Cadillacs At The Gilmore, Part II

It occurred to me recently that I’ve only used about one-third of the pictures my friend Jayson Coombes took at the Gilmore this past September. So here we go, for another round! Like before, this is pretty much visual, with little to no text. Enjoy!

1983 Cadillac Seville.

1983 Cadillac Seville interior. Very yacht club.

See you on the dock, Senator…

1975 Coupe de Ville.

Long, low and wide!

I love white leather with blue trim. Perhaps you’ve noticed.

1972 Coupe de Ville.

1972 Coupe de Ville.

Coupe de Ville interior in saddle tan.

1976 Eldorado in Jennifer Blue, a color offered in 1975 but not 1976.

This must have been special ordered in this color. Back then, Cadillac would do custom colors, known as ‘paint to sample’.

1977 Sedan de Ville. Downsized but still a beauty.

Look at that red leather. Gaw-juss!

In 1977, the Sedan de Ville once again had a B-pillar, having been a four-door hardtop exclusively since 1971.

1989 Cadillac Brougham. Although heavily restyled in 1980, it was still largely the 1977 beneath, save for the Olds 307 under the hood.

Next time, we’ll be going back into the ’50s and ’60s, with fins, fins fins. So stay tuned for Part III!


19 Replies to “Cadillacs At The Gilmore, Part II”

  1. John C.

    Interesting that the 72 and 75 Coupe De Villes are so different despite being of the same generation. The switch from hardtop to opera window that I believe had to do with rollover standards. Also notice the completely different dashboards, wonder if that has to do with the dual airbags GM put in a few of their big cars around then. People talk how much bean counters were going after trim quality and there is evidence for that, but Caddy must have been spending a fortune to meet standards, some of which never took effect.

    • CJinSD

      Interesting how the ‘heavy restyling’ of the 1980 Sedan de Ville left it looking almost exactly like the 1977 Sedan de Ville. Did the tooling wear out, or did the aero improvements really justify changing everything imperceptibly?

      • John C.

        Interesting that there have been multiple restylings of the BMW 7 series since over the last 31 years and it still looks more like the 1987 than the 1986 does

        Interesting that their have been multiple restylings of the Audi A6 in the last 21 years and it still looks more like the 1998 than the 1997 does.

        Neither of the above is really a criticism just that the company likes the look and is reticent to change. The 80 Caddy restyle took some weight out and improved aerodynamics. These incremental improvements were important to try to negate coming power declines. The MB W126 from W116 transition the same year had exactly the same goals and the result was similarly incremental. In none of the cases was the dies wearing out an issue.

        • CJinSD

          “Interesting that there have been multiple restylings of the BMW 7 series since over the last 31 years and it still looks more like the 1987 than the 1986 does.”

          Apparently we don’t occupy the same solar system. The 2003 E65 7-series looks more like a Pontiac Aztek than it does an E32. The E32, on the other hand, was pretty evolutionary in every way.

          The W126 was a radical break from the W116. You can tell a model is revolutionary instead of evolutionary when the existing buyers take time to adjust, and the US press kept talking about how the W116 would go down as the last real Mercedes-Benz.

          There are certainly other examples of cars that were quite new but looked like out going models. Usually it is the result of a vehicle staying popular so long that a new model is needed for regulatory reasons relating to safety standards. Think Mercedes Benz G-class, or a recent Jeep Wrangler revamp. I can’t think of another three year old car that was given such an elaborate facelift which barely registered even when the new and old models were side by side. The 1980 Sedan de Ville changed names without changing appearance right through 1989. For its final three Brougham years, it received a perceptible facelift that probably didn’t require the body stamping retooling that had been performed when the car was popular and only three years old. Odd.

          • John C.

            CJ, what precisely was the radical break of the W126, more rubber side cladding?. Suspension was the same. The V8 went aluminum , lost power from even the much detuned late 4.5 V8. The transition to the aluminum V8 proved unreliable until MB fixed it 4 years later. This might sound awfully familiar to Cadillac owners. I understand that Caddy bad and MB good is central to your automotive worldview, but it was a difficult time for all and MB engineers did not have any more magic bullets than Cadillacs

          • CJinSD

            The W126 was Mercedes-Benz’ first car where styling was dictated by aerodynamicists. It was the first one with the high decklid aero profile. It was the first one where aerodynamics were used for more than fighting lift, reducing windnoise, and keeping the windows clean. The corrugated plastic trim was an obvious break from the restrained chrome trim of the W116, something more associated with Fiat Panda city cars than executive sedans. People were shocked by it, whereas people needed to be told the 1980 Cadillac was any different from the 1979.

            As for the aluminum engines, Mercedes-Benz replaced the single row timing chains with dual row timing chains free of charge, making their first aluminum V8s are durable as their earlier iron block V8s. Maybe that’s why their good reputation survived their attempts at saving fuel.

          • John C.

            “Dictated by aerodynamicists” ha. More like it is too bad Friedrich Geiger who did the W116 and all the cool stuff back to the 30s has retired and now we have that annoying foreigner Sacco with all his rubber side cladding. Better tell him over and over not to eff it up. Bet they wish they had kept telling him that through the W140.

            Again a strong resemblance to Bill Mitchel being gone from GM/Cadillac.

          • Carmine

            If an 80 and 79 Cadillac look exactly the same to you, perhaps I can recommend an ophthalmologist that can help you with your eye problems……

            Meanwhile “the finest motorcar in the world” still looked like it did in 1966……(Her Majesty’s Garbage Scowl the Rolls Royce Silver Sadist) but hey……..

          • CJinSD

            The taillights increased in size and the front turn signals migrated to beneath the headlights. What do I win? When such cars lined both sides of Clifton Avenue, those would have been the cues that you had this year’s model in 1980, which is odd when the car was comprehensively reskinned. Nobody ever confused a 380SEL with a 450SEL, nor did they confuse a W116 300SD with a W126 300SD.

          • Carmine

            So you comparing compete model changeovers to a re-fresh?

            What is the point your trying to make here again?

            No one would confuse a 450SEL with 380SEL? Wow no shit Sherlock, just like no one would confuse 1976 deVille with a 1977 deVille in the same way that no one would confuse a 1984 deVille and a 1985 deVille? Did you just discover the difference between a new model change over and a mid year re-fresh?

            Can you tell an 1983 S-class from a 1989 one? Flush headlights and headlight wipers? What do I win?

            I don’t get some people that come across a Cadillac article and always have to make up perceived fake grievance for the sake of it.

            And yes to answer your other question, the aerodynamic drag of all the full size cars was decreased significantly with the 1980 re-style.

          • CJinSD

            Put down the pipe Carmine. The arguments you’re now attributing to me are yours and John’s. I would never suggest that the ’80 Cadillac facelift had anything in common with the change from the W116 to the W126. That was John. I would never say it an obvious change at all. That was you when you said I needed corrective vision to miss how radically different the ’80 Cadillac was from the ’79. What I said was what I meant, which was that GM changed body tooling for a bunch of cars that hard been in production for three years without changing the way they looked in any meaningful way. I asked why they did it. You two responded like you were the ones who made the decisions that took Cadillac from being the luxury car in the USA to being a joke in less than a decade.

        • Carmine

          You wind Americas Favorite Desert topping, DRANO…….it may look like it says “poison”, but trust me, you can put it on ice cream too……you can barely tell the difference between this and Hershey’s,

  2. arbuckle

    F*ck it. I like the Slantbacks. The engines that went into about 85% of them are unfortunate, but that’s a darn good design.

  3. Disinterested-Observer

    ‘laca ‘laca ‘laca ‘laca ‘laca ‘laca ‘laca ‘laca ‘laca ‘laca aha
    hush that fuss
    e’reybody move to tha back of tha bus

    Red on white or white on red. Goddamn!

  4. George Denzinger

    Of this selection presented, sign me up for the ’77 SdV. Maybe the ’75, just because I like blue.

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays/Happy New Year/Happy Solstice, Tom! See you on FB.

  5. Glenn Kramer


    The ’76 Eldorado also came with black wheel covers, the blue on the car above is custom, note both circles were painted Jennifer blue, so the trick of using ’77-’78 “stick on” appliques for color (center only, outer ring uncolored) wouldn’t work. Pretty impressive.

    • Tom Klockau Post author

      Yep, you’re absolutely right Glenn. The color keyed wheel discs are custom too. Nice touch. I love them, but it must have been a major pain when you lost one to a pothole or curb.

  6. Glenn Kramer


    It was…I remember about $75 from the dealer in ’76, the covers stuck out beyond the tire, so were very susceptible to damage from curbs, etc. The ’76 cover was unique (both rims colored black), so for a while, the dealer was the only option.


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