I may do one about the '78-'85 Eldo eventually since I'm doing the notable Eldo models right now. Of course, I have one, so I don't want to seem biased...Of course, the '59 has to come first whenever I get around to it...Do you guys think I should keep doing Eldos for the next few weeks? Or do you think I should switch it up and do and eldo here, a seville there, etc.?
Step right up folks. Today is (November 22, 2005) and like I promised, we've switched it up this week. As you all know, Cadillac has always had a CHEAP model, which was denoted by the fact that the name started with the letter "C" - whether it be the Cimmarron, the Catera, the CTS or today's "value" model....
In 1965 Cadillac renamed the entry-level Cadillac Series 62 the Calais, after the French resort town of Calais. It was available in 2 and 4-door hardtop versions as well as the "formal-roof" 4-door sedan, which was a hybrid with frameless, hardtop-like windows, but with a post between them. With the exception of having no convertible, the Calais line mirrored the slightly more expensive and well-equipped Cadillac DeVille series. The primary differences between the Calais and the deVille lines were trim level and standard equipment. While the deVilles were delivered with such amenities as power windows and 2-way power seats as standard equipment, one still hand-cranked the windows of the standard Calais. These items were, of course, optional at extra cost on the Calais; in later years of the model's run, power windows were made standard on the Calais line, although a power seat was still optional even in the later-year models. Leather seating areas and vinyl roof trim were available on the DeVilles, but not on the lesser model (although a very nice-grade vinyl and cloth, similar to what was seen on top-line Buick Electras, were available). Another item not available on the Cadillac Calais was Cadillac-exclusive Firemist Paint, an extra-cost metalflake type paint. Both the high-end Buick and Oldsmobile shared the C-Body with Cadillac. Cadillac, always General Motors' technology leader, offered all of their famous optional equipment, such as Twilight Sentinel and GuideMatic headlight dimmer, on the Calais. In 1965, the new Turbo-Hydramatic, standard on the 1964 deVille, but not the lower-priced Series 62, became standard throughout the Cadillac range – even the Calais. The 429 cubic inch (7.0 L) V-8 also remained the standard equipment power. Pricing of the Cadillac Calais started almost even with $5,000 and the line was only a few hundred dollars more than GMs Buick Electra 225 and Oldsmobile's 98. Like all other Cadillacs, the Calais received the 472 in³ OHV V8 in 1968. The wheelbase was extended to 130 in in 1971, while the big 500 in³ engine arrived in 1975. 1976 was the last year for the Calais, with the similar DeVille continuing.
Not too shabby I say, not too shabby at all... There's nothing like a cheap Cadillac:
Well folks, its time for another update. This week (November 29, 2005) we have switched to another Cadillac model, and we've done a larger update; rather than do one year, we're going to do a whole generation. This week's history lesson is about something you all probably know about...
The legendary Fourth-Generation Seville: (1992-1997)
The fourth Seville was the greatest leap forward for the car since its introduction. It was still front-wheel driven, but it was longer, wider and more cleanly styled with a muscular crispness wholly missing from the car it replaced. "Ever since I saw a prototype of the 1992 Cadillac Seville at the Los Angeles Auto Show last January," wrote BusinessWeek's Larry Armstrong, "I've been itching to drive that car. Even then from its svelte good looks and toned-down interior, it seemed that an American company had finally come up with the right formula to compete with the Japanese. That's especially important for Cadillac, as Lexus and Infiniti have used sophisticated styling and down-to-earth practicality to steal away sales."
There was nothing really startling in the new Seville's engineering (or that of its two-door fraternal twin, the Eldorado). The unibody structure was significantly stiffer than before, but the front suspension was still a pair of MacPherson struts and the independent rear suspension was unique only in using a single Corvette-like transverse leaf spring. The wheelbase was back up to 111.0 inches and the overall length now stretched a full 203.9 inches. That's only a three-inch increase in wheelbase from the previous-generation Seville, but a full 15.7 inches of additional total length. That's also a mere 1/10th of an inch shorter than the original '76 Seville.
For '92, the Seville was offered in either regular Seville form or as the Seville Touring Sedan (STS). Both models had the same 200-hp, 4.9-liter, V8 that was used in the '91 Seville hooked up to GM's smooth and responsive 4T60-E electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.
With its handsome exterior, comfortable and clean interior and competent drivetrain, the '92 Seville was an instant hit both with the critics and buyers. Yet, things would get even better.
After its introduction in the early 1993 Allante roadster, the fabulous 4.6-liter, DOHC, 32-valve, Northstar V8 made it over to the Seville and Eldorado for 1993. The STS got the Northstar, while other Sevilles were left with the old pushrod 4.9. With 295 hp onboard, the Northstar made the Seville STS a legitimate performance car. "Thanks to such items as equal-length driveshafts, a new electronically controlled 4T80-E transmission, fluidic engine mounts and Bosch ASRIIU traction control," wrote Motor Trend, "you can flatfoot the megapower Seville off the line with an arrow-straight trajectory."
The '93 STS was simply the quickest, best-handling Seville yet. And more good stuff was coming.
For 1994, the Seville lineup was rationalized into Seville Luxury Sedan (SLS) and Seville Touring Sedan (STS), and both were powered by the Northstar V8. The softer-sprung, easier-going SLS got a Northstar making 270 hp, while the STS version still pumped out the full 295. Sales were still strong, despite the fact that the SLS' price started at $40,990 and the STS couldn't be had for less than $44,890.
A few new tricks in the engine bay, including a new induction system, boosted the output of the 1995 Northstar V8s hp to 275 in the SLS and an even 300 in the STS. Otherwise, changes were limited to trim selections and sales continued to be relatively strong.
The changes were even less noticeable for 1996 — at least from the outside. The interior was more heavily retrimmed and the dash revised with a wider gauge cluster.
A few suspension tweaks and one-inch-larger diameter front disc brakes were among the many changes to the Seville for 1997. And some of those changes paid off according to Car and Driver. "For starters," the editors reported, "the unibody structure has been significantly reinforced and now boasts four rigid beams spanning the floorpan. The center tunnel has been boxed for greater rigidity. The steering column supports are reinforced to limit the vibes felt at the wheel rim. And a new front control-arm design helps soften road impacts." The car was also relatively quick with the magazine measuring a 0-to-60-mph blast of 6.9 seconds and the quarter-mile going by in 15.3 seconds at 93 mph.
But there was a new Seville coming…and the '97 seemed relatively outdated with fresh competition from BMW, Lexus and Mercedes out there. Could the next Seville bring the luster back?
This week brings yet another update. Hopefully you guys will find this one a bit more interesting??? It is a classic model; this week (December 6, 2005) the history topic will be....(*drumroll*)....
The Eldorado Brougham!
Derived from a Cadillac concept vehicle exhibited during the GM Motorama of 1955, the luxurious, limited edition Eldorado Brougham models of 1957 through 1960 epitomized luxury car styling and technical/mechanical innovation of the late fifties. Cadillac continued to carve out its high reputation as the makers of the "The Standard of the World".
The Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was the company's post-WW2 styling coup de force. While no single Cadillac stylist may be credited with the final design, the latter began on the drawing boards of Bob Scheelk, a new recruit to the GM Styling Section, the new name for the former Art and Color. Bob's work was supervised by Charles "Chuck" Jordan (who had taken over from Ed Glowacke), and by Chuck's assistant, Dave Holls.
On September 15, 1955, the Cadillac Styling Section moved from its old quarters in downtown Detroit to the new, ultra-modern General MotorsTechnical Center at Warren, north of the Motor City. From that day forward, Cadillacs adopted a new, lighter, brighter look, like that of the new buildings where they were being designed. The Eldorado Brougham was the product of several years of engineering and styling development. It was preceded by a number of experimental models, concept vehicles and so-called dream cars including, principally, the Cadillac "Orleans" (1953), the "Park Avenue" (1954), the "Eldorado Brougham" prototype (1955), the second Eldorado Brougham prototype and Paris show car (1955-56) and the "Eldorado Brougham town car" (1956).
The first production Eldorado Brougham (car #3) was shown at the New York Salon in January 1957. This car was featured also in a factory promotional film set in New York's Central Park, where it stole the limelight from another, specially-appointed Cadillac Series Sixty Special, the "Director", that was all decked out as a mobile office.
The Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, often described as "the ultimate in personal transportation", is and always will remain a rare, superior and beautifully elegant automobile. It typifies in a way the excesses of post-WW2 American automobile flamboyance. In his authoritative "History of Cadillac", author Maurice Hendry of New Zealand said. "the biggest news for fans of mid-fifties gimcrackery and engineering innovation was the Eldorado Brougham..."
It's astronomical price tag (for the time) of more than $13,000, did not deter the 904 wealthy Cadillac patrons who bought one. The "Eldorado Brougham" certainly was a high quality automobile, considering that in the early part of the new millennium 2001, more than half the total number built had survived and were in the hands of enthusiasts and collectors the world over, the majority being in good to very good condition despite 40-45 years of use.
Wow the Eldorado Brougham! The most expensive Cadillac ever! (~$14,000 new, in 1957!!!!) The former police chief of Minneapolis has one, and my Vehicle Services Teacher back in high school did the carburator work on it!!!