Archive for The Standard of the World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Body by Fleetwood

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

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

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

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

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1970 Coupe deVille and the 1968 Fleetwood Eldorado

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The comfort zone…

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

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

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

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Structural logistics

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

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

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The luxury leader – Cadillac Style

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

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

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

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

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

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Here’s your baby immortalized for prosperity!

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The formidable 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

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The 1967 Eldorado-inspired 1970 Cadillac Coupe deVille

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There’s no more deep-seated luxury like this

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1968 Fleetwood Eldorado custom convertible

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

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This is his Eldorado to counter Lincoln’s Continental

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

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

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The Classic Cadillac DeVille Convertibles

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

Presenting the grandest of all open tourers

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

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1964 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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

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

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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 –

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 –

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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 –

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

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

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

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All DeVille convertibles feature leather upholstery standard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The 1968 models received a mild “Cadillac beauty treatment”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The finale…1970 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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

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

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

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The 1970 DeVille retained the deep-seated lounge seats

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

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

Greg's World 2

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.”

Greg's World 4

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…

Greg's World 5

Greg's World 3

Greg's World

Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury….

Cadillac Eldorado: The Legend Lives

Posted in "As the Standard of the World Turns", Cadillac, Cadillac Historical, Classic American Marques, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

…the iconic and unforgettable legend lives on in

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 1

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

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 7

1953 Series 62 Eldorado 1

The Cadillac Eldorado is the glamour car of the 1950s through the 1970s. It was once the Flagship in Cadillac’s model hierarchy and one of the world’s most desired dream cars. The Eldorado began as an elite trim level option for the Cadillac Series 62 convertible and was an instant success. It became its own exclusive model the next model year. Eldorado…or “The Gilded One” has been the envy of the driveway in America throughout its tenure.

The Eldorado was the styling predictor…the innovator…as well as the epitome of Cadillac luxury and elegance. It was also the most powerful of all Cadillac models. The Eldorado Custom Biarritz was created as a tribute to the last of the full-size models…and the end of an illustrious era in motoring luxury. It is dripping with luxury and elegance with a unique style all its own. NotoriousLuxury salutes the full-size Cadillac Eldorado…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 5

1953 Series 62 Eldorado 4

The Cadillac Eldorado began as an exclusive trim level option for the Series 62 convertible for the 1953 model year. Chief stylist Harley Earl created this masterpiece as GM’s image car. This was the most expensive Cadillac in the model hierarchy at $7,750 which could have purchased a home back then.

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.

1953 Series 62 Eldorado 5

1953

This top of the line limited edition convertible was available in four exclusive to Eldorado colors: Aztec Red, Alpine White, Azure Blue, and Artisan Ochre. Leather upholstery of the finest grain, power windows, Signal-Seeking radio, heater/defroster, and windscreen washers were all standard.

It was among the first convertibles to offer air conditioning as an option. This car created such interest among automobile enthusiasts; it became a stand-alone model for the 1954 model year. Today, the 1953 Series 62 Eldorado convertible commands six figures on the auction block.

1953 Series 62 Eldorado 2

1953 Series 62 Eldorado 3

1954 Series 62 Eldorado 1

The 1954 Series 62 Eldorado is the first full production version

1954 Series 62 Eldorado 2

1954 Series 62 Eldorado 3

1954 Series 62 Eldorado 4

1954 Series 62 Eldorado 5

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz 1

The glamour continued for the Eldorado. In 1956 it was now available as the Biarritz convertible coupé and the Seville hardtop coupé. The Eldorado remained true to form with exclusive styling shared by no other Cadillac model…this became an Eldorado signature. Its distinctive rear end ensemble is designed with pointed shark-fins, uniquely styled taillamps & back-up lamps, and a tailored bumper with exhaust ports.

An Eldorado always predicted styling features that would eventually find their way on future Cadillac models. The Eldorado Seville has a luxurious Vicodec roof covering as its signature styling feature to highlight its pillarless hardtop design. This was the beginning of the vinyl roof treatments that became so popular in the 1970s.

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz 2

The 1956 Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz convertible coupé

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz 3

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz 4

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz 5

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz 6

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Biarritz 7

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Seville 1

The 1956 Series 62 Eldorado Seville hardtop coupé

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Seville 2

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Seville 3

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Seville 4

1956 Series 62 Eldorado Seville 5

1956

A notable signature feature for Cadillac Eldorados from the 1950s is their stealth power reserves. They are tuned to produce high performance that was not usually associated with luxury cars from this genre. Cadillac was the master builder of the V8 engine. There are two versions that were available for this generation. A 5.4 litre 331 CID V8 producing 200–270 hp between 4,400 & 4,600 rpm powers the 1953-1955 models.

A 6.0 litre 365 CID V8 producing 305-345 hp between 4,700 & 4,800 rpm powers the 1956-1959 models. These luxury behemoths are equipped with two 4-bbl carburetors from 1955 through 1957 Eldorados; and three 2-bbl carburetors for 1958 & 1959 Eldorados. Power, performance, and prestige are all-inclusive attributes of the magnificent Cadillac Eldorado.

Engine 1954

The 5.4 litre 331 CID V8

Engine 1956

The 6.0 litre 365 CID V8

Engine 1957 Eldorado Brougham

 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 6.0 litre V8 with 2 4-bbl carburetors

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 1

And…lest we forget, the ultra-luxurious hand-built Cadillac Series 70 Eldorado Brougham. They are crafted by Fleetwood but do not wear the nomenclature. Its romantic architecture is augmented by elegant forward opening rear coach doors and a stainless-steel roof. The decadently luxurious Eldorado Brougham has pillarless hardtop styling. The silhouette is lower than that of the standard bodied Cadillacs giving the appearance of a custom car. When either rear door is opened the front seat automatically moves forward making entry and exits easier.

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 2

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 4

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 5

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 16

The sweeping design includes chrome from bumper to bumper. The elegant front end ensemble has quad headlamps (which were illegal in some US states at the time), custom bumpers with rubber tipped Dagmars and unique grille work. This distinctive design influenced the look for Cadillac’s 1958 model year. The rear end design was shared with no other Cadillac.

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 6B

The unique tail fins have a slim contoured look with thin taillamps integrated. Asymmetric highly polished bumperettes feature another set of taillamps and back-up lamps, bullet-style guards and exhaust ports. Its price made it one of the world’s most expensive automobiles at a whopping $13,074…twice the price of the standard Eldorado models – even higher than a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud!

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 6

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 3

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 17

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 8

The luxury continued into the interior. There were 44 leather and trim combinations available with the choice of Mouton, Karakul, or Lambskin carpet. Every exclusive Cadillac feature and accessory came standard: two position memory seats, power windows and door locks, Delco Signal-Seeking transistor radio with power antenna, dual heating system, air conditioning, cruise control, power trunk release, Autronic Eye, and thin line white wall tires. Technical features include a two 4-bbl carburetor system and air suspension.

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 10

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 18

The magnificent Series 70 Eldorado Brougham was built at a highly restricted pace to retain its exclusivity. Only 400 were built for the 1957 model year; and 304 built for the 1958 model year. Production for the 1959-1960 Eldorado Broughams were farmed out to Pininfarina of Italy because of the extensive hand-crafting involved.

The reason they were shipped to Italy was due to the fact that the added hand-crafting slowed the Fleetwood assembly line, affecting factory burden raising costs which cut into the profit margin. Fleetwood could build the standard models which sold in higher numbers faster than the Eldorado Brougham. The Italian built Broughams were not as nice as the Detroit versions. Extensive re-working had to be done when they arrived here in the USA. A major defect is through the use of lead used to fill low spots in the metal…it cracked horrendously.

1959 Series 6400 Eldorado 1

The “Notorious” 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Series 6400 Biarritz 

1959 Series 6400 Eldorado 2

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 6

During the early to mid-1960s, Eldorado grandeur was diluted and the identity that had become so formidable in the 1950s was lost. The Flagship position it held was assumed by the Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special. The Eldorado Seville hardtop coupé was dropped from the model lineup for 1961. It was only available as the Biarritz convertible which was merely an over embellished Series 62/DeVille convertible.

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 2

The 1960 Eldorado Series 6400 Seville hardtop coupé

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 3

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 4

1960 Series 6400 Eldorado Seville 5

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 1

The 1964 Eldorado Biarritz convertible

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 2

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 3

The 1964 Eldorados have genuine walnut trim

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 6

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 4

1964 Series 6400 Eldorado Biarritz 5

1966 Eldorado 1

The 1966 Eldorado convertible

1966 Eldorado 2

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 1

The expanding personal luxury niche of the 1960s spawn the birth of the front-wheel drive Eldorado. For the 1967 model year, the fabulous Fleetwood Eldorado made its debut. It was an Eldorado unlike its finny, gas-guzzling namesakes. This all-new Eldorado is longer, lower, and wider than its predecessors. Sharp knife blade fenders extended beyond the architecture in the front and rear. The long hood, low-slung roofline, and short rear deck is distinctive and unique…it was copied by the entire industry.

Once again, the Eldorado introduced a new style. This design heavily influenced the 1969-1970 Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood models. The 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado was no longer a dressed-up version of something pre-existing. Its design by Bill Mitchell, chief designer for GM, is magnificent and is still quite popular with connoisseurs world-wide. From the striking front end ensemble augmented by hidden headlamps to the sharp angular rear end design, the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado is the world’s finest personal luxury automobile. It is a dramatic departure from the past –

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 2

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 3

As the Cadillac sales brochure reads: “The 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado…is the one car that must be seen to be believed, driven to be fully appreciated…and owned to be fully enjoyed.” This is so true…the 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado is the first car in the entire world to successfully combine the precision of front-wheel drive with the agility of Variable Ratio Power Steering and the perfect balance from Automatic Level Control. It maintains the poised dignity which was the hallmark of every Cadillac –

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 4

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 5

The front-wheel drive Fleetwood Eldorado rocked the entire world

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 6

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 7

1967 Fleetwood Edlorado 8

1967

The 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado is powered in the formidable Eldorado tradition. It is equipped with Cadillac’s 429 CID V8 engine. The engine is tuned to produce 340 hp @ 4,600 rpm with 651 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a modified Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-425 3-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 8.5 seconds, 0-100 mph in 24.9 seconds with a top speed in the 124 mph range. From personal experience, this car is quite a performer. Its swift operation is completely imperceptible.

1968

Changes were minimal for the 1968 model year

1970

For the 1970 model year, the Fleetwood Eldorado…being the innovator that it was – introduced a powerful V8 engine with the largest displacement in the industry to power a passenger production car. The formidable 8.2 litre 500 CID V8 engine produced 400 hp @ 4,400 rpm packing a prolific punch with 746 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. It hits 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds with a top speed in the 129 mph range.

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1970 5

1970 4

1970 6

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1970 7

The Eldorado is the world’s finest personal luxury automobile

1971

The last full-size major redesign was for the 1971 model year and was updated mildly until the last of the production run for the 1978 model year. Beginning in 1971, the Cadillac Eldorado was offered as a hardtop coupé and convertible coupé. The last production Eldorado convertible rolled off the assembly line for the 1976 model year.

The 1971-1978 Eldorados are built as body on full frame construction. Eldorado was the only Cadillac that had no exclusive limited edition. The Fleetwood Series Sixty-Special had the Brougham and Talisman editions. Even DeVille had the d’Elegance package. Cadillac introduced the Custom Biarritz package for the Eldorado during mid-year production in 1976.

1975 Eldorado Hdtp 1

The 1975 Eldorado Custom Cabriolet coupé

1975 Eldorado Hdtp 2

1975 Eldorado Hdtp 3

1975 Eldorado Hdtp 4

1976 Eldorado 3

The 1976 Eldorado convertible was the last production ragtop

1976 Eldorado 4

1976 Eldorado 5

1976 Eldorado 1

1976 is the last of the 8.2 litre 500 CID V8 engine

1976 Eldorado 6

1976 Eldorado 2

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 1

The only way to describe the Custom Biarritz is posh…it’s the Ritz-Carlton on wheels. This was a tribute to the full-size Eldorado which was just two years from extinction. 1977 was Cadillac’s 75th Anniversary; there were no special editions for the celebration. Cadillac built 47,344 Eldorados for this model year. Customers scurried to Cadillac showrooms taking full advantage of the last of the king-size Eldog.

Model #6E style code #L47 1977 Eldorado hardtop coupé had a base price of $11,187 with a base shipping weight of 4,955 pounds. The Custom Biarritz option, style code #YP2B was $1,760. The Custom Biarritz package with sunroof was $2,581, with the Astroroof $2,777. The Eldorado Custom Biarritz is the ultimate expression in personal luxury car distinction. Cotillion White with White roof and interior was the most popular of the five color schemes available.

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 2

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 3

The Eldorado Custom Biarritz is one of the most elegant Cadillacs in the history of the brand…virtually dripping with opulence. Signature interior features include sumptuous button-tufted contoured pillow-style seating with glove-soft leather and 50/50 dual comfort front seats. The exterior is equally as distinctive. The exclusive Cabriolet Roof is tailored in a richly textured Elk grain vinyl with French seams.

The heavy padding is designed to change the lines of the car; it changes the shape and size of the rear quarter windows. It has an elegant closed-in limousine-style rear window treatment. Special accent striping, stainless-steel moldings, color-keyed wheel discs and “Biarritz” scripts affixed to the rear sail panels deftly identify it as a Cadillac special edition. The Custom Biarritz is distinctive even among other Cadillacs –

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 4

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 6

The 1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 8

1977 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 9

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 1

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 3

The 1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz was a tad bit more expensive. Model #6E style code #L47 1978 Eldorado coupé had a base price of $11,921 with a base shipping weight of 4,906 pounds. There were 46,816 built for the 1978 model year. Two special editions were available for 1978. The first, style code YP2B Custom Biarritz package was $1,865…with Astroroof $2,946 and with sunroof $2,746.

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 4

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 5

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 8

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 9

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 1

There was also an extra special version called the Custom Biarritz Classic. Style code YP6B was $2,466; with Astroroof $3,547…and with sunroof $3,347. Its production was limited to only 2,000 units. The Custom Biarritz Classic was modified by the American Sunroof Corporation of Southgate, Michigan. The coupés are color code #62 Arizona Beige with light Beige vinyl roof, they were two-toned by American Sunroof with color code #64 Demitasse Brown. Gold-plated “Biarritz” nomenclature along with special accent striping was added. The posh interior is two-toned light beige with dark saddle leather.

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 2

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 3

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 5

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic 4

The 1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz Classic coupé

1978 Eldorado Custom Biarritz 2

The 1977-1978 Eldorados are comprehensively equipped luxury coupés. Standard equipment includes: Automatic Climate Control with economy setting, power windows and door locks, six-way power seat, Soft-Ray tinted safety glass, AM/FM Signal-Seeking Stereo Radio with power antenna, quartz digital clock, lamp monitors, and steel-belted radial ply wide white wall tires.

7.0 litre 425 CID V8

The last of the full-size Eldorados (1977-1978) are powered by Cadillac’s 7.0 litre 16-valve, 425 CID V8 engine equipped with a Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor. This engine produced 180 hp @ 4,000 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,000 rpm. It uses GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic THM-425 3-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive.

Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 13.4 seconds, 0-100 mph in 47.1 seconds with a top speed in the 112 mph range. It can do the ¼ mile @ 74 mph in 19.6 seconds. Remember…an Eldorado is not built for speed. These figures are excellent for an automobile as large and solidly built as the 1977-1978 Eldorados.

There is a fuel injected version of the 7.0 litre V8 that produces 195 hp @ 3,800 rpm with 434 Nm of peak torque @ 2,400 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 13.1 seconds, 0-100 mph in 43.8 seconds with a top speed in the 116 mph range. It does the ¼ mile @ 75 mph in 19.4 seconds. The fuel injected version provides smoother engine operation and can achieve excellent mpgs on the highway.

Eldorado

The full-size Cadillac Eldorado was built from 1953 until the 1978 model year. This is one of Cadillac’s glamour cars and elite Flagships. “The Gilded One” was built as a convertible, hardtop coupé, and an elegant four-door hardtop sedan. Eldorados are specially tuned to be more powerful that standard Cadillac models. These elegant automobiles demonstrated the American way life…they are still the envy of the driveway.

The formidable Eldorado epitomized Cadillac luxury and opulence. They are the finest examples of exclusivity and supremacy in a motorcar; there will never be another automobile of this magnitude. Whatever Eldorado you choose, you will enjoy the rare blend of excitement, power, and prestige that made it a legend in its own time. The iconic and unforgettable Cadillac Eldorado presents another magnificent performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 7

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 11

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 12

The Eldorado Brougham Town Car Concept

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 15

1957-1958 Series 70 Eldorado Brougham 13

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Special thanks to Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, Sarasota Classic Car Museum, Jim Hailey Classic Cars, Bob Adams Classic Cars, and Matt Garrett at GM-Classics for the use of these rare photos. 

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1966 and 1973

Eldorado

The Cadillac Eldorado is NotoriousLuxury

1969 Cadillac DeVille Convertible: A Masterpiece From The Master Craftsmen

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

Rock steady…

1969 DeVille

“As the Standard of the World Turns”

1969 DeVille 3

The 1969 Cadillacs are masterpieces from the master craftsmen. Cadillac had an all-new design that made them longer, lower, and wider…they hugged the road. The DeVille was the only luxury convertible built in the land at the time. There is no finer way to view the world than from behind the wheel of a 1969 Cadillac. It is open air motoring at its finest. Powered by a 375 hp V8 engine, makes it a rare combination of luxury and high-performance few automobiles would ever achieve. The dramatic elegance and majesty of its new design is eloquently portrayed with the classic DeVille convertible. The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible makes a stunning encore performance…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.“

1969 DeVille 5

This is a unique era in motoring. An automobile of such stature had never before been endowed with this type of spirited high-performance. Cadillac had surpassed its own great reputation with the introduction of the 1969 Cadillacs. In luxury…in performance…and in craftsmanship, these new Cadillac creations by far, surpassed the famous cars they supersede. For 1969, there’s a new spirit of vitality and youth in the dramatic DeVille convertible. Luxury is your constant companion.

It is the most eloquent expression of glamour. Among all the manufactured products available, few can claim the excellence of design, dedication of assembly, and the universal acceptance that was at the time…accorded the Cadillac automobile – Cadillac was without conjecture the finest expression of the new era of automobile elegance and exclusivity…will the brand ever return to such regal stature?

1969 DeVille 2.pptx

1967 Eldorado 1

1967 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado

1967 Eldorado 2

1969 DeVille 4

The all-new 1969 Cadillacs are a design based upon the highly successful 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado. It is the chiseled front and rear fenders that makes it so distinguished in appearance. The all-new wrap-around parking/turn signal and cornering lamp modular unit and its integrated appearance would soon be copied throughout the industry. Cadillac was a style leader…never a follower. The long hood and short rear deck are designed to make the car appear even longer than it is. The front and rear bumpers are sculptured artfully into the architecture.

Dual horizontal headlamps and a wider grille gives it a more refined look. The 1969 model distinction is a winner; it is one of the most popular Cadillacs in the history of the brand. For the 1969 production run, 163,048 Cadillac DeVille models were built. The aggregate total for the DeVille model alone exceeded the entire total production run for the competition combined for the 1969 model year. The calendar year production for 1969 is 223,237 total units built. The 1968 production totals are 230,003. The reason the sales for the 1969 models are lower is because of the strikes that interrupted the 1969 production run.

1969

1969 DeVille 16

The 1969 Cadillacs were completely redesigned from the ground up. The rear ensemble for the DeVille, Calais, and Fleetwood models are totally in character for a Cadillac. The tapered tail fins and Cadillac-style taillamps make it exceptionally beautiful. The beveled rear deck lid is in proportion with the elegant styling. There isn’t a single line on the 1969 Cadillac that isn’t out sync.

The silhouette looks as though it spans for miles. With the top folded the car looks even longer, lower, and wider than the other Cadillac models. The neatly chiseled lines and shadows create a luxury car of distinction. It also is adorned with fancy fender skirts – these are my favorite feature on luxury automobiles from this genre. It gives the car a finished look. The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible is a masterpiece from the master craftsmen – 

1969 DeVille 20

1969 DeVille 19

Model #69-683 Style code #68367F two-door DeVille convertible for 1969 was base priced at $5,905 and only 16,445 were built. The base shipping weight is 4,590 pounds. Here are some interesting production milestones: Cadillac built its four millionth car as a 1969 Coupe deVille on June 19, 1969.

Cadillac was so successful that it took 47 years to build the first million cars…nine more years to build the second millionth vehicle…the three millionth vehicle came just six years later, and only five years more to build the four millionth Cadillac – now that’s an impressive production history…Cadillac used to be the world’s most desired luxury automobile.

1969 DeVille 18

Less than four percent of all 1969 Cadillacs were built without air conditioning. It was all about luxury back then. Cadillac had all the glitz and glamour of a true thoroughbred automobile. There were 11 distinctive models available in three series: Calais, DeVille, and Fleetwood.

The best-selling model for the 1969 model year is the hardtop Sedan deVille with a total production of 72,958 units which is the best ever for a single Cadillac model. This was the most popular luxury automobile in America. The Sedan deVille held this title until the 1973 model year when it was outsold by the Coupe deVille. This is why the Cadillac DeVille Series was and always will be America’s favorite luxury cars…

1969 DeVille 17

Among new innovation for the 1969 Cadillacs are a theft-deterrent steering wheel, ignition, and transmission lock which is so important for convertible lovers. Once the key is removed from the ignition, the car is disabled. Power front disc brakes are standard equipment on all 1969 Cadillacs. It has noticeably reduced pedal effort. A new Flow-through ventilation system eliminates the need for front vent windows. This not only contributes to the long, sleek look of the roofline but also increases visibility.

For the 1969 model year, Cadillac introduced a closed cooling system which is the first of this type in the entire industry at the time. A translucent plastic reservoir connected to the radiator’s overflow line captures coolant as it expands and contracts according to engine temperature.

This prevents an overflow when a hot engine is shut down, and captures excess coolant that is returned to the radiator by vacuum as the car’s engine cools. This new system allowed 1969 Cadillacs to idle for prolonged periods of time with the air conditioning system operating without over heating the engine. This closed cooling system soon spread throughout the industry. Cadillac has always been an eminent trend setter introducing firsts to the automotive industry – 

1969 DeVille 12

1949 1

1949 12

1949 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe deVille

1949 2

DeVille exclusivity dates back to 1949 when it was a prestige trim level for the Series 62 luxury coupe. It is among the first pillarless hardtops in the entire industry. The Series 62 Coupe deVille was opulently trimmed. Inside, there are stainless-steel roof bows to give it the appearance of a convertible hood lining. The Coupe deVille was introduced at the 1949 GM Autorama. It was built on the long wheelbase Series 60 Special platform.

The production version was released late in the 1949 model year. The Cadillac DeVille was an immediate success. It became available as a full production model. In 1956, Cadillac introduced the four-door hardtop Sedan deVille, and in 1964 the elegant DeVille convertible was introduced to the world of luxury. DeVille production ran from 1949 until 2005 when DeVille nomenclature was retired. It was renamed “DTS” until its demise. The last one rolled off the assembly line at GM’s Hamtrack plant in 2011 – 

1949 8

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1949 7

1949 6

1969 DeVille 8

472 1

The 1969 DeVille convertible is not only beautiful but powerful as well. The 472 CID was introduced the previous year and further refined for 1969. This was the largest production passenger car engine in the industry at the time. Cadillac introduced an engine with even larger displacement for the 1970 Fleetwood Eldorado which was 8.2 litres and 500 cubic inches. Cadillac powered their luxury cars with engines rockin’ the largest displacement in the industry to satisfy their customers – the “Standard of the World” gave the world luxury automobiles of distinction.

The 1969 Cadillacs are powered by the Cadillac 7.7 litre 16-valve 472 CID naturally aspirated V8 engine. The engine has a cast iron block and cylinder heads. It is equipped with overhead valves, a #7028230 Rochester 4-bbl downdraft Quadrajet carburetor, hydraulic lifters, and equalized manifold. It has an intake silencer, improved automatic choke, mechanical fuel pump, and dry-type air filter. The engine runs in five main bearings. An Air-injection Reactor system was added to reduce hydrocarbons in the exhaust for cleaner air. The engine is mated to GM’s Turbo Hydra-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission. It has a torque converter with fixed stator. The converter multiplies engine torque for increased driving thrust to the rear drive wheels during acceleration in any gear.

The aggressive 472 CID V8 engine produces an astounding 375 hp @ 4,400 rpm packing a prolific punch with 678 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 25 seconds, and 0-110 mph in 34.9 seconds. It does the ¼ mile @ 86 mph in just 16.3 seconds. It has a top speed in the 126 mph range. 

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The 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible’s interior elegantly compliments its exterior styling. A new instrument panel groups the controls in front of the driver and allows more front seat passenger room. The biggest styling refinement is the deep-seated high-back lounge seating. The front seats have adjustable head restraints and a center folding arm rest. This type of six passenger spaciousness was usually found in four-door sedans. The DeVille came standard with a power, fully automatic folding fabric roof.

A Cadillac DeVille convertible has a youthful zest. Cadillac had no peer among open luxury automobiles. Handsome new Ostrich grain leather upholsters the interior lavishly…Cadillac-style. The 1969 DeVille convertible provided power windows, power two-way adjustable front seat, Variable Ratio Power Steering, power brakes, and automatic transmission as standard equipment. Power 60/40 individually adjustable front seats were a popular option along with power door locks, power trunk release, cruise control, and Automatic Climate Control air conditioning. The 1969 Cadillacs are more luxurious than the models they supersede – 

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The 1969 DeVille convertible is built as body on frame construction. It uses a new, longer perimeter frame that is boxed in its entirety. The frame has hidden bulkheads for additional rigidity. The 1969 DeVille has the luxury length of 225”; it rides upon a long 129.5” wheelbase and is 79.8” in width. It is a very large, front engine rear-wheel drive vehicle. It is built in the solid Cadillac tradition.

The front suspension uses Cadillac’s traditional upper and lower control arm configuration with spherical ball joints and independent helical coil springs. Rubber-mounted strut rods and rubber bushings absorb road impact and isolate road noise. The rear suspension is Cadillac’s four-link drive, along with helical coil springs. Rubber bushings are used to quiet and soften the suspension. The rear hypoid type rear axle has an offset differential housing to facilitate Cadillac’s Straight-line Drive. It has a stronger axle and differential that is designed to accept the unusually high engine torque of the ferocious 472 CID V8. These fine automobiles are among the last of a dying breed…

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Cadillac used a triple braking system. The brakes are self-adjusting each time the car is driven in reverse and the brakes applied. The braking system used front discs and rear drums. A split hydraulic master cylinder provides independent operation of front and rear braking systems. The vacuum release parking brake is a true auxiliary brake and could be used as an emergency brake since it would not lock with the engine running and the car in a drive gear.

Also standard is Cadillac’s Variable Ratio Power Steering. It provides fast response and a shorter turning diameter. An energy-absorbing steering column and heavily padded steering wheel hub has been incorporated for safety. This type of steering is effortless; it makes the 1969 Cadillac DeVille drive like a much smaller vehicle. The variable ratio is precise and is constantly changing to suit the driving situation.

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With its many power assists and personal conveniences, color combinations, and its wide selection of options and accessories, the 1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible is an outstanding classic automobile for investment purposes. It has a youthful zest. Open air motoring is no more magnificently stated than in the only luxury convertible built in the land. It’s long, low, and sleeker than previous models.  An automobile of such elegant stature had never before been endowed with such high-performance that would shame a sports car, as the DeVille convertible.

Cadillac was completely redesigned for the 1969 model year. The design is based upon the highly successful 1967 Fleetwood Eldorado. The 1969 Cadillacs are among the most popular models in the history of the brand. Power, performance, and presence are yours with the Cadillac DeVille convertible. It is one of the world’s most exciting motorcars. There is no automobile more glamorous than a classic Cadillac convertible. NotoriousLuxury gives a round of applause and a standing ovation to this luxury barouche…in the continuing saga of “As the Standard of the World Turns.”

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The 1969 and 1970 Cadillacs are truly the end of a spirited era of motoring…one of which we will never enjoy again – 

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Special thanks to Liberty Old Timers, Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars, and Bob Adams Classic Cars for the photos of these extremely rare automobiles – 

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NotoriousLuxury presents three decades of the Cadillac DeVille

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1949 Cadillac Series 62 with Coupe deVille option

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1959 Cadillac Series 6200 Coupe deVille

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1969 Cadillac DeVille convertible

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…those fabulous fins

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The flamboyant 1959 Cadillac is still a favorite

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The fins of change…

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1949

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1959

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1969

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NotoriousLuxury salutes America’s favorite luxury car…

Greg's World

…”As the Standard of the World Turns”