Cadillac Models & History 1977

For some,” the 1979 catalog proclaimed, a Cadillac was “an integral part of the good life. For some the fulfillment of a promise they made to themselves long ago.” Could be, but apart from a daringly downsized E-body Eldorado, the year-brought few stunning announcements. A new electronic-tuning AM/FM stereo radio with signal seeker and scanner included digital display of time and station frequencies. A new convex remote-control right mirror to increase the field of view was standard on Broughams and limos, optional on DeVilles. Lap seatbelts were the new “free-wheeling” style, and chimes now gently warned passengers to buckle up. A new dome light had dual spot map lamps. Seville and Eldorado could have an optional Trip Computer with digital display that showed

  • average speed
  • miles yet to travel
  • engine speed
  • arrival time
  • elapsed trip time.

DeVilles, Fleetwood Broughams, and limousines were powered by a 425 cu. in. (7.0-liter) V-8 with four-barrel carburetor; a fuel-injected version again was available. Oldsmobiie’s diesel V-8, first offered only on Seville and Eldorado, could go under DeVille/Brougham hoods by year’s end. Options for the year Included dual electric remote mirrors; an automatically-retracting radio antenna; plus 8-track and cassette tape players (with built-in 40-channel CB available).



  • Cadillac’s 13-symbol Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) was again on the upper left surface of the cowl, visible through the windshield.
  • Coding was similar to 1977-78.
  • The model year code changed to “9” for 1979.
  • The body type code for Eldorado coupe changed to “57”.
  • Assembly plant codes were:
    • “9” Detroit
    • “E” Linden, NJ (Eldorado only)
    • “C” South Gate, CA (DeVille only).
  • Sequence numbers began with 100001 at Detroit (except 450001 for Seville); 600001 at Linden; and 350001 at South Gate.
  • Eldorado’s body identification plate was on the top right side of the cowl.
  • Diesel Seville body plates were on the top left side of the cowl.


  • Introduced: September 28, 1978.
  • Model year production (U.S.): 381,113 for a 4.1 percent share and a new record.
  • Calendar year production (U.S.): 345,794.
  • Calendar year sales by U.S. dealers: 314,034, which amounted to a 3.8 percent market share.
  • Model year sales by U.S. dealers: 328,815.
  • DeVilles this year were built at South Gate, California.
  • The DeVille Phaeton’s simulated convertible top was hardly likely to satisfy real ragtop fans who could afford the price of one of the re-manufactured versions.
  • One such conversion by Hess & Eisenhardt, called ‘Le Cabriolet’ was marketed through Cadillac dealers.
  • Like other GM divisions, Cadillac had high expectations for diesel power, but that phenomenon was destined to evaporate in the next half-dozen years.


1979 Manual 1979 Manual 1979 Manual
1979 Manual