5,000-lb. Survivor: 1976 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

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The OPEC oil embargo of 1973 left most car buyers scrambling for more fuel-efficient alternatives. I say most because Cadillac was the exception. In 1976, they set a sales record of more than 309,000 automobiles, beating their own 1973 tally. And about a third of those were the opulent Coupe De Ville, like the seller’s car. This one looks to be a nice survivor and the odometer reading may be less than 28,000 miles. Located in scenic San Francisco, California, this sharp Caddy is available here on craigslist for $9 OBO (we think the seller means $9,000). Our appreciation goes to Barn Finder “numskal” for another interesting tip from yesterday.

The De Ville Series dominated Cadillac sales for the back half of the 20th Century. The cars were larger and more luxurious than ever by the time the fourth generation was released in 1971. The OPEC thing likely caught Detroit off guard, and they generally learned something from it – that they need to start building leaner, smaller products. So, the De Villes and other big GM cars went on a diet for 1977. They were smaller, lighter, and better on gas while maintaining the kinds of passenger space buyers had become accustomed to.

So this 1976 Coupe De Ville is one of the last of the line before the big diet began. We don’t know the history of the automobile, but if the mileage claims in legit, then this car has spent more time in the garage than out on the road. The seller describes its condition as “fair” which may be a bit pessimistic. The body is original, and the body, vinyl top, and interior seem to have held up.

Some newer stuff resides under the hood with the gigantic 500 cubic inch V8. That includes a new water pump, battery, radiator, and a new set of rubber donuts all around. We’re told the gigantic people mover starts “right up” and everything works as it should. If big and bountiful is your thing, can you go wrong with one of these mid-1970s Caddys?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Redbaran70

    The $9 in the ad is the estimated cost/mile, given that this beast likely gets 0.5 miles/gallon…! LOL

    Makes me remember my grandfather, he loved is big caddies!

    Like 9
    • Stan

      🎶 🎹 🎤
      Baby we can talk all nite, but that ain’t getting us nowhere..
      I’ve told you everything I possibly can, there’s nothing left inside of me..
      and baby you can cry all nite, but that’ll never change the way that I feel.
      The snow is really piling up outside.. 🎶 🎵

      Like 8
  2. Zen

    The pictures are kinda far away, it looks like there’s been rust repair at the bottom of the vinyl top, and probably at the bottom of the driver’s side quarter panel, the lines don’t look right. I think this car has body rot issues. Still, if it’s not that bad, and the price is right, it would be a fun car to drive.

    Like 4
  3. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel_Cadillac_DivaMember

    These big Caddies of the early through the mid 70s were extremely prone to rust. The only way I know of to keep them rust free for 48 years is to put them in a climate controlled garage or plastic air bubble and never take it our on the road. When I got mine in the late 1990s it was “rust free” but within two years the rear quarters were rusting out as was the hood.
    Very prone to rust.

    Like 10
    • The Cadillac Kid

      Hand washing them with a little kerosene in the water will do miracles at delaying rust.

      Like 1
  4. Frank Sumatra

    I cannot picture parking this on any street in San Francisco.

    P. S. Looking forward to “The Streets of San Francisco” jokes, buddy boy.

    Like 8
    • RICK W

      OK! 😁 🤣 I Left My Heart in San Francisco 💔 years ago! And THIS Cadillac still calls to me. BUT I never will forget Jeannette MacDonald standing in the RUINS (of what Cadillac later became)! 🤮

      Like 3
      • Frank Sumatra

        I saw a “Streets” episode being filmed in Golden Gate park. I saw Mike Stone and Steve Keller roll up and hop out of their car five times. Also saw George C. Scott filming on a side street in North Beach, and once sat next to Grace Slick at a bar in North Beach. My brushes with greatness in the Bay Area.

        Like 3
      • RMac

        Boy talk about opposite ends of the automotive spectrum 1957 Victoria then this 76 coupe de Ville WOW 🤯

        Like 1
  5. angliagt angliagtMember

    I really hate it when they put a price like that ($9).
    I’m always tempted to call and say – “You want $9 for it?”,
    “Will you take $5 for it?”. They’d probably hang up on you.
    Before you buy a car like this,be sure that it’ll fit
    in your garage.I bought a ’72 Buick LeSabre, and found
    out that it would fit in my garage,with only inches to spare.
    Found out that when it was in the garage I couldn’t open
    the small door enough to get in.

    Like 5
  6. Robert Levins

    A neighbor of ours had one just like this one, in the’80s and’90s. It was a 1976 Coupe de Ville and she used to “gun” that coupe all over, with the windows down and her long hair “whipping around “ in the wind ! She sure didn’t CARE about fuel economy or prices. I’d love to have this car and “gun” the thing to my hearts content – all over the place ! Just no “hair “ to whip around! Anyway – this car is TOTALLY worth it! Even if it needs a little TLC , which isn’t that much, I say – “Go for it !”. Because I would if I could. Nice article.

    Like 4
  7. D-Nice

    Do you have to be Carnival Cruiseship certified to drive this Boat??

    Like 1
  8. sixone

    Somebody mentioned rot around the bottom edges of the cabriolet roof and I concur, I think so. A little deeper than surface rust, but not through and through I imagine – if they’re like most of them. The photos are far away, but I’d guess that’s more to fit the whole car in the picture frame. Yes, it needs a whole bunch of close-ups imo. If somebody can advertise a price of $9 while meaning $9,000, they can surely state 28,000 miles meaning 128,000 or more especially when the odometer can’t register anything above 99,999. That said, the interior does not look like a 1976 vehicle with 128k or 228 or 328… The driver’s door card isn’t photo’d, but you can see the armrest isn’t cracked or broken. That’s good. Also, the rubber trim parts between the bumpers and body are still there and that means more good than bad. They look to be the original off-color parts too. So, because of the photo quality and quantity too, you have to check it out in person. I would do a frame-off restoration on it being it’s a coupe, but it ends there for me. I want to start with either triple black or black/black w/red leather. I wouldn’t mind no cabriolet roof too, but that usually indicates the car is a Calais and missing important options. I digress, this car is okay, not bad. That’s about it. If I were the seller I’d edit the advert to correct the price, make an issue one way or the other what the actual mileage is, take several more photos including close ups.

    Like 4
  9. benica

    48 years old….going to have some issues and flaws for nit pickers.
    But enhancing the pictures…driver’s side…below the vinyl roof where the left fender meets…rust spots. Lot of work to repair that area.
    Asking price is high but then again…sellers always ask for more that something is really worth and buyers want to pay less…
    Fair price??? $4K~$5K range..

    Like 3
  10. CCFisher

    GM’s downsizing program was not a result of the OPEC oil embargo. “Project 77” was approved in 1972, more than a year before the embargo, making GM leadership look clairvoyant. It was probably the last time they read the tea leaves with such accuracy.

    Like 2
  11. Rick

    Selling it cause they can’t afford to drive it in the most expensive state on the planet.

    Like 2
  12. John Jasper

    My Eldorado only gets 11.2 mpg and it’s way smaller than this so I can imagine the mpg on this land yacht.

    Like 2
  13. George Davis

    Bought one used many years ago. What a ride! The rust on the hood was a recurring problem. As time went on, rust issues and developing mechanical problems overwhelmed the car and my wallet. It sure was fun while it lasted!

    Like 2
  14. Dan

    The cloth seats lost me…they look more than a little dirty.

    Like 0
  15. ClassicP

    I worked in my uncle’s gas station 75-77 and remember pumping gas into these unleaded only cars. It had a different smell I don’t know why but especially 76 cars using unleaded gas.

    Like 0

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