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Author Topic: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs  (Read 701 times)

Offline 64CaddieLacky

  • Posts: 248
  • Name: C.Asaro
Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« on: November 22, 2017, 09:09:05 AM »
I guess you can consider me picky but I cannot stand a rough riding car, or one that has a lot of road noise either. I love smoothness and not being jolted to death by bad roads. Unfortunately thereís nothing really on the market today that can match our older Cadillacs as far as isolated ride quality goes.

Living in the San Diego area pretty much since birth, Iíve witnessed the increase in population while the infrastructure is badly falling apart as the government hasnít kept up with the additional growth thatís causing more wear n tear on our roadways that are clogging up with traffic jams everywhere. With the added people, the condition of the streets and freeways have been severely crumbling.

That being said, even the smoothest mid-size car isnít smooth enough to filter out bumps, cracks and potholes that are jarring to me. I didnít realize how much of a difference in ride quality it is going from my 17 Impala or my girlfriends Suburu, to my 94 Fleetwood or my 64 SDV.

Theyíre some streets nearby and freeway on ramps that look like a war zone, tons of cracks, uneven pavement and potholes galore where driving in any other car feels like your being tortured, but I hop into my 94 FWB and Iím amazed how much smoother and unbothered the Cadillac is from driving over such horrible pavement.

You donít get the jerkiness, tossing, and jolted feel like you do in FWD car and my Impala is good example of this. The Impala does great on semi smooth roads. but if thereís a lot of uneven pavement, the car simply canít handle them well and the ride suffers immensely. Just about every mid to large size modern sedan ride rough in comparison driving my older Cadillacs. I relate this to being that the cars are body on frame, and have SLA suspension system that allows for much more wheel travel and better suspension geometry.

The heavy curb weight and soft seats of most classic Cadillacs also contributes to a smooth bumpy free ride. I seriously wished they still made cars like these again, but it is what it is and as Cadillac owners we just have to keep our classics still on then road and defy PC.


If anything Cadillac needs to bring back the smooth riding cars from the past since Americaís infrastructure is literally in worse shape than its ever been. Funny how people demanded smooth riding cars in the 50ís, 60ís and 70ís when the interstate highways were still fairly new and in good condition.

Can any of you relate to this? Please share.
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline smokuspollutus

  • Posts: 84
  • Name: A. Molinaro
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 09:22:46 AM »
I have found that full size SUV's and "civilian" pickup models have the same ride, if not better, than the old Cadillacs. As you would expect I guess, considering they are made with the same formula as the old cars; separate body and frame, tall sidewalls, lots of ground clearance, wide flat seats with lots of padding, and the benefit of 30+ years more engineering behind them.

The full size luxury car market (which Cadillac is no longer a part of) also retains the smooth ride, isolation, and impressive stature, with the addition of improved control-at the expense of being significantly more complicated than our beloved behemoths. 
1984 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe

Offline TJ Hopland

  • Posts: 6824
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 09:30:37 AM »
The sidewall height and tire pressures make a huge difference.  I just switched to my winter tires with an inch smaller rim on one of the daily drivers and there is a big difference.  I just don't get the huge rim thing.  I get it to a point to get decent brakes and such but even the factory stuff seems out of control.   You want abuse try an newish 2500HD truck,  stock wheel is 20"!   It can't get much more harsh than a load range E tire at 80 psi that only has like 4" of side wall.   I suppose you could ask one of those guys that has 30" wheels with the rubber band wrapped around them. 
StPaul/Mpls, MN USA

73 Eldo convert w/FiTech EFI
75 Eldo rusty but trusty
80 Eldo Diesel
And other assorted stuff I keep buying for some reason

Offline D.Smith

  • Posts: 437
  • 1961 Sedan deVille
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  • Name: Dave Smith
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 11:13:00 AM »
The sidewall height and tire pressures make a huge difference.

Exactly!      Todays stylists keep making the rims bigger.  Each time I trade in my car for the next generation the rim size goes up and the rubber sidewall goes down.   The ride is worse with each jump in size.   It doesn't help that the tire shops and dealers want to pump up the tire pressure to 40-45 PSI on them.   

As for older cars vs newer ones, a longer wheelbase of course helps.     As pointed out, many full sized trucks and SUVs have a nice ride for that reason.   The GM ones seem to ride the smoothest in my opinion.

Tire brand also matters.   I've taken off some like new Continental brand tires and put on Michelins for a better ride.   

Offline 64CaddieLacky

  • Posts: 248
  • Name: C.Asaro
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2017, 02:16:54 PM »
Exactly!      Todays stylists keep making the rims bigger.  Each time I trade in my car for the next generation the rim size goes up and the rubber sidewall goes down.   The ride is worse with each jump in size.   It doesn't help that the tire shops and dealers want to pump up the tire pressure to 40-45 PSI on them.   

As for older cars vs newer ones, a longer wheelbase of course helps.     As pointed out, many full sized trucks and SUVs have a nice ride for that reason.   The GM ones seem to ride the smoothest in my opinion.

Tire brand also matters.   I've taken off some like new Continental brand tires and put on Michelins for a better ride.   

I totally agree with the sidewall height being a factor. My Impala has a 235/50 series tires on a 18 inch rim. Thereís not much rubber on it and honestly when the time comes to replacing them, Iím going to step up and buy slightly taller sidewalls.

Youíd think automakers would tune the suspension to be softer to compensate for lack of rubber but they havenít. Plus with bigger rims being so common these days, the less wheel travel is getting worse which also is causing a stiff jittery bouncy ride. Wheel damage from hitting potholes is another issue that seems to be a normal thing too today when youíd never see that on cars sitting with fat sidewalls on 15ís.

At the same time, thereís no beating the superior NVH that a full size BOF Cadillac can only deliver with a super long wheelbase vs a unibody. Even though unibodies have become much more rigid and tight, they still canít give the same road isolation in my experience. They need a ton of sound insulation in order to cut out road noise, while most old BOF Cads donít since the separate frame acts like a buffer.

The latest GM vehicles tend to be very quiet inside vs the Japanese makes, but it seems like with every passing generation, as weight is removed in order to increase MPGís, cars will start to get louder as more and more insulation is removed which creates a hollow sounding cabin vs a more muted one.
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline z3skybolt

  • Posts: 107
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  • Name: Robert L. Ritchie
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 05:18:55 PM »
My Jeep Grand Cherokee rides smoother and quieter than my 1985 Lincoln(which I still have) did when it was brand new.  There is barely a whisper of sound at 80 mph. 

Bob
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 05:22:28 PM by z3skybolt »
1937 Buick Special Coupe( owned for 46 yrs.))
1940 LaSalle 5227 Coupe(bought in May 2016)
1974 VW Beetle bought ( in 2000)
1985 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series( bought new)
2000 BMW Z-3(bought new)
Newer cars that don't matter.

Offline cadillacmike68

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  • Name: M Santos
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2017, 08:30:47 PM »
I have found that full size SUV's and "civilian" pickup models have the same ride, if not better, than the old Cadillacs. As you would expect I guess, considering they are made with the same formula as the old cars; separate body and frame, tall sidewalls, lots of ground clearance, wide flat seats with lots of padding, and the benefit of 30+ years more engineering behind them.

The full size luxury car market (which Cadillac is no longer a part of) also retains the smooth ride, isolation, and impressive stature, with the addition of improved control-at the expense of being significantly more complicated than our beloved behemoths. 

With leaf spring suspensions - I don't think so!!!
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike
Current:
1968 DeVille Convertible
1996 Fleetwood Brougham
2009 STS NorthStar Platinum ed RWD
2011 CTS PRemiun ed Sedan RWD
Past:
2008 CTS Premium ed Sedan AWD
2005 CTS Hi-Feature Sedan RWD
2000 ElDorado ESC Hard Boot Convertible
1995 Fleetwood Brougham
1973 Sedan DeVille
1970 Fleetwood Brougham
1969 DeVille Convertible

Offline 76Caddy

  • Posts: 20
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  • Name: Tim Plummer
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2017, 09:40:09 AM »
I agree 100% (with original post).  A co-worker just bought a 1985 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit.  A one owner, 52,000 mile near perfect car.  After a ride and then driving it, I would NOT trade any of my Cadillacs for it.  While it is a very nice car, to me it does not have the luxury feel that Cadillac has.  I know RR chooses the best hides for the upholstery and uses real wood for trim etc...etc but the ride was stiff and other than power windows, locks and seats, no options to make it as comfortable as our Cadillacs.  Even for a '85 model, the steering wheel and column looks and feels cheap made and unless I'm wrong, I don't think RR even offers options like Cadillac did back then.  I used to think I would like to have an older RR but not any more, I'll stay with "The Standard of the World" (still is in my opinion).
Tim Plummer
CLC #18948
1967 Eldorado
1976 Brougham
1976 Seville

Offline smokuspollutus

  • Posts: 84
  • Name: A. Molinaro
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2017, 07:49:21 AM »
With leaf spring suspensions - I don't think so!!!

Maybe I'm not cultured enough, but I have never been able to discern by what means a vehicle is sprung from riding in it. I do know the boulevard ride when I feel it though, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised when you drive a full size truck.
1984 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe

Offline signart

  • Posts: 187
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2017, 08:31:51 AM »
My '53 has rear leaf spring suspension, and with gas shocks and radial tires, I have yet to ride in anything better. Others that ride in it are amazed.
Art D. Woody

Offline jdemerson

  • 1952 Cadillac 6219X Vermont -- Emerson
  • Posts: 349
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      CLC Member #26790
  • Name: John D Emerson
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2017, 09:24:44 AM »
I have found that full size SUV's and "civilian" pickup models have the same ride, if not better, than the old Cadillacs. As you would expect I guess, considering they are made with the same formula as the old cars; separate body and frame, tall sidewalls, lots of ground clearance, wide flat seats with lots of padding, and the benefit of 30+ years more engineering behind them.

The full size luxury car market (which Cadillac is no longer a part of) also retains the smooth ride, isolation, and impressive stature, with the addition of improved control-at the expense of being significantly more complicated than our beloved behemoths.

Although I have no experience with current full-sized pickups, I suspect that Mr. Molinaro is right. He is surely right about the current full-size luxury car market, though I think a Cadillac CT6 Platinum with SuperDrive probably does still belong to that market too. In any event, new cars like S-Class, A8, 7-series are a lot more impressive in ride, noise isolation, comfort than some seem willing to acknowledge. But no, I would not equate any of them with a 1968 or 1976 Fleetwood Brougham; they are completely different animals...

John Emerson
1952 Cadillac Sedan 6219X
John Emerson
Middlebury, Vermont
CLC member #26790
1952 Series 6219X
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Offline 64CaddieLacky

  • Posts: 248
  • Name: C.Asaro
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2017, 03:27:23 AM »
Although I have no experience with current full-sized pickups, I suspect that Mr. Molinaro is right. He is surely right about the current full-size luxury car market, though I think a Cadillac CT6 Platinum with SuperDrive probably does still belong to that market too. In any event, new cars like S-Class, A8, 7-series are a lot more impressive in ride, noise isolation, comfort than some seem willing to acknowledge. But no, I would not equate any of them with a 1968 or 1976 Fleetwood Brougham; they are completely different animals...

John Emerson
1952 Cadillac Sedan 6219X

Who can truly afford a new S-class, a A8 or 7-series though? Not many people.

Nothing really on the market besides for the European luxury marks that I just mentioned, honestly compares to the ride and comfort of the majority of the full-size old school Cadillac's of the past.

The S-class, 7-Series and A8 are tops in terms of full-size luxury comfort/quality to the max, but even with all that high-end suspension tech, a 70's Cadillac Deville, definitely a Fleetwood surely will ride even better than those, have way more room inside and cost under $20,000 for a nice one in great shape. Will it be refined and as quiet compared to an S-class? No, but at least you'll be riding in total isolation.

Rear leafs are really a cheap ancient design, it does the job of carrying heavy loads, but every car/truck I've driven that have rear leafs, ride stiffer and bumpier than cars that have typical coil springs in the back.

When Cadillac switched to a rear 4 link coil spring suspension in the late 50's, their ride quality improved big time and they became the best riding luxury car of the era all the way up into the early 70's until Lincoln finally surpassed Cadillac in total ride comfort.
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline z3skybolt

  • Posts: 107
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  • Name: Robert L. Ritchie
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2017, 09:16:59 AM »
30 years ago I had a copilot who previously had flown for the Getty family in California.  He had driven the family Rolls, Cadillac and Lincolns.  This was mid 80s.  Maurice told me that the Rolls was the least impressive of the three...when comparing ride and handling.

Sure blew my mind.

Bob
1937 Buick Special Coupe( owned for 46 yrs.))
1940 LaSalle 5227 Coupe(bought in May 2016)
1974 VW Beetle bought ( in 2000)
1985 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series( bought new)
2000 BMW Z-3(bought new)
Newer cars that don't matter.

Offline Jeepers Creepers

  • Posts: 171
  • Name: Jeepers Creepers.
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2017, 11:33:48 AM »
A mate and myself, recently did a 4 hour round trip in the 64.
When I picked him up, i said....."Its a 53 year old car, so don't expect perfection."

About an hour into the trip, he looked at me and said, "Geez this rides nice....... and quiet too"

I said, "Yeah, its pretty good"

He said, "being a Cadillac, I knew it would be nice.... but I didn't think it would this good."

My wife once asked me on a trip, "Would a Rolls Royce ride any better than this?"

I replied, "if it did, it would be marginal at best"

We also own a 2004 Jeep, rides ok for an SUV.... about the best I can say on that one.
We also own a 1988 Ford Falcon panel van, rides nice enough I guess, for a bit of a dunger, but after a couple of hours, my spine feels like it has a knife in it and I walk like a bell ringer for the local bell tower. (Just minus the big lump on my back, she walks beside me)  ;) 
Kevin and Astrid Campbell
Australia
1964 Fleetwood Sixty Special.

Offline Scot Minesinger

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Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2017, 11:55:19 AM »
Sometimes on this forum and in other discussion you may see a 1969 Cadillac handles and rides better than a 1970, and vice versa.  As most everyone knows these two year of Cadillacs are very similar, and should be near identical in handling and ride quality.  The reason you hear this is that most likely due to condition of the suspension, steering, shocks, and tires.  So for purposes of this discussion, I am always referring to an old Cadillac in perfect mechanical repair with good tires and shocks.  I find the majority of the hobbyists in our club enjoy perfect cosmetics far and above mechanical condition, except maybe in this forum.

The geometry of the old Cadillacs (long wheel base, and large overhangs (front and rear)) plus the fact that Cadillac engineers designed the cars to be awesome highway cruisers traveling straight, rather than to manage corners and curves at high speed, makes the ride quality very hard to beat by modern automobiles.  Also, the climate control in my 1970 Cadillacs is far more comfortable than any modern car, mainly because it is quiet and simpler to operate.  Have to say the climate control in my 1970 Cadillac is better than in my 1995 Fleetwood Brougham (and all other cars I own), because the fan was so noisy you had to put it on low to talk on your cell phone (it was my daily driver for 8 years and 254k miles).

I own a Suburban and an Avalanche and they both are equipped with rear coil springs, the trucks get leaf springs.  With magnetic ride control the Suburban and Avalanche are hard to beat, but I do like the ride of the 1970 Caddy's better.  Also own a Crown Vic police car and that rides terrible compared to the Cadillacs, but it handles and brakes like a sports car.   

This Thanksgiving I drove my 1970 Caddy SDV as a daily driver shuttling family around (sometimes you need six seat belts).

Let's all enjoy our nice riding older Cadillacs!
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

Offline Maynard Krebs

  • Posts: 93
  • Name: Gerald F. Chase
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2017, 12:08:18 AM »
My Jeep Grand Cherokee rides smoother and quieter than my 1985 Lincoln(which I still have) did when it was brand new.  There is barely a whisper of sound at 80 mph. 

Bob

Yeah.... but I bet that your '85 Lincoln is a lot more reliable and cheaper to maintain!   I've got two '80s Town Cars.. and want to buy another.   It's a big Crown Vic.. on a slightly longer wheelbase, with inexpensive Ford components... great seats... and total reliability.

Offline z3skybolt

  • Posts: 107
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      CLC Member #30482
  • Name: Robert L. Ritchie
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2017, 09:43:03 PM »
Maynard,

The old Town Car is a jewel and will be kept for my entire life. It's still alive and driven a few hundred miles each year. Has a total of  257,000 miles. But the Grand Cherokee, with a 360 h.p. Hemi, has been flawless over 140,000 miles including just over 51,000 towing our travel trailer. Not one cent spent on anything other than gas tires and oil.

Now back to Cadillac/LaSalle

Bob
1937 Buick Special Coupe( owned for 46 yrs.))
1940 LaSalle 5227 Coupe(bought in May 2016)
1974 VW Beetle bought ( in 2000)
1985 Lincoln Town Car Signature Series( bought new)
2000 BMW Z-3(bought new)
Newer cars that don't matter.

Offline 64CaddieLacky

  • Posts: 248
  • Name: C.Asaro
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2017, 12:07:17 AM »
In all honesty, my 78 Lincoln Continental is the smoothest, most comfy, softest driving car Iíve ever owned. It floats a little, but not like youíd think, the ride is flat and consistent.

My 94 Fleetwood rides nice as well, but the Lincoln is definitely more isolated feeling and rides better over the roughest pavement.

Not to get into ride smoothest debates especially since this is a Caddy forum after all but in my experience Lincolnís do tent to ride softer than Cadillacs. Iím sure it also depends on the years, but Lincoln bodies and itís construction in the 60ís and 70ís is one of the reason why they ride so great, there bodies feel tight, rattle free, and are quiet inside.

Iíd rather cruise in my 64 though! 8) :)
1964 Sedan Deville
1994 Fleetwood Bro
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental

Offline The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2017, 03:57:13 AM »
But the L brand has to stop many more times at the Gas Station than the Cadillac for a given distance.

Meaning the Cadillac passengers don't have to become bored sitting around whilst the driver is filling up.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Offline kkkaiser

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  • Name: Kaiser
Re: Nothing rides or is more comfy than our old Cadillacs
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2017, 03:21:13 PM »
at 60-70, my 73 eldorado feels like its on a air cushion,,  very nice