View Full Version : '77-'79 Coupe Deville Advice

04-06-11, 02:39 PM
Hey everyone, my name is Brandon and I just had a few questions about the '77-'79 CDV. I am thinking about getting rid of my '98 Deville and going for the Brasco car. I've always loved the 79 CDV, and after driving my dads 89 FWB, I love the RWD Caddy's so much better. I was wondering if I bought a CDV of that generation in good shape with pretty low mileage, 30k-68k miles, do you think it would be reliable for a daily driver? I don't know that much about them mechanically, but my dad's 89 FWB has been great as a daily, so I assumed the '79 would be fine too, or am I just dreaming? Also, when I go to look at these, are their any major spots I should be checking before I buy that may be future major repairs?

I look forward to any advice you can give me, thank you!

04-06-11, 02:46 PM
From all accounts these cars are pretty much bulletproof.

04-06-11, 03:11 PM

Buy a truly nice 77-79 and you'll be delighted. Have a Cadillac expert do a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection before you buy it to be sure you're not investing in a can of worms. The nice thing is parts are dirt cheap and the 425 Cad V8 is hard to beat.

My 79 Sedan deVille has been a daily driver for the last two years with no issues. When I bought the car in 2005 with 61k miles I had all the mechanicals refreshed and I have been really fussy about maintenance since, it has 106k miles now. As long as you are OK with pumping in the gas you'll have a ton of fun with a 77-79 Cad. :)


04-06-11, 04:09 PM
Thank you, that's what I wanted to hear. I know gas will be my worst nightmare, but I don't have a problem forking over gas money for a car I love.

04-06-11, 05:16 PM
Whereabouts are you located? Perhaps someeone from the forum can help you check the car over.


04-06-11, 05:17 PM
Never even thought about that. I live near Asbury Park, New Jersey. The car I'm going to check is in Tom's River.

04-06-11, 07:59 PM
I think pretty much any Cadillac of this vintage that's in relatively good shape that you continue to keep up will be trouble-free for a long time. I used to go through cars all the time, until I realized that the fear of "major problems" was irrational. Now, I just keep driving cars, maintaining them, and replacing things they need. This can get expensive, until you compare it with maintenance on any car, or payments on a new car. The gas will be expensive, about double what you're paying now, and you'll want to pay attention to the undercarriage and rust in general if you're planning to drive it in the winter. On the upside, as trouble spots make themselves known, you can repair them to last longer than original, even if not show quality. If you're committed to it, you could drive a car like this almost indefinitely. As hybrid cars and electrics become ubiquitous, I'll be moving backwards and doing this same thing.

04-06-11, 08:04 PM
Very true, thanks for the input intragration!

04-07-11, 09:42 AM
When U go to see this car bring a digital camera and take pics of any issues that are suspect. There are some areas that these cars have problems, but they are mostly cosmetic. The headliners lose the adhesive to the foam board overhead. Look for wear at the driver's seat and the driver's door panel. The crash pads (dash pads) are subject to cracking. The rear fender extensions are subject to deterioration. If you look at the beltline below the vinyl top trim and see some water stains, push in on the vinyl top pad in the area above and if it crunches, there is rust up there. Look around the engine compartment for any signs of fluid leaks and check the dip sticks to determine the condition of the fluids. If you have the ability to crawl under the car, and the inclination/ambition, check the condition of the of the rear brake and fuel lines. Check the condition of the floor pan, especially the passenger side above the catalytic converter, if it is still there.
The load on the higher optioned cars electric circuits cause the 63 amp alternators to fail occasionally. If it has the higher amp alternator it is a plus.
Check out the power options on the car. Power antenna, seats, heater blower motor, windows, power trunk, etc.
As with any vehicle, things wear as the mileage accumulates, but these cars are a pleasure to own. With goods shocks, the ride is smooth and pleasant. As Bro-Ham says keep it well maintained and it will outlast at lot of your newer cars.
As when

04-07-11, 10:21 AM
deville33 pretty much hit the nail on the head.

Great drivetrain, awesome work horse of a luxury barge. Watch for rust around the vinyl top. If the bumper fillers (rear fender extensions) haven't been replaced, they will need it sooner or later. It's only cosmetic, but it'll run you a few hundred $$. Driver's side armrests almost always crack, along with the dash pad.

Mechanically, these things go forever.

cadillac kevin
04-07-11, 12:27 PM
also, check the underside of the doors for signs of rust, both inside and out. check the quarter panels from the backside (under the car). I've seen a few in the junkyard that look ok from the outside, but the metal behind the chrome trim is gone.
Ask the owner if you can take it to a shop to have it looked over (in addition to test driving it of course.) have a shop put it up on a rack and look at the underside-suspension, signs of leaks, etc. if the car has 30-70k, it should be mostly rust free (just a little surface rust).

04-07-11, 01:32 PM
I'll definitely be looking out for that stuff. Thanks for all the advice, I really appreciate it!

04-09-11, 11:14 AM
I`ve got a '78 Sedan Deville----great Caddy ride! As mentioned, the 425 V-8 is a gulper on gas----but gets better mileage than the previous generation`s 500 V-8.
Everyone else who chimed pretty much covered what to look for.If you find one with the rear bumper fillers still intact--you`d be lucky! I had to replace my fillers after i bought it about a year ago.
The 77-79`s are classics,being the first so called "downsized" Caddy`s.They made a big deal of it back in the day in the advertising-----but in reality they are still land yachts.
I hope you find one with low mileage you want!

04-09-11, 06:27 PM
My 2 cents, I bought a 77 Sedan DeVille in 1981 and it had 88,000 miles on it then. I finally replaced her in 1999 with a 76 Eldo Conv. When I donated it, she had a whopping 365,000 miles on her and still didn't burn or drip a drop of oil. Never really had issues that were annoying. The usual, alternator, radiator but pretty much bullet proof.
Don't hesitate! For what you are buying, whatever needs attention will be worth it.
I've also had a lot of experience with that car so don't hesitate to ask.
I do miss her so.

04-10-11, 05:04 PM
Interesting, looks like a '79 with '77 rear bumper with '79 taillight lenses. I like it.

04-11-11, 05:09 PM
Interesting, looks like a '79 with '77 rear bumper with '79 taillight lenses. I like it.

Those are 77 taillight lenses with what look to be the chrome Cad emblem from a 79 taillight lens. The grille is 79, but with clear 77 turn signal lenses instead of the amber lenses like a 79 had. Attractive car! :)

04-11-11, 05:59 PM
Those are 77 taillight lenses with what look to be the chrome Cad emblem from a 79 taillight lens. The grille is 79, but with clear 77 turn signal lenses instead of the amber lenses like a 79 had. Attractive car! :)

Yeah, when I was younger, I had a lot of fun changing things around a little.
She was a 77 with a 79 grill. I actually bought it that way and decided to keep it like that. :yup: