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15,000 Miles and Minty: 1979 Cadillac Coupe deVille

History will not be kind to the Cadillac Division and most of the cars they produced in the eighties and early nineties.  The division entered that era as the producer of some of the finest cars on the road.  Then came the Cimarron and a generation of front-wheel drive cars that left a lot to be desired.  Many consider Cadillac’s deVille rear-wheel-drive coupes and sedans from 1977 through 1979 to be the high-water mark for traditional Cadillacs.  These cars still exuded the quality and ride that the brand was famous for.  If you would like to add one of these beautiful barges to your garage, then take a look at the car our faithful reader T.J. has located.  This 1979 Cadillac Coupe deVille for sale on Craigslist in Federal Way, Washington is a fine example of the marque.  With just 15,000 miles and a fresh respray, is this minty Cadillac worth $22,500?

The designers at Cadillac performed a small miracle when they were charged with the task of redesigning the fifth-generation Sedan deVille and Coupe deVille.  With fuel economy standards heavily influencing their work, they managed to at once shorten the car by nine inches, narrow it by four inches, and shed hundreds of pounds of weight in the process.  While the ride wasn’t quite as leviathan plush without all that weight, the cars rode and drove quite well for the time.  The interior room also grew due to their raising the greenhouse in both cars.  Under the hood was Cadillac’s smooth 425 cubic inch V-8.   Sales skyrocketed as a result.

1978 and 1979 saw refinements and improvements in the cars.  Many of these were cosmetic, but Cadillac soon began to add more engine options.  This would end up getting to a point of ridiculousness later in the car’s production run.  Customers would eventually be offered everything from a Buick V-6 to an Oldsmobile diesel V-8.  Thankfully the 7.0-liter Cadillac engine managed to live on until 1979.  Many Cadillac enthusiasts consider 1979 to be the high-water mark of Cadillac before corporate decision-makers began to damage the brand’s reputation.  Losing the Cadillac V-8 was more than just a symbolic loss.  It was a great engine designed specifically for the luxury car.

The car you see here is a 1979 model.  According to the seller, the car lived the majority of its life in Texas.  The seller is the third owner, and both the seller and the second owner enjoyed the car for very short periods.  During all of that time, the car has accumulated a mere 15,000 miles.  It came well equipped with such options as a leather interior, split power front seats, and a factory AM/FM/CB radio with an 8-track tape player.  The unique exterior color is listed as Light Basil Firemist.  While everything other than worn items are original to the car, the unique exterior paint was refinished a short time ago.

The impeccable pictures of the interior give evidence that this car spent the majority of its life garaged.  From the front seat to the back seat, the leather is free from cracks, discoloration, and there is almost no evidence of wear whatsoever.  The only imperfection seen is some delaminating of the trim cloth.  Sagging headliners and trim cloth was a regular thing for cars of this era due to deteriorating glue.  Some work to remove the panels shown and likely the headliner for re-gluing would bring this car back to top form inside.

Under the hood, which was aluminum for that year, is the previously mentioned 7.0-liter Cadillac engine.  This engine put out 180HP and 320 Lb. Ft. of torque in a most locomotive-like fashion.  While smaller than previous behemoth Cadillac engines, this powerplant moved these 4,000-4,400 lb. beasts around with authority.  This engine was backed up by a 3-speed automatic transmission.  The seller tells us that the carburetor has been rebuilt last fall and the engine was treated to a thorough tune-up.

The only hang-up here is price.  One can’t help but like this car.  From the awesome green paint and green leather interior to the low mileage, it is a car that would provide a new owner with a lot of enjoyment.  Prices are rising for these de Villes.  The question is if they are at $22,500 for exceptional examples or if we have a way to go yet.

Do you think this 1979 Coupe deVille represents the high-water mark for traditional Cadillacs?  Why or why not?  Please let us know your thoughts in the comments.


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Very nice. This is a great example of big American luxury cars of the day. Who doesn’t like, or at least respect, a car painted Light Basil Firemist (kudos to the person who was in charge of naming the paint colors).

    Like 10
    • Stan

      Sing it Bob 🎶 🎹

      You’ll never find your gold on a sandy beach, you’ll never drill for oil on a city street I know you’re looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks but there ain’t no Coup de Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box… 🎶 🎵

      Like 1
  2. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    This Caddy I would love to drive to Pompano Beach Florida. The color would fit right on A1A going to the clubs. This is beautiful Caddy with 15,000 miles! Wow but the price maybe a bit high. But look what you get. I doubt you would find another like this. Another ride in my dream garage!!! 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 5
  3. Stan

    Right on 🐻🐻‍❄🧸
    And as Jeff points out its got the big Cadillac mill underhood.

    Sing it now … 🎶

    You’ll never find your gold on a sandy beach
    You’ll never drill for oil on a city street
    I know you’re looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks
    But there ain’t no Coup de Ville hiding at the bottom of a CrackerJack box..🎶🎹

    Like 4
  4. Grant

    Riding in these cars was a dream. Like sleeping on a cloud. Smooth, quiet, nothing like it anymore. Of course, they were a handful to actually drive, though most who owned them were really not the greatest drivers anyway.

    Like 4
  5. Cooter Cooter Member

    I can smell the Aqua Velva from here!

    Like 6
  6. John Wright

    Bought a 79 Coupe de Ville de Elegance brand new off of the showroom floor. Finest car I ever owned. Sure wish I still had it. It was jet black with beige coffin interior.

    Like 5
  7. John

    Had a 79 Coupe in Silver, the paint just about washed off the car down to the primer. It was a very comfortable car that drove and handled like a Cadillac should, the paint was a disappointment. As far as the last great Cadillac I’d have to say the last Brougham- had a 93 that was just a pleasure to own in every way, big, rear wheel drive, V8, fender skirts (albeit ‘mini’ skirts compared to older Cads) and plenty of chrome and stainless. Great car

    Like 3
  8. Bub

    Just gorgeous. Love that radial(?) thermometer on the side mirror.
    Park it beside the Kawasaki dirt bike.

    Like 4
  9. Zen

    I had a 77 Coupe De Ville in very nice shape from 1995-2013. It had 56k miles on it when I got it, and it was garaged all of it’s life. I sold it with 82k miles on it, for the same price I paid in 1995. They’re very nice cars for sure, and to find a low mileage one is great, but he will be waiting a long time to find anyone willing to pay that much for it. There’s just no market, no demand for them. And this one doesn’t have any rare options, like the d’Elegance package (pillow-top seats) or a factory moon roof. I hope it finds a good home where it’s preserved and enjoyed for what it is.

    Like 1
  10. Stan

    My songs 🎵 keep getting deleted from the comments 😲😒

    Like 3
  11. Greg B Greg B Member

    Very nice find!

    Like 1
  12. Robert Levins

    I love this car – and I think it’s worth at least $15,000.00 – $20,000.00. The thing is – for me, is for that kind of money I think I’ll hold out for a ‘ de elegance model. The interior is way better, cushier, more plush. The 425ci engine was an “ award winner “. Excellent performance AND fuel economy. I’m sold. Good luck. Nice article.

    Like 0
  13. David

    I remember the 79 Cadillac Coupe de Ville and the Sedan awesome cars I worked for the owner of a Cadillac Dealership got to drive both awesome cars very smooth Automobiles

    Like 2
  14. Cooter914 Cooter914 Member

    I cannot not pick that nit. While a very lovely example, it is no longer an unrestored survivor when it has a fresh respray.

    Otherwise, I love it. I happened to own its cousin that was a rose mist colored crew cab. Best Road Car Evar………

    Like 0

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