Archive for DeVille

2002 Cadillac DeVille: The Last of the Big Guns

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

The last of the big body Cadillacs

2002 Cadillac DTS

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

DeVille base 2

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

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

DeVille base

2002 DeVille base

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

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

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

1958 Coupe deVille 1

Yesterday…

Cadillac DeVille

Today…

Cadillac Sixteen 1

Tomorrow…?

DeVille marque of excellence

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

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

DTS

Northstar 32-valve V8 engine

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

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

Technology

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

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

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

Northstar V8 engine

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

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

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

Northstar V8 engine 2

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

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

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

DTS foglamps

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

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

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

DTS 2

2002 Cadillac DTS ($43,810 – $47,880)

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

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

Armored DeVille

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

2002 Cadillac DHS 4

2002 Cadillac DHS (43,810 – $47,880)

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

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

DTS 4

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

DTS Limousine 2

Cadillac DeVille Limousine by Miller Meteor

DeVille Limousine

DTS Limousine 5

Cadillac DeVille Presidential Limousine

Deville Presidental Limousine

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

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

Front

Rear

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

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

LED taillamp technology

LED taillamps

monocoque 1

monocoque 2

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

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

independent rear suspension assembly

DeVille DTS

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

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

2002 Cadillac DTS 1

2002 Cadillac DTS

2002 Cadillac DTS 2

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

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

2002 Cadillac DTS 3

DTS cabin

DTS is the Cadillac of Cadillacs with a sporting elegance

2002 Cadillac DTS 4

2002 Cadillac DTS

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

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

2002 Cadillac DeVille 1

2002 Cadillac DeVille

2002 Cadillac DeVille 3

2002 Cadillac DeVille 2

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

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

2002 Cadillac DHS 1

2002 Cadillac DHS 

2002 Cadillac DHS 2

2002 Cadillac DHS 3

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

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

2002 Cadillac DeVille 4

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

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

2002 Cadillac DeVille 5

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

Spacious rear compartment

DTS cabin

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

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

2002 Cadillac DTS 5

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

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

DTS 3

7-spoke aluminum wheels

Ultrasonic rear parking assist

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

DeVille DTS 2

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

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

1958 Coupe deVille 2

1958 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

1958 Coupe deVille 3

1958 Coupe deVille 4

Photos courtesy General Motors

1958 Coupe deVille 7

1958 Coupe deVille 5

1958 Coupe deVille 6

1959 Sedan deVille

1959 Cadillac Series 6300 Sedan deVille “Flat Top”

1961 Coupe DeVille

1961 Cadillac Series 6300 Coupe deVille

1967 DeVille convt 1

1967 Cadillac DeVille convertible

1967 DeVille convt 2

1967 DeVille convt 3

Photos courtesy Wallpaperup

1967 DeVille convt 4

1967 DeVille convt 5

1967 DeVille convt 6

2006 DTS Presidential Limousine 3

2006 Cadillac DTS Presidential Limousine

2006 DTS Presidential Limousine 4

2006 DTS Presidential Limousine 6

DTS-L

Cadillac DTS-L Coachbuilt sedan with Livery package

DTS-L interior

2011 Cadillac DTS 1

2006-2011 Cadillac DTS

2011 Cadillac DTS 2

2011 Cadillac DTS 3

DTS grill emblem

2011 Cadillac DTS 4

Cadillac Sixteen 2

Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Cadillac Sixteen 3

Cadillac Sixteen 4

Cadillac Sixteen 5

Here’s the elusive sixteen cylinder V-type architecture

Cadillac Sixteen 8

Cadillac Sixteen 6

Cadillac Sixteen 9

2006-2011 DTS

2006-2011 DTS 2

The Last one

DTS Limousine 3

Welcome to Greg’s World

DTS Limousine 4

Greg’s World is NotoriousLuxury…

Cadillac Crest

Greg's World 2

1970 Cadillac deVille convertible

Greg's World 4

Greg's World 5

Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars

Greg's World 3

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

Greg's World

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

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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

1

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

2

5

6

3

1964 Cadillac DeVille convertible

4

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

1964 DeVille 17

1964 DeVille 18

1964 DeVille 21

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

1965 DeVille 6

1965 DeVille 7

1965 DeVille 9

1965 DeVille 12

1965 DeVille 14

1966 DeVille 2

1966 Cadillac DeVille convertible

1966 DeVille 3

1966 DeVille 1

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.

1966 DeVille 4

1966 DeVille 13

1966 DeVille 16

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…

1966 DeVille 17

1966 DeVille 10

1966 DeVille 5

All DeVille convertibles feature leather upholstery standard

1966 DeVille 6

1966 DeVille 7

1966 DeVille 8

1966 DeVille 9

1966 DeVille 14

1966 DeVille 11

1966 DeVille 12

1966 DeVille 15

1967 DeVille 1

1967 Cadillac DeVille convertible

1967 DeVille 4

1967 DeVille 5

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.

1967 DeVille 11

1967 DeVille 3

1967 DeVille 12

1967 DeVille 14

1967 DeVille 6

1967 DeVille 7

1967 DeVille 8

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.

1967 DeVille 9

1967 DeVille 10

1967 DeVille 15

The 7.0 litre 16-valve 429 CID V8 engine received a new valve train and a modified Carter 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet 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.

1967 DeVille 16

1967 DeVille 17

1967 DeVille 19

1967 DeVille 20

1967 DeVille 21

1967 DeVille 18

1968 DeVille 1

1968 Cadillac DeVille convertible

1968 DeVille 2

1968 DeVille 3

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.”

472 CID V8 1

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…

472 CID V8 2

472 CID V8 3

1968 DeVille 4

1968 DeVille 5

The 1968 models received a mild “Cadillac beauty treatment”

1968 DeVille 10

1968 DeVille 11

1968 DeVille 6

1968 DeVille 7

1968 DeVille 8

1968 DeVille 9

1968 DeVille 13

1968 DeVille 14

1969 DeVille

1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible

1969 DeVille 2.pptx

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.

1969 DeVille 3

1969 DeVille 10

1969 DeVille 4

1969 DeVille 8

472 1

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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1969 DeVille 6

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.

1969 DeVille 7

1969 interior 5

1969 interior 1

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 – 

1969 interior 3

1969 interior 7

1969 interior 6

1969 DeVille 11

1969 DeVille 13

1969 DeVille 14

1969 DeVille 12

1969 DeVille 5

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1970

The finale…1970 Cadillac DeVille convertible

1970 DeVille 1

1970 DeVille 2

1970 DeVille 3

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.

1970 DeVille 10

1970 DeVille 14

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.

1970 DeVille 15

1970 DeVille 11

1970 DeVille 4

The 1970 DeVille retained the deep-seated lounge seats

1970 DeVille 5

1970 DeVille 6

1970 DeVille 7

1970 DeVille 8

1970 DeVille 9

1970 DeVille 12

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.

1970 DeVille 13

1970 DeVille 19

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.

1970 DeVille 17

1970 DeVille 21

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.

1970 DeVille 18

1970 DeVille 16

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 3

Greg's World

Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury….

Cadillac: The Standard of the Entire World

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

…Automotive milestones

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

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

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

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

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

1976 Coupe deVille 1

1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille

1976 Coupe deVille 2

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

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

1976 Coupe deVille 3

1976 Coupe deVille 4

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

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

1970

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

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

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

1904 Model B Touring 1

1904 Cadillac Model B Touring

1908 Model S

1908 Cadillac Model S

Model 30 1913 2

1913 Cadillac Model 30

Model 30 1913 1

1918 Model 57 Raceabout

1918 Cadillac Model 57 Raceabout

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

1929 Cadillac V-8 Dual Cowl Phaeton

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

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

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

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

1930 Cadillac Model 452 V16

1930 Cadillac Model 452 V16

1930 V16 convertible

1930 Cadillac V16 Roadster

1930 V16 Roadsters were the world’s most luxurious cars

1930 V16 Phaeton 1

1930 Cadillac V16 Phaeton

1930 V16 Phaeton 2

1930 V16 Phaeton 3

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

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

1930-1932

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

1931 Cadillac V12

1931 Cadillac V12

1933 Cadillac V16

1933 Fleetwood-bodied V16

1936 Series 90

1936 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 90

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

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

1936 Cadillac V16 Series 90 Town Cabriolet

1936 Cadillac V16 Series 90 Town Cabriolet

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

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

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1936 Series 70 V8 coupe

1936 Cadillac Series 70 V8 coupé

1936 V16 convertible

1936 Cadillac V16 Convertible coupé

1939 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Derham Town Car 1

1939 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special with body by Derham

1939 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Derham Town Car 2

1939 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Derham Town Car 3

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 1

1940 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 5

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

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

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 6

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

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

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 2

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 3

1940 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special 4

1940 Series 72

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

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

1941 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1941 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1941 Cadillac Sixty-two Coupe

1941 Cadillac Series 62 coupé

1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1947 Cadillac Series 62 convertible coupé

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 5

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 

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

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 1

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 2

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 4

1948 Cadillac Series 62 convertible 3

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

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 2

1949 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 4

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

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

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 7

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 3

The Coupe deVille mocked a convertible with chrome roof bows

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 5

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 6

1949 Series 62 Coupe deVille 8

1949 Series Sixty-Special 2

1949 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1949 Series 62 convertible

1949 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1950 Cadillac Sixty-two Convertible

1950 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1953 Series 62 Eldorado 4

1953 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado convertible

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

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

1955 Cadillac for racing 1

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

1955 Cadillac for racing 2

1955 Eldorado

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Eldorado convertible

1956 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five

1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five limousine

1956 Series 62 Sedan deVille 1

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan deVille

1956 Series 62 Sedan deVille 2

The pillarless hardtop Sedan deVille became an instant success

1956 Series 62 Sedan deVille 3

1958 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five

1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five limousine

Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 1

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 3

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

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The 1959 tail fin

The iconic tail fin from the 1959 Cadillac

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 1

1959 Cadillac Series 62 “Flat Top” hardtop sedan

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 2

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 3

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 6

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 5

1959 Series 62 Flat Top 4

1959 Eldorado Biarritz convertible

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible

1960 Eldorado Biarritz convertible 1

1960 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible

1960 Eldorado Biarritz convertible 2

1960 Eldorado Biarritz convertible 3

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

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

1960 Eldorado Biarritz convertible 5

1960 Series 62 convertible 1

1960 Cadillac Series 62 convertible

1960 Series 62 convertible 2

1960 Series 62 convertible 3

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

1960 Series 62 convertible 4

1960 Series 62 convertible 6

1960 Series 62 convertible 5

1960 Series 62 convertible 7

1967 Fleetwood Eldorado

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

1971 Coupe deVille 1

1971 Cadillac Coupe deVille

1971 Coupe deVille 2

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

1971 Coupe deVille 3

1971 Coupe deVille 4

1971 Coupe deVille 5

1972 Fleetwood Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 2

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 6

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 3

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 4

1972 Fleetwood Brougham 7

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

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

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

1973 Coupe deVille 1

1973 Cadillac Coupe deVille

1973 Coupe deVille 2

1973 Coupe deVille 3

1973 Coupe deVille 4

1973 Coupe deVille 5

Fisher Body Logo

“GM mark of excellence…”

1975 Fleetwood Brougham

1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham

1976 Fleetwood Castilian Estate wagon 2

1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Castilian Estate wagon

1976 Fleetwood Castilian Estate wagon 1

1990-1992 Brougham 3

1990-1992 Cadillac Brougham 

1990-1992 Brougham 2

1990-1992 Brougham 1

1990-1992 Brougham 4

Brougham d’Elegance interior

1990-1992 Brougham 5

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

3

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

Cadillac Wreath and Crest

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Fleetwood

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Cadillac Sixteen Concept

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“As the Standard of the World Turns”

Cadillac: The Standard of Excellence

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

A tribute to the traditional Cadillac

Lead photo

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

Tradition

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

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

Crest 1

The Cadillac crest

Crest 4 1963 B

1963 Cadillac crest

Crest 4 1963

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

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

Crest 2 1941 B

1941 Cadillac crest

Crest 2 1941

Crest 3 1955 B

1955 Cadillac crest

Crest 3 1955

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

Fleetwood crest B

Fleetwood laurel wreath and Cadillac crest

Fleetwood crest

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

Crest 5 1965 B

1965 Cadillac crest

Crest 5 1965

Crest 6 1974 B

1974 Cadillac DeVille crest

Crest 6 1974

1959B tail fin

The formidable fins – 

1948 tail fin

1948

1949 tail fin

1949

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

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

1952 tail fin

1952

1953 tail fin

1953

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

1954 tail fin

1954

1955 tail fin

1955

1956 tail fin

1956

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

1956 Eldorado tail fin

1955-1956 Eldorado

1957 tail fin

1957

1957-1958 Eldorado tail fin

1957-1958 Eldorado “Chipmunk-Cheeks”

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

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

1958 tail fin

1958

1958 Eldorado Brougham tail fin

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham

1959 tail fin

1959

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

1960 tail fin

1960

1961 tail fin

1961

1962 tail fin

1962

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

1963 tail fin

1963

1964 tail fin

1964

1965 tail fin

1965…tail fins are banished into history

1966 tail fin

1966

1967 tail fin

1967 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1967-1969 Eldorado tail fin

1967-1969 Fleetwood Eldorado

1968 tail fin

1968 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1969 tail fin

1969 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1970 tail fin

1970 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1970 Eldorado tail fin

1970 Fleetwood Eldorado

1971 tail fin

1971-1972 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1971-1972 Eldorado tail fin

1971-1972 Fleetwood Eldorado

1973 tail fin

1973 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1973 Eldorado tail fin

1973 Eldorado

1974-1976 tail fin

1974-1976 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood

1974-1976 Eldorado tail fin

1974-1976 Eldorado

1977-78 Eldorado

1977-1978 Eldorado

Pink Cadillac 3

The luxury of choice

Pink Cadillac 1

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

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

Pink Cadillac 2

1959 Series 62 convertible

Pink Cadillac 4

Pink Cadillac 5

1957 Fleetwood 1

1957 Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special

1957 Fleetwood 2

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

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

1957 Fleetwood 4

1957 Fleetwood 5

1957 Fleetwood 3

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 1

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 2

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

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

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 4

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 5

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 7

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 6

1959 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 3

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 1

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 2

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 3

Good taste never goes out of style…

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 4

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 5

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 6

1976 Fleetwood Series Seventy-Five 8

1970 Coupe deVille 1

1970 Coupe deVille

1970 Coupe deVille 4

America’s sweethearts –

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

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

1970 Coupe deVille 5

1970 Coupe deVille 6

1970 Coupe deVille 10

1976 Sedan deVille 1

1976 Sedan deVille

1976 Sedan deVille 5

1976 Sedan deVille 2

1976 Sedan deVille 4

1976 Sedan deVille 3

1976 Sedan deVille 8

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

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

1970 DeVille 3

1970 DeVille convertible

1970 DeVille 5

1970 DeVille 6

1970 DeVille 7

1976 Eldo convt 4

1976 Eldorado convertible

1976 Eldo convt 2

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

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

1976 Eldo convt 3

1976 Eldo convt 6

1976 Eldo convt 7

1956 Series 62 convt 1

1956 Series 62 convertible

1956 Series 62 convt 4

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

1956 Series 62 convt 3

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

1956 Series 62 convt 5

1956 Series 62 convt 7

1956 Series 62 convt 6

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

Greg's World

NotoriousLuxury IS Greg’s World…

1978 Cadillac DeVille Coupe d’Elegance

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury with tags , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

The ultimate expression of Cadillac opulence…

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 1

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

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance

The Cadillac DeVille has always been America’s favorite luxury car. The Coupe deVille is a luxury car of elegant refinement…roomy, distinctive, and consistently a leader in both resale value and repeat ownership. The 1977-1979 model years are the first totally new redesign and downsizing known as “The next generation of the luxury car.”

The excitement of owning a Coupe deVille is augmented by Cadillac special editions which are a unique manner to express one’s individuality. Rarely does an automobile become a classic in its own time as the DeVille series gaining respect and admiration world-wide. The 1978 Cadillac DeVille Coupe d’Elegance presents a stunning encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 2

Opulent, sophisticated, and decadently luxurious is Cadillac’s d’Elegance luxury package. It began as a special edition for the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special Brougham for the 1973 model year and was available for the DeVille series beginning in the 1974 model year. These lavishly equipped luxury cars are the epitome of Cadillac elegance.

The DeVille d’Elegance is trimmed exquisitely in the grand Cadillac tradition. This special edition features subtle refinements that escalates the elegance of the Coupe deVille and Sedan deVille to new heights of luxury and distinction. This stunning luxury package was built at a highly restricted pace to retain exclusivity and stature.

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 3

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 4

For the 1978 model year the exclusive limited edition d’Elegance option was $689. It includes contoured pillow-style seating sumptuously upholstered in Random velour and was available in five dramatic colors. Power assisted 50/50 dual comfort front seats and plush deep-pile carpet completes the interior’s refinement.

Signature exterior features include opera lamps, special pin striping, and color-keyed vinyl body side moldings. Exclusive “d’Elegance” nomenclature adorns the rear sail panels and interior glove box door to deftly identify it as a Cadillac special edition. The 1978 DeVille Coupe d’Elegance is the ultimate expression of America’s favorite luxury car.

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 28

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 16

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 27

Seville 1

The first generation Cadillac Seville was built from 1976-1979

Seville 2

The 1977-1979 DeVilles were redesigned in a new precision size based upon the highly successful first generation Cadillac Seville. They retained the legendary Cadillac luxury, security, and roominess. The new size makes them more maneuverable with surprising performance not usually found in a luxury car.

Their advanced engineering is developed with computer technology which also makes them easier to service. Cadillac introduced them as “The next generation of the luxury car.” They ride upon a long 121.5” wheelbase, have the luxury length of 221.2”, and are 76.4” wide. Despite the drastic downsizing from their 1976 counterpart, they dwarf modern-day automobiles by a long shot – 

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 5

The next generation DeVilles are built as body on frame construction. They have a traditionally mounted engine in front with rear-wheel drive. This type of construction is engineered for structural integrity. Specially hardened friction plates assure strut-to-body joints remain tight and rattle-free. The body is married to a rigid ladder-type frame with welded cross members for extra strength.

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 8

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 9

The 1978 Cadillac DeVille was in the second year of the major redesign. It was refined and freshened mildly. The front end design received a new grille. The rear end ensemble received new bumper end caps with slim taillamps. The aerodynamic, wind-cheating design of the 1977-1979 models achieved the greatest fuel economy in the history of the brand at the time. The styling is crisp, timeless, and completely in character with Cadillac.

The totally new restyled Cadillac unites its traditional dignity with a youthful new look. The size is particularly attractive to the ladies. Model # 6C style code # D47 1978 Coupe deVille had a base price of $10,444 with a base shipping weight of 4,163 pounds. There were 117,750 Coupe deVille models built for the model year. Superb luxury and Cadillac elegance made it America’s favorite luxury car annually – 

1978 Taillamps 1

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 6

425 CID 2

The 1978 Cadillac DeVilles are powered in the traditional Cadillac manner. America’s favorite luxury car offers highly spirited performance with its 7.0 litre 16-valve 425 CID V8 engine. This is one of Cadillac’s last reliable V8 engines. The 425 CID V8 is based upon the old 7.7 litre 472 CID V8 architecture but uses a smaller 4.08” bore and a shorter 4.06” stroke. It is also 100 pounds lighter. The 7.0 litre is the 90 degree V-type running in five main bearings mounted in three points in rubber.

It has overhead valves with a cast iron block and cylinder heads for longevity. The beautifully responsive engine is equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl carburetor, a mechanical fuel pump, and a 25.4 gallon fuel tank. The engine is mated to GM’s versatile THM-400 Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. Emission controls include Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV), Air Injection Reactor (AIR), Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Early Fuel Evaporation, Evaporative Control, and Oxidizing Converter.

The naturally aspirated L33 7.0 litre carbureted version produces 180 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 11.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 36.8 seconds with a top speed in the 115 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 77 mph in 18.7 seconds.

425 CID 1

425 CID 3

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 21

One could also opt for the Electronic Fuel Injected version for an additional $744. The naturally aspirated L35 EFI 7.0 litre V8 produces 195 hp @ 3,800 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 10.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 33.9 seconds with a top speed in the 117 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 78 mph in 18.5 seconds.

There really isn’t that much of a difference as far as speed, but the EFI version operates a lot smoother and can actually get better mpgs than the carbureted version. Fuel injected versions and cars built for the California market include Air Injection Reactor (AIR) and Exhaust Pressure Transducer for EGR.

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 13

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 14

Standard features and accessories for the 1978 DeVilles exceed the competition. Automatic Climate Control heats, cools, and ventilates with one touch of a button without further intervention. Power windows and door locks, power six-way front seat, and AM/FM Signal-Seeking Stereo Radio with power antenna add comfort and convenience to America’s favorite luxury car. These are just a few of the myriad standard amenities. Cadillac also offered more optional features and accessories than the other luxury brands. This is why Cadillac was the leader in the industry for high-end automobiles.

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 15

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 17

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 18 b

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 24

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 26

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 12

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 23

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 29

Cadillac special editions are a unique manner to express one’s individuality. The DeVille series remains America’s favorite luxury car. For the 1978 model year, the DeVille Coupe d’Elegance option offered subtle refinements that set it apart from the stock Coupe deVille. This exclusive luxury package is designed to satisfy the most discerning Cadillac buyer. DeVille d’Elegance is the ultimate expression of opulence and exclusivity. The trim, precision size and powerful 7.0 litre V8 engine makes it a spirited performer on the road.

The 1977-1979 DeVilles achieved the greatest mpgs in the history of the brand at the time. Legendary Cadillac luxury, security, and roominess are dramatically evident. The elegant Cadillac Coupe deVille was consistently the leader in repeat ownership and resale value. The 1978 Cadillac DeVille Coupe d’Elegance is another exciting and highly successful chapter…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 11

Special thanks to Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 30

Bob Adams 2

1979 Cadillac Phaeton special edition

Bob Adams

Bob Adams 3

Special thanks to Bob Adams Classic Cars

Bob Adams 4

The End II

1978 DeVille Coupe d'Elegance 20

The End

“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.”

1974 Cadillac Coupe deVille

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

…..the DeVille legend continues

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