AJ’s Car of the Day: 1961 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

AJ’s Car of the Day: 1961 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Car: Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Year: 1961

What makes it special: DeVille was originally a trim level and later a separate model produced by Cadillac. The first car to bear the name was the 1949 Coupe de Ville, a pillarless two-door hardtop body style with a trim level above that of the Series 62 luxury coupe. While the 1961 model looked entirely different than the ’60, the biggest change was a new front frame that lowered the tubular X-member chassis to give more height and head room. 

What made it famous: Cadillac was restyled and re-engineered for 1961. The new grille slanted back towards both the bumper and the hood lip and sat between dual headlamps. New forward slanting front pillars with non-wraparound windshield glass were seen. The revised backlight treatment had crisp lines with thin pillars on some models and heavier semi-blind quarter roof posts on others. Standard equipment were power brakes, power steering, automatic transmission, dual reverse lights, windshield washer, dual speed wipers, wheel discs, plain fender skirts, outside rearview mirror, vanity mirror and oil filter. For 1961, the basic engine was the 390, delivering 325 bhp at 4,800 rpm with a 10.5:1 compression ratio; the sole available transmission was General Motors’ 4-speed Hydra-Matic. A 2.94:1 axle ratio came standard.

Why I would want one: It’s got incredible style, and one of the last years of larger rear fins.

Fun fact: 4-barrel induction systems were now the sole power choice and dual exhaust were no longer available.

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