Pretty much a brand new 1976 Cadillac. 12,910 original miles. Untouched paint, chrome, interior, and engine. Out of long-term storage and fully serviced, ready to drive. Nicely documented.
This big green deVille had been sitting in a warehouse since 1978, when it was parked in the corner, covered up, and apparently forgotten. It seems that the owner had a habit of buying new cars, driving them for a few months, then parking them and buying something else. And it’s not really right to call this a “barn” find, because the facility in which it was stored was heated and protected, not exposed to the elements, so aside from flat tires and some dust, this Cadillac was almost perfectly preserved.
The original Kingswood Green enamel shined up beautifully and needed nothing more than a good coat of wax to look almost like new. There are no scratches, no chips, no touch-ups, nothing that would suggest this car is anything than what it is. The doors, hood, and trunk swing effortlessly on their hinges and fit better than you remember. In fact, the door seals are so supple that sometimes it takes a harder slam than you expect to get the doors to close all the way. It’s accented by a white pinstripe, which is how it was delivered, and that padded roof is pretty much like new. Even the fender extensions and bumper filler below the rear license plate are fully intact and not crumbling, a notorious problem for Cadillacs of this vintage. The chrome, the stainless, the rubber trim, it’s all pretty much like new. It’s rather extraordinary.
The green cloth interior was part of the d’Elegance package, and the seats are just unbelievably plush. You sit down and sink in behind the wheel of one of the very last of the giant American land yachts. There are acres of green fabric that looks ornate yet sophisticated and the green carpets are deep enough to swallow your shoes. The faux wood on the door panels and dashboard is actually fairly convincing and all the usual problem areas are unmarked: armrests, dash pad, and steering wheel show zero signs of age. Those are original (and irreplaceable) floor mats and all the chrome remains bright and shiny. Even more importantly, everything is fully operational; the automatic climate control blows cold, the windows zip up and down, the locks thunk down with authority, and the AM/FM/8-track stereo radio sounds surprisingly crisp and rich. If there’s one demerit, it’s that the clock only works intermittently, which is common on these cars. And check out that trunk! Not only is it giant, but it’s immaculately preserved with the original spare tire with complete jack assembly. Heck, you can still see the part numbers stamped on the original rubber mat!
Until recently, Cadillac’s 500 cubic inch V8 was the biggest production V8 in history. It starts almost instantly and idles smoothly from the start, and after a few moments, it drops down to a 500 RPM idle that’s almost impossible to detect from behind the wheel. More than once I was afraid it had stalled while waiting at a red light—nope, still running. Aside from routine maintenance items that were just replaced, the engine bay is almost entirely equipped with vintage-1976 hardware. Factory blue paint looks great on the engine and hasn’t been heat cycled to oblivion. The belts and hoses have, of course, been replaced, but the rest is untouched save for the master cylinder and a fuel pump, which were needed to get it back on the road. If you want a road map for future restorations, this awesome deVille is a sure winner in preservation competition.
The TH400 3-speed automatic transmission has fresh fluid inside and a fresh pan gasket, and it shifts properly. Towering 2.73 gears out back mean that this big car will cruise in near silence at 90 MPH all day with the A/C blasting and the only limitation is keeping the 26-gallon gas tank full. There’s some of the usual surface scale on the heavy metal parts, most of which was there before the car was even off the transporter at the original dealership. None of it is structural or abnormal on a car that hasn’t been undercoated. You can see the original satin black paint on the floors, and yes, even the exhaust system is completely original! The front brakes have fresh calipers and there are new wheel cylinders out back, which is just smart after all those years, and new air shocks were installed out back to replace the originals that understandably gave up (the auto-leveling system is fully operational, don’t worry). All four tires were replaced with fresh 235/75/15 whitewall radials, but the original tires are included with the car if you’d like to show it in preservation classes.
This car is also very well documented, including the original books and manuals, plus the window sticker, which shows a sticker price of $11,092, including more than $1700 worth of options.
These cars are gaining popularity because they’re very welcome at big club events, they’re easy to drive, they’re bulletproof reliable, and they’ll run with modern traffic with ease. And when they’re as beautifully preserved as this one, you’re sure to draw a crowd wherever you go because few people have seen a brand new 1976 Cadillac. It’s a great reminder that the quality wasn’t as dreadful as we seem to recall and that when you owned a car like this, you truly were The Man. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com