Luxurious Barn Find: 1974 Cadillac Coupe De Ville

The fourth generation of the De Ville series of the Cadillac, 1971 through 1976, would be the biggest ones yet and ultimately the last hurrah for the Detroit land yachts. The energy crisis of 1973 had buyers flocking to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, so even the big Cadillacs would get down-sized come 1977. As long as a city block, this 1974 Coupe De Ville looks to have been kept in a barn for years and it has clearly seen better days. It’s part of an estate and is located in Vansant, Virginia. The Caddy is available here on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $6,000, although you can submit an offer.

Cadillac’s famous De Ville was originally a trim level and later a separate model, with the name first appearing in 1949. The first Coupe de Ville was a pillarless 2-door hardtop with a prestige trim level above that of the Series 62. De Ville remained a part of the Cadillac line-up through 2005, after which it became known as the Cadillac DTS. By the time the 1974 models rolled out, the De Ville was as big or bigger than ever, contributed in part by the bumper extensions required to meet Federal safety standards for collision impact. For GM cars, 1974 was also the year of the mandatory starter interlock system which prevented their cars from being started without the seat belts locked in place. Air bags became optional equipment. The full effect of rising gasoline prices hadn’t yet caused Cadillac sales to take a tumble, as they still sold 242,000 total units that year, with nearly half or 112,000 of them being the Coupe De Ville, like the seller’s car.

This ’74 De Ville belonged to the seller’s father, who died leaving this car and a few others to be sold as part of his estate. We aren’t told how long the Caddy has been in the barn where the photos were taken, but we’re guessing a while since at least one tire has gone flat. Given that the surroundings are a dirt floor, that always has to make you wonder about the status of the undercarriage, although we don’t see any evidence of rust or critter damage.

The car is perhaps not as beautiful as the seller thinks given the amount of work that will be needed.  All the Tupperware that surrounds the massive rear bumper is either damaged or gone, possibly as a result of a small accident as the chrome parts do not appear to be aligned properly. You might get the red paint on the front of the car to polish up nicely, but the everything south of the back glass is going to need a repaint. The landau vinyl top seems to be okay.

The interior at best is very dirty and stained and the matching red upholstery looks really faded. The driver’s door panel is going to need some work and the steering wheel is a mess. These cars were heavily dependent on power accessories to do all the work, so if any of this has gone bad over the years, you might have some expensive wiring issues to fix. But that’s just speculation.

Under the hood should be a rather anemic 472 cubic inch V8 which was only good for 205 horsepower to push a 5,000 lb. car. 1974 was perhaps the low point for Detroit in terms of detuning engines for improved emissions and/or better fuel consumption, but these cars were gas guzzlers even when new. The seller doesn’t know if the De Ville runs or not, meaning there have been no recent attempts to start it up. The title says it has 7,300 miles, but the seller doubts that’s correct.

I was surprised to see that Hagerty pegs a Concours example of the 1974 Coupe De Ville at $30,000. Fair is $6,000, which is perhaps why the seller picked that amount for his B-I-N price. Given the unknowns of this car and what can be seen, is this Caddy worth a total restoration? Or if you really like these cars, would you be better off finding one that already runs?

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Comments

  1. Bigcat Member

    Dad’s last car was a 74 CDV, little more subdued in gold with brown vinyl top and gold leather. Very comfortable cruiser, back seat was awesome. He traded a VW Type 3 fastback. Seems the dealers really wanted cars that got better mileage. The Caddy averaged 8mpg but his commute was pretty short.

    Like 3
    • Pat

      My neighbor had one. Between the gas lines, even odd rationing and his 65 mile one way commute, he couldn’t even drive it. He offered to trade me even up for my beetle.

      Like 4
  2. jwzg

    The tin worm appears strong in this one.

    Like 5
  3. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Looks like this Big Red Pig didn’t fit in the shed too well, and its rear end was sticking out enough to rot out the hind quarters, and maybe with the drivers window open. Critter Palace innards?

    Like 2
  4. Moparman Member

    “although we don’t see any evidence of rust” Hmmm, looking at all of the rust bubbling through on the edge of the decklid provides evidence of rust present. The bottom corner of the driver’s side fender shows evidence of some type of damage/rust as well. These cars were a beauty in an outrageous manner, but this one looks to be very needy.

    Like 8
  5. CCFisher

    Remember when luxury cars could be had in interesting colors? Cadillac remembers.

    Like 7
    • AndyM

      Green, powder blue, this red… lol

      Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      You can buy a new luxury car today in any color, as long as it’s white, gray, or silver.

      Like 3
  6. DeeBee

    Probably the worlds largest mouse house!

    Like 5
    • shanahan

      When parking a vehicle long storage open the hood. Rodents will not build a nest where the hood is open.

      Like 7
      • Dusty Rider

        I do that with my lawn tractor after I spun one mouse to death. It hasn’t happened since I started to leave the hood up.

        Like 2
  7. DMcG

    7 mpg if it runs well, which I doubt. And that one has a long way to go to be in fair condition, s my offer would be quite a bit shy of $6,000. But a sharp Lipstick Red CdV would be a dun cruiser these days.

    Like 1
  8. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I can’t quite tell, does the license plate sticker say “98”? Can any of our Virginia readers comment? If so, it seems about right that this Coupe De Ville has been parked for over twenty years. Which fits the condition, it needs lots of work.

    Would have been the definition of “presence” in its day.

  9. Ralph Fiallo

    It gives me an Uncle Buck vibe, it would be offensive to drive as is.

  10. Duaney

    Too bad the storage conditions weren’t better

  11. JC

    6k??? LOL. I sold my dear departed Moms ’79 Coupe de Ville in nearly perfect shape for less than that because 6k had no takers… that was in 2015… I wish I could post some pics of it but that feature has disappeared.

  12. Steve Clinton

    “Buy It Now price of $6,000, although you can submit an offer.”

    I’d offer to put it on a flatbed and take it to the junkyard.

    Like 2
  13. Bill Hall

    I had two Caddys, a 67 I started to restore and everything fell apart and it never got done and gave it away. Then a couple of years latter I got 73. After having the 73 for a while I much preferred the 67. It was more comfortable, drove nicer. The 73 was just a big barge.

  14. Stan Marks

    My parent’s last Caddy was a white ’67 convertible with black interior.

    https://www.cardealfinder.com/files/08-2019/ad73304/1967-cadillac-deville-convertible-white-532509043_large.jpg

  15. Stan Marks

    This ’74 is a total money pit. Looks like it was in a flood.

    My parent’s last Caddy was a white ’67 convertible with black interior.

    https://www.cardealfinder.com/files/08-2019/ad73304/1967-cadillac-deville-convertible-white-532509043_large.jpg

    • Stan Marks

      Sorry for the two repeats. Sure miss the editing/remove button, that disappeared from the site.

      Like 1
  16. Steve Thompson

    If you go to Ebay to look at this – click on, See other items, he also has a 53 Buick and a 47 Caddy for sale and some others, all over priced IMO

    Like 2
  17. Rick

    My parent’s had a used 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham which they bought around 1983. Such a smooth ride with spacious room. The worst thing about the car was the mileage per gallon and the tail fins. The fins deteriorated with age. The gas station owner told me he loved seeing that car pull up at his station every time, my mother always used premium gas.

  18. Stan Marks

    Those other cars are definitely way over priced.
    Maybe a few 1000 a piece. Interiors & motors are a disaster.
    I would hate to see what the undercarriages looks.

  19. Kenn

    Would be nice if folks would go to look at vehicles before determining that their condition makes them overpriced.

    Like 1
  20. Stan Marks

    I understand where you’re coming from, Kenn. But then, a picture is worth a 1000 words.

    Like 1
  21. george mattar

    I agree with Steve Clinton. Haul it for scrap. At well more than 4,500 pounds, you will get about $120. What a POS. Look at the want ads, there are hundreds of these yachts for sale for $6,000 that are beautiful, garaged kept granny mobiles with 20,000 miles. I bought a 73 DeVille running and driving from original owner for $500, never got to it and sold it for $1,500 to a friend. Red, black leather. Never wrecked. Typical Cadillac rust under the vinyl roof and 8 mpg efficiency.

    Like 1
  22. Bob McK Member

    I can smell the interior through my computer. It is sitting in mud and you can see the rust. Imagine what the floors look like. The 80’s wire hubcaps may be salvageable.

    Like 1
  23. Kevin

    It’s a $1500 car at best,if engine isn’t locked up. For parts,or beater,or demo derby,not worth restoring, too many years and moisture have eaten it up!

  24. dave

    I had the exact same car in the 80’s, red, white top, but a white interior. Comfortable with 6 in it but you could use the gas gauge as a makeshift tachometer.

  25. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Unfortunately I have to agree with Kevin, (somewhat) This is a $500 parts car for another restoration.
    In the late 80s early 90s I had a brown 74 CdV. After driving it for about a year, I used it as a parts car for a 75 Fleetwood Brougham I bought for $400

  26. ADM

    That’s just a nasty old hulk. A neighbor sold his 1972 Olds 98, in 1974, for $2600, just to get rid of it. He’d bought it, brand new, for 7K.

  27. Dale S.

    I’m wondering why my dad didn’t buy less gas guzzlers in the ’70’s. He bought a green 1972 Chrysler Newport, than a 1974 (?) Anniversary coral/white vinyl top Chrysler Newport, and than the first downsized teal green 1979 Chrysler New Yorker with button tufted matching leather interior. That last car turned some heads. My brother liked it so much, he went looking for one to purchase. He couldn’t get a good deal on one, so he bought a ’79 Riviera instead.

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