Cadillac DeVille

The original Cadillac "Coupe de Ville" was presented in 1949 Autorama event, making a staggering entrance on the market. The actual name derives from the French language phrase de la ville or de ville which means literally of the town, signifying an urban vehicle cut with a division between the passenger and driver compartments.

DeVille model was built on a Cadillac Sixty Special chassis and featured a dummy air-scoop, chrome trim around front wheel openings, and a one-piece windshield and rear glass. The interior was mostly black color and trimmed in gray leather, including the headliner, in order to match the roof color.

The car was equipped with a telephone in the glove compartment, a vanity case and a secretarial pad in the rear armrest. Power windows and highly decorative chrome interior trim contributed to the overall appearance greatly.

The Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville was developed in the 1949 model year. Along with the Buick Roadmaster Riviera, and the Oldsmobile 98 Holiday, it was among the first pillarless hardtop coupes ever built. Priced at $3,496 the total cost was similar as for Series 62 convertible, not to mention it came with power windows as standard equipment. The model was luxuriously trimmed, with leather upholstery and chrome 'bows' in the headliner to simulate the ribs of a convertible top.

People were fascinated with the design of the Series 62 Coupe de Ville, and bought 2,150 units in the first year. The result was lagging in comparison to expected results, however with DeVille brand gaining popularity that fact changed the following year. In 1950 sales more than doubled to 4507 units, while in 1951 sales doubled again to 10,241 units.

Model performance

The same year chrome script appeared on the rear roof pillar for the first time, designed to create a greater difference from the Series 62 Club Coupe. In 1956 the Series 62 Coupe de Ville was joined by the Series 62 Sedan de Ville, Cadillac's first standard production 4-door hardtop. With 41,732 sold, it was only natural move that the Coupe de Ville and Sedan de Ville were moved to their own separate series in 1959, the Series 6300, being joined by a De Ville convertible in 1964.

The 1959 Cadillac is famous and known worldwide for its huge sharp tailfins with dual bullet tail lights, two distinctive rooflines and roof pillar configurations, new jewel-like grille patterns and matching deck lid beauty panels. Engine output was an even 325 hp (242 kW) from the 390 cu in (6.4 L) engine. The De Ville Series had script nameplates on the rear fenders which stood out as brand characteristic. Standard equipment included power brakes, power steering, automatic transmission, back-up lamps, windshield wipers, two-speed wipers, wheel discs, outside rearview mirror, vanity mirror, oil filter, power windows and two way power seats.

Plain fender skirts covered the rear wheels and 4-doors were available in either four-window or six-window hardtop configurations. Over 53,000 De Villes were sold in their first year as a separate series, accounting for roughly 37% of all Cadillacs sold in United States. General Motors President Charles E. Wilson used a prototype "Coupe de Ville" until 1957 when he presented it to his secretary. The previously mentioned car was still in use in 1976, when it was retired.

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