Area 51

Cadillac De Ville Convertible 1970


The name “DeVille” is derived from the French de la ville or de ville meaning “of the town”. In French coach building parlance, a coupé de ville, from the French couper (to cut) i.e. shorten or reduce, was a short four-wheeled closed carriage with an inside seat for two and an outside seat for the driver and this smaller vehicle was intended for use in the town or city (de ville). Enough of that French stuff –  Cadillac first used the name in 1949, well before Ford’s ‘Town Car’ model, and it certainly was not a short cut of any kind.

In 1970 a facelift included a grille with 13 vertical blades set against a delicately cross-hatched rectangular opening. The bright metal headlamp surrounds were bordered with body color to give it a more refined look. Narrow vertical “vee” tail lights were seen again, but now had additional smaller V-shaped bottom lenses pointing downward below the bumper. Wheel discs and winged crest fender tip emblems were new. Exterior distinctions came from a DeVille script above the rear end of the belt molding and from the use of long rectangular back up light lenses set into the lower bumper as opposed to the smaller square lens used on the Calais. A new feature was a body color border around the edge of the vinyl top covering, when this option was ordered. This was one of the first cars to feature the radio aerial in the glass. 1970 was the last year that DeVille offered a convertible body style, so this is special.

Finished in San Mateo metallic red with buckskin interior, this beautiful low mileage example was purchased from a private collection in New York State and has the sublime 472 ci V8 – (7.8 litre). The black and chrome box under the passenger side dash is actually a tissue dispenser, nowadays it would have antiseptic wipes no doubt!

Of course, Elvis had one these.

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Featured in Classic American Magazine August 2017

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