Cadillac  Models & History 1963

Cadillac’s long-running V-8 got its first major revision in 14 years for 1963. Bore and stroke were unchanged, as were valves, rocker arms, cylinder heads, compression (still 10.5:1), and connecting rods. But nearly everything else was different: lighter, stronger crankshaft; a stiffer block weighing 50 pounds less than the previous one; ancillaries relocated to improve service access. While all this did little for performance, the revised 390 was much smoother and quieter. Then again, performance was already good. The typical ’63 could reach 115-120 mph, do 0-60 mph in 10 seconds, and return about 14 miles per gallon. Most impressive was the near-silence at high speed. In this, many testers held Cadillac superior to Rolls-Royce. Styling departed from recent practice. Fins were lower than ever, the grille was bulkier, new outer body panels and side moldings created a more slab-sided effect, and the rear was more massive, with elongated vertical tail/backup-light housings.

Prices rose only slightly for ’63, so Cadillac remained an excellent value for the money. Standard equipment ran to Hydra-Matic, power steering, self-adjusting power brakes, heater, backup lights, and left remote-control door mirror. A six-way power seat became standard on Eldorado, and power windows were included on all except Series 62 sedans and coupes. Even power vent windows were offered, as were vinyl roof coverings, a new option. Remarkably, a Series 62 still cost as little as $5026; the Eldo Biarritz was only $6608. Production topped 163,000.