at extra cost. Standard equipment for the DeVille convertible featured a fully automatic power fabric folding roof, power windows, power seat, power steering and brakes, Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic transmission, cornering lamps, a folding front center armrest, and a host of comfort and convenience features that would take an hour to read. Cadillac was the “Standard of the World” in bespoke luxury.

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The 1965 Cadillac DeVille convertible is still in demand. It retails for around $21,662 per Haggerty.com. With its spectacular re-design, the 1965 DeVille convertible’s architecture was elegance on the grand Cadillac scale. It was the most dramatic re-style in sixteen years. The styling was elegant, majestic, and extremely impressive, and at the time, the most distinctive Cadillac in the history of the brand. The 1965 Cadillacs were powered by the Cadillac 340 hp 429 CID V8 engine, which always had power in reserve. Luxuriously appointed, remarkably designed, and youthfully spirited, the 1965 Cadillac DeVille convertible was another fine luxury car from the “Standard of the World” that will live on forever. Cadillac was elegance and technology in motion……will they ever be again? Whatever happened to Cadillac?

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1965 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty-Special with the Brougham option