Archive for Coupe deVille

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

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

The Coupe deVille legend continues

1956 Coupe deVille 1

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

1956 Coupe deVille 2

1956 Coupe deVille 3

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

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

1956 Coupe deVille 6

1956 Coupe deVille 13

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

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

1956 Coupe deVille 10

1956 Coupe deVille 12

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

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

1956 Sedan deVille

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan deVille

1956 Sedan deVille 2

1956 Sedan deVille 3

1956 Coupe deVille 5

1956 Coupe deVille 4

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

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

1956 Coupe deVille 25

1956 Coupe deVille 8

1956 Coupe deVille 9

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

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

1956 Coupe deVille 27

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

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 6

1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

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

1956 Coupe deVille 32

1956 Coupe deVille 14

1956 Coupe deVille 15

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

1956 Coupe deVille 22

1956 Coupe deVille 20

1956 Coupe deVille 17

1956 Coupe deVille 21

1956 Coupe deVille 19

1956 Coupe deVille 18

1956 Coupe deVille 7

1956 Coupe deVille 28

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

1956 Coupe deVille 29

The 6.0 litre 365 CID V8 cranked 285 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 542 Nm of peak torque @ 2,800 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 11.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.1 seconds, with a top speed in the 112 mph range (ungoverned). It can do the ¼ mile @ 80 mph in 18.2 seconds.

1956 Coupe deVille 30

1956 Coupe deVille 33

The 1956 Cadillacs are as rugged as they are rewarding. They are built as body on frame construction. The sturdy “I-beam X-frame” was the strongest in the industry at the time. This was new for the 1956 model year. Construction of this type was usually reserved for convertibles because it is sturdier with a lower center of gravity. The rugged cross member provides a sturdy support for the engine, steering, and front suspension components.  The perfect 50/50 weight distribution assures excellent traction and overall performance.

The rigid steel floor is reinforced by rugged ribbed sections and is welded to box girder rocker panels, and vertical side pillars. There is a heavy gauge steel skeleton creating a virtual ring of steel surrounding the passenger cell. Even the Coupe deVille’s doors are solid vault-like structures. They are formed from two panels of heavy gauge cold-rolled sheet steel formed into a rigid self-reinforcing box-like assembly. They are precision hung on tough steel hinges for that all so perfect shut line. The engineers created the Coupe deVille as they would a ragtop because of its pillarless design. It is built to refrain from squeaks and rattles.

1956 Coupe deVille 26

1956 Coupe deVille 24

The front suspension uses individual coil springs with sturdy upper and lower control arms. The rear suspension uses the Hotchkiss Drive system, a method of transferring the thrust of the rear wheels to the frame through the rear springs. Unsprung weight is minimized with this type of build.

The rear axles are the semi-floating type and are cut so that the driving pinion meshes with the ring gear well below the center line of the differential. This type of assembly facilitates a lower profile for a modern, contemporary look. The low drive shaft, low floors and low rear floor tunnel results in a road-hugging overall design. The mid 1950s introduced a different trend in automotive designthat is longer, lower, and wider creating a contemporary look for the day leaving the past to history. Cadillac was an automotive trend-setter.

1956 Coupe deVille 23

Cadillac was the luxury leader for the 1950s. The Series 62 Coupe deVille is the elite luxury cruiser that captured the fancy of high-end automobile buyers. The Coupe deVille was the essence of exclusivity retaining the poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. The 1954 through 1956 model years further established the brand’s identity reinforcing the consummate luxury proclamation set forth as the “Standard of the World.”

The 1956 Series 62 Coupe deVille created a new inspiration for all motordom with its precise craftsmanship and universal appeal. Never before had a motorcar become so captivating, elegant and meticulously engineered. The Coupe deVille is unmistakably Cadillac in stature and majesty. It inspired the entire automotive industry for many years to come. The 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille once again takes the spotlight center stage…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1956 Coupe deVille

1956 Coupe deVille 34

1956 Coupe deVille 35

1956 Coupe deVille 38

1956 Coupe deVille 39

1956 Coupe deVille 43

1956 Coupe deVille 41

A two 4-bbl carburetor system was optional

1956 Coupe deVille 42

1956 Coupe deVille 44

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 5

The majestic 1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1956 Series Sixty-Special 1

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 1

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 2

1956 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 3

1956 Coupe deVille 40

1956 Series 62 Eldorado convertible 1

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz sport convertible

1956 Series 62 Eldorado convertible 2

1956 Coupe deVille 37

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 7

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 6

A slammed Series 62 Sedan deVille

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 1

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 5

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 4

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 3

Pfaff Firemaker Custom 2

Greg’s World is NotoriousLuxury…

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1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

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

An American standard for the world

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 1

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 2

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 3

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 4

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

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

1949 Coupe deVille 1

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille

1949 Coupe deVille 2

1949 Coupe deVille 3

1949 Coupe deVille 4

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 1

Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Coupe deVille concept

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 2

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

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

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 3

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 4

1949 Fleetwood Coupe deVille Concept 5

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

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

1949 Coupe deVille 6

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille

1949 Coupe deVille 8

1949 Coupe deVille 7

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 7

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 5

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 30

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 6

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 8

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 9

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 10

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1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 26

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

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

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 28

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 29

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 11

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 32

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

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

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1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 22

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 23

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 24

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

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

1959 Coupe deVille

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 12

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 13

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

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

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 15

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 16

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

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1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 18

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1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 20

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 21

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

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

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

The Golden Empress 1

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

The Golden Empress 2

The Golden Empress 3

Welcome to Greg’s World…NotoriousLuxury

The Golden Empress 4

Isn’t this drop-dead gorgeous?

The Golden Empress 5

The Golden Empress 6

It’s Notoriously outrageous

The Golden Empress 7

The Golden Empress 8

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille 34

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

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.

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1958 Eldorado Brougham tail fin

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

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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.

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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!

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1965…tail fins are banished into history

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1967 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

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Pink Cadillac 3

The luxury of choice

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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 – 

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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?

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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 –

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Good taste never goes out of style…

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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.

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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.

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1976 Eldo convt 4

1976 Eldorado convertible

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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 –

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1956 Series 62 convertible

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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!

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1956 Series 62 convt 6

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

Greg's World

NotoriousLuxury IS Greg’s World…

1965 Cadillac Coupe deVille

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Editorials with tags , , , , , , on July 3, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

…the DeVille legend continues

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

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Cadillac was “Standard of the World” in motoring pleasure and owner loyalty. “So new…so right…so obviously Cadillac.” This editorial is dedicated to those who regard their motorcars as prized possessions. Once one has been in the driver’s seat of a new Cadillac…it is difficult to become content with any other car.

The integrity of Cadillac styling, engineering prowess, and production superlatives has earned Cadillac a unique and dual distinction. The Coupe deVille for 1965 was an all-new design. Its crisp contemporary lines were like no other Cadillac ever built. Style code # 65-683 68357-J Coupe deVille had a base price of $5,419.00 and 43,345 were built for the 1965 model year.

Here is another classic DeVille encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The 1965 Coupe deVille was America’s favorite luxury car…the other was the Sedan deVille. New exterior styling showcased a lower silhouette. Its new front end ensemble included a wider grille and hood, dual vertical stacked headlamp placement, larger cornering lamps, and a massive new bumper with integral parking lamps.

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New rear styling included a beautifully beveled deck lid with deck sill grille work. The tail lamps and back-up lamps were located in the chrome bumper end caps resembling classic Cadillac DNA, aka tail fins. The overall re-styling made the 1965 Coupe deVille distinctively contemporary.

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The 1965 Coupe deVille received a brand new roof design with wide “C-pillars” for rear seat privacy. The long hood and short rear deck was so typically Cadillac. The Coupe deVille maintained a poised dignity that was a true hallmark of every Cadillac.

The balanced proportions and sleek symmetry impressed even the most discerning fine car connoisseur. The elegance and distinction that have made the Coupe deVille the world’s most desirable luxury coupe were never more apparent than in the 1965 edition.

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The 7.0 litre 429 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine was designed for maximum efficiency and performance. It had a higher horsepower-to-weight ratio than any of its competitors. Refinement for the 1965 model year included a new piston head design, exclusive new exhaust system, and new motor mounts.

The engine mounts were rubber to isolate engine vibration from the cabin. The engine was equipped with a Carter AFB 3903S 4-bbl downdraft with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, dry-type air filter, and automatic choke.

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The 429 CID produced 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 8.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 23.7 seconds with a top speed of 127 mph. It could do the ¼ mile @ 88 mph in 16.1 seconds.

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The engine was mated to GM’s THM-400 Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed transmission, which was a fully automatic torque converter type with variable stator. The converter multiplied engine torque for increased driving thrust at rear wheels during acceleration in any gear. It was refined to include two drive ranges, wider selectivity in acceleration, and the engine’s natural braking power.

The left “DR” assured maximum cruising economy and quietness, and slower engine speeds. The right “DR” position locked out high gear and used the intermediate gear for maximum responsiveness and increased engine braking. This position was for hilly terrain and when instant maneuverability without repeated brake application was required. It was also specially designed to hold the car on steep down grades and to provide power and agility to climb the steepest hills.

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For 1965, Cadillac’s exclusive True Center Drive Line, was a new one-piece propeller shaft that transmitted power quietly and resisted vibration. Constant velocity joints at each end of the prop shaft cancelled out forces that generate noise and vibration.

The precise alignment of the propeller shaft and rear axle pinion through machine mounting attachments contributed to smoother, quieter performance with minimal vibration. The rear axle bearing was pre-stressed for lasting quality and dependability.

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Cadillac was the only automobile manufacturer to offer exclusive triple braking. A dual chamber power hydraulic master cylinder facilitated independent front and rear brake operation.

A foot operated parking brake was a true auxiliary brake. It was vacuum released, therefore, it would not lock with the engine running and car in gear. The brake system was fitted with finned servo-assisted drums front and rear with self-adjusting feature.

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The 1965 Coupe deVille was built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s rugged perimeter frame that was fully boxed throughout its length for torsional rigidity and resistance to impact. This construction included hidden bulkheads for additional resistance to torsional stress and also added to the strength and rigidity of the entire car.

The design of the frame with boxed side rails instead of central structure permitted lower transmission tunnel height increasing interior room. This new frame to body structure allowed lowering step-in height by 1”. New larger suspension bushings further isolated road noise and absorbed road impact.

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The front frame was redesigned with increased width which permitted the front strut rods to be moved further outboard for optimum control of fore and aft movement of front wheels. The front suspension used spherical joints with independent helical coil springs. The 1965 Coupe deVille rode upon a long 129.5” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 224” and a wide 79.9” stance.

A unique new pheasant tail design of the rear engine support crossmember allowed engine support without infringing upon front passenger floor space. New location of coil springs on the rear axle housing instead of lower control arms allowed control arm bushings to better isolate road noise and cushion wheel impacts.

The rear suspension used Cadillac’s four-link drive, helical coil springs, and rubber bushings to improve ride quality. The rear axle was the hypoid type with offset differential housing to facilitate straight line drive.

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Significant improvements in engine components, body mounts, and acoustical design enhanced Cadillac’s legendary silence of operation. There never had been a Cadillac so impressively new, so unmistakably Cadillac…All the 1965 Coupe deVille needed was you behind the wheel.

The dramatic styling of the 1965 Coupe deVille was highlighted by the classic Coupe deVille. All DeVille models offered a rare combination of fine car luxury and elegance with astounding performance. The DeVille was one of America’s most prestigious models.

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The Coupe deVille was first class in glamour and excitement. Standard equipment for the 1965 Cadillac Coupe deVille included: power windows and seat, Variable Ratio Power Steering, power brakes, folding center front and rear seat arm rests, and a host of comfort and convenience features too numerous to mention. Your choice of cloth with leather or all-leather upholstery was available to make the Coupe deVille as individual as its owner.

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The Cadillac Coupe deVille for 1965 was a new dimension in motoring excellence. The DeVille Series offered an extraordinary selection of body colors, interiors, and optional equipment. The Coupe deVille had an intimacy no other coupe could replicate. The 1965 Coupe deVille was powered by a 340 hp V8 engine refined to near perfection.

A host of other engineering advancements gave the Coupe deVille extraordinary road stability and ease of handling. It was the “Standard of the World” in engineering craftsmanship. The Cadillac was always a car with such dignity and majesty. Luxury and elegance were the everyday pleasures of the Coupe deVille.

From its inception in 1949 when the first Coupe deVille was spawn from the Series Sixty-two, it has been one of the most successful production runs in the history of the brand. The Coupe deVille was one of America’s favorite luxury cars…the other was the Sedan deVille. Here ends another brilliant DeVille success story…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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1965 Cadillac Coupe deVille

1961 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

The 1961 edition of America’s favorite luxury car

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

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The 1961 model year for Cadillac introduced a brilliant new concept in luxury car motoring. The 1961 Cadillacs were completely redesigned. Sculpted proportions made the 1961 Series 6300 Coupe deVille elegant and refined. It was lean and trim for the contemporary world.

The Coupe deVille was once again America’s favorite luxury. The 1961 Cadillacs were new inspiration for the luxury motoring world. The ’61 Coupe deVille makes an encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The Coupe deVille was a trend-setting motorcar. It was even more intriguing for 1961. Its basic structure increased rigidity, had greater roominess, and improved insulation from road noise. The body design was more reserved and greatly refined from the 1960 bodyshell.

The new front end ensemble was clean and trim. It had a symmetry of design, each bank of lights were the exact same as the opposite side offset by a mesh design grille that was canted-forward with jewel-like detailing. Style code #61-63J 6337J Series 6300 Coupe deVille had a base price of $5,252 and 20,156 were built for the 1961 model year.

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The sculpted rear styling was augmented with the iconic Cadillac tail fins. They were tastefully trimmed for a contemporary look. A new styling feature called “skegs” were smaller tail fins that sprouted from the lower body panels extending back to oval lower lamp housings. A redesigned rear deck lid was the finishing touch to the tailored design. The new design was completely new yet unmistakably Cadillac.

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The Coupe deVille began its existence as a pillarless hardtop coupe option package for the 1949 Cadillac Series Sixty-two. Its popularity grew throughout the world. The Coupe deVille became more luxurious with each new model year. These superbly crafted motorcars made each journey memorable. With its youthful two-door hardtop styling, the Coupe deVille became a perennial favorite among luxury car buyers.

The DeVille series made Cadillac the most distinguished automobile on American roads. The 1961 Coupe deVille maintained that poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. Never before had a motorcar been so visually exciting and meticulously engineered. It was a masterwork of styling and craftsmanship from the “Standard of the World.”

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The Cadillac Coupe deVille was always a large two-door coupe with interior room that rivaled that of four-door sedans. This is why it was one America’s favorite luxury cars…the other was the Sedan deVille. The 1961 edition was no exception.

The Coupe deVille had a distinctive roof and styling cues used by no other luxury brand. The formidable “Standard of the World” stood alone. With interiors by Fleetwood available in cloth with leather bolsters, qualified the Coupe deVille as a full-fledged luxury car without a doubt…

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The 1961 Cadillac Coupe deVille was powered by the mighty Cadillac 390 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine. It was equipped with a Rochester 4MV 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet with equalized manifold, mechanical fuel pump, polyurethane air filter, intake silencer, and automatic choke. The highly refined Cadillac V8 engine delivered brilliant performance and proven dependability. The engine block and cylinder heads were made of cast iron. It had five main bearings, and hydraulic valve lifters.

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Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 10.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 28.4 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. It could do the ¼ mile @ 85 mph in 17.5 seconds. The engine was mated to GM’s Hydra-Matic (Jetaway/Flashaway) 4-speed automatic transmission.

The 390 CID V8 engine produced 325 hp @ 4,800 rpm producing 430 Nm of peak torque @ 3,100 rpm. Cadillacs were the “secret performance cars.”

The part that excited me to irresistible challenges was when I drove one of these and was at a stop light beside a 1968 Camaro…he kept poppin’ the clutch…the Camaro was doing a ‘buck-dance’ but…when the light changed…I could barely see his car in my rear view mirror…tee-hee-heee…

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Chassis refinement included a new rubber-insulated center mount on the drive shaft which cushioned and absorbed vibration. The 1961 Coupe deVille was built as body on frame construction. It used Cadillac’s rugged tubular-center X-frame with new front frame members permitting a lower front floor for increased seat height and headroom.

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The Cadillac power braking system was standard featuring finned brake drums front and rear. Larger front brake cylinders were installed providing sure, skid and fade-resistant stops. New fixed brake shoe anchors and self-adjusting linkage were improved for precise braking and longer life.

The frame’s new wider, shallower front assembly permitted a lower front floor and transmission tunnel for increased roominess and improved ride-height. The 1961 Coupe deVille rode upon a long 129.5” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 222” with a wide 79.8” stance. It was a very large front engine rear drive automobile…the drove like a much smaller vehicle.

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The new front suspension used rubber mounted strut rods to absorb road impact and isolate road noise. This design increased the turning angle of the front wheels from 36 to 38 ½ degrees. Cadillac used an improved four-link rear suspension. It consisted of two lower control arms to hold the axle in fore and aft alignment, with an upper yoke mounted to the uppermost points of the frame using rubber bushings.

Ball joints at the rear axle housing kept more weight below the point around which the car’s weight tends to lean outward on curves. It used a hypoid type rear axle with offset differential housing to facilitate straight-line drive.

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Cadillac presented a new interpretation of Cadillac luxury. These all-new Cadillacs were like nothing ever offered in the history of the brand. The 1961 Cadillacs were a contemporary break away from the 1950s styling…it was the fresh and new “Ward & June Cleaver/Ozzie & Harriet Nelson” era.

The 1961 Coupe deVille was most distinctively Cadillac in every manner. No matter what model one chose for the 1961 model year, it was an exciting new masterpiece from the master craftsmen. The Coupe deVille reinforced the DeVille tradition of remaining America’s favorite luxury car. Cadillac’s superb balance of performance and handling was unsurpassed in all of motordom.

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No automobile in all the world was so deeply admired for its magnificent motoring luxury than Cadillac. With its interior by Fleetwood and impeccably crafted bodywork by Fisher, the 1961 Coupe deVille was a brilliant new edition of American ingenuity.

The sculpted new silhouette was augmented by its restyled rear end design. Those tail fins were offset by lower styling accents called “skegs” which gave the 1961 Cadillacs stature and elegance no other luxury brand could offer.

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This was the beginning of Cadillac’s stream-lined and contemporary understatement. Gone was the 1950s gaudiness and over embellishment to the point of garish for exterior trim. The 1961 Cadillac Coupe deVille was just the beginning of beautifully new editions of America’s favorite luxury car.

It was luxury and comfort in the grand Cadillac tradition, with exemplary fit & finish in the grand Cadillac manner. “As the Standard of the World Turns” salutes the 1961 Cadillac Coupe deVille.

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“As the Standard of the World Turns”

Fresh Metal: 1979 Cadillac Coupe deVille

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Fresh Metal with tags , , , , , on March 6, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

America’s favorite luxury car

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

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The next generation of the luxury car was in its third year of refinement for Cadillac’s 1979 model year. For more than 75 years Cadillac had a car that was right for its day. And then there was that Cadillac strive for perfection and engineering prowess that put the other luxury brands to shame.

Cadillac had always led the way with technology…in 1912 Cadillac was first to equip cars with electric lighting…or in 1928 when Cadillac was the first to install laminate glass…and lest we forget, the 1954 model year when Cadillac was first to provide power steering as standard equipment to its entire model line-up.

For 1979 America’s favorite luxury car was refined combining full size six passenger spaciousness with contemporary styling and traditional Cadillac comfort. The 1979 Coupe deVille was an elegant expression of Cadillac luxury. It was the next generation with another dramatic DeVille performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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This new breed of luxury was world-class in engineering and everything that made a Cadillac a Cadillac was evident. Its trim, lithe physique was designed to make efficient use of space. It was more compact outside but retained the six passenger comfort and convenience of a full-size car. Model style code #6C D47 Coupe deVille was base priced at $11,728.

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The Coupe deVille began as a trim option for the 1949 Series Sixty-Two. It was the first pillarless hardtop coupe. It was so successful that it began an automotive trend that the entire auto industry would quickly adopt. The Coupe deVille was an elegant six passenger two-door coupe with four-door spaciousness and comfort.

The Coupe deVille was the ultimate two-door DeVille. It was one of America’s favorite luxury cars…the other was the Sedan deVille. Throughout its production life, the Coupe deVille became more elegant and luxurious attracting more customers annually. 

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Cadillac special editions have always been a way to express one’s individuality. For the 1979 model year one such limited edition was the Custom Phaeton Coupe. It was also available as the Custom Phaeton Sedan. The Custom Phaeton Coupe had an appearance reminiscent of classic Cadillac convertibles.

The 1979 Phaeton Coupe was available in Cotillion White with a Dark Blue roof and white leather interior, Slate Firemist with a Black roof and Antique Slate Gray leather interior, or Western Saddle Firemist with a Dark Brown roof and Antique Saddle leather interior. The Custom Phaeton Coupe option was an additional $2,029.

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Signature exterior features included a custom fabric roof treatment mocking convertible top fabric, brushed chrome moldings with flush mounted opera lamps and Cadillac crest, Phaeton scripts on each rear fender and wire wheel discs. Interior exclusivity included 45/55 Dual Comfort front seating.

Richly tailored natural grain leather upholstery and matching leather trimmed steering wheel added to the distinction of the Phaeton Coupe. The 1979 Custom Phaeton was a delightful way to experience a Cadillac limited edition. The Phaeton option escalated the already luxurious Coupe deVille to new heights in elegance.

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Another special edition for the Coupe deVille was the DeVille Coupe d’Elegance trim option package. It was the ultimate expression of DeVille luxury. The interior featured exclusive contoured pillow-style seating upholstered in elegant Venetian Velour that was available in four colors.

Signature interior features included Dual Comfort 50/50 front seating, deluxe Tangier carpeting, and “d’Elegance” nomenclature on glove box. Exterior features included a “d’Elegance” script affixed to exterior sail panels, accent moldings and striping with opera lamps. The d’Elegance option was an additional $755.

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Also available was the Cabriolet option. It was a dramatic half-roof treatment in 17 colors of Elk grain vinyl. Special finishing molding trim, Cadillac crest, and script insignia completed the look of distinction for the 1979 Coupe deVille.

The 1979 Coupe deVille standard interior featured luxurious Durand knit cloth in six colors. Or, a fully leather trimmed interior was available in 11 color/trim combinations. Both choices were impeccably tailored by Fleetwood. The Coupe deVille featured subtle refinements that pleased the most discerning luxury car buyers.

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The 1979 Coupe deVille had youthful styling and spirited performance. Cadillac had a long history of building quality motorcars that were the state of the art in their engineering. The Coupe deVille exemplified personal luxury.

The 1979 Coupe deVille maintained the poised dignity that was the hallmark of every Cadillac. Its styling was dramatic yet refined. With its youthful beauty and Cadillac elegance, it captured the spirit of a new age in luxury car motoring.

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The 1979 Cadillacs were the contemporary expressions of luxury for the challenging times. America’s favorite luxury car retained its spacious six passenger comfort, offered responsive performance and maneuverability that was never before available in a trim new size luxury car.

The Coupe deVille was understated yet exquisitely appointed for comfort and convenience. Standard features included: Automatic Climate Control, power windows and door locks, AM/FM Stereo radio with digital display, power steering, power brakes, cornering lamps, lamp monitors, automatic power antenna, six way power seat for driver, and new seat belt chimes.

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The 1979 Coupe deVille was powered by Cadillac’s 7.0 litre 425 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmission. The engine had a cast iron block and heads, five main bearings, and hydraulic valve lifters. It produced 180 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm.

Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 11.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.2 seconds with a top speed of 115 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 78 mph in 18.6 seconds. An Electronically Fuel Injected version of the 7.0 litre V8 was also available. The carburetted version was equipped with a 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet and mechanical fuel pump.

Sadly, the 7.0 litre 425 CID was one of the last great Cadillac manufactured V8 engines. What came next after the 6.0 litre was shockingly horrid…Cadillac lost a significant market share because of quality issues and lack-luster performance.

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The 1979 Coupe deVille was a large front engine rear drive vehicle. It was built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s ladder-type frame with welded crossmembers. The front suspension used upper and lower control arms, independent coil springs, link-type stabilizer bar, and hydraulic direct action shock absorbers. The rear suspension used Cadillac’s four-link drive, coil springs, and hydraulic direct action shock absorbers. The 1979 Coupe deVille rode on a long 121.5” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 221.2” and was 76.4” wide.

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Cadillac’s triple braking system was standard. The system used ventilated discs with single piston sliding calipers fitted to the front axle. Duo-servo drums were fitted to the rear axle. A power dual hydraulic master cylinder with separate fluid reservoirs provided independent front and rear operation.

It was equipped with a tandem vacuum power booster. The brakes adjusted themselves each time the car was driven in reverse and the brakes applied. The parking brake had silent action with an automatic vacuum release. It was a true auxiliary brake since it wouldn’t lock with the engine running and car in gear.

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America’s favorite luxury car was in its third year of refinement. Its trimmer silhouette didn’t stint on Cadillac luxury. Its youthful styling combined with spirited performance exemplified its personal luxury. The Coupe deVille was a two-door configuration with four-door spaciousness.

The 1979 Coupe deVille’s styling was dramatic yet refined. The 1979 Cadillacs captured the spirit of a new age in luxury motoring. With more features and accessories as standard equipment, the Cadillac Coupe deVille was a car complete. With power, performance, and presence, the 1979 Coupe deVille was a tough act to follow…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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Just more superlative-superlatives………in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

Requiem For A Legend: 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

We bid farewell to the last full-size Coupe deVille in 1976

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114,482 Coupes deVille were built for the 1976 model year

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“As the Standard of the World Turns….”

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The 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille was the nostalgic end of an illustrious era in motoring. The 1976 model year rolled the last full-sized Coupe deVille off the assembly line. The Coupe deVille was Cadillac with a youthful elegance. It was the ultimate in personal luxury. Two-door styling combined with spacious six passenger comfort made the Cadillac Coupe deVille one of America’s two favorite luxury cars….the other was the Sedan deVille. The DeVille series was crafted out of a tradition of excellence. The 1976 Cadillacs impressively reaffirmed the tradition of leadership that long made the brand the “Standard of the World.” This was another spectacular DeVille standing ovation for the encore performance….in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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There will NEVER be another Coupe deVille….it was a perennial favorite among luxury car buyers. The Cadillac Coupe deVille was a youthful and beautiful way to motor in Cadillac luxury and leadership. Its tasteful appointments and deep-seated luxury were matched by the quality of its performance and ease of operation. The Coupe deVille was enjoyed by more luxury car buyers than any other brand. Its distinctive lines marked it unmistakably Cadillac. Coupe deVille’s distinctive individuality set it apart from other fine cars.

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The Coupe deVille began as a fancy trim option package as a pillarless hardtop luxury coupe in 1949. Each subsequent year the Coupe deVille became more exclusive, always innovative and uniquely individual, it had a personality all its own. The 1976 Coupe deVille was no exception to the luxurious rule. The smaller coach windows were a Coupe deVille styling tour-de-force exclusive to this model, added classic personal car appeal. The 1976 Coupe deVille still looks good today…..after all, a lady’s performance is not measured by her years!

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Its dramatic front end design was augmented by rectangular headlamps and wrap-around cornering lamps built as a single unit. The hood and front fenders were beveled lowering the nose clip considerably from the 1971 bodyshell origin. The extra-long hood and rear deck contributed to its tastefully flowing contemporary silhouette. Only the 1976 Coupe deVille could combine such tasteful individuality and youthful spirit in one great luxury car. The glamorous Coupe deVille was popular with discriminating motorists all over the world. Freedom of spirit and a taste for luxury were combined magnificently in the 1976 Coupe deVille.

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This long, low, masterful motorcar was powered by Cadillac’s highly efficient 8.2 litre 500 CID 16-valve OHV V8 engine. This was a version of the Eldorado V8 engine introduced for the 1970 model year. The engine was equipped with a 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet with an electric choke which improved fuel economy and operation. It came standard with a High Energy Ignition system. This was a solid-state unit that eliminated breaker points, rubbing block, and condenser which attributed to faster starting and overall fuel economy. With the combination of the HEI, catalytic converter, and the use of un-leaded fuel, the engine could go up to 22,500 miles between tune-ups.

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The 8.2 litre V8 was equipped with EPA mandated emission controls that included: Positive Crankcase Ventilation, Air Injector Reactor, Exhaust Gas Recirculation with exhaust pressure transducer, and Early Fuel Evaporation, Evaporative Control. The AIR system and exhaust pressure transducer were used on cars for the California market and cars equipped with EFI systems. With the use of a catalytic converter, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide gasses were filtered and exhausted as carbon dioxide and water.

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Performance was rated as 0-60 mph in 11 seconds, 0-100 mph in 34 seconds with a top speed of 119 mph. It did the ¼ mile @ 79 mph in 18 seconds. The 8.2 litre V8 produced 215 hp @ 3,600 rpm with 542 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. The engine was available with carburetion or EFI. The carburetted version used an in-line mechanical fuel pump. The EFI version used two electric fuel pumps one in-line and the other in-tank. The EFI version operated smoother with increased fuel economy, faster starting, and quicker take-offs from the traffic lights. The engine had power in reserve for merging into highway lanes and accident avoidance….chomp the accelerator pedal and the issues you just avoided are in your rearview mirror….easily

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The 8.2 litre V8 was mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-400 3-speed automatic transmission. It used a torque converter with fixed stator, which multiplied engine torque to increase driving thrust to drive wheels during acceleration in any forward gear. The torque converter was refined making it tighter resulting in more immediate response improving fuel economy. The axle ratio was lowered to also increase fuel economy. I never thought I would live to see the day when Cadillac and fuel economy were on the same page.

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The 1976 Coupe deVille was built as body on frame construction using Cadillac’s rugged perimeter frame with heavy gauged boxed side rails. The front suspension used upper and lower control arms, integral steering knuckle, arm & caliper support, integral hubs and rotors on spindles, tapered roller bearings, spherical joints with wear indicators on the lower joints, coil springs, and hydraulic double action shock absorbers. The rear suspension used Cadillac’s four-link drive, coil springs, and hydraulic double action shock absorbers. The 1976 Coupe deVille was a very large front engine rear drive vehicle. It rode on a long 130” wheelbase, had the luxury length of 230.7”, and a 79.8” wide stance.

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The 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille had a spacious six passenger interior. Traditional Fleetwood hand crafted interiors were available in a variety of trim combinations. Merlin, an elegant plaid material was available in two colors. Magnan, a luxurious ribbed knit fabric was available in six colors. A leather upholstered interior was available in eleven color/trim combinations.

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Standard Cadillac luxury included: power windows and door locks, Variable Ratio power steering, power six-way seat, Automatic Climate Control, AM/FM Stereo radio with power antenna, lamp monitors, quartz digital clock, and folding center armrests front and rear. Cadillac offered more standard features and accessories to add further distinction to the 1976 Coupe deVille. A few of the more popular options included: sunroof, glass Astro-roof, illuminated entry system, tilt & telescopic steering wheel, Twilight Sentinel, Theft Deterrent system, and remote control trunk lock with power pull-down. As you may see the Cadillac Coupe deVille was a car-complete even without options. There was nothing quite like the traditional Cadillac….Model code #6D D47 Coupe deVille had a base price of $9,067 and 114,482 were built. The 1976 Sedan deVille tallied 67,677 units built for the model year.

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Beauty, performance, and a high re-sale value was the secret to the Coupe deVille’s popularity. It was the perennial favorite among luxury car buyers. The 1976 Coupe deVille was equipped with the highly efficient 8.2 litre Eldorado V8 engine. The spacious six passenger comfort and elegant two-door styling made it unique among the world’s great cars. The Coupe deVille was often imitated but never replicated, it offered automotive distinction since 1949 that only Cadillac could create.

With all of its Cadillac elegance, standard features and accessories, combined with its astonishing performance, the 1976 Coupe deVille was America’s favorite luxury car once again. This was the last full-size Coupe deVille to roll off the assembly line. It was also the last model year to use the formidable 8.2 litre 500 CID V8 engine. After the 1976 model year, Cadillac began to drift into obscurity. The brand was never the same….this is a farewell tribute to the illustrious full-size 1976 Coupe deVille which was a legend in its own time….in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.” Now….I present thirty years of the Cadillac Coupe deVille…..

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1956 Cadillac Series Sixty-Two Coupe deVille

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The 1966 Cadillac Coupe deVille

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The 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille

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Just more superlative-superlatives………in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”