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Thursday, December 18, 2014

AutoWorld 1976 Cadillac Coupe DeVille and Johnny Lightning 1973 Cadillac Eldorado

Now AutoWorld has been making lots of classic big cars from the '67 Eldorado to the '69 Chevy Kingswood Estate, yet none of them can equate to the mass of this big land yacht, the 1976 Coupe DeVille.

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Last of the dinosaurs?

The 1970's was not the kind of time to own such a big gas guzzler of a car with high gas prices and oil embargo's, yet still some preferred to ride in a big land yacht than to be cramped in some tiny Japanese car just for fuel savings.  One was Cadillac as not only do they still offer the big coupes but also the sole convertible at the time right up until 1976.  The Coupe DeVille is the biggest with 1975 featuring square quad headlights, center grille, long hood with chrome trim, smooth-slab side panels with integrated rear fender skirts, vinyl top, and rear taillight fins with additional lights on the trunk area.  It's a big car!  The interior is cozy for five people with a dashboard that has a simple layout, central radio and HVAC controls, and vertical speedometer in the gauges.  The seats are nice and plush, while the trunk is large enough to, in the terms of a few mafia groups, large enough to fit a few bodies.  The hood showcased the large 500 CID Cadillac V8 that produces 210 hp. (catalytic converter restricted) to a three-speed automatic.  The upper/lower front suspension and live rear axle with coil springs give the soft, cushy ride with a trade off to sporty handling in excessive body roll and understeer.

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Still front-wheel drive, the Eldorado gains a more contemporary Cadillac look in the 1970's with the quad round headlights, now exposed, and the egg-crate grille to the vertical taillight fins.  The difference is the shorter length with vertical trim on the sides.  The interior is just as plush as the Coupe DeVille, but with more room and seating for six, as well as the large trunk.  The engine is the same 500 CID Cadillac V8 that produces 400 hp. through a three-speed automatic, this time to the front wheels.  The soft suspension still remains, as does the understeer.

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Autoworld:  Big, with a special Chase

This casting looks good in black with white top and features all the special details from the front and rear lights to the chrome trim. Check out the YatClub Indiana plates as well!  The hood is nice as long, as is the length of the car that, surprisingly, fits in its own box that it comes with!  The hood opens to show off the big V8 in detail, though it's a tad bit dark in there; The same can be said for the luxurious interior.  The wheels have the correct hubcaps with skinny tires, as does the base details, though the ground clearance seems a bit high (in contrast to the Chevy Kingswood Estate's rather low ride height).  The other color is the cream with white top, though there's a few additional colors:  For the extreme chase version, the raw metal version is really rare with only 10 made.  For the more common chase, there's the dark red version.  This is the same color for all chase vehicles, but while most are littered with additional racing stripes, this one on the Cadillac is just as clean as the black and cream colors.  I like how this color really flows along with the classy lines of the big Cadillac and how it fits perfectly with the Cadillac's luxurious image.

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Johnny Lightning's older, but still neat Eldorado

The red Johnny Lightning version has been around for a long time (first seen in the Indy Pace Car series), but in this Classic Gold version still has it going.  The eggcrate grille with round headlights are nicely done, the rearview mirrors are nicely integrated on the body, and the side trim and taillights are nicely done, but the overall car is rather small compared to the AutoWorld Coupe DeVille, heck even the 1967 Eldorado!  Yes, the Eldorado is smaller than the Coupe DeVille, but both have just about the same garganteous width!  The interior color matches the exterior with excellent details, including the boot over the convertible top.  The wheels, though a bit large, show off the correct details from the chrome hubcaps to the whitewall tires.  The base is a little short on details, while the engine is one of the disadvantages of the early Johnny Lightning cars: just details on metal painted over with the body color, no separate painted details.

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While the Eldorado is very nice, nothing beats the sure size and details of the Coupe DeVille.

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