Cadillac for 1983 heralded a new line of electronic fuel-injected engines, eliminating the carburetor. The EFI lineup even included the 2.0-liter four that powered Cimarrons. Once again, the HT-4100 V-8 was Cadillac’s standard engine (except on Cimarrons and limousines), now with 10 more horsepower. Automatic four-speed overdrive transmission was standard as well. The 5.7-liter diesel was available again.
A new Freedom II battery gave better cold-cranking performance. The curious but undependable variable-displacement V8-6-4 engine was consigned only to limousine applications.
Added to the Eldorado and Seville option lists was a Delco-GM/Bose Symphony Sound System with four amplifiers and speakers in separate enclosures, billed as the “industry’s most advanced stereo.” Sound was automatically balanced for all passengers, reflecting off the windows and interior. Acoustics were based on window location and shape, upholstery, carpeting, and position of driver and passengers. The system included an AM/FM stereo radio and integral cassette player with Dolby tape noise reduction and full-time loudness control. Tested with an “acoustically-sensitive” robot, the system was also offered on Buick Riviera and Olds Toronado.
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.
The number begins with a “1” 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 (standard)
Symbol five is a letter denoting car line and series:
“B” Fleetwood Brougham
“F” Fleetwood limousine
“Z” commercial chassis
Digits six and seven indicate body type:
“47” 2-door coupe
“69” 4-door four-window sedan
“23” six-window, eight-passenger sedan w/auxiliary seat
“33” six-window formal limousine w/aux. seat and center partition
“90” commercial chassis (no body)
“57” Eldorado coupe
Next comes an engine code:
‘P’ L4-121 TBI
‘8’ V8-249 DFI
‘9’ V8-6-4 368 DFI
‘N’ V8-350 diesel
‘6’ V8-368 4-bbl.
The next symbol is a check digit
Symbol ten indicates model year (“D” 1983)
Symbol eleven denotes assembly plant:
“E” Linden, New Jersey (Seville/Eldorado)
“C” for South Gate, California (Cimarron)
The final six-digit production sequence number began with 100001 for Detroit-built models: 600001 (Eldorado) or 680001 (Seville) for those built in New Jersey
An identification number for the V-6 engine was on the left rear of the block; on the V8-350, a code label was on top of the left valve cover and a unit number label atop the right valve cover.
Other engines had a unit number on the block behind the left cylinder head, and a VIN derivative on the block behind the intake manifold.
A body number plate on the upper horizontal surface of the shroud (except Seville, on front vertical shroud surface) showed model year, build date code, car division, series, style, body assembly plant, body number, trim combination, paint code, modular seat code, and roof option.
Model year production: 292,714, which came to 5.1 percent of the industry total.
That total included 5,223 diesels.
Calendar year production: 309,811.
Calendar year sales by U.S. dealers: 300,337.
Model year sales by U.S. dealers: 290,138 for a 4.5 percent market share.
Sales rose by over 22 percent for the 1983 model year, suggesting that Cadillac’s appeal to luxury-minded buyers hadn’t waned.
Before taking over the Chevrolet division, Cadillac general manager Robert D. Burger told reporters that the company was “confident about the future of the luxury car business” since research by 1982 suggested a “long-term fundamental shift toward luxury cars that hold their value.”
On the other hand, research also showed that Cadillac buyers were considerably older (median age about 60) than car buyers in general — a fact that could become a problem in future years.
The popularity of the HT-4100 4.1 liter V-8 brought speculation that a transverse-mounted version would be planned for the 1984 Eldorado.
That car’s engine compartment would have to be widened, however, to accommodate the V-8.
So the switch occurred only when Eldorado got a new body for 1986.
Rear-drive Cadillacs were the longest cars on the market, measuring 121 inches in wheelbase.
Buyers still liked them, so they expected to remain in the lineup for a while longer.
Cadillac production figures
Cimarron19,294 (increased 10,928)
Fleetwood/de Ville series174,674 (increased 37,074)