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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale WITHOUT RESERVE and SOLD to the highest bidder August 13th – 15th, 2015 at Russo and Steele’s 15th Annual Monterey California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Following a decade of fast-growing sales during the 1960s, GM’s Cadillac Motor Division faced a challenging new environment at the dawn of the 1970s with a painful economic recession, OPEC oil embargo, and a tidal wave of fuel-economy and governmental regulations. While having considered a smaller model already for some time, Cadillac management was not about to endanger its outstanding reputation with a knee-jerk reaction to the challenges it faced. However, the strongly growing sales of imported Mercedes-Benz models and the widened Lincoln model range spurred development of a new and smaller, yet characteristically Cadillac, model.
In 1973, the decision was finally made to field an ‘International’ sized car, based on the newly designed X-Body Nova platform, which was scheduled for a 1975 debut. Classical “three-box” styling was beautifully executed under GM Styling head Bill Mitchell, who commented he was trying to evoke the feel of Harley Earl’s landmark 1941 Sixty Special, another groundbreaking Cadillac model. The driveline selected was the Oldsmobile 350 V-8 and Turbo-Hydramatic automatic transmission, a proven combination. A four-door, vinyl-roof sedan body style was the sole model offered and the only options offered on the fully equipped cars were a choice of sound systems and a power sunroof. .
Dubbed Seville, with the name reprising the two-door Series 62 Eldorado hardtops of the 1950s, the new Cadillac was priced in line with its ‘senior’ models, making it very expensive and ensuring that only loyal Cadillac buyers and influential customers could get one. Released in mid-1975 as a 1976 model, the limited-production Seville was a stylistic tour de force and received great acclaim at its May, 1975 launch. Strong demand at home was matched overseas, especially in Europe, with the United Kingdom’s initial 100-car allotment sold out in just a matter of days.
The first updates to the Seville came for 1977, with the addition of four-wheel disc brakes. Improved body stampings made painted metal roofs finally available, and a fine mesh-type grille was added. With Seville on a roll, archrival Mercedes-Benz faced a dent in sales and then for 1978, the Seville now offered an optional diesel engine, tail lamps with engraved emblems, and the upscale Seville Elegante package with two-tone paint, brushed stainless trim, Dunlop wire wheels, special Sierra-grain leather seats with perforated inserts, and a floor console. For 1979, the final production year for the first-generation Seville’s Nova-based body design, upgrades were detail-oriented and included revised suspension tuning and revised engine mounts, making the highly acclaimed Seville even better than before. While intended primarily as a luxurious road car, the Seville also figured prominently on the small screen during the late 1970s, with high-profile appearances on the Rockford Files and Charlie’s Angels.
Having travelled just an approximate 50,000 original miles and offered in virtual mint condition, this 1978 Seville Opera Coupe was a participant in the World’s First Auto Race Centennial Run in July 1978, confirmed by a commemorative plaque signed by the Governor in office at the time. Stored for much of its existence, this very rare Seville’s many features include a 350 cubic-inch V-8 engine, air conditioning, cruise control, the original radio and cassette player, and it even retains the original wheels and tires. If you are looking for an outstanding modern classic Cadillac, this Seville is the ticket!