Classified ad of the week: Caddy De Ville
Cadillac’s making a hybrid! But do you prefer its 7.0-litre days?
Posted: 16 Jan 2013
It's funny when a company changes tack. Like the time Kia decided to stop making everything rubbishly, or Lamborghini Tractors thought it'd try building sports cars, or when Porsche dropped the blueprints for a fast 4x4 in Lake Ügly, then built it anyway.
Cadillac's the latest manufacturer to embark on such an about-turn. First, it made it cars handle. Now, it's making them frugal with this - a very pretty Vauxhall Ampera/Chevy Volt-based range-extended EV called the ELR, in doing so consigning its Snoop ‘n' steak heritage to the history books.
Luckily, we have the history books. And we like looking at them, especially if they contain pictures of stuff like this - a 7.0-litre Series 62 Cadillac De Ville Convertible.
Released when fuel prices were as unregulated as Detroit design studios, the '64 is the last seventh-gen model (the follow-up to ECTO-1-spec S6200), and has many design touches smeared across its 18.6-foot length. There's a colossal V-shaped grill, a pair of pointy little fins (the 17th consecutive year of tail fins on Caddys, fact fans), and a pair of twin lamps up front, with deliciously sixties afterburner-style rear clusters aft.
The engine also a got boot up the Boss hog, and displacement rose to a Texan-pleasing 7.0 litres (429 cubic inches, in American). There was also Comfort Control, a new and completely automatic heating and air conditioning system controlled by a dial thermostat on the instrument panel, and exciting new seat fabric and vinyl options.
Trouble was, the public didn't react very well to it, preferring its angular successor, the Calais. In its final year, the manufacturer only managed to get rid of 35,079, the smallest number since 1946 and a shade over a quarter of its all-time sales record in 1956.
Despite its lack of success in the showroom, this rare-groove Caddy's survived several oil and financial crises galore Stateside to enjoy its twilight years in Europe. It gets all the usual fineries, like an automatic ‘box, power steering, servo-assisted brakes, working radio, electric windows, electric convertible top, and a dual-pipe exhaust system.
So, how much? £22,000 (€26,500), TopGear.commers.
Click here to see the ad, and then tell us - do you prefer new Caddy, or old Caddy?