In 1970, Cadillac first offered a power sunroof on selected models. Up until that time, sunroofs on American cars had been rather limited. It was available on the Thunderbird in 1960, and I imagine there were other instances, but by and large it was not common.
Today, sunroofs are no big deal. Heck, you can get them on just about any 2018-19 model, from a Civic to a Rolls. But back in the early ’70s, they tended to be limited to premium European cars. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar and the like.
But in 1970 Cadillac offered a power sunroof. Actually, a few 1969 Eldorados were produced with them, initially. But for model year ’70, they were officially catalogued, and a nifty little brochure promoting the option was handed out to showroom browsers.
1970 was a great year for Cadillac. 238,745 Cadillacs were built for the model year, setting a division record. And why not? They were attractive, comfortable, powerful. And the Cadillac name still had plenty of cachet.
The Coupe de Ville had a good year in particular, with 76,043 of the $5,884 luxocruisers built. But what’s a Cadillac without options? I imagine many of them went out the door for seven grand plus.
For those who selected the sunroof, a switch was installed to the left of the steering column, just above the climate control. The automatic climate control was another pricey option, at $516, but I imagine many new Cadillacs had them. Other popular options included cruise control ($95), rear window defogger )$26-37, depending on the model), Twilight Sentinel ($37) and leather upholstery ($156-184, again depending on the model).
The featured car is painted in Sauterne metallic, paint code #64. I’ve seen many 1970 Cadillacs, in person and online, and had never seen this color before. With the matching vinyl roof and leather interior, it’s pretty sharp. There was a veritable cornucopia of color choices. San Mateo Red. Byzantine Gold. Phantom Gray. Nottingham Green Firemist. Cinnamon Firemist. Chateau Mauve Firemist. It was truly a different time!
I’ve always loved the styling of the 1970 Cadillacs. True, it was just a mild refreshing of the 1969 model, but I think those minor revisions made it look even better. The bigger taillights (although the lower lens was just a reflector), the new grille, the wheel covers, etcetera. Just pleasing lines and details.
The sunroof was a $626 option, considerable when the least expensive Cadillac was the Calais two-door hardtop, at $5,637. Although you couldn’t get a Calais with the sunroof, as the Calais could not be equipped with a factory vinyl top.
Availability was limited to the Fleetwood Eldorado, De Ville series (as long as they had the required vinyl roof), and Fleetwood Brougham. Although not strictly required for the sunroof option, the Six-Way power seat was recommended by Cadillac.
And each 1970 Cadillac was powered by the, ahem, powerful 472 CID V8, with 375 hp at 4400 rpm. Eldorados got even more oomph with a 500 CID eight with 400 hp. They might have been big, plush luxury cars, but they could giddy up with the best of them!
Note: Special thanks to Dave Smith for providing the pictures. Last week I ran across two of the photos in this article, and posted them on my page. Turns out Dave saved the auction pics from 2015 and I was able to see even more of this most excellent Cadillac. At which point, I knew I would have to write it up!