Author Topic: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79  (Read 3435 times)

Offline Joe Vastola

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CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« on: September 16, 2018, 10:16:28 AM »
I've settled on a mid to late 70's CDV for my next purchase and I'm well aware of the specifications/footprint differences and the overall perspectives of owners from forum posts regarding comparisons of 4th and 5th generation models.  However, I'd like to know if ride and comfort level differences are one of the deciding factors. 

For those that have driven and/or owned 4th and 5th generation CDV's in the 75-76 and 77-79 range, are there any ride or comfort level differences that should factor into a purchase of one generation vs. another?
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 10:28:48 AM by Joe Vastola »

STS05lg

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 10:47:54 AM »
Joe, you are about to start a very good discussion because our fellow forum members fall in to two distinct camps when discussing the differences between the last of the true full size cars (74-76) and the tri-sevens (77-79). On the one side is those that like "full' size Cadillacs (you know the ones 19+ feet long and you have a hard time getting them to fit in a modern garage) and those that think the first "down sized "full" size cars were better.

There are pluses to both groups. The 75-76's had frame less windows and and the tri-sevens had framed windows. The 75-76's were offered in a four door hard top while the tri-sevens were four door sedans. The one big issues to me is that when Cadillac redesigned the enter line for 77 they used all the same mechanical components from the 75-76 meaning. almost all the components under the hood on a tri-seven are the same as on a 75-76 with an engine compartment that is considerably smaller, meaning its a tight fit.

The one thing to consider is where you are searching for a car. That is where  did the candidate vehicle spend the last forty years.  The 75-76 cars were more prone to rust then a tri-seven, hate to admit it but it is true. There was a significant improvement in rust protection with the redesign in 77. However, there are a lot of good southern and western examples for sale that never were exposed to excessive moisture.

I would always chose a 75-76, However, I will say you can not go wrong with a tri-seven, there are a lot of great examples out there for sale at reasonable prices. The most important thing is to find a good rust free example, hopefully with ownership and maintenance records in a color that you like.

Happy Motoring, Cadillac Style....

Offline Joe Vastola

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 11:14:44 AM »
Thanks Lynn.  I'm leaning towards a tri-seven, and I'm guessing I have some idea about ride and comfort of the era from my 81 - albeit with an understanding of power plant differences.  But when I really boil down my requirements, it comes to a question of the Cadillac ride and comfort and whether the weight, width, and wheel base of the 75-76 models makes such a noticeable difference that I should consider them in the search.  I would expect to consider only options in very good shape as I am not is a position to have the time to focus on restoration at this point.   
« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 11:18:21 AM by Joe Vastola »

Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2018, 12:18:55 PM »
It will be a lot easier to find a Tri7 with a clean body and undercarriage than the preceding generation in the DeVille/Brougham series. In terms of ride, comfort, quietness and general maneuverability and road manners, the later generation is considerably refined over its predecessors, IMHO and say this having owned many of each. Just an easier car to live with, maintain and enjoy while still looking every inch a Cadillac while being immensely satisfying to drive.

I like the 77 taillight design the most but suspension was retuned the following year for an even better ride. As as far as I'm concerned, 78/79 was Cadillac Division's finest hour.



« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 12:43:33 PM by Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621 »
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Offline 76eldo

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 12:43:03 PM »
They are completely different cars so it's an apples to oranges comparison.

The 77-79 is the better choice of you are going to drive it a lot.  They also are much less prone to rust and rot. Better mileage, more nimble handling, less to worry about with the AC and heat, just a better and more practical choice.

However, if you like the looks and styling of the earlier cars then go with that.

I've driven 76 Coupes and Fleetwoods for many miles when they were nearly new.
The 77-79's were much less heavy feeling on the road and the carb 425 and turbo 400 is bulletproof.

Age and rust will be your worst problem. Look carefully at the fuel and brake lines where they attach to the frame. If you are going to have any issues with pin holes in any lines that's where it starts.

Good luck.
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 12:55:10 PM »
Joe,
Ive got a 75, a 76 and a 79.  Short version, earlier is better for ride room handling and visibility.
Greg Surfas
Cadillac Kid-Greg Surfas
Director Modified Chapter CLC
CLC #15364
66 Coupe deVille (now gone to the UK)
72 Eldo Cpe  (now cruising the sands in Quatar)
73 Coupe deVille
75 Coupe deElegance
76 Coupe deVille
79 Coupe de ville with "Paris" (pick up) option and 472 motor
514 inch motor now in '73-

Offline Ken Perry

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 02:08:29 PM »
Nothing beats the ride of the 75-76 Cad . The interior on the 75-76 is way roomier,plush, better lookin dash. The 75-76 has Way more power with the 500 cd engine. But they are Big... I have 59 & 60 Cads and the 75-76 are bigger. The 75-76  don't burn corners,but stop pretty well. If you can find a good cherry one I think the75-76 Cadillac is a better choice.Last of the big cars,before they started taking stuff away every year !  BUT the 77-79 Cadillacs have advatages,they do hande well with good tires and stop well.There seems to be a lot still around for reasonable $$ The 77-79 Cadillac 425 cid runs forever,but pretty wimpy on power. I have owned lots of both. You need to test drive both back to back and then see which one you like best.  Ken Perry
Cadillac Ken

Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 04:50:58 PM »
Contrary to popular belief, the 1977 models have greater interior room and usable trunk space than their 1976 counterparts (except Brougham where it is the same). This is covered in factory literature in detail.

Respectfully disagree on ride quality which was dramatically improved in the later generation. 75/76 500- 190HP; 425 - 180HP (all engines 4 bbl). Relative to the ~ 900 lb weight differential, 10HP isn't very significant.



« Last Edit: September 16, 2018, 05:38:46 PM by Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621 »
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Offline gkhashem

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2018, 05:34:50 PM »
Guess you just exposed another urban myth.
1959 Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Sports Sedan
1964 Oldsmobile 98 Town Sedan (OCA 1st)
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1978 Cadillac Coupe Deville (Sr Crown #959)*
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1991 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo (OCA 1st)
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*PastPres

Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2018, 06:27:53 PM »
Eric
Take a tape measure to the post 76 cars. I just did and stand by my original statement
Greg Surfas
Cadillac Kid-Greg Surfas
Director Modified Chapter CLC
CLC #15364
66 Coupe deVille (now gone to the UK)
72 Eldo Cpe  (now cruising the sands in Quatar)
73 Coupe deVille
75 Coupe deElegance
76 Coupe deVille
79 Coupe de ville with "Paris" (pick up) option and 472 motor
514 inch motor now in '73-

BJM

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2018, 06:43:21 PM »
Joe
Not an owner yet but doing a lot of research because I am probably buying at least 1 and probably 2 for this era. 

I am now setting my Craigs List searches up to end at 1980 because of the 425/368. 

I am with Eric - I like the 78's and 79's best. It's a balancing act.  They are smaller, still handle well, ooze Cadillac style and have the competent 425 and I believe TH400 making them bulletproof. 

I love the 74-76's.  I prefer them style wise over the 78-79's but when you do that balancing act, I would go with a well sorted 78-79. 

Offline Joe Vastola

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 07:35:42 PM »
I am now setting my Craigs List searches up to end at 1980 because of the 425/368.   

1980 has a 368 also so you may want to shorten your search to 79.  Understanding the 425/368 displacement and HP differences, with the V8-6-4 unplugged, the 368 th400 combo has been a fine ride for me.  77 up past 81 are basically the same cars minus drive trains, so it would seem to suggest they would have similar ride and comfort levels. 

My focus has been on 77-79's, but the thought of a longer/wider wheel base and increased weight seems worth asking about.  In the end, it's the Cadillac ride and comfort that makes me a fan. Generally speaking, it almost seems counter intuitive that a shorter, narrower, lighter model would have have a better ride.  Or, a heavier, wider, longer model could have a lumbering soft ride in comparison.  I don't live in a place where you can easily find excellent examples to drive, so all the input is appreciated.

Offline Scot Minesinger

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2018, 09:57:25 PM »
You cannot go wrong buying a 1975 thru 1979 Cadillac.  The 75-76 and 77-79 year groups are both wonderful.  If I had to pick one probably go with the 76 because they are so cool, and like the carb. better than the 75.  The 77-79 with the framed windows loses a little coolness for me.  I would be very happy driving a 1977-79 Cadillac though. 

Buying a classic car is more an opportunity thing, pick a year group like 75 thru 79 and buy the best one you find.

When I was looking for my convertible, I was open to a 1968-70 DVC so it would not be a scissor top, include the wonderful high compression 472, and RWD.  Found a 1970, and here it is 13 years later still enjoying it.

I think that 1979 Cadillacs had an option for a performance rear axle and that may be the fastest of the five year group.

Life is good when this is an issue to sort out - enjoy!
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
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Offline cadillacmike68

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 03:00:22 AM »
Contrary to popular belief, the 1977 models have greater interior room and usable trunk space than their 1976 counterparts (except Brougham where it is the same). This is covered in factory literature in detail.

Respectfully disagree on ride quality which was dramatically improved in the later generation. 75/76 500- 190HP; 425 - 180HP (all engines 4 bbl). Relative to the ~ 900 lb weight differential, 10HP isn't very significant.

That's because the changed the way they measured interior space. There's No Way a 77 & later has the roominess of a 65-76 RWD.
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike

Offline cadillacmike68

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 03:01:22 AM »
Joe
Not an owner yet but doing a lot of research because I am probably buying at least 1 and probably 2 for this era. 

I am now setting my Craigs List searches up to end at 1980 because of the 425/368. 

I am with Eric - I like the 78's and 79's best. It's a balancing act.  They are smaller, still handle well, ooze Cadillac style and have the competent 425 and I believe TH400 making them bulletproof. 

I love the 74-76's.  I prefer them style wise over the 78-79's but when you do that balancing act, I would go with a well sorted 78-79.

Nothing wrong with the 368. Just DO NOT get anything with the 4.1L
Regards,
"Cadillac" Mike

Offline Dan LeBlanc

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2018, 07:19:38 AM »
Eric
Take a tape measure to the post 76 cars. I just did and stand by my original statement
Greg Surfas

Having spent time behind the wheel of a 76 and now owning a 77, I can tell you without a doubt, that my 6'-0" big guy butt fits behind the wheel much better in my 77 than the 76 I spent some time behind the wheel of.  Back seat seems comparable though.
Dan LeBlanc
1977 Lincoln Continental Town Car

Offline V63

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2018, 07:50:52 AM »
Having had all of the above, extremely low mile examples. 1974-9...

Overall enjoyment, I ‘prefer’ the 74 most and 77 2nd.

While the 74 has the 472cid vs 500...but with no cat, it seems to perform better. The ride is at cadillacs very best 1974-6. 1976 offered Cadillac last year of wrapped coil seating in fleetwoods (EXCEPT d’Elegance) . I like the round headlights (last year)!in 74. I also preferred the seating sew patterns vs 75-6. The exception being the DElegance package was greatly improved for 1976

1975 had the worst plastic wood grain ever, it’s embarrassing. The Cadillac crest was ‘molded in’ simulating a carving??? I remember first seeing the ‘wallpaper’ velour offered only in 1975 and almost hurled...we had a neighbor that had one. I think it’s Too cool today, much like the plaids of the era.



1977-9 is a great ‘size’ and an incredible ride while not being too light. I love the sound of the mechanical digital clock grinding away...that was lost in the 1979 dash, replaced with “unleaded fuel only” .

Each year 77-9 brought more and weight savings with the 79 suffering the most. I believe it was the first year of the ‘plastic strap’ vs steel cable glove box stop. ‘79’s were initially very beautiful but fragile given the wood grain fading and ‘teddy bear’  carpet (d’Elegance) that matted so quickly. The recommended tire air pressure was also increased for fuel savings for 79, if memory serves. The focus becoming less and less on product or ride quality for fuel economy.

I remember the disappoint of driving the new 1980 models. it was all downhill from there.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 07:57:34 AM by V63 »

Offline jdemerson

  • 1952 Cadillac 6219X Vermont -- Emerson
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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2018, 09:25:37 AM »
Some comparative data:

1976 De Ville 4-door hardtop sedan, 425 with carburetor  ###   1977 De Ville 4-door sedan
Horsepower            190                                                            Horsepower          180
Torque ft/lbs          360  at ????                                                Torque ft/lbs        320 at 2000
Curb Weight         5269 lbs                                                       Curb Weight         4420 lbs
Pounds per HP       27.7                                                            Pounds per HP       24.5
Top speed             115   mph                                                    Top speed              112   mph
Acceleration 0-60    12.4 sec                                                     Acceleration           11.5 sec
Quarter mile           18.9 sec                                                     Quarter mile          18.9 sec
Combined mileage    9.8 mpg (European cycle)                           Combined mileage  11.7 mpg (European cycle)
Wheelbase            130                                                             Wheelbase            121.5
Trunk capacity        20.1 cu ft                                                   Trunk capacity        19.6 cu ft
Interior volume EPA ?????                                                         Interior volume EPA 109 cu ft


Source:  http://www.automobile-catalog.com/auta_perf1.php

I'll let the numbers speak for themselves. (Did EPA publish interior volumes in '76?) For me it would be an easy choice, but happily for all of us there is lots of diversity among Cadillac enthusiasts.

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

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2018, 09:40:27 AM »
Yes driving the 1980 Cadillac (with 368 engine) when new, January 1980 for me, it was a dissapointment after driving 1970 decade Cadillacs.  Don't get me started on horrible the 1982 Cadillacs are with the 4.1 engine.  The 4.1 was the biggest mistake Cadillac ever made.

Stay in the 1970 decade or earlier.

Reading these posts, you would think a 1976 and a 1977 Cadillac are night and day and one is way better than another.  That is not true, they are both wonderful.  Everyone tends to like what they have.  All of the 1975-79 Cadillacs are very nice.  You will not be making a mistake buying one year over the other. 

Be careful driving other people's Cadillacs to make a judgement if you have that option, as most folks are driving on original suspension components in various states of repair.  I find just about every 1976 Cadillac has the original lower control arm bushings, all 8 of the original rear control arm bushings, original ball joints, original steering gear, and the like.  Of course this is not always true, just be aware of this.

You read about this all the time, handling of a 67 is better than a 68, when in reality they were about the same.  This person makes a judgement on driving on of each recently and obviously the 67 was in better state of repair.
Fairfax Station, VA  22039 (Washington DC Sub)
1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
1970 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1970 four door Convertible w/Cadillac Warranty

Online Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621

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Re: CDV Ride and Comfort Differences 75-76 vs 77-79
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2018, 10:50:29 AM »
Some comparative data:

   1977 De Ville 4-door sedan


Curb Weight         4420 lbs
Pounds per HP       24.5

Slight clarification: Curb weight of a 1977 Sedan deVille is 4,222 and weight to HP is 23.4.


From the 1977 Sales Data Book:

Although the DeVille models are smaller, their legroom is increased for both front and rear seat passengers. The Fleetwood Brougham retains the legroom of its spacious 1976 counterpart.

Some other mechanical highlights:

New sheetmetal, to reduce weight while continuing to provide sound structural integrity.

New Durastrut front metal structure design for structural stiffness and low shake characteristics.

Greater maneuverability via reduced turning circle - a reduction in 4 feet curb to curb and wall to wall.

Four link rear suspension with increased anti-squat geometry.

Automatic Climate Control completely redesigned...to help provide significant advantages related to fuel economy and service.

Extensive use of Zincrometal and Bi-Metal (stainless steel on aluminum). New anti-corrosion inner front fender panels and further elimination of water and dirt entrapment areas.

Redesigned instrument panel with logical arrangement of controls- with driver operated controls to the left of the steering column while Climate Control and radio are centrally located for shared operation with the front seat passenger. Also, [these items] can be pulled out quickly and easily from the instrument panel should service be required.   
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 10:53:05 AM by Eric DeVirgilis CLC# 8621 »
A Cadillac Motorcar is a Possession for which there is no Acceptable Substitute

 

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