This was more a year of waiting than one of major changes. All Cadillac engines were now fuel injected. All but Cimarron and Fleetwood limousines carried the HT-4100 cu. in. (4.1 liter V-8 with aluminum alloy block and digital fuel injection. This year, that 249 cu. in. engine gained a new exhaust system and catalytic converter, plus revised calibration settings, to meet high-altitude emissions standards. New features on DeVille, Fleetwood Brougham and limos included a goldtone horizontally-winged Cadillac crest ornament on front parking and turn signal lenses; new car-colored bodyside moldings; new goldtone vertically-winged Cadillac crest and goldtone accents on taillamp lenses; and new standard electronic level control. Diesel engine identification plaques were now on the left rear of the decklid. Faster-warming glow plugs went into the optional 5.7 liter diesel V-8, for improved cold-startups. A modified optional theft-deterrent system could detect any object on the driver’s seat that weighed 40 pounds or more.
I. D. DATA
All Cadillacs again had a 17-symbol Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), stamped on a metal tag attached to the upper left surface of the cowl, visible through the windshield.
Some of the coding changed this year.
The number begins with a “I” to indicate the manufacturing country (U.S.A.), followed by a “G” for General Motors and a “6” for Cadillac Division.
The next letter indicates restraint system: “A” manual; “B” automatic.
Symbol five denotes car line and series:
“W” Fleetwood Brougham;
“F” Fleetwood limousine;
Digits six and seven indicate body type:
“47” 2-dr. coupe;
“69” 4-dr. sedan;
“23” eight-passenger limousine;
“33” formal limousine with center partition;
“57” Eldorado coupe;
“67” 2-dr. convertible coupe.
Next comes the engine code:
“P” L4-121 TBI;
“8” V8-250 FI;
“N” V8-350 diesel;
“9” V8-6-4 368 FI.
The next symbol is a check digit.
Symbol ten indicates model year (“E” 1984).
Symbol eleven denotes assembly plant.
Last is a six-digit production sequence number.
As before, engines carried an identifying number and bodies held a number plate.
Introduced: September 22, 1983.
Model year production: 300.300 (not including early ’85 DeVille/Fleetwoods).
The total includes 2,465 diesels.
Calendar year production: 328,534.
Calendar year sales by U.S. dealers: 320,017 for a 4.0 percent market share.
Model year sales by U.S. dealers: 327,587 (including 46,356 early ’85 front-drives).
Sales rose 13 percent for the model year, but Cadillac’s market share declined.
(Figures are a bit distorted because both front-drive and rear-drive DeVille/Fleetwood models were sold at the same time.)
On the other hand, all the GM divisions experienced a drop in market share.
Rising demand, though, kept plants working overtime during 1984.
Cimarron continued as Cadillac’s weakest seller, largely because it offered little more than the related J-car Chevrolet Cavalier gave for far fewer dollars.
Best performers in terms of increased sales were the big DeVille and Fleetwood Brougham.
Research had shown, however, that over three-fourths of Cimarron buyers had never bought a Cadillac before; and that many of them had previously owned an import.
Late in 1983, a modern new plant at Orion Township in Michigan had begun production of the new front-drive DeVille, to be introduced for 1985 after early production delays.
Also late in 1983, Cadillac became part of the Buick-Cadillac-Oldsmobile group.
In January 1984, John O. Grettenberger became Cadillac’s new chief.
Cadillac had offered the last American convertible in 1976, but wasn’t the first to return with a ragtop in the ’80s.
Already on the market were Buick Riviera, Chevrolet Cavalier, Pontiac Sunbird, Chrysler LeBaron, Dodge 600, and Ford Mustang.
Cadillac’s version was, of course, the most costly of the lot for ’84.
The convertible was actually a conversion done by ASC Corporation in Lansing, Michigan, after the car was assembled in New Jersey.
The work included reinforcing inner rockers, radiator support cross rods, and many body braces.
Front and rear anti-roll bars and tougher suspension components were added along with the vinyl convertible top.
All told, the convertible weighed 179 pounds more than the coupe from which it evolved.