32k Mile Barn Find: 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille

Update 4/12/20 – The seller of this barn find Cadillac has dropped the price to $7,900 here on craigslist. Is that enough for this car to find a new home though?

From 6/28/19 – On the ever growing list of incredible things younger people will never experience, perhaps one of the most glorious is riding around in and/or driving a seventies luxury car.  There is no better way to tick of the miles on America’s roadways than being in the pillowy front seat of one these luxury barges as it floats down the road.  While nearly all of these beasts have gone to that scrapyard in the sky, reader Ikey H. has found for us a very original, low mileage 1976 Cadillac Coupe deVille on craigslist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  This 32,000 mile cream puff looks showroom new in almost every way.  Is it worth the $10,750 asking price to ride in style just one more time?

Frequent readers know of my love for big Cadillacs.  This affection goes back to my grandparent’s fire engine red 1973 Cadillac Coupe deVille complete with a white vinyl top and white leather interior.  Nostalgia for this beloved road missile has brought me to the point that I am occasionally scanning the various classifieds for a relatively reasonably priced replacement for that Cadillac of my youth.  One thing I have learned is that I am not the only one looking for a good seventies Caddy.  If I want to play, then I will have to pay.

While I’d really like a 1973 model for obvious reasons, Ikey H. has located one of the nicest seventies Cadillacs I have ever seen.  The story the seller tells us is that this Caddy is a one owner car that has just 32,240 miles on the odometer.  From the list of recently repaired items, I think it is safe to assume that the car has recently been pulled out of long term storage.  The repairs and replacements include new tires, brake lines, front rotors, wheel bearings, rear wheel cylinders, battery, spark plugs, and a complete set of hoses and belts.

In addition, the brake drums have been resurfaced, and both the gas tank and the radiator have been “redone.”  The tank has a new sending unit, and a fuel filter was placed in the line between it and the recently adjusted carburetor.  An oil and filter change tops off this long list of repairs and improvements.

As you can see from the pictures above and below, the car itself is nearly immaculate.  The interior is free from tears, and the dash and door panels lack the cracking that is so common in these cars.  As for the exterior, the seller lets us know that there are a few very small areas that show some rust bubbling, but they are noticeable only when you get a close up look.  For a 1976 GM car, that is astounding.  Rust and 1976 GM cars usually go together like peas and carrots.

A look under the hood reveals the massive 500 cubic inch V-8 that was loved by drivers for its smoothness and low end torque.  Producing around 200 horsepower, it was not the powerhouse it once was before emissions controls and catalytic converters.  However, it had more than enough grunt to push these 5,000 lb. beasts far past posted the speed limits of the time.  They could, as the old joke says, pass anything but a gas station.

The only problem I see with this car is the slightly tipped down front bumper and some panel misalignment in that portion of the car.  The passenger side looks fine, but whoever drove the car must have hit something on the driver’s side.  Perhaps this was why it was garaged for so many years.  A close inspection would be warranted, but I am sure you could fix this damage fairly easily.

All and all, it is an amazingly nice Cadillac.  The seller has obviously worked very hard to get the car back on the road no matter the expense.  Is it worth the price?  I think so.  Where are you going to find another one in this condition?  Is it the right car for me?  No, I am still holding out for a 1973.  This Coupe deVille is tempting though…

Does this red road missile do anything for you?  Would you proudly drive this one to your local cruise night?

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Comments

  1. Max

    As a Car Enthusiast in general and also a classic collector back in 2016 I bought ALL Original 1978 Coupe Deville in Bronze exterior colour with brown leather interior has 17K original miles It’s a beauty part of my current classic collection ! It’s a Garage Queen and No It’s Not for Sale just sharing passion for the Hobby !

    Like 4
  2. Ken Carney

    Very nice indeed! 32K miles and no fin
    rot! Used to see these here in Florida with the plastic filler panels either rotting
    away or missing in action. This thing just
    screams luxury. Here ya go Max! Buy this one and you’d have the makings of a
    really nice luxury car collection. Add this
    and a Lincoln and have it all!

    Like 5
  3. Phil Maniatty

    1976 is a milestone year for Cadillacs and all GM cars. This is the last year for the “big” cars, as everything was downsized for 1977.

    Like 7
    • Charles Weaver

      Yep. I will say I loved the next generation too. We had a 1978 Fleetwood Brougham that had every available option Cadillac offered at the time. I started driving in the winter of 1982 with a 1966 C10 Custom Chevy. The Fleetwood had been parked, in favor of a smaller Seville for mom and when I had a date my father let me take the barge!

      Two things come to mind. 1) The backseat was like a luxury, efficiency apartment and, 2) I proved several times we could get five teenagers in the trunk for the drive-in!

  4. Don

    Classic ’70s land yacht. :-)

    Like 1
    • Mark

      Worth every penny
      Personally I will ask $14-15000 – this is price is perfect
      I have 1989 brougham 4 door – 50.900 miles – I will never sell for $10.000

      Like 2
  5. Bill

    Zero effort steering, you can turn this tank with a pinky finger. Drove one around the shop when I was like 15 and I still remember it.

    Like 3
  6. don

    My mothers uncle in Schenectady NY. bought a brand new fire engine red 1973 Cadillac Coupe deVille with a white vinyl top and white leather interior too , so they always bring back fond memories for me as well . He was a retired doctor and a really eccentric guy ; when I was 13 I stayed over his house for a week . One day he said we were going to the store and he tossed the keys to me and said “you drive” ! I ended up driving him around that week. You can imagine how I felt driving that new Caddy around, but I must have looked foolish – I could probably have passed for a ten year old and had long hair too . The funny part was that he never asked me if I ever even drove a car before ! (I hadn’t )

    Like 7
  7. Will Fox

    Considering `76 model Devilles now bring upwards of $30K in the best condition, the price on this is a relative bargain! Mind you it’s not terribly loaded, but clean, damage-free from what I can see, and a very attractive color. I wouldn’t hesitate to take this on a weekend jaunt somewhere, and be in total comfort. Like steering your living room sofa down the road!

    Like 2
  8. Peter K

    This is a prime example of the land yacht cars that you still see today plying the roads on the deep south west. Lots of room inside to do what ever you want. Now if it was me I’d do something about that boat anchor motor to give it more pep.

    Like 2
  9. Justinx

    Technically this is a Cadillac Calais not a Coupe Deville. You can tell because it doesn’t have a hood ornament. Many owners added it like this example.

    Like 1
    • David Zornig

      It is a Coupe DeVille and not a Calais.
      The Calais had a model specific name badge of it’s own on the rear fender, where the above has the Coupe DeVille name badge.
      The CO9 full padded roof was optional on Coupe DeVille, but I suspect the above was an aftermarket version.
      Given the inconsistency of the belt line trim and the rippling it has suffered.
      It also has the 71C Magnan Ribbed Knit seat pattern, optional on DeVilles.
      Morgan Plaid was standard on Calais, with only Sierra Grain Vinyl as optional.
      I was the fleet manager at a Cadillac dealership in the `80s.

      Like 6
  10. Benvenito

    Love the Caddy, but the dude has to stop covering his collectors with plastic! Get a car cover that breathes!

    Like 2
  11. John Oliveri

    Needs a moonroof and white interior, proper cadi whitewalls and spokes to get me going, oh and a Barry White tape in the 8 track, then SOLD

    Like 4
  12. Barry Traylor

    For eating up the miles on a long trip on the interstate they can’t be beat.

    Like 2
  13. Del

    An identical twin to this car just sold at Auction here in Canada for 5 grand.

    Granted it had way more mileage than this but was immaculate. Looked identical to this one.

    5000 grand Canadian is about 3000 American

    Like 1
  14. Stevieg

    Justinx, this car is the DeVille, not the Calais. Calais has different, planner upholstery & doesn’t say the words “Coupe DeVille” on the rear quarter panels. I agree with you, it is not a car with a lot of “pop”, for a Cadillac, but it really is a Coupe DeVille.
    About a year ago I sold one of these. I bought it in Tucson. It was silver with a black back half vinyl top, padded of course, & a black leather interior. All it really needed was paint. The original paint was crisp from being in Tucson all it’s life. Interior was mint, good chrome, even the black vinyl on the top was good. I should have kept it & had it painted. It would have been a beauty!

    Like 3
  15. George Mattar

    I owned a 83 red coupe Denville. Red. Black leather in 2003. My dentist have it to me. Great car. I had to sell. No room and was moving 300 miles away. Some day.

    Like 1
  16. Brian J

    I come from a family of 9 kids. We had station wagons from 1959-1973, the last being a loaded 1973 Buick Estate Wagon. Once my dad no longer needed a wagon, his first car was a 1976 Caddy Sedan Deville, white padded over light blue. I wish I would have bought it and kept it.

    Like 1
  17. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    I bought one of these at auction a few years ago. It had overheated and had spewed rusty looking water all over the engine bay. I bought it for $175.00 replaced the radiator, water pump and thermostat then power washed and detailed the engine compartment at a cost of about $500.00 then sold it $2995.00
    God bless America

    Like 3
  18. Daniel

    Looking at this very nice example of 70’s Landyachting, I’m always asking me, what makes this type of car better than my 76 Pontiac Bonneville Brougham?
    It nearly looks the same – but the dashboard of my Bonni is much better looking I guess.
    Anyway a good price for this beautiful car. But I think, there are not enough lovers for this type of car left in the USA – nearly all want full efficiency, power and fast accelaration in their cramped cars, needing cameras for reverse drive. Laughable.
    By the way – the panoramic view of this cars is wonderful.

    Like 5
  19. Bob McK Member

    I really like this car. I may call and make an offer.

    Like 1
  20. Jonny

    This car makes me think of the movie Goodfellas with all the gangsters riding around in Coupe deVilles!

    • Stevieg

      It makes me think of Risky Business. Guido, the killer pimp, drove one of these.

  21. Stevieg

    Bob McK, if you aren’t in the area, I am. I would be willing to go look at the car, if you want. I love these boats too, but right now I don’t have the funds for it. I would be more than happy to look at it give you a fair assessment.

    • Bob Mck Member

      Thanks Stevie. I am really thinking about this one. I will sleep on it and make a decision tomorrow. The seller probably doesn’t want to be bothered on Easter.

      • Stevieg

        Fair enough. If you would like me to go check it out for you, call me at (414)940-1392. I would be happy to go look her over.

    • Bob McK Member

      StevieG. Thank you very much for your offer. I tried to sleep on this, but was up at 3 looking at all of the pictures. The bottom of the car has Wisconsin rust, the bumper ends have not been replaced and will not last much longer. The new tires are incorrect and the correct ones would cost $1200. Plus I would have to fly up (no flying for me right now) or have it shipped for another $1600. So, as much as I love this car and really want it. I need to hold onto my cash for now. Perhaps it will still be for sale after this virus and the economic downturn passes.

      • Stevieg

        No problem. The offer stands for anyone who is out of the area that might want an open minded second opinion. I am laid off work and bored outta my gourd lol. Get me outta the house to look at a Cadillac!

  22. Bob McK Member

    Thank you. If I am still wanting this tomorrow, I will call you.

  23. Steve

    Wow. Everyone in here is saying those cars are high dollar. I must reconsider the worth, I bought a 1976 sedan Seville for 350 bucks at an auction ,, I repaired the issues and now it’s a daily driver. With 89000 miles.
    Mine jay show room perfect but it was parked in garage for 29 years until I bought it. The lady had passed away and the car was in estate until the gamy member passed away as well. The the estate lawyer has an auction. And bam. I have a caddy.

  24. Steve

    Wow. Everyone in here is saying those cars are high dollar. I must reconsider the worth, I bought a 1976 sedan Seville for 350 bucks at an auction ,, I repaired the issues and now it’s a daily driver. With 89000 miles.
    Mine isn’t show room perfect but it was parked in garage for 29 years until I bought it. The lady had passed away and the car was in estate until the family member passed away as well. The the estate lawyer had an auction. And bam. I have a caddy.

    Like 1
  25. edward thron

    I had one of these back in the 90’s , yellow with tan vinyl top . The cloth interior always felt like it was wet and it is so low and the rear overhang so long you need to be careful of approach and departure angles . Great highway cruiser , killer A/C and heat and dead reliable .

  26. Robert White

    The 1976 Limo was a good ride but extremely heavy when loaded with Punk band mates. My band rented the same car in the Limo version back in the late 70s just before the Limo Rental companies started dumping them on the open market because they were too old.

    Nice car if you don’t mind the gas bills.

    Bob

  27. BB

    Nice car with 32,000 original miles hmmm? Crusty door seams, grimy high mileage looking engine compartment.

    • Tom Member

      Great Car. Actually been looking for one and want to buy one just like it (prefer a black vinyl top) but just can’t pull the trigger yet, wish I could. My Dad had one when new. Loved that car.

      I somewhat agree with the engine compartment BUT this could be a product of driving for quite a few years but not many miles, poor detailing during those years, poor storage techniques and the car does LIVE in WI. Lots of moisture, salt etc.

      I believe the mileage. Seats, pedals and steering wheel all appear as low USE = low mileage.

      Like 1

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