: Are they THAT bad?



Maverick87
03-15-09, 10:30 PM
I'm new here, and have been a Cadillac fan my entire life.

But I'm caught in a dilemma. I have a friend who wants to sell me a '75 Coupe deVille at a fairly nice price, but I've been hearing about how horrible they handle and I just have to ask: Do they handle that bad? So bad that I should pass up on it?

77CDV
03-15-09, 10:57 PM
They handle like a 5500 lb RWD car would be expected to handle. If the suspension is up to spec, the car will do perfectly well under normal driving conditions, and will even handle gentle curves gracefully. If you're expecting the poor thing to handle like a Ferrari through the Alps, you'll be sadly disappointed.

These cars are designed and built for city and highway cruising at normal speeds. When doing so, they ride like a dream and are very nice cars indeed. If you've been a Cadillac fan all your life, you'll love this car.

akimball442
03-15-09, 11:05 PM
They handle extremely well for a large car. I test drove a 75 CDV last summer. The only reason it's not part of my fleet is because the owner/seller wouldn't budge on the unreasonable asking price for the condition.

I was actually shocked at how easy the car was to drive. If the suspension is in good shape and the shocks aren't shot, it's a pretty darn good driving car, and it feels much smaller than it actually is.

The only way to know is to test drive it and see how you feel in it.

Maverick87
03-16-09, 12:54 AM
Thanks guys,

I owned a four door '77 Continental a few years ago and never expected the Caddy to be all that bad, but I had been reading outside discussions about how badly they handled. I know from experience with other big cars I've owned that it won't handle like a Ferrari, but I want a project cruiser for the highway, and I live in New Jersey, so roads can get a little tight.

HorribleHarry
03-16-09, 05:34 AM
My 71 CDV is one of the easiest cars to drive I've ever owned. Unfortunately today the automotive press has insisted we all drive "European handling" cars... the only problem is that most of the drivers in europe don't have to be in their cars as much as we do... not to mention the distances we drive. (and you know how much we need something that corners at .95g every day... :rolleyes:) Honestly, I like the feel of overboosted steering & the floating sensation over the bigger bumps, & I find my "boat" feels more competent on the road than a few cars I've owned that were smaller & newer.
Bottom line is as mentioned before if it's suspension in a good state of tune, good shocks, bushings, tires... you'll be fine...The only places you'll find it tough is the Arbys drive through!

Honestly the lincoln is a good car... I've owned a 64 & a 73, but they have a much duller feel then the Caddy... It's hard to put a finger on it but they do handle rather blandly.

If that 75 is mechanically sound & reasonably priced jump on it...being a coupe you will always be able to get your moneys back on it if you decide it's not your cup of tea.

Horrible Harry

codewize
03-16-09, 09:32 AM
If I had the option to buy a mid to late 70's Coupe I'd buy it in a heartbeat. They're by far one of the nicest, smoothest riding Cadillacs ever made.

IN my opinion, that era is the epitome of Cadillac

75sled
03-16-09, 10:41 AM
I own a 75 Coupe Deville, and I absolutely love it. It drives like a dream. Like was mentioned above, if the suspension is in decent shape it will do just fine. I don't hesitate to push mine to the limit. Now mind you, I am not a fan of the way a sports car handles, drives or rides so this sort of car definitely is my cup of tea, but even so, I think they do great.

akimball442
03-20-09, 10:46 PM
... Unfortunately today the automotive press has insisted we all drive "European handling" cars... the only problem is that most of the drivers in europe don't have to be in their cars as much as we do... not to mention the distances we drive....

Come on now :rolleyes: I own 3 vintage Mercedes-Benz's. If I want to take a ride to the country, I'll probably drive the Cadillac.

For just about anything else, the MBs are kings in terms of long term comfort, even the smaller ones. The European seats that seem hard are far more supportive and comfortable on long trips than the sofa's that GM built into the Cadillacs, or just about anything they built until fairly recently. The Germans also figured out where the armrest should be.. lol

I love these old cars. Since I started driving I've owned large GMs, B-bodies- mostly Olds, and D body Cadillacs. I've owned a few newer GMs too- the old ones were much better cars.

But now that I'm on the road 2500-3000 miles a month, you cannot beat a European car if you value your spine at all. Plus an old diesel Benz will go for 400K miles with normal maintenance.


Back to the original topic though- if you find a good mid 70s CDV for a reasonable price in great shape, pick it up. They are awesome cars.

caddeville89
03-20-09, 11:03 PM
Not to jack this post, but with the title, I thought sure were were going to be hearing from somebody trying to buy something with a 4100 in it...

As an aside... how a car (with healthy suspension) rides is a subjective thing. Some people like big body cars and how they handle, some people don't. I for one cannot stand the zippy, extremely tight feel of small cars for more than a short drive. I love the feel of my RWD Caddy. Go drive it and see how you like it yourself.

N0DIH
03-21-09, 01:11 PM
Honestly, you can do much to improve the handling, add the rear sway bar from a 77-96 car (I am almost positive it will fit well), add 77-96 Cop Car shocks, add a larger front bar, from a 70-81 Trans AM (again, almost positive it will fit). I did some digging on what interchanged with what some time back and found the 71-76 B/C/D cars shared a lot with the front suspension on the 70-81 F cars and the 73-77 A/G cars and the 77-96 B/D cars. So rest assured, good handling is not expensive or hard to get on these cars.

Springs would gain a lot, at minimum, run 20% stiffer in the rear is very welcome.

Set front alignment to 0.5 degrees NEGATIVE Camber, as much positive CASTER as you can get, and 0 to 1/8" (around 0.1 to 0.2 degrees) positive toe. This will perk up the steering response a lot.

If you are set at making a corner burner a 70-81 Trans AM steering box is a 12:1 constant ratio and really will make the car drive like a much lighter car.

akimball442
03-21-09, 03:11 PM
Honestly, you can do much to improve the handling, add the rear sway bar from a 77-96 car (I am almost positive it will fit well), add 77-96 Cop Car shocks, add a larger front bar, from a 70-81 Trans AM (again, almost positive it will fit). I did some digging on what interchanged with what some time back and found the 71-76 B/C/D cars shared a lot with the front suspension on the 70-81 F cars and the 73-77 A/G cars and the 77-96 B/D cars. So rest assured, good handling is not expensive or hard to get on these cars.

Springs would gain a lot, at minimum, run 20% stiffer in the rear is very welcome.

Set front alignment to 0.5 degrees NEGATIVE Camber, as much positive CASTER as you can get, and 0 to 1/8" (around 0.1 to 0.2 degrees) positive toe. This will perk up the steering response a lot.

If you are set at making a corner burner a 70-81 Trans AM steering box is a 12:1 constant ratio and really will make the car drive like a much lighter car.

Did you mean to ADD an extra .5 degrees of negative caster, or use .5 total?

On my 84 Olds 98 I added an extra full degree of negative caster to the factory spec and it made a tremendous difference without affecting the steering negatively. The return to center was stronger as you'd expect, but the car tracked amazingly well.

Sway bars, harder springs, and stiff shocks make a huge difference. As large cars go though, these cars stock handle 100X better than a soft riding Lincoln.

It's all opinion though. I've grown to love the MB ride- it's firm enough to let you know you're on the road, but soft enough not to be offensive in most cases. Handling is superior to a D body, but that's to be expected, it's a smaller car... They're close in weight though.

Nothing like a Classic Caddy to head into a cruise night in, though.

Maverick87
05-19-09, 01:29 AM
Hey guys,

It's been a while since I posted last time. My friend ended up dropping the price on the car since he had family health problems and needed the money. For less than $1000 I now have a nice project which I am currently half through. She is a Cadillac yellow 1975 Coupe deVille with a bit of a rust problem, and black leather interior, all power options and (hood hinges, lmao) working, all original, less than 77k, but I am in the midst of making her into a black beauty. I intend to take her out on Fuddruckers 4th of July. Did I mention that she had only 800 miles put on her since 2002? She fires right up with nothing more than turning the key and experienced absolutely NO problems with her except a blown tire and drove her over 60 miles home! Bulletproof. I have you guys (and Mike) to thank for persuading me that it is in fact quite nimble (much better than I thought) for it's size and apparent 35 years of sitting. Thank you guys!

Highway Star
05-19-09, 04:59 PM
Congrats!

Fleet
05-19-09, 09:51 PM
The classic Cadillacs handle quite well for their size.
Here is a photo of my '76 Limousine. I was driving it in a tight circle at 15-20 mph.
http://i42.tinypic.com/zmmnw9.jpg

77CDV
05-19-09, 10:51 PM
Congratulations!!! We look forward to pics!