Cadillac de Ville Fourth Generation
|1971 to 1976|
|Assembly||Detroit, Michigan, USA Linden, New Jersey, USA|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door hardtop 2-door hardtop 2-door coupe|
|Related||Cadillac Calais Buick Electra Oldsmobile 98 Buick Estate Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser Pontiac Grand Safari Pontiac Safari Chevrolet Kingswood Estate Chevrolet Kingswood Chevrolet Townsman|
|Engine||472 cu in (7.7 L) OHV V8 500 cu in (8.2 L) OHV V8|
|Transmission||3-speed TH-400, automatic|
|Wheelbase||130.0 in (3,302 mm)|
|Length||1971: 225.8 in (5,735 mm) 1972: 227.4 in (5,776 mm) 1973: 227.8 in (5,786 mm) 1974–76: 230.7 in (5,860 mm)|
|Width||79.8 in (2,027 mm)|
|Height||1971–73: 54.5 in (1,384 mm) 1974: 54.6 in (1,387 mm) 1975–76: 54.3 in (1,379 mm)|
|Curb weight||4,900–5,400 lb (2,200–2,400 kg)|
As with all GM full-size lines, the De Ville was redesigned for 1971. The new GM full-size bodies, at 64.3 inches front shoulder room (62.1 inches on Cadillac) and 63.4 inches rear shoulder room (64.0 inches on Cadillac) set a record for interior width that would not be matched by any car until the full-size GM rear-wheel-drive models of the early to mid-1990s. Pairs of individually housed squarish headlamps were set wider apart. The V-shaped grille had an eggcrate style insert and was protected by massive vertical guards framing a rectangular license plate indentation. A wide hood with full-length windsplints, a prominent center crease and hidden windshield wipers was seen. A Cadillac crest decorated the nose and new indicator lamps appeared atop each front fender. A horizontal beltline molding ran from behind the front wheel housing, almost to the rear stopping where an elliptical bulge in the body came to a point and where thin rectangular side markers were placed above and below the chrome strip. The rear wheel openings were again housed in fender skirts. Taillamps were of the same type as before but were no longer divided by a chrome bar. Long horizontal back-up lamps were set in the bumper, on either side of a deeply recessed license plate housing. De Villes were set apart visually by thin bright metal rocker panel steps and signature script on the front fenders bearing the series name. The bottoms of the rear fenders were decorated with a bright metal beauty panel that was wider than the rocker panel strips and blended into the molding running along the bottom of the fender skirt. The standard engine remained the 472, still rated at 375 SAE gross horsepower and 365 lb·ft (495 N·m) of torque.
In November 1971, a showroom-stock 1971 Coupe de Ville placed third in the annual coast-to-coast Cannonball Run, posting the highest average speed of the event, 84.6 mph (136.2 km/h) (excluding stops) and averaging 8.9 mpg-US (26 L/100 km; 10.7 mpg-imp).
1972 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Fourth Generation
In 1972 a modest frontal revision placed more emphasis on horizontal grille blades. The parking lamps were moved from the bumper to between the square bezeled headlamps, which were now set wider apart. V-shaped emblems made a return on hood and deck lid. New standard features included a bumper impact system, automatic parking brake release, passenger assist straps and flow through ventilation system. New De Ville signature script was affixed to the sides of the rear roof panels. Sales reached a record 194,811.
1973 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Fourth Generation
New energy absorbing bumpers were seen on all GM cars in 1973 and it brought styling refinements to De Ville. Grilles were widened and had an intricate eggcrate design. Larger vertical rectangles housed the parking lamps between wide spaced headlamps which had square bezels but round lenses. Bumpers ran fully across the front and wrapped around each end. Vertical guards were spaced much further apart at a point outboard of the grille. The rear end had a bumper with a flatter upper section housing an angled license plate recess. Border outline moldings vertically "veed" paralleled the fender edge shape at the rear bodysides. Single horizontally mounted rectangular rear side marker lamps were placed over and under the rear tip of the thin beltline trim. Cadillac script was seen on the front fender sides below the belt molding behind the wheel opening. This was the final year for hardtop Coupe de Villes, an irony since it was their introduction of the hardtop that made them such a sensation in 1949. Sales set a new record at 216,243.
1974 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Fourth Generation
In 1974 a wide eggcrate grille was used. Dual round headlamps were mounted close together in square bezels. Further outboard were double deck wraparound parking lamps. Shorter vertical grille guards appeared in about the same position as before. Rear fendersides were flatter without the elliptical bulge. The thin beltline molding was positioned lower by several inches. The rear end had vertical bumper ends with the taillight built in. Both bumpers, especially the rear, protruded further from the body. Coupe de Villes were no longer hardtops, instead sporting large wide "coach" windows giving a thick center pillar look. A new curved instrument panel housed a digital clock. New standard features included an integral litter container. A Space Saver spare tire was standard when De Villes were ordered with optional white sidewall steel belted radial tires.
1974 also saw the introduction of the optional "Air Cushion Restraint System". Known today as airbags, this option provided protection for front seat occupants in the case of a frontal collision. One bag was located in the steering wheel, the other in the dashboard in front of the front seat passenger. The glove box was replaced with a lockable storage compartment under the dashboard. The option was unpopular and was discontinued after the 1976 model year.
A new option package was a fully padded Cabriolet roof treatment. It incorporated a landau style top with bright metal forward divider strip. Another new option package was the d'Elegance package. Similar to the Sixty Special Brougham's package of the same name, it featured velour upholstery, Deluxe padded doors, front seatback storage pockets, deep pile carpeting, floor mats, see-through standup hood ornament and vinyl tape accent stripes. The "d'Elegance" name remained with the de Ville series as a package through 1984. In 1997 it became a separate model designation for the sedan.
1975 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Fourth Generation
Styling changes for 1975 brought dual rectangular headlamp lenses flanked by rectangular cornering lights wrapped around the body. A new cross hatched grille also appeared. Sedan de Villes now featured slim triangular quarter windows that mimicked the coach windows that appeared on Coupe de Villes the previous year. New standard equipment included front fender lamp monitors, power door locks, high energy ignition, steel-belted radial tires. The 210 hp 500 V8 replaced the 472 as the standard engine. Electronic fuel injection became optional in March 1975. Another option was the Astroroof with sliding sunshade that permitted use as an electrically operated sunroof or a transparent closed skylight. An ordinary sunroof panel was also available.
1976 Cadillac de Ville Fourth Generation
In 1976 the grille saw a new finer crosshatching pattern. Cornering lamps got new horizontal chrome trim while taillamps gained a new bold look. Eight different color accent stripes were available. Vinyl tops were now integral padded Elk grain material. New trims included sporty plaids, plush velours, knits and 11 distinctive genuine leathers. Coupe de Villes had a new vinyl roof whose top molding served as a continuation of the door"belt" molding. A Controlled (limited-slip) Differential was included for extra traction. An optional illuminated entry and theft deterrence system was optional. A new Freedom battery never needed water. New turbine veined and wire wheel covers were offered. A new option locked the doors when the transmission lever was shifted to "Drive". Cadillac also offered Track Master, a computerized skid prevention system that automatically pumped the back brakes in an emergency situation to shorten stopping distance. New options included a push-button Weather Band built into the AM/FM stereo signal-seeking radio, loose pillow style seats for d'Elegance packages, plus power passenger and manual driver seatback recliners for 50/50 front seats. Of the 15 standard and six optional Firemist body colors, 13 were new this year. New standard features included map light, Soft-Ray tinted glass, spare tire cover, washer fluid level indicator, and steel belted radial whitewall tires.