Junkyard Find: 1970 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Convertible

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1970 cadillac coupe de ville convertible

I must admit I’ve lost track of the variations on the DeVille name used by Cadillac over the decades; according to the 1970 sales brochure, this car— which I found at the same Denver yard that gave us the ’82 AM General Postal Jeep yesterday— was a “de Ville” (two words, first starting with lower-case letter). It’s pretty well used up, but you can still see the genuine pre-malaise luxury.

In my opinion, Cadillac (and, for that matter, GM) peaked in the early 1960s, and by 1970 the brand’s status had been watered down by diminished build quality and higher sales figures— this was still a well-built car, especially compared to its Malaise Era successors, but the Cadillac name was already beginning its long slide. The GTO taught The General that marketing was more important than product, and Cadillac was dragged along for the ride.

But let’s not dwell on the negative. Cadillac is building good stuff again, and the ’70 Coupe de Ville convertible was a helluva car. Check out this mighty 472-cubic-inch V8, with its staggering 525 foot-pounds of torque; not quite as impressive as the Eldorado’s 500-cubic-inch engine with its 550 foot-pounds, but… damn!

There’s rust. There’s Bondo.

Cruise control! Thermostat-controlled HVAC!

Why is there a rubber dolphin hanging from a shoelace tied to the rear-view mirror? Who can say?

The Denver Zephyrs were a triple-A baseball team that played at the future Mile High Stadium from 1985 through 1992. Always interesting to see such time-capsule stuff on junked cars.

I came close to buying the hardtop version of this car when I was 17; the sound of the Quadrajet-fed 472 was the biggest selling point. Instead, I went with a psychotic ’58 Beetle.

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  • GalaxieSun GalaxieSun on Jan 12, 2012

    In fall of 1969 I rode in my friend's dad's brand new 1970 Cadillac DeVille convertible, the exact same color as this car. What impressed me the most about the vehicle was what a total P.O.S. it was. The cowl shake was unbelievable and even at low speeds the dashboard squeaked like a mouse sandwiched between two sheets of Styrofoam. My parents had a '67 Olds 98 coupe and it was put together much better than that 1970 Caddy. Chrysler DQR was already well on the wane at that time and it was only a year or so that Ford quality really started to sink. I lived through that era and I can tell you that it was easy to see how the Japanese made such strong strides in the early 70's compared to the American junk that was being turned out.

  • Smallenginesmakemesad Smallenginesmakemesad on Jan 14, 2012

    I would like to have one of these. It was Cadillac's last rear wheel drive convertible. I have a 70 Eldorado already. I love the monster-torque.

  • Parkave231 Collector's Edition hood ornament or GTFO.
  • Dave M. Once again Mustang remains solely on the throne. But obviously the day of the ponycar has long passed....
  • Art Vandelay The car so nice they killed it…twice
  • Ryan The hybrid EX model lists at about CAD$39,000 in Canada, including delivery charges. No Premium package is available for it here.
  • Golden2husky A great driver's car let down by down right dangerous visibility - in any version. Had the Camaro had a qulity interior and acceptable visibility we'd have one in our driveway as my wife loves the way they look and drive.