GM’s luxury arm, Cadillac, launched the large luxury de Ville model in 1958 as a successor to the Series 62. After all, it was the Series 62 where the de Ville designation appeared as a trim level designation. The name comes from the French name for the city and was used to refer to short city carriages with seating for two passengers. The first de Ville model lasted only two years on the market, but I need to jump further in our conversation. The American connoisseurs among you will surely recognize that the photos show the third generation, which came on the market in 1965. The particular car from Canada that the Veterans at Truc lent me is from 1967 and in a beautiful blue color.
The design of the Detroit flagship of the GM concern was created by Bill Mitchell. In addition to the coupe you see in the photos, he created the curves of a sedan and a convertible. The car stood on the same platform as its predecessor, but it looked completely different from the outside. The American fins were reduced, the bumpers were simplified and the vertical rear lights were integrated into the rear. The front two pairs of headlights are also arranged vertically. The pillarless coupe could have a vinyl roof for an extra charge. In 1967, there was another major modernization of the appearance, and the biggest change to the coupe was the new shape of the roof. But there is also the traditional covering of the rear wheels with large all-over covers or wipers hidden under the hood. The use of a large amount of chrome was a matter of course.
The interior is beautifully done and decently equipped for its time. AM and FM radio, headrests, comfortable soft seats, seat belts, automatic climate control, cigarette lighter, power windows, and even an automatic height control system are not missing. Cruise control was an extra $95. Cadillac used quality leather and wood for decor. The front bench is amazingly comfortable and you want to stretch out on it for as long as possible. In front of me is a huge steering wheel with an amazingly thin rim. It is true that the entire interior already has a patina and would deserve a bit of renovation care. After all, I probably haven’t driven a car with corrosion on the instrument panel and alarm clocks yet.
An eight-cylinder that is not yet strangled by emission limits
This more than two-ton model still has the classic front-engine, rear-wheel drive concept, although from 1984 the de Ville types were front-wheel drive. It sits on the C platform, which was also shared by the Eldorado and Calais, as well as the Buick Electra and Oldsmobile 98. Under the hood were two OHV 429 cui and 472 cui V8s with a Quadrajet carburetor. Here is the smaller one of them, which according to us has a volume of seven liters and reaches 340 horsepower (254 kW) and a torque of 653 Nm, the larger one replaced it only a year later. The engine is mated to a three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic TH-400 automatic transmission. It’s a piece of honest Detroit iron with aluminum pistons that doesn’t shy away from anything and floods the surroundings with a beautiful bubbling sound.
The majestic Cadillac is an incredibly comfortable vessel – soft and bouncy. There are some very nasty potholes on the road that leads to the photo location. But we can laugh at them in de Ville, because we don’t even know about them while driving. As if we were levitating just above the road. The biggest ones can also be easily avoided, because Cadillac traditionally has an amazing turning radius, and the automaker also offered a self-locking differential on request. The steering wheel can only be turned with the tip of a single finger thanks to the significant work of the variable booster. This is amazing when I consider that the long coupe weighs over two tons. At the time, however, the car company boasted the slogan “It doesn’t matter how many Cadillacs you’ve driven so far. The pleasure of driving a 1967 Cadillac will catch you off guard anyway!”. I call that a bold advertising promise, but a luxury car company must have high self-esteem.
The ride is incredibly comfortable
Comfort is truly exceptional, yet the de Ville relies on ordinary shock absorbers and springs, supplemented by an anti-roll bar at the front. It stops obediently and the drum brakes with booster do not deserve any criticism. In the eyes of ordinary Czechs, one of the disadvantages of old America will be consumption. The value of 23.5 liters per 100 kilometers sounds really extreme, and when the price per liter hits fifty crowns again, you will probably change your mind about driving a Cadillac. But hey, at least you’ll make new friends among the pumpers.
This generation of de Ville was discontinued in 1970, by which time it had already been quite similar to the smaller Eldorado for two years. Production of the last eighth generation of the de Ville type was definitively ended in 2005, and the DTS type entered the market in its place. The third generation is a relatively affordable way to a very stylish American car. For example, this blue piece was advertised some time ago for 370 thousand crowns. If you come across a convertible, it will be much more expensive because it is rarer.
But even this coupe is beautiful, and perhaps from any angle it doesn’t just look good to me. Sure, the youngsters back then wanted muscle cars, but a proper grown man wanted a proper Cadillac. Therefore, over 200,000 cars were produced that year.