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Author Topic: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?  (Read 1868 times)

Offline J.C.

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  • Name: John Houlsby
I'm thinking of researching that question and doing an article about it.  A short description of my thinking follows.  COMMENTS APPRECIATED!

I'm 49 years old.  When I look at 1966 DeVilles and Eldorados, I see cars that look very conservative and stately, with many ruler-straight lines that convey - to me - a feeling of large, heavy, and solid significance. 

But then look what happens to the Eldorado in 1967.  Boom!  Covered lights, an appearance of being less lengthy, more angles, and a very pronounced steeply upward-sloping and slightly curved line just behind the doors that slopes downward at the tail.  More sloping angles in the taillight designs.  Sporty hubcaps.  A much more sporty, sexy, car that screams fun!  A car that seems designed to be more personal and to appeal to a younger buyer.

Look what happens to the DeVille for '67...  Vertically stacked headlights, the top one on each slide sloping forward along with pronounced curves that run the length of the body and, as with the Eldorado, another curve sloping upward just behind the door and then sloping downward toward the tail, which DeVilles retained until '70.  More conservative than the Eldorado, for sure, but still the DeVille looks lighter, sexier, and more daring than the '66s do.

1st question: didn't these '67-'70 cars sell pretty well?  2nd question: were these design and style changes part of a plan by Cadillac to reach into a new buying demographic during the late '60s?  What was Cadillac sensing about its buyers in '65 and '66 that made them think they needed to make such dramatic changes in '67-'70 DeVilles and Eldorados?

But subsequent events lead to more questions...  Because look what happens in 1971...  The Eldorado - and the Toronado over at Oldsmobile - became a massive, baroque, conservative cars with big hood ornaments that - again, to me - convey a feeling of royalty and staid, baroque, consistent power and conservatism.  The Eldorado seems less of a personal car in '71 and more like a massive coupe with straighter lines.

And this is all even more true of the DeVilles - back toward ruler-straight lines (though not completely because the body did hold on to nice curvature toward the rear and in the tail lights and tail generally, I think).

Which brings me to my next questions: why the move back to conservatism?  Did Cadillac decide the '67-'70 'experiment' went too far, that the public wasn't ready for it?  Or did Cadillac simply conclude that its buyers in '71 wanted something like a '66, just updated a little bit, made a little smarter but not as bold, stylish, and daring as the '67-'70s had been?

Or, is it simply that, by '71, the '60s were clearly over and people were tired of all the social and political upheaval associated therewith and now they wanted to return to a quieter, more conservative feel about things - or did Cadillac calculate that its buyers felt that way?

Where would one look to try to figure out what Cadillac designers were thinking between, say, 1965 to 1971?  Also, I haven't meant to offend anyone - Cadillacs from '71 forward are also very beautiful cars and we all love them!  I'm just trying to learn the thinking at Cadillac that went into the design changes from '66-'67 and then again from '70-'71.  Every company has to study society, art, and taste to determine what its customers want.  I have to believe Cadillac saw something in American society in these two time periods that's connected with these design changes.

What do you all think?

 
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 03:47:08 AM by J.C. »
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Offline StevenTuck

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2016, 05:20:28 AM »
I feel automotive design is reflective of the times, technology and those at the helm. One also should look back at the development of Cadillac and what influenced the car designs. It appears that each decade brought new designs and technology. Most of the designs took on a two year rotation 61/62, 63/64 and so forth. The later being a refinement of the first. Refinement is a key word here. I would also look at the history of automotive technology and Cadillac's role.
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Offline James Landi

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2016, 05:40:46 AM »
I suspect that Cadillac designers were deeply affected by the 1973 oil embargo.  I purchased my 1967 Eldorado for "peanuts" in 1973, because a large lux-personal coupe was an albatross.  THe need for downsizing, the clean air act, and the rampant "guns and butter" inflationary period, exacerbated by the huge inflationary reactions of petrochemical prices ended the large, heavy car craze-- the 70's cars became cultural and engineering dinosaurs.  Compare the engineering of the 70's Eldo's with the 79's and you know exactly what I mean, when Cadillac had to convince the public that a mid-sized car was now a luxury personal car, whose final days ended with the "Last COnverible Eldorados." 

Offline 64\/54Cadillacking

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2016, 06:09:40 AM »
Cadillac's "Cool" flamboyancy ended in 64 or 65 with the last of the tail fins and chromed out interiors. By 67, Cadillacs were still sleek and sexy cars especially in coupe form, but by the 70's, all cars started to look a little more conservative persay.

The times definitely had something to do with it. I think Cadillac wanted a more mature styling focus, moving away from the sorta fun, youthful designs of the 50's and the 60's maybe because buyers were aging around this time and Cadillac wanted to cater to the more older conservative crowd that favored comfort over flashy styling, speed and handling.

My 71 Cadillac definitely felt much more subdued, boring, and less fun to drive then my 64. The actual feeling from one year to another is dramatic. The 64 has this light airy feel in the steering and drivetrain that makes the car feel like a feather on the road, while the 71 Cadillac felt very heavy to drive. I mean you can't really notice a 200lb difference in certain cars, but Cadillac did a great job in the 60's making the cars so easy to drive even though they weighed a lot. The 71 on up Cads on the other hand, became bigger, slightly heavier and was less agile on the road.

You know a lot of people don't know this, but when the 61 Lincoln Continental came out, it shocked the entire industry and was a car that was to be copied and had a huge influence on how cars were styled in the 60's and beyond. Bill Mitchell at the time was enamoured by the 61 Lincoln styling, and when Cadillac was getting ready to design the 63 Cadillac, he kept telling his stylist, "Get off those skegs"! He wanted a more smoother, sleeker, sexier Cadillac like that of the 59-60 models. So at the time, then another well known stylist Chuck Jordan went back to the drawing boards and purposely wanted to imitate the older sleeker 59-60 Cadillacs, but in a much more toned-down form.

So for the most part, in 63, was when Cadillac really started to move away from the crazy outlandish styling to a more streamlined approach that can be considered "conservative" for the times, but they were still pretty flashy cars compared to say a Lincoln or an Imperial of the same era.

Cadillac was very innovative up until 64 with the start of automatic climate control, but Cadillac didn't really invent or came out with anything new in the 70's. This was decade of laziness for Cadillacs. Nothing really truly new or advanced, but more so refinement in engineering. Better riding and driving cars was probably the biggest difference. And they became more comfortable to drive and be in because of the super cushy couch like seats and a more quieter ride.

Baroque styling was a big deal in the 70's for whatever reason. If you look at all the luxury cars in the 70's, they all have sorta the same themes going on. A super long hood, with hood ornaments, lots of tacky trim, a more upright pronounced belt line and seating position, more of a regal styling. Cadillacs in the 70's were the perfect Opera house vehicle of choice for rich snobs. while a 60's Cad fit more of a red carpet Hollywood event.
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Online The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2016, 08:06:54 AM »
In this case, one really has to concentrate on the 1971 model year, and forget about the 74 an upwards.

I realise this is going to cause a bit of heated discussion, but leading up to the 1971 model year, there was none of the fuel crisis going on, or the high-power wars ending. 

BUT, Factories were really concerned about having to comply with the pollution control requirements that the Federal Government was starting to want everyone to get with the program.   Pollution controls got rid of the Leaded Petrol, then California decided to enforce even tougher restrictions, and the Convertible was killed by further "safety" concerns.

The '71 model was most likely signed off a couple of years before, and everything was set in "concrete" for the presses to roll out mid 1970.   The shapes were ready, and because of the three years of the Eldorado as a Coupe, it was time to bring on the Convertible, with the full "comfortable" 6 seating capacity, the first time for a full-sized convertible.

The requirements for energy-absorbing bumper bars, and other safety features were put into the '73 line, but when the "Oil Embargo" hit in '74, it was too late to change anything without huge expense.   It took engineers a few years to lop off a few hundred pounds which was what happened later on.

But, maybe the reason for the '75 to '78 being still full size, could have been the thought by everyone that the Middle East Countries would end the embargo after a short time.   This didn't happen.

Bruce. >:D



'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2016, 09:31:03 AM »
To my eyes, generation from 61/62 to 63/64 was a far greater transition to conservative styling than that which took place between 69/70 to 71-73. (No doubt, the impending 5 mph bumper mandate also played a role in the latter.)

1980 Cadillac got heavier "traditional" styling compared the 77-79 generation preceding. 

Restyled and enlarged FWD 89 - 93 DeVille/Fleetwood body was another bow to the past from the cookie cutter style of 85-88.

Manufacturers have gone from one theme to another for about as long as cars have been built. Who knows what they have in mind when generational transitions are contemplated is anybody's guess, other than to state the obvious:  To sell as many cars as possible (while conforming to a myriad of regulations in so doing).
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 01:05:14 PM by Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621 »
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Offline Chas

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2016, 11:37:03 AM »
Out in my garage, I have both a '67 and '70 Coupe. All styling is subjective, so take my comments with a grain of salt. I Believe that the '67 is the most "sporty" Coupe made, perhaps because of the forward leaning grill. On the other hand, my feeling is that the '70 is one of the more formal and sophisticated designs. My personal opinion is I wouldn't lump the two together.
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1970 Coupe DeVille
1976 Coupe DeVille
1983 Coupe DeVille
1977 Harley Cafe Racer
1991 Harley Fat Boy
1957 Harley Hardtail
1949 Lusse Bumper Car
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Offline Brian Laurance

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2016, 12:08:33 PM »
A couple of thoughts on this subject:

1)  The 1971 personal luxury Eldorado, Toronado, and Riviera all shared far more body and chassis components with the regular full-size cars than they had during the prior generation.  This eliminated some of the distinctive aspects of their pre-1971 styling, although the Riviera achieved a very unique appearance with its controversial "boat tail" design.

2)  The 1971 full-size cars reflected far more commonality among all the full-size General Motors cars than had been the case during the 1960's.  And, for the first time, the component sharing extended to chassis engineering and design.  The autonomy of each of GM's passenger car divisions was being diminished, and the cars became increasingly similar.  Perhaps you've seen some of the magazine articles of the early 1970's, comparing the Chevrolet Caprice and the Cadillac DeVille.  In view of the shared styling traits, the comparison was perhaps inevitable. 

So, I think that the cars of 1971, which are among my personal favorites, reflect some new realities at General Motors.  In the face of growing government regulation, GM was looking to cut costs by greater component sharing, and there seemed to be less importance attached to giving each passenger car division a unique styling theme.  Ultimately, the progression along this course led to the disasters of the 1980's, which devastated GM's passenger car business.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 12:20:52 PM by Brian Laurance »

Offline David Greenburg

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2016, 12:28:04 PM »
I agree with Brian; I think '71 began an era of less individuality for the GM divisions; more "corporateness" if you will. It was also the first year of net horsepower ratings, and cars designed for unleaded gas. I remember as a kid looking at the GM brochures that year and noticing the lack of individuality across the lines.  I suspect it also coincides with increased influence by the "bean counters."
David Greenburg
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Offline Big Apple Caddy

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2016, 02:16:09 PM »
Ultimately, the progression along this course led to the disasters of the 1980's, which devastated GM's passenger car business.

While there were some poorly executed models in the 1980s, like the Cimarron, I think calling the 1980s disastrous or devistating is being a bit harsh.   Cadillac was still selling over 250K units per year in the U.S. as late as 1990.  That's more than their best year in the 1960s.   The "less individualized" Cadillacs of the 1970s and 1980s gave the brand its best sales years in history including sales of over 300K as late as 1986.

What really hit Cadillac the most was the changing culture and introduction of brand new competition from the likes of Acura, Lexus and Infiniti.  People that had grown up with Hondas, Toyotas and Datsuns in the 1960s and 1970s were coming of age to buy a luxury car by the 1990s and were far more open to considering luxury imports than generations past.

This changing culture and greater acceptance of premium and luxury imports not only hurt Cadillac in the 1990s but Oldsmobile and Buick too.  They had also done quite well in the 1970s and 1980s, both seeing their best U.S. sales ever during the 1980s, but their fortunes shifted in the 1990s as Acura, Lexus, Infiniti and other imports became more and more popular.

Offline bcroe

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2016, 02:24:41 PM »
Quote from: 64CaddieLacky
Cadillac was very innovative up until 64 with the start of automatic climate control, but Cadillac didn't really invent or came out with anything new in the 70's. This was decade of laziness for Cadillacs. Nothing really truly new or advanced, but more so refinement in engineering.     

Never mind style, there were tons of innovations in the 65-79 Cads.  Anyone who has had
to maintain cars over a lot of miles will know this.  Here is just a partial list of things
introduced on these cars. 

In 65 we got the famous Switch Pitch TH400 transmission, with universal BOP pattern in 68. 

67 gave us the revolutionary front wheel drive Eldo, in partnership with Toronado. 

We got disc brakes, radial tires, diesel engines, and halogen headlights. 

Integrated circuits made possible radios with digital tuning, digital clocks, and CB units. 

Becoming standard was safety equipment such as collapsable steering columns, seat belts,
and door guard beams. 

For 68 we got the FABULOUS 472/500/425 engine family.  Soon came the
electronic (internally regulated) alternators. 

Greatly reducing maintenance was the HEI ignition and engines with hardened valve
seats, valve rotators, and improved rings, practically eliminating the common
"ring & valve job" of old.  And they don't require leaded gasoline. 

75 introduced fuel injection far advanced from the many earlier crude attempts.  It included
a compact electronic MAP sensor and complex functions controlled by integrated circuits. 
These were upgraded to digital microprocessors with diagnostics and feedback loops
such as OX sensors. 

Electronic photo speed sensor and electronically controlled cruise replaced the previous
mechanical monstrocitys.  Bruce Roe
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 02:41:13 PM by bcroe »

Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2016, 03:18:46 PM »
The 1970s was also the decade of regulation and tremendous fuel price volatility which is a deadly combination for almost any automaker. All things considered, GM weathered the decade pretty well under the circumstances while still producing a good number of innovations as pointed out be the previous poster. 

Still trying to understand anything particularly unique about the restyle of 1971... ???
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 03:40:01 PM by Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621 »
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Offline Rich S

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2016, 05:27:04 PM »
Looking at the '71 Eldorado restyle, although the effect of the new design was to seem much larger, the car grew less than one inch in length while the wheelbase grew several inches, improving ride quality. It seems interesting to me that Cadillac brought back an Eldorado Convertible model when the other GM brands kept a full-sized, rear wheel drive, Convertible model for '71 (LeSabre or Centurion, Grand Ville or Catalina, Delta 88 and Impala). It seems the customary thing would have been to continue the Series Sixty-two, or DeVille, Convertible, model as a companion to the Coupe DeVille model.

Of course, it seems the intention of Cadillac's designers was likely to return to the original "roots" of the Eldorado model--which took design cues from aircraft, with its simulated side scoop vents and blank rear quarters hinting of the fuselage look (aided by the rear fin). The '71 Eldorados brought back several of the '53 Eldorados design elements--the fender skirt, the blank rear quarter fender somewhat like a fuselage of aircraft with a fake vent on its leading edge, and convertible model. The rear end design in '71 and '72 was particularly sculpted, in the tradition of the '67 through '70 Eldorados, since it has the crisp beveling of the rear deck and that continues even into the rear bumper making a rectangular cut all around. The '71 Eldorados continued the block lettering used on the Eldorado nameplate as all the previous Eldorado models had used, except perhaps on the dash badge of the '53's. To my eye, the '71 and '72 Eldorado designs have sharper creases than the subsequent years '73 through '78--but I doubt the stamping of panels was changed much. In choosing an Eldorado to collect, I wanted a convertible, but I love the '70 Eldorado Coupes, and the '71 was the closest for me, in many ways. (Maybe someday, I'll get a '70 Eldo Coupe, too!) Here's mine:
Rich Sullivan CLC #11473

1971 Eldo Conv., 2013 CTS Cpe

Offline Scot Minesinger

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2016, 08:23:58 PM »
The 1970 and earlier Cadillacs really look great, and so do the 1971 - 1976 Cadillacs.  I like the 77 thru 79 Caddys too.  To me the styling of the 71 is not really more conservative than the 70, just different, both attractive.  I think that unfortunately the 1980 decade Cadillacs (especially the 1982 thru 1988) were the worst ever in the history of Cadillac, primarily for the front drive and 4.1/4.5 engine. 
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
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Offline savemy67

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  • Name: Christopher Winter
Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2016, 10:52:28 PM »
Hello All,

It is hard for anyone under the age of 80 to have a real gut feel for what America was like during World War Two.  The war effort had a watershed effect on America.  America became the world's can-do nation.  Military prowess spilled over to automobile design and many Americans loved the new look  Cadillac tail fins lasted through the '64 model year.

The next year saw the streamlining effect that spilled over from the Air Force (X-15) and NASA.  The '65 model year saw the elimination of fins, introduction of vertical headlights, and a straight line profile from front to rear with the beltline being almost perfectly level along the length of the car.  But tradition dies hard.  Remember when rear fenders were separate body parts?  The '67 models saw a reintroduction of a styling hint that harked back to the age of separate rear fenders.  This was made more pronounced with the '71 Eldorado, but eliminated on the other '71 models.  Additionally, the '71 models apart from the Eldorado had a belt line that was lower ahead of the rear quarter.  The lowering of the beltline ahead of the rear quarter continued through the '80s.  To me, this design treatment interrupts the horizontal line of the car, making the windows appear proportionally too large.

I think both the '67 - '70 coupe and sedan models, and '71 and later coupe and sedan models are conservatively styled.  The '71 and later models are just more plainly styled without much in the way of throwback styling hints.  The mid-'70s Eldoarados would be much better looking to me if they did not have the bumper fillers that were a result of Federal regulations.

Despite having record unit sales, GM was losing market share in the US.  I think the oil "crisis" certainly had something to do with this - buyers wanted more fuel efficient cars - but the other major factor was quality.  GM's product quality suffered, and the imports were in a position to take advantage of that fact.  Since then, GM and Cadillac have had to play catch-up with the imports and have to consider the imports when it comes to styling.  Does anyone remember the Ford Granada ads equating the Ford with a Mercedes Benz?

Christopher Winter

Christopher Winter
1967 Sedan DeVille hardtop

Offline jdemerson

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2016, 07:31:25 AM »
This is an interesting thread with varied contributions that address a wider time period than the OP referred to (which was 1966 through 1971). I think John Houlsby's original analysis is right, and the questions he poses are interesting (although I'm not sure i have good answers).

The 1967 Eldorado was a revolutionary design, as was the '66 Toronado, but the Eldorado had those classic Cadillac, fresh, yet very sporty lines. Whenever I see a 1967 through 1970 Eldorado, I marvel at the design -- perhaps comparable to or even exceeding the stunning 1964 Riviera. Yes, I also like the 1971+ Eldorados, but to me (for style only) the classic and sporty design of the 1967+ Eldorados has never been surpassed by Cadillac. But of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

In the regular Cadillac line, the design differences are not quite as clear, but I share John's views when comparing the 1967-68 models with the 1965-66 models where all four years had the stacked headlights (very attractive). The 1967-68 models were a bit more youthful in design. And I think the 1969-70 models are also very attractive and are desirable models in many ways. Again this is not to put down the 1971-1976 models, where I'd prefer the earlier models for reasons others have mentioned.

So why the directions of changes in 1971? I suppose that change was always felt to be needed in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Many changes do improve the car, but not necessarily the design. Is the 1953 Cadillac design more attractive than my '52? Probably not, excepting the Eldorado model -- but the '53 was a better car. What about '58 vs. '57? Hmmm. And was there ever a Buick Riviera that surpassed the classic 1964 in design?  Not to my eye.

To go off topic, I'll say that if i were replacing my '52 with a Cadillac more conducive to daily driving, I'd be attracted to a '68 or even a 1977-79.  And of course many on this discussion board would never mention the 1977-79 models in the same sentence with any of the great models of the 60s... "That's what makes a horse race..." and I'll stop right there.... :)

Cheers,
John Emerson
John Emerson
Middlebury, Vermont
CLC member #26790
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Offline dochawk

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2016, 09:35:19 PM »
I agree with Brian; I think '71 began an era of less individuality for the GM divisions; more "corporateness" if you will. It was also the first year of net horsepower ratings, and cars designed for unleaded gas.

'71 was the first year of designed for unleaded, but '72 is the first year of net horsepower--and accounts for, as I understand it, the entire difference in reported horsepower from '71 to '72.

hawk
1972 Eldorado convertible,  1997 Eldorado ETC (now awaiting parts swap from '95 donor), 1993 Fleetwood but no 1926 (yet)

Offline 64\/54Cadillacking

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2016, 05:33:02 AM »
A longtime Cadillac enthusiasts told me that all Cadillac engines built prior to 72 used tolerances that were of aircraft quality. Most engines of the day could have sloppy machining and bad tolerances, but not Cadillac engines. All this changed when the NET horsepower rated engines came into effect.

I heard that it was too expensive for them to build engines that required extra care, oversight, and perfect fit and finish, so they built engines that didn't require such close tolerances after the change over to NET horsepower rated engines which doesn't mean that the engines that came after were bad or not as good, but they didn't build them to such precise measurements.
1964 Sedan Deville (Own)
1987 Brougham D’Elegance (Sold)
1954 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special
1994 Fleetwood Bro (Sold)
1972 Sedan Deville (Sold)
1968 Coupe Deville (Sold)
1978 Lincoln Continental (Own)
1979 Lincoln Mark V Cartier (Own)

Online The Tassie Devil(le)

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Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #18 on: April 29, 2016, 08:39:44 AM »
I find that very hard to believe.

Bruce. >:D
'72 Eldorado Convertible (LHD)
'70 Ranchero Squire (RHD)
'74 Chris Craft Gull Wing (SH)
'02 VX Series II Holden Commodore SS Sedan
(Past President Modified Chapter)

Past Cars of significance - to me
1935 Ford 3 Window Coupe
1936 Ford 5 Window Coupe
1937 Chevrolet Sports Coupe
1955 Chevrolet Convertible
1959 Ford Fairlane Ranch Wagon
1960 Cadillac CDV
1972 Cadillac Eldorado Coupe

Offline Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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  • Name: Eric DeVirgilis
Re: Why did DeVilles and Eldorados become more conservative in '71?
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2016, 10:38:42 AM »
A longtime Cadillac enthusiasts told me that all Cadillac engines built prior to 72 used tolerances that were of aircraft quality. Most engines of the day could have sloppy machining and bad tolerances, but not Cadillac engines. All this changed when the NET horsepower rated engines came into effect.

I heard that it was too expensive for them to build engines that required extra care, oversight, and perfect fit and finish, so they built engines that didn't require such close tolerances after the change over to NET horsepower rated engines which doesn't mean that the engines that came after were bad or not as good, but they didn't build them to such precise measurements.

Nonsense.

The 472/500/425 series is widely regarded to be one of the most durable engine designs ever, easily capable of logging hundreds of thousands of miles. 429 and earlier Cadillac engines last nowhere near as long on average with rebuilding often needed around 100,000 miles or so.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2016, 11:13:22 AM by Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621 »
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

 

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