The Cadillac DeVille is a classic full-size luxury auto that was in production from 1958 to 2005 with model years 1959–2005. The DeVille began as a trim level on the 1949 Coupe de Ville, which was a two-door hardtop without pillars. After the 2005 model year, the Cadillac DeVille became the DTS. Therefore, those who want something similar to this vehicle but newer should check out that model instead.
Before the First DeVille
As mentioned, the DeVille actually began as a Coupe de Ville, which appeared in the 1949 Motorama. It used the Cadillac Sixty Special chassis with a dummy air scoop, one-piece windshield, one-piece rear glass, and chrome trim on the front wheel openings. Inside, there was gray leather throughout. The glove compartment even had a phone. The armrest had a secretarial pad and vanity case, and the interior had plenty of chrome trim.
The first generation of the Cadillac DeVille lasted from 1959 to 1960, standing out with its sharp tailfins featuring dual bullet taillights. These paired with the distinctive roofline, deck lid beauty panels, and jewel-like grille patterns. The first generation DeVille had a 325-horsepower 6.4-liter engine, plus script nameplates situated on the rear fender. It came standard with power steering, power brakes, backup lamps, an automatic transmission, wheel discs, windshield wipers with two speeds, an exterior rearview mirror, power windows, two-way power seats, and a vanity mirror. It could have four or six windows.
The second generation was also very short, running from 1961 to 1964. This model year had some restyling, including a grille that slanted backward and sat between the dual headlamps. The windshield glass did not wrap around and was by forward-slanting pillars. The backlights got crisp angular lines. The front had series designation scripts to set them apart and standard features remained very similar. The air suspension system from the first generation that had been prone to problems was swapped with rubberized coil springs in front and rare. The dual exhaust also left the lineup.
Moving up to the third generation, which lasted from 1965 to 1970, the DeVille kept its wheelbase despite the redesign. The tailfins got a slightly downward cant. Instead of a rounded appearance, this Cadillac had sharp body lines. The rear bumper was then straight with vertical lamp clusters. The headlight pairs also become vertical instead of horizontal, which led to a wider grille. Some newly standard features included safety belts throughout and lamps for the rear passenger, glove, and luggage compartments.
The fourth generation of the Cadillac DeVille was from 1971 to 1976. It set an interior width record that was not broken until the 1990s. Due to the increased dimensions, Cadillac was able to place the squarish headlamps a bit wider apart. The grille was a V-shaped piece with an egg-crate-style insert. There was a Cadillac crest on the nose and a horizontal beltline molding.
This was followed by the fifth generation in 1977, the sixth in 1985, the seventh in 1994, and the final eighth generation in 2000.