which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76 in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Ok so I've regretted selling my 79 coupe for some time now. Been thinking about getting another cadillac and I ...
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    fslay is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    Ok so I've regretted selling my 79 coupe for some time now. Been thinking about getting another cadillac and I reall like the older, bigger cars. For those of you with experience, how would a 71 compare with a 76 and a 79 model? Let's just say they were all 3 coupes. How does the ride compare with each, power, all that good stuff for a potential buyer?

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    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    71 will have more powr than the 76 and 79. 76 will probably get the worse fuel mileage. IMO, I would go for the 71, followed by the 79 followed by the 76. IMO the mid 70s (pre downsizing) was the low point for cadillac. the cars were massive, heavy, got bad mileage, couldnt handle worth crap, and didnt go fast in a straight line. on the plus side though they were some of the most luxurious cars made during that era. the 71s still get bad mileage and handling is not great but they go really fast in a straight line and have gobs of torque. the 79s still had good power but were hundreds of pounds lighter that the pre downsized cars, which made them respectable performers. mileage was up too because of the loss of close to 1000 lbs. IIRC 77 was the last year for rear footrests, which were a nice luxury touch. I'm more of a fan of the 77-79 interior than the mid 70's interior (IMO some of the interior were downright gaudy).

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    fslay is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    I really liked my 79, and it was a nice car. I just always found myself wanting a bigger, softer-riding car. And to be honest, I'm not above gaudy stuff.

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    sven914 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    From an ascetics stand point, I'd say (from best to worse) '74-'76, '71, then 78-'79. If I was looking for power, I wouldn't be getting a Cadillac.

    The '74-'76 Cadillacs have a very imposing appearance, which makes them look larger than they are. They have more options than other generations, so they have a pretty wide range of luxury.

  6. #5
    SDCaddyLacky's Avatar
    SDCaddyLacky is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    I owned a 72 Sedan Deville for awhile as a daily driver. I can tell you that I never ever had any issues with that car. The drivetrain was solid and dependable, but for some reason the damn Rochester carbs they had on those cars were a pain to keep adjusted. I can't count how many times my rebuilt unit kept backfiring, or dieseling when I would shut the car off. I had the same exact problem with my 68 Cadillac Deville carb, which are similar in design, the 68 also would diesel upon shut off, and I could never seem to stop it from happening, even after taking it to a mechanic.

    Besides for the cars excellent power and performance, I hated the interior! It is so bland and boring, the seats were nice and the interior room in the Caddy was massive!! But the quality of everything seemed a bit low compared to the 68 Deville I owned at the same time. The 72 has hardly any chrome, or anything exciting to look at on the inside. All of my door panels had small little cracks in them. I did like the stitched headliner though. What I did love about the car was it's heaviness, the doors, hood, and trunk felt like a tank. The doors are really heavy to open, the same with the huge hood, which takes some serious muscle to lift open.

    The ride quality was decent, but considering it being so big, the car didn't ride as serene as I hoped for. Going over bad streets tented to rattle the interior, it wasn't pillowy at all, a nice highway ride, but I am sure a Lincoln Town Car of the day would have been a much better ride, or even an older Cadillac, because I remember the year I sold off the 72, I was checking out a 70 Sedan Deville, took it for a test drive, and that car had an extremely nice ride, going over huge pot holes and road imperfections didn't once jolt the Caddy, it rode right over them as if they were never there. My 72 would of shook, and felt like it was being hurt by the bumps and pot holes, rather than fighting them off one by one like the 70 did.


    I knew an old co worker than had a 75 Deville he drove to work all the time, we would hop in his Caddy and get lunch during our breaks. The interior in his car, looked and felt much better than my 72, the styling was more impressive because it had some, unlike the 71-73's!. It even rode a little better than the 72.

    Personally I would look at the 74-76's for a better ride and interior looks/comfort. Exterior styling is all subjective.

    I wouldn't mind owning a 76 Coupe Deville though, I saw one at a car show the other day, and man was it beautiful. Also the 71-73 Eldorado's are bad ass, and are much better looking cars than the Devilles of the 70's IMO.

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    amunderdog is online now Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    I agree SDCaddyLacky
    If i were in the market for a full on big Caddy i would look at nothing newer than 1970.

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    PRdeVille's Avatar
    PRdeVille is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    Quote Originally Posted by cadillac kevin View Post
    IMO the mid 70s (pre downsizing) was the low point for cadillac. the cars were massive, heavy, got bad mileage, couldnt handle worth crap, and didnt go fast in a straight line. on the plus side though they were some of the most luxurious cars made during that era.
    I feel sad... then happy how you describe my '75!
    LoL

    It's all good!!

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    sven914 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    I've been inside several '70-'72 coupe de Villes and more '76 Coupes; all of them unfortunately decommissioned. The '70-'72 interiors have always been consistently bland (Like Jeremy Irons Cereal; there is no prize in the box, only more cardboard), but the '76's always had something different or unique about them (no two have had the same options).

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    fslay is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    I would be satisfied with any coupe from the 60s or 70s, but they are almost impossible to find around here. For instance there are 2 cars here locally. One is a 76 4-door with 30K miles and rough paint. Man wants 10,500 dollars for it. The other is a black 79 coupe. It has low miles but the paint is horrible. They want 3500 for it. But the 76-earlier have astronomical prices.

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    Bro-Ham's Avatar
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    I don't think you can go wrong with any of the 75-76 or 77-79 Cads. I like all of these years in particular because they have the best combination of super ornate luxury interiors, impressive styling, and also still large V8 power. I'd drive a 76 full size Cadillac any day, particularly a d'Elegance - what a luxo boat!!

    As far as finding a nice car in your area, I wish you good luck. I find this website to be helpful in finding cars locally or nationwide (leave the location blank): http://www.jaxed.com/cgi-bin/mash.cgi?cat=cp

    Good luck!

  12. #11
    DouglasJRizzo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    In a nutshell here's how it works:

    The 71-76 car is Cadillac in the grand manner. Big, bold and (to my eyes) beautiful. The most hp would be in the 71, as it is least encumbered by emissions, but none are underpowered. Beware 75-76 Fuel injected cars that have been neglected or tampered. many of the parts are LONG GONE and a pain to fix. I'm VERY partial to 74-76 but love all of them. Great examples abound and prices are reasonable. If features and accessories are your thing, DeVilles are usually better equipped than Calais, but Calais are less common. Something else to look for - the fiberglass fender extensions on 74-76's go BAD fast and while they are repro'd, there is cost involved. 74 was the first year for the 3 point seat belts, 73 was the first for the hydraulic bumpers.


    The 77-80 cars are trimmer, lighter, and not as bold. BUT - they have their strong points and are all Cadillac. The revised '77 body was very tightly built and rigid. It has held up well in the years since, and the 425 (368 for the 80) engines are very durable. 80's are down on power compared to their 425 powered 77-79 brethren. Anything after 80 and you have even less power and exotic power plants that may be more than you want to handle for maintenance. The 77-80 cars still look fairly current, and maneuver much better than previous Cads did. You can actually jockey one around quite rapidly. Beware of cars with the Olds 5.7 diesel, it's a horrible motor - prone to pushing the crank down through the oil pan and hideously underpowered. There are some 4.1 Buick V6 equipped 80s but they are even less powered than the 368 cars, so I'd avoid those.

    Other things to watch for are fuel injected versions if they're not in tip top shape (same as above) and the fender extensions. Some 79's had aluminum hoods (only a few) and they can be prone to damage. There were some paint problems on some 79s and 80s as well.

    All in all, both generations of Cad are worthy cars, and I'd be proud to own either - and in fact have owned both.

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    fslay is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    Does 3500 for a 78 coupe (with bad paint) sound reasonable? Its got 53K miles. If somebody wants to look, check out craigslist for hattiesburg mississiippi.

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    DouglasJRizzo is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    Quote Originally Posted by fslay View Post
    Does 3500 for a 78 coupe (with bad paint) sound reasonable? Its got 53K miles. If somebody wants to look, check out craigslist for hattiesburg mississiippi.
    Provided the rest of it is reasonable and it runs well, it could be a great project.

  15. #14
    sven914 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    It looks like they dredged it out of the bayou... http://hattiesburg.craigslist.org/cto/2416953392.html

    I wouldn't pay anything more than $2,500 for it, but you should still check it out and find everything wrong with it. If it just needs a paint job, then it would be a good deal at $3,000, but if there are other problems with the engine or interior, I'd pass it up for something better.

    You might have to search outside your area. There's a pretty good '77 on eBay in Tennessee; 1977 Coupe DeVille 79K miles, Near MINT Condition

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    Bro-Ham's Avatar
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    Re: which body style to buy: 77-79 or 75-76

    I agree with Sven. Unless you have the patience or the pocketbook for taking on a car that has needs, I'd advise looking for the nicest example you can find that someone else either maintained really well from the beginning, or already invested their blood, sweat, and tears to make nice. My 2 1/2 cents.

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